Lynn Meadows Discovery Center (#RossSummerKickOff2017)

We decided to take the kids to the Lynn Meadows Discover Center because we heard so many good things about it.  And it did not disappoint.  When we got there, it was pouring rain so we were glad that Biloxi has SO MUCH TO DO!

This Discovery Center is two stories and lots of interactive areas for the kids.  It quickly filled up since I'm sure everyone wanted their kids to have some fun inside while the storms were passing through.  Between the two stories was a climbing maze that we couldn't get Jax and Julie out of!

Fisherwoman Jules!

Playing vet.

Jungle safari!

This was by far the most popular thing-the TV Game show and Talk Show.  You could present to put on a show, have an audience, and work the lighting.

Julie on the green screen.

What's the weather today, Julie?

Jaxson and Julie tried their hand at wheel chair basketball.  They were pretty terrible at it. It was fun to watch.

Afterwards, we headed to Gulfport for the Shrimp Basket.  It is so yummy!  This was the shrimp basket with cheesy grits.  So not healthy-but totally worth it.

After lunch we asked the kids if they wanted to the beach or to the splash park.  They chose the splash park.  And it was really nice.  It was up by the beach and had a really nice playground.  They had fun jumping around and getting wet!

The Beach (#RossSummerKickOff2017)

Biloxi was having some "Splash and Dash" showers.  So we opted to go to the beach in the afternoon.  And while it was overcast, it was really nice and cool.  The kids had a blast!

But first-we had to take pictures!

We took these at a fun little hot-pink tourist shop on the beach.  Jaxson really wanted a shark necklace so we had to check this out!

Julie takes the best pictures.  We know if we give the phone to her, she will get a pretty decent shot of Justin and I.

This is Jaxson's handiwork.  He thinks he's pretty funny pranking us by telling us he has taken the picture, but really hasn't.  And then snaps one of us afterwards.  We are onto him!

The kids had so much fun on the beach.  And we ended up taking ½ the sand back with us in the van!  That stuff gets everywhere!

Jaxson worked really hard on his sand castle.  I think it turned out great!

Julie has Justin wrapped around her finger.  She had him hunting for shells and helping her build a sandcastle.

She was pretty proud of her finished product.

It was a lot of fun to relax and unwind on the beach!

Beauvoir (#RossSummerKickOff2017)

We woke up and our first stop was Beauvoir!  This is the house that Jefferson Davis stayed at/lived in after the Civil War and in his later years.

This house was considered a mansion back in the day.  But it really only has 5 rooms.  This is the entrance into the house.  It was absolutely beautiful.  A lot of the pieces inside the house were original, only a couple were replicas.  (Due to Hurricane Katrina.  More about that later.)

The ladies parlour.

The bedroom of Winnie.  (His daughter.)

The "man cave."

The hutch was also original to the house.  And if you look at the bottom you can see how high the ocean was when Hurricane Katrina came through.  Remember-the house is already high off the ground.  The water was crazy deep.  

After the house, we we walked around the grounds and it was really pretty.  Although there were signs to watch out for "snake crossings!"

This was a fun place to visit and had lots to look at.  Unfortunately, Hurricane Katrina really did a number on Biloxi.  Lots of things were flooded and ruined.  The Presidents Museum with a lot of artifacts was destroyed.  They have since built a new one and you can see they put everything on the 2nd story-just in case.  The house was boarded up during the storm, but the winds blew the door open and lots of things were flooded and even moved out of the house.  Somethings went missing and still haven't turned up.  A piano was even found in a tree! Justin asked our tour guide why they didn't move the furniture out of the house and she said that they really didn't think the hurricane was going to be that bad.  They were really lucky more things weren't destroyed.  We noticed that even though Hurricane Katrina came through over 10 years ago, Biloxi and the Mississippi Gulf Coast are still rebuilding from it.  

Now onto the beach!

Vicksburg Seige (#RossSummerKickOff2017)

With a week off of work and school just getting out, it was time for us to take a road trip!  We decided to go somewhere close by-Biloxi, Mississippi.  We wanted to go to a beach and explore a city we haven't been to before.

Once we crossed the Mississippi River, we had to stop at the Visitor's Center and take our obligatory state sign picture.  One day we will have all 50 states!  (Goals to strive for!)

The Visitor's Center even had a cannon! 

We went to the Vicksburg National Military Park.  This is where the Vicksburg Campaign and Siege happened in March-July 1863.  The Union Army wanted control of the Mississippi River and knew that controlling Vicksburg was the way to go.  The park is 16 mile drive around to the different areas of where battles happened.  

Entrance to the park.

Cannons ready to go!

This is the USS Cairo Gun Boat that was sunk in the Mississippi River during one of the battles.  They brought it back up almost 100 years later and displayed it out in the park.   

The Shirley House is another stop on the tour.  Can you imagine that this house was on the battlefield?  The occupants hid in this house for a couple of days before they waved a white flag.  The Union Army took them out and put them in a cave so they were safe.  

Each state that fought in Vicksburg had a memorial.  We had to get a picture of Arkansas!

Can you believe that tour took us about 2 hours to drive through?!  Crazy. It was real interesting but the kids weren't too impressed.  (Sorry kids!) 

After that activity, we drove straight to the beach.  After we ate dinner our first stop was the sand and water!