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After we left San Antonio to go to Florida we decided to stay a couple nights at a casino in Biloxi, Mississippi. It was quite interesting to us for several reasons. First, we were impressed by the effects of hurricanes from several years ago (especially Katrina). There are many vacant lots along the beachfront that may have only 1 or 2 trees that are leaning but still standing. There seem to be places where there were obviously buildings (condos, motels, etc.??) and the parking lots or parts of them are still there. Some of the lots have big for sale signs on them. There are some beautiful old homes that have new coats of paint but they have withstood decades of storms. They are on higher ground and also some are on stilts. There is some construction still going on to repair a few buildings but the beach highway seems to have been repaired by now. The public beach is still being worked on in some areas. I walked along the beach for about a mile across from our hotel and took some pictures.
My funnel fries for breakfast at the Den
As I was taking the elevator down to go for my walk, I shared it with a bellhop and we exchanged pleasantries. I told him I was going for a walk on the beach "to get some sand in my shoes." He exclaimed," In your shoes! You need to get those shoes off and run that sand through your toes!" I was afraid it was too cold for that but after I got down there I HAD to try it! There was a family in bare feet there and they warned me the water was very cold. I was surprised to find out how warm it really was! I walked the whole way in the water and my feet didn't ache a bit!
A gull hunting on the beachMy second reason of interest is the casinos. We made our reservation online for a casino called Treasure Bay. It is about 2 miles south of the highway that runs from I-10 down to the beach highway, so is kind of away from any other casino. It is not a really big casino but is quite nice with a big buffet, an expensive dining room and lounge on the top (9th) floor overlooking the beach and gulf, and a small cafe (called the Den) that is open 24 hours. It has 2 pools in the courtyard, an upper and lower pool. The room was fairly good sized and had 2 flat screened TVs, one in the room and one on the wall in the bathroom!!! The most interesting thing about this casino, though, is the artwork and decor. I couldn't take pictures in the casino, unfortunately, but did get pictures of the chandelier. No kidding, they had Chihulys like the ones at Bellagio on the walls of the main casino! The walls of the casinos downstairs and in the Den had very tasteful modern art and sculptures! The Den had surprisingly good food. Bob was not too impressed with this casino ("too small and not the right machines") although they had a deal where if you joined the Players Club the first day you were a member you could lose up to $100 and they would put it back on your card and you could spend it again the next day. (We did take advantage of this deal and of course lost our money a second time, too).
One of two Chihuly chandeliers at Treasure Bay
A closer view of the middle section and bottom of the chandelier
Looking from the upper pool down to the lower pool
The next day we decided to check out the most prestigious casino along that part of the coast, the Beau Rivage. It could compete with the "big guys" in Las Vegas, I think. Maybe not the really pricey ones but still very big and glitzy with with many fine restaurants, a theater, a huge buffet, and "the right kind of machines". They had a non-smoking area and a non-smoking poker room besides the other poker area including roulette and bacarat tables. We spent an afternoon there and Bob actually came out ahead. All in all we broke even for our stay. We had a snack while there and walked out on a balcony overlooking their private marina (closed but I'm not sure if it is because it is winter or due to needing repairs--although there was no construction going on there and it looked ok to me.)