It’s no secret that Marie and I love Biloxi, Mississippi. It is one of the most beautiful and historical cities in the south. The white sandy beaches are clean and not overcrowded. There are jet ski rentals, parasailing, wind surfing, sailing and lots of activities happening around town such as conventions and headliners performing at the casinos. It is the “Las Vegas” of the south only with a beach. On July 4 there is a massive fireworks display over the ocean; in October there is “Cruising the Coast” when thousands of vintage cars and hot rods converge on the Mississippi Gulf Coast for a week of rock ‘n roll, entertainment, dances, cruising down Beach Blvd and swap meets. In the spring Low Rider owners exhibit their cars down Beach Blvd for “Scraping the Coast”. Mardi Gras is a huge deal, as well as the blessing of the shrimp boats, and all national holidays. And if that isn’t enough, Biloxi has it’s own baseball team called the Shuckers and a beautiful stadium to play in. And did I mention casinos? There is a Trolley Hopper that takes you from one casino to the next without ever getting into your car.
A few months ago I received an e-mail from a realtor in Biloxi, Mississippi regarding a condo for sale. Something made me take notice and I called my partner in crime and Marie was interested. The more we thought about it, the more we talked about it. And the more we talked about it, we soon were planning a trip to Biloxi to look at the property. In March of this year we made an appointment with our realtor Kristin Allen to look at the condo. It wasn’t love at first sight. The condo definitely needed a facelift. The furniture was worn and sagging, the walls needed paint, the rugs would have to be replaced or cleaned, in other words, an overhaul. But we could see potential. Here are “before” photos of the unit.
The owners were from New York and I guess they very seldom came down to update or just check on their investment. The condo, unit 502, is located in Ocean Club and is a beautiful 17 story building located on Beach Boulevard. In fact, one only has to walk out of the parking lot, cross the street at the light and be on the beach. The picture introducing this post is taken from our 5th floor balcony and you can see the street light at the crosswalk. That is our building, The Ocean Club. So as you probably have guessed, we made an offer on the condo which was accepted and we closed the deal the middle of April. Kessler Air Force Base is located in Biloxi and holds many training sessions for members of the military. I guess rather than stay at one of the hotels, many rent a condo which feels a little more homey to them. Some stay for a month or more and a hotel would be more expensive. Plus some have their families visit. Our condo was being rented by the military and he would not be checking out until May 31. So we put the condo on maintenance hold from June 1 through June 16 to make it pretty. We had a group coming in on June 18 for five nights and we wanted to impress. And of course get the new pictures on the website for future business. You can access on www.biloxibeachresortrentals.com Not being able to get into the condo until June 1 gave us time to shop for furniture and to have the condo painted. In our previous trip report we drove to Miami to get on the Carnival Vista to cruise. On our way there we stopped in Houston at Rooms to Go to look at furniture and Home Goods for décor. We didn’t buy any furniture at this time because we were staying in Biloxi both going and coming from Miami and our plan was to order the furniture we had picked at the Gulfport store, but to set up the delivery for June 8. We made an appointment with Goodwill to pick up our old furniture on the morning of the 8th and the new furniture delivered in the afternoon. With fingers crossed it worked perfectly. We also did a lot of internet shopping with Joss and Main, a sister company of Wayfair. They have a lot of gorgeous furniture, but because we felt we needed to sit on a couch and chair before we bought them, we bought mostly living room furniture at Rooms to Go. What I don’t get about Rooms to Go is that if you go into their showroom and place an order, they charge you a delivery charge. If you go online and place an order, shipping is free. At Joss and Main, shipping is free and lots of discounts are offered. The drawback is that when your order is delivered, it is unassembled. It’s just not a perfect world. We had light fixtures to buy, pictures to buy and knickknacks to buy. We made lots of trips to Lowe’s, Home Depot, Home Goods, At Home, Pier One, Kirkland’s, and Hobby Lobby. Finally we had what we hoped was everything and we were ready to load up and go to Biloxi. Marie and her husband Chuck drove to my house in his truck. I had a garage full of boxes of furniture from Joss and Main to be assembled, but we thought it would be safer to leave them boxed up. We had a dolly, tools, cleaning supplies, suitcases, snacks and breakfast and lunch food so we would only have to eat out once a day.
We were so lucky that Chuck is very handy and installed new light fixtures, assembled furniture, hung pictures, and made some minor repairs. I don’t think he knew what he was in for when we said we wanted to take him to Biloxi, but I think all in all he had a good time.
Below are “after” pictures of our condo. We are very proud of our hard work. Our plans are to rent it as much as possible and have it for our own use when we can. Even when it is occupied, which we hope is often, we can always stay at one of the casinos.
One of the biggest obstacles we faced was that we had numerous offers for free play and gifts at Harrah’s, Beau Rivage, and Hard Rock. Harrah’s gave us free play almost every day we were in Biloxi, the Beau Rivage gave us free play twice, and the Hard Rock gave us free play and gifts we had to pick up on three different days. So while Chuck was working in the condo, we shopped for whatever we needed and went to the casino to pick up our free play or gift. Then we would take Chuck out to dinner. Once we took him to Magnolia House at Harrah’s for steak. It was delicious and service was great.
Another evening we took him to Stalla at the Beau for Italian food. Again great food and service.
Chuck doesn’t gamble but he is a good sport while we play. In addition to restaurants at the casinos, we also took him to Shaggy’s for seafood, The Reef for seafood, twice. It was all really good. The best was McElroy’s which Marie and I went to after Chuck went home. The shrimp and fishing boats are docked outside the restaurant so I am assuming that is why it tasted so fresh. Marie and I and our sister Cheryl grew up in Pasadena, Texas, a suburb of Houston. We were also about an hour away from Galveston so I think that is why the beach brings back such pleasant memories. We would go to Kemah or Texas City to meet the shrimp boats and buy shrimp just out of the water. We would bring them home, pop the heads off and our mother would freeze them for later. Once in a while our dad would take us all out to eat seafood in Kemah. It just seems natural that we were drawn to Biloxi. And honestly, Biloxi has beautiful white sand instead of brown sand at Galveston, and Biloxi does not stink. Down Beach Blvd, there are old southern mansions lining the street overlooking the gulf of Mexico. Katrina hit here, but the people were dedicated to rebuilding the city and it definitely shows.
Chuck had to leave after the first week so he could get ready for work on Monday. So Marie and I had some alone time at the casinos. We had new money to collect at the Beau and at Harrah’s. I didn’t hit anything at the Beau and neither did Marie. They had a computer crash issue earlier in the week and probably lost enough money that they tightened up the machines. At Harrah’s I hit my fourth hand pay of the year for $1984.00 on the Wonder 4 Tall Fortunes machine. Marie was playing Wonder 4 Tower and hit over $800. So we had really good luck on this trip.
Here’s some fun I had at Harrahs.
As we were driving around one day we saw a restaurant we had heard about called Salute. It offered delicious Italian food. I had fried pork loin and pasta and Marie had braised chicken medallions with a balsamic reduction and pasta. It was all too good. We did manage to remember to take pictures of the food.
As I mentioned earlier, we did McElroy’s one night. It was the best seafood of the trip. The rest of the trip we ate less expensive. We went to Whataburger (yes they have Whataburger), Steak and Shake, Chick Fil a, The Terrace Café at the Beau and snacks at the condo. We both were getting tired of seafood and needed Mexican Food. There are two Mexican restaurants recommended to us, but we ran out of time. We hope you enjoy seeing pictures of our condo. Our next trip is in July. Marie received two complimentary airline tickets to Laughlin and complimentary hotel so this trip will be her treat. At the end of July my husband and I are taking our son, daughter-in-law, and two grandkids on a cruise out of Galveston for a summer vacation to Mexico. I probably won’t write a trip report on the cruise since Marie won’t be there, but we will publish one on the trip to Laughlin. Until then, watch for the Slotsisters. We could be coming to a casino near you.