We left New Orleans and drove along the Gulf Coast through Mississippi and Alabama. Highlights were the beautiful homes along the Mississippi coast and the carved wood sculptures near Biloxi (carved from trees that were killed by Hurricane Katrina). We visited Dauphin Island, Alabama where we greatly enjoyed the Dauphin Island Sea Lab Estuairum. We also did a short hike at the nearby Audubon Bird Sanctuary , but sadly saw no birds. Dauphin Island is one of the main stopping points for migratory birds and supposed to be a fantastic place for bird-watching. We were pleasantly surprised to see huge numbers of beautiful butterflies and learned that the island is also a stopping point for butterflies migrating across the Gulf of Mexico. We took a great ferry ride from the island to the mainland that gave us great views of pelicans and seagulls as well as a sighting of a few dolphins near the boat. A benefit of homeschooling is being able to spend your 6th birthday at the beach. For David’s birthday we took a break from driving and spent a full day in Orange Beach, Alabama. It was a great day of relaxation for us all.