GULFPORT, Miss. — It's not just the calm before the storm. For some, it's the calm before paradise.
Blue skies and waves only hint at what's to come along the Gulfport beachfront Tuesday afternoon. As the storm builds somewhere off the coast.
The excitement builds for Shawn Wallace, who's visiting from California.
"Are you kidding? It makes me excited. It scares her because she's from hurricanes. She's lives in the Houston area," he said.
But lifetime Gulf Coast residents who've lived through too many hurricanes don't share that same excitement.
Yet Harold Porter and fellow Gulfport homeowners remain optimistic as Gordon approaches.
"I've seen Katrina, George. I see people getting ready for it and everything. They're well-prepared," he said.
"I'm going to put him back out there on the water. He's talking about closing up all the stores. We ain't gonna have that down here in Gulfport," resident Robert Magee said.
In Gulfport's business district, sandbags have already gone up at a handful of businesses.
Diners dashed at dinnertime to the Burger King drive-through and waited in line for their whoppers before the storm hits.
Pumps were packed with drivers eager to fill up while they still can.