Football fans traveling to Mississippi for games in October should plan to get to know Mississippi. Drive the Natchez Parkway. Visit Natchez for Fall Pilgrimage or The Great Mississippi Balloon Race. Plan to tour Vicksburg. Travel the Mississippi Blues Trail. Visit Greenville for the Delta Hot Tamale Festival. Explore Ole Miss. Visit the Square in Oxford.
Our trip through Mississippi actually began in New Orleans. We spent a couple of days enjoying NOLA’s food and drink before traveling to Baton Rouge for the FL/LSU game. See a previous post for that story!
Our road trip continued to Natchez, Mississippi.
Good friend, Carol Jones, served as our tour guide for the second time.
Carol is the Assistant General Manager of Monmouth Historic Inn.
We stayed in this beautiful room at Monmouth on our first trip to Natchez.
And enjoyed the gardens at this historic inn.
Carol invited us to dinner to reunite Clara with her Natchez friends.
With more Antebellum homes surviving the Civil War than in any other Southern City, Natchez has become the destination for American history lovers. Many homes are open for tours year round.
Love this shot from the front of Stanton Hall with the Natchez water tower in the background.
My favorite home is Rosalie Mansion,
overlooking the Mississippi River.
Inside Rosalie looking from one bedroom into the children’s room and nursery.
Rear portico with detached kitchen/dependency.
Food was carried to the main house through a covered walkway and served through a ground floor window.
Love this ice box with spigot for melted ice.
Longwood Plantation, unique because it was never finished due to the outbreak of the Civil War.
The owners lived in the 9 finished basement rooms. The upper floors remain as during the Civil War, unfinished and just a shell of a house.
During the Fall Pilgrimage 2014, September 26-October 13, “nineteen antebellum mansions, most of them private residences, open their doors to visitors during this three-week Pilgrimage every fall.”
First Presbyterian Church is an interesting destination.
Mark Twain used to visit this church when in Natchez and supposedly this balcony is the inspiration for the famous funeral scene in Tom Sawyer.
The church also has a fabulous photography collection housed in its Natchez In Historical Photographs Gallery telling the history of Natchez as seen through the camera’s eye.
Either before or after your big road game in Mississippi, you must not
leave Natchez without seeing the
Great Mississippi Balloon Race, Oct.17,18, & 19
“Pilots compete to win prizes Saturday and Sunday mornings by tossing out sandbags onto a large ground target! See the beautiful array of balloons as they fly over the cities of Natchez, Vidalia, and the Mississippi River.”
Graphic and quote courtesy of natchezballoonrace.com
And for my Tennessee buddies, my Natchez friend, James Johnston, sent me this photo!!!!! Yes we were represented in the Great Mississippi Balloon Race!
Carol took us to lunch at The Old Country Store in Lorman, Mississippi.
The Old Country Store is known for Mr. D’s fried chicken. When we arrived for lunch they had sold out of the fried chicken, but Mr. D wouldn’t hear of us leaving without it. He promptly fried up another batch and after serving, serenaded us with Sugar Pie Honey Bunch.
Mr. D is Arthur Davis, owner and operator of The Old Country Store. He claims his fried chicken is the best in the World! We agree.
Thank you for making more fried chicken.
Mr. D’s special song, “Grandmama Was My Cornbread Cooking Queen.”
I apologize for the impromptu photography. I only had my cell phone to capture this special memory!
We traveled back to Natchez to meet our friends at The Corner Bar. The first time I visited the Corner Bar I was served a “glass” of wine in a styrofoam cup.
They have come up in the world!
“I’ve Been Cornered”
If you live in Mississippi you know there are several options for college loyalties.
Carol’s daughter Jennifer is an avid Ole Miss fan and son, Will is a LSU Tiger fan.
Carol is a Mississippi State graduate. We presented Carol with my “Tailgating At The Junction” MSU painting.
Notice the cowbell in her left hand.
The Mississippi State painting includes Lee Hall and the famous Maroon Band drum line at The Junction.
Cowbells to ring MSU to victory sit proudly on tailgating tables. Cowbells are highly coveted and handed down through generations of MSU fans.
And the red Famous Edam Cheese made and sold by MSU dairy.
Thank you Carol and Natchez friends for making our trip a memorable one.
The next day, we decided to drive the Natchez Trace on our way north. The Trace begins in Natchez and ends in Nashville, Tennessee. It follows the overland route used by traders returning home after bringing goods down the Mississippi River.
Stay tuned for Traveling Through Mississippi Part II
You’ll get to meet my friend, Hank Burdine, promoting Greenville, Mississippi’s Delta Hot Tamale Festival, Oct. 16-18.
Watch for upcoming stories from my tailgating travels. I welcome your comments, recipes and any inside information on your favorite tailgating spots.
Come celebrate with me. I’ll save you a seat at the table.