I am not a traveler blogger but we had some much fun on this trip that I wanted to share it with you!
Back in early November, my husband and I decided to take a road trip from Nashville to Vicksburg, Mississippi. We invited Jane and Mike (SIL and BIL) as well as our good friends, Ken and Kathy. When we first started planning the trip, we knew we wanted to travel with a plan but not a huge plan. So, David (husband) looked at the various ways we could travel and decided on a route that would take us some of the way on the Interstate, some of the way on backroads and a little bit on the Natchez Trace. We knew we wanted to travel some on Natchex Trace but weren’t sure how we would accomplish that. He did an amazing job on the first leg of our trip.
The first leg of our trip took us through the backroads of Southern Middle Tennessee. Ken and Kathy rode with us and we were meeting Jane and Mike in Savannah, Tennessee which was close to our destination of Pickwick Landing State Park. We drove through beautiful farm land and small towns along the way. It was like turning back time. For the drive, we played our awesome Spotify play list that includes sounds of the 60’s, 70’s and early 80’s. Mostly it is music from the 70’s. It fit perfectly with the drive. Ken said many times during our trip how much he enjoyed the playlist and I noticed that several of us were singing along most of the time. We met at Burger 101 in historic downtown Savannah. Cool place – old diner meets country burger place. Good burgers, amazing fries and perfect iced tea! Then we walked around the town of Savannah a bit. It was two blocks. We went into some shops. We then decided to go ahead and visit Shiloh National Military Battlefield.
We watched the film, chatted with the rangers then headed out to look at the Sunken Road, the Shiloh Church, the monuments, the Bloody Pond and Pittsburg Landing along the Tennessee River. I don’t know what it is about the Battlefields. I know I am on sacred ground when we are there and it fills my heart with sadness and awe for all the people that were involved. I think we all felt that way.
Next we checked into our lovely cabin at Pickwick overlooking the lake. It was really nice. They just opened these new cabins earlier this year. We drank wine, did a puzzle, got some exercise in, had dinner at The Outpost. Next morning we headed over to the town of Corinth, Mississippi to visit their Civil War Interpretive Center. This place has the most fascinating water feature depicting the time line of the war – The Stream of American History. Corinth is a great small town. While there we visited Cindy’s Place for lunch. Great ole meat ‘n three. I don’t normally eat “fried” food but every now and then, this Southern Girl has to have something fried. It was chicken and man was it good. We also visited the Cross Roads Museum, a local diner for coffee and Tractor Supply Company. Let me explain – while we were at the Civil War Museum, Ken was chased by red wasps causing him to run across a grassy (muddy) area. He got mud on his shoes and jeans. Thank goodness for Tractor. He got new jeans and socks. That evening we ate at Hagy’s Catfish Hotel (more fried food). Amazingly cool place. They are expanding and that is a good thing!
Next day we headed out. We knew we were going to go travel through Tupelo, Mississippi. Now, what does one do in Tupelo??? Well, you visit the Elvis Presley Birthplace. We were all impressed and my Mother would be so proud of me – she was a huge fan! We ate lunch at Sweet Tea & Biscuits and shopped at Joyful Creations. If you ever find yourself in Tupelo, I urge you to visit Elvis and Sweet Tea & Biscuits. Wonderful Southern food and awesome deserts!
Now we headed toward Vicksburg. Mike and Ken decided this would be a good place to jump on the Natchez Trace. It was beautiful with the leaves starting to change. The pace is a little slower on the Trace and you do have pass people so we only stayed on there for about 50 miles or so.
We arrived in Vicksburg. We stayed at the Cedar Grove Mansion. The history of the home and the people that lived there is fascinating. We did the self-guided tour of the home. Let’s just say that our accommodations were not exactly as we expected. We kept thinking “what an amazing place that it must have been”. It needs a little TLC. One of our favorite things about the Mansion was this little rooftop area that we spent each evening having wine and beer and swapping all kinds of tales! That evening we had dinner at Walnut Hill Restaurant. We had the sweetest Waitress, Misha. The food was really good – nothing fried this time.
None of us had ever been to the Vicksburg Battlefield so David decided to get a guide. Man did we have a “blast from the past” with him. He was very knowledgeable. We went to see the Cairo Gunboat that sunk in one of the channels off the Mississippi River. We were totally mesmerized. This boat spent 102 years in 37 feet of water. Some of the wood is heavily damaged but the metal parts and some of the stuff onboard the boat stayed intact like shoes, dishes, medicine bottles, etc.
Then we toured the Vicksburg Battlefield. Our guide, Dave, drove my SIL’s car – the look on her face when he said that was what he was going to do was priceless. Since we were driving in a separate car, we weren’t sure exactly how we were going to listen to him talk without having to stop and spend hours. Mike to the rescue. He said why not call us on our phone and let him talk to us. It worked perfectly. Again, the sacred grounds were surreal. Some much valor and sacrifice. As many battlefields as we have toured, I am still in awe that they stood across fields from each other, knowing what was going to happen. After that, we had lunch at Rusty’s Riverfront Grill, did some shopping and had dinner at a place called Roca.
Our final day in Vicksburg, we toured another antebellum home called Duff Green. It was a beautiful home. Our tour guide, David, did an amazing job telling us the history of the home. He told us about the ghosts that people have encountered during their stay. We got to meet the owners of the B & B. They have done an amazing job restoring the house to its glory. The owners were both there helping David and other staff to clean up after hosting a wedding that weekend. We walked down by the river and looked at the mural of Vicksburg’s history. Had lunch on top of an old bank building overlooking the Mississippi – 10South. Great food and an expansive view of the River. David wanted to go back to the Battlefield. I am really glad he did. He got some awesome photos. The rest of us rested and just hung out. We had dinner at Beechwood Steakhouse. Total dive – great food! Still looks a lot like the photos in the link!
We got up early the next morning and traveled home. It was a bit of a dreary day and our ride was pretty quite at times. We started this trip with only one plan in our minds and that was not to have a plan! We think we succeeded and had a great time doing it. We all agreed that we should do this again. We laughed, learned things, saw new things, ate some good southern food and enjoyed hanging out.
Have a GOOD weekend!
**Check out a future blog from the Trivial Traveler on the Cedar Grove Mansion.**