While reading The Ultimate & Definitive Bucket List For Everyone In Mississippi, I thought I would blog about it my own way, so here we go.
01. Visit the home of the King: I’ve encountered a lot of people who don’t realize that Elvis Presley was born and raised in Mississippi. However, I think most, if not all Mississippians know this. I have yet to visit either his birth home or Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee. I did go to Memphis as a teenager, and we drove by Graceland because I insisted, but we didn’t have the time or the touring fare to actually go in. I’ve also been to Tupelo. Once. It was for a high school theatre conference. We weren’t able to sightsee while there. So, at some point, I’ll have to go and visit both homes.
02. Tour the Vicksburg National Military Park: This one I have done. I want to say I was ten or eleven. We toured the battlefield and anything historic having to do with the city. I enjoyed it because I like history in general and military history. But, it’s been awhile & I’d like to go back.
The prop-up thing at our hotel is pretty terrible, I admit. I get that it’s a Civil War town, but really Vicksburg? We didn’t think much of it as we are a family that likes to stick our faces in cut-out hole prop-ups and we liked that our very short mom would have to really stretch to fit hers and our tall dad would have to stoop. And I liked that my older sister had to be the baby brother. We honestly didn’t see past that simplicity at the time.
03. Revisit the past in Natchez: I’ve done this so much that there should be some sort of award for it. My paternal grandparents moved to Vidalia, Louisiana, which is right across the river from Natchez, in the seventies. I’ve been going there my entire life and was always dragged around to the historic and not so historic sites. I enjoyed all of it, but yes, I’ve been to just about everything. And if I haven’t actually toured it, then I have driven past it multiple times on various trips to auto parts houses or grocery stores. I’ll have a separate post on Natchez later, so I’ll just save all that for then.
04 & 05: I *think* my family took me to Dunn’s Falls in my baby time, but I don’t remember it. And as for 04, I couldn’t tell you as I don’t think I’ve even heard of it.
06. Explore the Petrified Forest: This is located in Flora, just outside of the state capital of Jackson. I have been to this at least twice, possibly three times. I know once with my family in my youth, but it might have been twice. The second was on a middle school field trip. The title is misleading as once can’t really explore. It’s just a pathway that you must stay on that wends its way through the forest… and not for very long. So, while you can meander and stroll through the Petrified Forest, you can’t really explore and tromp around. It is worth visiting though. Very worth it. Friends & I are even planning a future trip here, just need to get everyone on the same schedule, as it were.
07. The Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum: This is in Biloxi. Most people just want to lump all of the cities of the Mississippi Gulf Coast together, I’m one of them. But the residents get mad and will quickly point out that they’re all separate. I have been in my childhood when they were in a very tiny building and I barely remember. I’m pretty certain the building was wooden, and I do remember a historic news article titled something like “The Year Without Summer” because before the turn of the 20th Century the coastal region had snow during summer. Haven’t had the chance to go to the new museum that is pictured on the link site. I shall have to.
08. Kermit the Frog Museum: This is in Leland, just east of Greenville. Sadly, not yet. My parents have been. They stopped en route to see relatives in Arkansas. The Sister & I were not present on that trip as it was only a few years ago. They brought us back a souvenir each though. It’s a long way from here if you’re not already headed in that direction, so hopefully I’ll be heading that way at some point and can stop and see it for myself.
09. Tupelo Automobile Museum: As with 01, I’ve not really seen anything of Tupelo, but I have heard about this and really, really, really want to go to it, as I really enjoy classic cars.
10. I’ve never heard of it. I have been to old soda fountains in drug stores in this state, but not this one. I don’t even know where this is.
11. Agriculture & Forestry Museum: I want to say yes. I *think* I went to this as a kid, but am not certain. This is in Jackson.
12. William Faulkner’s Home: Rowan Oak in Oxford. Yes. Didn’t tour it as we were only there on a holiday weekend & they weren’t open, but we drove up to the front and stood there and looked at it. Just like this photo.
13. Jefferson Davis Home: Beauvoir in Biloxi. Yes, a few times. Once or twice as a kid and then once recently because they had restored it. It’s a historic home that’s not too far away & doesn’t cost a fortune to see. Though I don’t go because it was the home of the President of the CSA, I just go because it’s historic, but the previous reason might be why it’s on the initial list.
14. Mary Mahoney’s: This is located in Biloxi as well. The restaurant only dates back to 1964, but the building is from 1737. I’m not sure if they’ve changed or upgraded, but I never knew them to have fine dining. We went two or three times in the late 90s & early 2000s because it is historic. Is it Mississippi upscale? I’m confused. Now I want to go back & see if it looks the same or what. I liked it, & while I did go inside and look we always ate outside and the food was nothing to write home about, though it was good. It looked about the way Kings Tavern in Natchez did before they renovated. Sort of like if Jack Tripper on Three’s Company went to a restaurant (or was cooking in one) on the show. Seventies upscale?
15. Old Country Store: This is in Lorman just north of Natchez. I’ve been here on several occasions, but have not eaten here. This food business I think is knew. When I was growing up it was still just a general store. The last time The Sister & I went, we’d heard they sold good friend chicken, but we got there and lunch was over & the store was no longer an operating general store, just a shell of one that is apparently also an eatery?
16. Follow the Tamale Trail: I have not done this, but would like to. Though I have enjoyed Delta style tamales a lot when visiting Natchez and they have found their way down here. But neither place is actually on the Tamale Trail.
17. Travel the Natchez Trace Parkway: Yes, but not the entire route. We’ve driven on the parts in and around Natchez loads of times and then once our dad took us home the round-a-bout way by driving it just to Jackson and then getting onto the freeway to come home. But, I’d very much like to at least drive the portions around Tupelo and into Alabama and then Tennessee. I’d also like to go to the parts where you can walk The Sunken Trace, which is the actual road that was once used.
18. The Blues Trail: Nope. I’d really, really like to, but we’ve hardly ever been to the Delta, so it’s never happened. But I’m sure it will.
19. Windsor Ruins: Yes, about three or four times. My mom really loved going here, hence why we went so much. The last time, which is when I took this photo, it was just The Sister & I because it had been twenty years since we’d last been. This is north of Natchez out in the middle of nowhere.
20. Corinth Military Park: I wanted to say no, but dad was recently talking about how he wanted to go back to Shiloh, and this is part of the Shiloh National Military Park. Dad’s a huge military buff as well, so the world Shiloh can only ever mean one thing: war. So, it is 90% likely that I was taken here as a kid and I simply don’t remember. There were so many battlefields and war things that we visited and when you’re a kid, even if you’re interested, they all sort of just run together. But whether I’ve been previously or not, I’d like to go now as an adult, so I can fully appreciate it.
21. Ship Island: I hate Ship Island. It’s an inhospitable spit of land off the Mississippi Gulf Coast. One of the barrier islands. That greenery? It’s not tree’s, it’s just some grass. Just lots of sun, grass, and unbearable heat. It is also the home of Fort Massachusetts, which was being built just prior to the Civil War. The Union was building it, The Confederates took it over, The Union took it back and then detained Confederate POWs there during the war.
I have been several times. In my childhood we’d go for swimming. Because there’s so many barrier islands along the coast, one does not swim in the water between the island and the mainland, because that water can’t easily flow out into the rest of the ocean. You see how gross and murky the water looks in the bottom portion of the picture? That’s not really bad photography, that’s pretty much how it looks. The top of the picture, the other side of the island, see how blue it is? It’s actually pretty clear. Perhaps not southern Gulf of Mexico clear, but visibility is quite good. When I was a kid, this is where all of the people were on that island, the Gulf side, having a high old-time lounging in the sun and playing in the water.
I could always be found inside Fort Massachusetts, keeping cool. I adored swimming, but it was always just too damn hot to be out from under shade on that island, even in the water. Sometimes a random older man would wander through the fort, probably trying to stay cool, but mostly just enjoying the history of it, but otherwise I always had the entire fort to myself. That to me, was the only reason to go to that damn forsaken island.
The last time I went was in high school. I was attending a Marine Biology summer camp and we went to the island to do some seining along the shore & a walk of the island to view the nature. It was like the Bataan Death March out there… and we did not visit the fort, which I was sad about.
22. The Neshoba County Fair: Yes and No. My friend lives near it & once when I was visiting her we went there before it was open. It seems like a creepy place. Later she went when the fair was on and said it was pretty much the same, just more crowded. I have also been to the Choctaw Indian Fair, or as its more commonly referred to The Choctaw Fair, or just The Fair and that one is much more awesome. I hate that it’s always during the hottest part of the year, but I would definitely go again… and really want to.
23. Nope, because I haven’t been to the Delta a lot.
24. Red Bluff: Yes, quite a lot when I was a kid. We’d go with family friends. They had three sons and they were forever sliding down the slopes, but I wasn’t allowed. I couldn’t tell you how to even get to it now. I should ask my dad, so I’ll know. I’d like to go out there and see it now since it’s been twenty-five or more years. No one was ever there went we went. It’s weird to read its kind of a tourist attraction now.
25. Dine at Weidmann’s: This one we did a lot as well when I was younger because my mom loved going there. I vaguely remember it. The inside was kind of historically nice. I don’t remember enjoying the food. I remember feeling weird that all the wait staff was black in their little white jackets and white gloves. I say this because it felt wrong, like they were waiting on me, but not like waiters in a restaurant, but like house slaves in the film Gone With The Wind.
Ooh, apparently they’ve done away with all that. I did a search and they’re apparently hiring other people and the uniforms have changed. Good for you Weidmann’s. I know there was some uproar and hoopla a few years back, perhaps that’s what set it in motion?
26. Tishomingo State Park: No, & I really, really want to visit Tishomingo State Park. It’s the foothills of the Appalachians. It is, barely, but it is. Most people don’t realize that & it hardly ever gets counted, but it is. I adore the Appalachian mountains, so OF COURSE I would want to here and see this and I’m thrilled it’s in my state.