Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Natchez, MS + Vidalia, LA on the Mississippi River

Hi all - Dianne here.   Let's see....mockingbirds, magnolias, spanish moss, live oak trees -- no, you haven't gone back six months to our early blogs.  Within the last six months we've seen Charleston, South Carolina, Savannah, Georgia, and now we are back in the Deep South, this time in Natchez, Mississipi.

 I'll let Roger describe our day touring Natchez for you, as well as our great camp site in Vidalia, Louisiana.  

Roger here...  For those of you who follow our blogs, we actually posted two today.  If you are reading this one, you might want to go back to the previous blog that Dianne posted, which covers our second day of travel on the Natchez Trace Parkway.

We arrived last night at the River View RV Resort in Vidalia, Louisiana, where we will be staying tonight as well.  It is directly across the Mississippi River from Natchez, Mississippi - a scenic, mansion-filled wonderland.  

Right now, the

 dogs and I

 are sitting under the awning of the motor home, where we have a full view of the Mississippi river.  We have watched several barges work their way upstream. 

  I just took a picture of the most recent one. 

Earlier today, the "boys" and I took a two mile walk/run along the river in front of the campground (excellent concrete walking path).  As we walked along, Sam Cook's, I was born by the river....   rattled around in my brain.   I also imagined a little private concert with the Doobie Brothers singing Black Water.   The reverie ended when  we got back to the motor home to plan our day in Natchez.

Dianne and I put the dogs in their crate, turned on the air conditioning, and drove across the river to Natchez.  We stopped at the excellent information center at the foot of the bridge and then took a walking tour of the city.  We walked for five miles looking at the antebellum mansions that are the pride of the city.  I have always had an interest in architecture.  The various designs of the houses and their various states of restoration made a great morning for me.   At one point we wandered through the grounds of the magnificent

 St. Mary's Cathedral. 

 There was a restful fountain in the back, as well as a memorial

 to the Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War.  The statue of the Conferate soldier

 on the monument rested on top of a 25 foot pillar - really cool AND VERY southern.  We loved it.

Dianne enjoyed smelling the fragrant flowers

 along the sidewalks and photographing the Magnolia trees that were prominent throughout the city.

At the end of the morning,  I suggested to Dianne that we wander down the street to a historic area located below the bluff where the city sits.   There were a few old buildings, a river boat casino and a restaurant at the bottom.   It was a pleasant walk down (note Dianne's smile

at the bottom).  Her smile, however, quickly faded as we trudged back up the hill.   I can't be sure, but I think that the words I heard behind me during the grueling trip up the hill were, "I don't think that was worth it." 

  My bad.

It was lunch time, and we had both had our share of exercise for the day, so we were hungry.  We made a planned stop at 


 on the way back to the visitor center.  The food was great and I had fun joking with the nice southern lady who took our order.  (I told her that we would eat here every day if we lived here.  She promised me my own parking space if we decided to move here).  We both had Gringo Pies (tamales covered with chili, onions, and jalapeno peppers).  I had a frozen margarita (guaranteed to "knock you naked" according to the menu) to quench my thirst - you know, from all the exercise and all.   Dianne had a pecan praline for dessert.

  While we ate we talked with a couple from Texas who are staying at the same campground and headed north on the Natchez Trace Parkway tomorrow.  

Tomorrow we leave for New Orleans.  It will be one of our more stressful days, as we need to get set up in a one-night campground near the airport, and then pick up our daughter at the airport before 3:00 p.m.  At least Dianne and I are not the ones who are flying.  Amanda, our daughter, will be joining us in the motor home for a few days so that we can all attend the wedding of one of her best friends from elementary, MS, HS - Jennifer.  It should be a great time - after the airport, that is   :)

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