Think Outside the State

American Tale: My 50-state Adventure

Category: road trip (page 1 of 2)

Oxford, How I Miss(issippi) You

It has been entirely too long since this trip, but I’ve been putting off writing this post in particular. One of the biggest loves in my life is my home town, and this is the only place that I’ve ever been that has made me question where I want to live long term.


Oxford Mississippi is a gem in the south that few people seem to appreciate. Of course, it’s well-known for being home to Ole Miss herself, but beyond that, it is SO much more.


When we first started planning our trip, I told mom we had to stop in this town for at least the night, and by the end of the trip, she agreed that it was completely necessary. When we first arrived though, she wasn’t so sure.


I had read online about the various hotels in the area, but I wanted to stay somewhere cost efficient and rooted in Oxford. There was no better place to fulfill these request than: The Ole Miss Motel

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This beauty may not look like much, but for a comfy and inexpensive night, it was (slightly) outdated, but very clean. It was also walking distance to the little downtown square area, and where else could you want to be! When we first pulled up, mom wasn’t so sure. But after I pushed her to live on the edge (and told her the price…) she was game to give it a shot. After we paid for our room, we went into the square for lunch. We found something that had been suggested online, and was also mentioned to us by locals, Ajax Diner. My pimento cheese burger was DELICIOUS, and it takes a lot to impress me on pimento cheese.  Mom had “The Big Easy” a divine example of comfort food on a bun.

The atmosphere was very relaxed and calm, definitely a place you could meet with friends, get a bite of food, and socialize.




Next, we walked around the square, and went to one of my favorite book stores I’ve ever been in, Square Books.

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dsc_0699My souvenir from this state turned out to be a Faulkner collections book.  Being his home-town, I felt that it was fitting. As was our next stop:


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We had to stop and pay our respects to this great word-crafter, and we had to search for a minute before we found it, but look for the large plaques telling the history of the spot, and walk to the right of it, into the graveyard.

It was strange to stop first at his final resting place, a little backwards maybe, but we continued on to Rowan Oaks, and never in my life have I felt more at home anywhere besides home.


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It was gorgeous, inside and out, and has a very mysterious past. It’s currently under the management of the college’s southern history program, and we met a lovely guide who was in the program herself. She talked to us a while about their preservation/restoration projects that they were constantly working on.

The amount of artifacts and the set up of the home was excellent, making you feel as though you were walking through the home in its hayday. The outside grounds were gorgeous as well, and we spent hours exploring.

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dsc_0101After experiencing the house, I felt it was appropriate to drive around Ole Miss’s dsc_0430campus, and walk around their campus. We found the Southern History department (my academic love) and I accidentally interrupted a class…but besides that, we enjoyed looking around the various collections they had on display in the lobby at the time.


After a great nights sleep, photo-ops, and checking out, we went to the Bottletree Bakery!

This place is a beloved choice of many, including Oprah (no, I didn’t make that up!). It’s of the side of the town square, and attracts quite a crowd.  The coffee was a hit with both of us, and their treats were HUGE.  I personally loved the cinnamon bun, and we enjoyed a danish to split.  We had left overs, which made for a treat on the drive to Alabama.

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After breakfast, we drove around a bit more, and headed on our way.

Oxford will forever hold a special place in my heart, and I have my sights on visiting again, for a longer period, as soon as I can find the time. It’s a lovely little place, with a big personality. So, go, drink the coffee, eat the food, and breath in the beauty of the gem of Mississippi (in my humble opinion).

This (finally) wraps up my blogs on Mom-Daughter Spring Break 2015.  I just recently returned from Texas, but I have definitely held off on blogging many of my adventures, so who knows which one will come next!


Happy trails.


(P.s. If you’re planning your own Oxford outing, I highly suggest stopping in at the welcome center to load up on brochures and advice from the lovely locals who work there. They made great suggestions regarding our short trip and the “must-sees”. You can find them, and more information on things to do and places to stay in oxford at Visit Oxford MS.


Tupelo, Honey!

Last April, my favorite travel companion (my mother) and I went on an amazing spring break road trip, and our trip developed a theme: Elvis.  Our first stop was Memphis, and our third stop was the wonderful town of Tupelo, MS. Any good Elvis fan will know, this is the “King”‘s birthplace.


Mom and I checked into the Days Inn, which was clean, safe, and convenient to the attractions.  Since we were only there for one night, we jumped right in to the attractions.  Our first stop was the Downtown Shopping District.  The most famous site is where Elvis bought his first guitar: Tupelo Hardware.  The people working were incredibly welcoming and kind, and they walked us step-by-step through the history of the establishment.

We worked up a good appetite, and decided to try out Romie’s Grocery.

What an amazing find!  I made the judgement call of getting the BBQ Nachos, and they were so perfect that mom and I joke about popping down to Mississippi to pick up some of these regularly.  They were covered in cheese, BBQ, BBQ sauce, and jalapenos.    They had fresh baked bread, and an INCREDIBLE strawberry butter.  I ordered the Catfish Romie (which is my favorite catfish I’ve ever had), cheese grits, and fried green tomatoes.  They hit every level of what I expected from these classic foods, and went above and beyond.  The waiter suggested the “Chocolate Delight”, and it was so good, we ordered one to go!

Next, we went to Elvis’s birthplace. It took us a little while to find it, at the time there was construction going on in the area and we missed the sign.

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There were multiple displays, and a museum in the welcome center area.  We opted for the “Grand Tour” which included all of the exhibits, and we were impressed at their collections.  It was $17 well spent.

On our last day in town, we ate breakfast at the hotel, Visited the Natchez Trace Parkway,

and said goodbye to the Elvis Homecoming Statue.

Everyone we met was kind and welcoming, just what you would hope to find while traveling.

If you’re planning a trip to the history-filled town of the King, definitely reference the Tupelo tourism website.  They have excellent suggested itineraries, and give you the inside look at the places you HAVE to see.

Until next time!

Posts to come.

I know I’ve been slacking on my posts, but I’m going to put forth the effort to correct this, and keep up with my travels more currently.

Here are the trips that I’ve been on that I still need to write about:

Tupelo and Oxford Mississippi

Anniston Alabama

Myrtle Beach South Carolina

Santa Claus Indiana

Mount Vernon Illinois

St Louis and Boonville Missouri

Louisville Kentucky

I think that covers it, and here are my (hopefully) coming up trips…

Pennsylvania (This Spring)

West Virginia (This Spring/Summer)

Maryland (This Fall)

Who knows where I’ll end up, keep tuned in to see more of my 50 state adventure.


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