2015 where have you gone? It is hard to believe tomorrow is already the first day of 2016. Here is a look back at my 2015.
I traveled to 3 new states; Louisiana, Mississippi, and Michigan. In those three states I visited a few cities; New Orleans, West Monroe, Natchez, Grand Rapids, and Holland. I even tried some new foods; fried catfish, wilted salad, beignets, and a dole whip.
Little Baby Girl E was born this year. I got a bonus trip to Disney World where I got to see the Osborne Lights for the first time and the castle all in lights. All in all 2015 was a good year. I can’t wait to see what 2016 has to bring! And if everything goes as planned another trip to Disney will be on the plate in 2016, the first of hopefully many for my little J and E.
We enjoyed some really good food in Mississippi/Louisiana. When we ate out we tried to eat at local establishments. The family we were staying with cooked a few nights for us. I tried fried catfish for the first time and wilted greens at their house. Catfish has always scared me I am not going to lie, but the way they fried it, it was pretty good. We ate at Roux 61 in Natchez, my steak was good, and their salad was really good, but the thing I liked best there was the little corn pie. Then there was the Italian Restaurant in Natchez. Their food was good but not my favorite. We also at lunch at the Castle Restaurant at Dunleith, wow! Not only was the setting beautiful but the food was magnificent. The plus with eating there was we got to tour the downstairs of Dunleith, which is not open to the public, only to guests who stay at the Bed and Breakfast or eat at the Castle. But the best steak I had while down there was at Johnny Mae’s in Vandalia. The steak melted in my mouth! I almost forgot about the Magnolia Grill, we ate lunch there one day, I had a chicken sandwich with a sourdough honey wheat bun that was out of this world!
New Orleans: some love it, some hate it, some say it smells, and some just feel sorry for it after Katrina. For me, my first time trip intrigued me. I’m not ready to say I love it but I’m not ready to say I hate it either. I would love to spend some more time there. It was a three hour drive each way for us between Natchez and New Cleanse and even though we left early that only gave us a few hours to explore, not enough time at all. That was just enough time to give ma a taste of the city but not to fill my hunger for exploring the city. I did get to go to the Café du Monde to try the beignets and the café au lait. We took the red double decker bus tour around the city, which for some it might be nice and worth the price but for us and the little amount of time we had in the city it was not worth it. But that is a different story and I will not get started on that. It was fun to ride a double decker bus; I have never done that before. We did see a great deal of the city riding that bus but I would love to go back and walk through one of their amazing cemeteries, and walk through the garden district and see all the beautiful old homes. We did find Bourbon Street and walked on it a bit, but we are not bar people so we did not fully taken in Bourbon Street. But I do like that fact that I can say I have been to Bourbon Street. All in all I liked the vibe of New Orleans and would love to go back to see more.
I have found where I want to get married! There is this beautiful antebellum house in Natchez called Dunleith, that is a bed and breakfast and they now host weddings. This is how a Southern Belle should get married. Not only is the house beautiful but the grounds are too. If you get married there you are sure to have a wedding to remember and pictures to back it up. Now if only I could find the staircase with Rhett Butler standing at the bottom or if Prince Charming decides to give that white horse of his a break and stop to ask for directions.
All my life I have heard about my dad’s summers spent in Louisiana. He talks about them fondly, so I was excited to see what Louisiana was all about. A lot of Louisiana is farmland and there are a lot of little cities. We stayed on the Louisiana side of Natchez in Vandalia and most of the family we were visiting with lived in Louisiana. Our hotel was beautiful. It was right on the Mississippi River. The one night I sat out on the veranda writing my post cards watching the Mississippi River flow. It was no beach but it was still beautiful and relaxing. We could see Natchez under the hill from across the River. We did go to New Orleans one day but I am saving that for a post all of its own. Something for Duck Commander/ West Monroe. I would say if you are going to go to Natchez stay on the Louisiana side in Vandalia Louisiana. I am glad I can say I have been to Louisiana and seen some of the places my dad remembers so fondly from his past.
Natchez has many beautiful antebellum homes. We only saw four of them. One was more beautiful than the next. The most interesting might be Longwood. This house was being built with the Civil War broke out and the house was never finished.
I really did not know what to expect when I got to Natchez but, WOW! Natchez is an interesting city with lots of history and lots of antebellum homes. There is no interstate only state highways, they have a mall and a hospital, they are a connecting city between Mississippi and Louisiana, and I’m sure their tourism does pretty good. But for the most part it is small town USA. And that is one of the things that makes it so great, overlooking the Mississippi River makes it even more beautiful. We were there in spring and the weather was perfect, I can not image it in the summer. In downtown Natchez one building after the next is just amazingly beautiful. The Catholic Cathedral in Natachez is georgous from the outside in. I would like to go back and really take more time to look around the downtown area. Walk the streets and really take in some of its history.
Well it looks like this Southern Belle will be going to the heart of Southern Belle country in a few weeks. It’s looking like Louisiana/Mississippi here I come. Dad has family in the Natchez, MS area and I think we are going to go visit them. I am actually excited about it! I want to see all the old southern homes and taste the southern cooking. I will keep you posted!