On Friday afternoon, August 8, my husband and I drove to Natchez, Mississippi, where we met his brother and his wife for a brief weekend getaway. My brother- and sister-in-law own an RV, and were en route from Houston, Texas to their destination of Nova Scotia.
Can you imagine the sights they will see along their journey! I wish I could have "stowed away" in their RV, and gone along for the ride. But instead ... I wish them "Happy Trails," as they embark on their wonderful adventure.
I'd like to begin my journal with a picture of Pearl Street Pasta, which is where we ate dinner Friday night ...
If you're ever in Natchez, I think you would enjoy the casual atmosphere at Pearl Street. I had their garden salad with the best "Herbal Vinaigrette" dressing I've ever had, and their wonderful "Shrimp Scampi with Penne'," with red peppers and scallions. Makes my mouth water just to think about it.
After dinner, we visited the Isle of Capri Casino on the Mississippi River, and I won $60.00, which was exciting.
I woke early Saturday morning (at 5:08 -- don't you just love digital clocks), looking forward to venturing out by myself and taking some pictures before the rest of Natchez awakened. I headed toward downtown Natchez, guided by the steeple on this beautiful old church ...
I rode around getting acclimated to all the one-way streets and finally parked across from the church, behind which I discovered a glorious park underneath a canopy of majestic 100-year-old oaks.
I was so excited to be the only one in the park, and when I entered it, I could hear water cascading from a fountain. Sunlight was highlighting the limbs of the huge old lichen-covered oak trees, and church bells were striking the seven o'clock hour. Being in such a beautiful and peaceful place was truly an awe-inspiring way to start my day.
[Note: Upon researching it, I found that the park sits on the old burying ground site. When the city cemetery was established in its present location, the remains from the old burial ground were gradually moved to the present site north of the town. However, Samuel Brooks, the first Mayor of Natchez, from 1803-1811, is still buried there in the park.]
Here are some of my pictures of the park ...
This is the gorgeous fountain in the center of the park, with its cute little cherubs frolicking in the water ... (The detailing is amazing and I hope you will click on the pictures to enlarge them)
After I left the park, my next stop was the historical shopping district ...
We went back to Addie's later and I loved it. It's one of those old antique malls where one room leads to another and you can just keep going and going and going, like "the Energizer Bunny." The prices were pretty reasonable and I bought an old decoupaged floral print which I'll probably post later.
After "window shopping," I decided to drive through some of the residential areas near downtown and everywhere I looked, I saw homes I wanted to photograph. However, I limited them to just a few (aren't you glad?)...
On this particular Saturday morning, however, I didn't see any thieves, cutthroats, riverboat gamblers, or ladies-of-the-night (unless you consider me a "riverboat gambler" since I won $60 at the casino the night before, but let's don't talk about that!).
The only "lurkers" were I and my camera, seeking places and things that might provide an interesting story and picture or two. And I didn't have far to look ...
As I drove down the steep road the first thing I saw was the "SALOON," and I got so excited, I nearly drove into the river.
The saloon is still in operation and it advertises that "you won’t find illicit love ... and there is no more gambling, but there’s always entertainment. Sometimes a rinky tink piano, or a jazz band will play, "Pretzel” the chicken is usually on hand, and there are old photos, artifacts, riverboat models and river memorabilia to interest most anyone." I wish I could have gotten a picture of "Pretzel," but she must have been "sleeping in."
There is also the "Mark Twain Guest House" above the saloon which offers: "Three rooms that share a large bathroom equipped with a washing machine and dryer. Weekend entertainment in the saloon is not overpowering, but one demanding complete silence before 2:00 A.M. should probably stay elsewhere. The nights are quiet during the week unless a steamboat drops in. It’s a party atmosphere." Gotta love it!
As I was leaving, this pretty little courtyard beside the saloon caught my eye ...
There was one more stop I wanted to make before I went back to the hotel to meet the "late sleepers," and that was to get a picture of the famous "Mammy's Cupboard" in Natchez.
Mammy's 28-foot tall skirt is home to a restaurant and gift shop, and is a renowned Natchez landmark.
After finding Mammy's Cupboard, I headed back to the hotel to have breakfast with my husband, and that's where I'm going to stop for today.
I hope you will join me for Chapter Two of this exciting, spellbinding story of Natchez, as seen through my eyes and my camera lens.