Monday, March 29, 2010

The Darling South

I love the South, everything there is about it. Really, it's so comforting. I feel the south is like a breath of fresh air. It enables that feeling like visiting a grandmother who wants to take care of you. It's cozy and even if it's new, it's still familiar.

On the way down to Ocean Springs, Miss. we stopped in Memphis, Tenn. and Jackson, Miss. In Jackson I quickly used my application and found a cute restaurant called Julep. It reminded me of the wonderful blogger Pink Julep, and really the south in general. It also has won numerous awards for their fried chicken. Don't mind if I do.

I am uncertain on whether these photos even do this adorable place justice. The battered chicken melted in my mouth, I swear! It was delicious.

We continued our sojourn and landed in Ocean Springs, Miss. My Mom's Uncle and Aunt live there. Let me just say, I've never met them. They live roughly 14 hours away, and I was very nervous to meet these relatives, especially because I was staying in their home.

I think my great-aunt J may define hospitable. No, really. Look.
Hospitable. Pronunciation: \-ˈspi-tə-bəl, ˈhäs-(ˌ)pi-\
Function: adjective
Date: circa 1570
1 a : given to generous and cordial reception of guests b : promising or suggesting generous and cordial welcome c : offering a pleasant or sustaining environment d : Katie's great-aunt J

I told you, I can't make this stuff up.

They were affected by Katrina like so many others, but their home is ridiculously gorgeous. It basically belongs in a Southern Living Magazine article, I felt so blessed to stay with them. Their home has tremendous character. The planks in their wood floor are made from the roof of an old farm house that was hundreds of years old. Their mantle is a faux stone, yet you couldn't tell. And they are right on a bayou, though for the life of me I'll never be able to pronounce that darn word.

We ate at a variety of restaurants all with such character. In Chicago when you say "The Shedd" people assume you mean the aquarium. In Mississippi, they assume you mean the best barbeque and blues joint, even Regis and Kelly dubbed them "the best" on their show. Yes, that was their final answer. Sorry, I couldn't resist.

I was sad to leave my newly met family, but we still had yet to embark on New Orleans.

NOLA is a city like no other. I had never seen such lively people, and everywhere. I must admit, those flooding out of Bourbon Street and down the main drag were a little crass for my style, but the city was more than enough to make up for its visitors. The first night we ate at Landry's and to my astonishment a man around the age of 60 at the table behind us was so drunk he fell asleep on the table. You can't see him in this photo though...

We were exhausted too, but managed to make it back to our respectable beds before calling it a night. The next day was such fun. I again used my trusty blackberry Yelp app and found some of the cutest boutiques I've ever had the pleasure of visiting. I also walked around the city openly with a "Louisiana Lemonade" in tow. Not bad. My Mom was so excited to have craw fish, we don't have them up north. I withheld from the little critters, but didn't mind a photo or two...

I saw Coyote Ugly. Note to self, do not venture in alone, it's not like the movie. The bartender on stage had a microphone and commanded I come over by her. There were bikers everywhere and when I approached they all started to cheer. At this point I began to get a little warm and nervous. The bartender bellowed into her mic,"You entered Coyote Ugly, you saw the bikers everywhere and now you have two choices!" She took my hand and folded down all but two of my fingers before continuing to me and the audience. "You either get up on this bar and dance or you drink!" This was followed by tons of cheering and hooting by the local biker gang. I was clad in a dress, not that I would grace any bar top. I'm a lady, amateur hour ended many.years ago. I told her I'd prefer a drink, but didn't feel like paying for one at the moment. I only wanted to see what the atmosphere was, after all! Thankfully yet strangely, a woman who looked to be about 75 walked in with her family and I scampered the heck out of there. I ran! Only to hear the bartender beckon into her microphone,"We had ourselves a goody goody, look at that shy girl go!" What in the world...

While traipsesing through the city it is impossible to not run into fortune tellers. I found this both sad and ironic. Ironic because they are all camped out in front of the beautiful cathedral. I wish I could tell their patrons the only real answers they're going to get are from in those doors, not a crystal ball. A trash can went ablaze and after a few cocktails I asked one of the firemen if any of the fortune tellers had at least forewarned them, which he got a chuckle out of.

Then like my post from the other night said, we stopped in Memphis. I was so excited to finally get to a Lilly Pulitzer store, and wanted to try on one of their little white dresses they produced for this summer. They didn't have it, but I picked up stationary. Lilly stationary is just so precious, it makes writing a note or a letter more fun. They had an adorable sales floor with a Lilly couch and gator.

Downtown Memphis is adorable, and their carriages are lit up like Cinderella's pumpkin. I loved the lights, it felt a bit magical.

And now I'm back to the grind...


  1. Sounds like you are having a blast! The pictures look great (:

  2. Looks like you had a fantastic trip! Great pictures!

    The Coyote Ugly story is crazy! I would have died!!! lol.


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