Thursday, July 10, 2008
Close to Nowhere
Friday morning, the 4th of July, Dana, Meredith, Remy, Grace and I were all packed up and all but in the car, headed to my sister Jackie’s house in Anniston, Mo.
The phone rang, and as soon as I saw Jackie’s name on the caller ID, I knew something was wrong.
The dreaded stomach virus had struck and she sounded like she was as miserable as possible. After our bout with a stomach virus a few months ago, I could really commiserate!
I also had no desire to have it again, so even if she had felt like being invaded by our horde, we weren’t going there!
But the car was packed, the girls were set on “go” and to be honest, so were Dana and I.
A quick visit to Priceline.com and we had a hotel room in Tallulah, La. Now, you might ask where is Tallulah and why would we pick “there” to go for the weekend.
Tallulah is a very small town, right across the Mississippi River from Vicksburg. Dana, Remy and I had made a flying visit to Vicksburg when we ran away from home in June, so we decided to go back and see what all we’d missed.
We timed our trip so that we’d hit the Mississippi Petrified Forest right at lunch time. The Petrified Forest is a great place to visit, but the reason for the timing was a small place just down the highway -- Big D’s TeePee -- Big D’s is a barbecue place! Big D’s is also a very large teepee (some sort of fiberglass, but a teepee nonetheless!).
We ate lunch in the teepee and enjoyed it immensely. Big D’s is a really good barbecue place -- it just happens to be decorated with many different Indian nation flags, etc.
The first thing you should do when you get to Vicksburg is visit the National Military Park. It’s a beautiful place and, of course, the history is riveting.
And! The bones of the ironclad gunship Cairo rest there. The USS Cairo was the first ship torpedoed and sunk. She sank in less than 15 minutes and everyone aboard survived!
It’s goosebumpy to stand and look at the iron on the side of the ship and the many cannons and the waterlogged and rotted timbers and think that men once walked those decks and fired those guns.
I do tend to see “ghosts” in historic places. (Shiloh Confederate Parks’ “Bloody Pond” is filled with ghosts!)
We also visited the doll museum and the Coca-Cola Museum and the Old Courthouse Museum.
Do you know that everything in Vicksburg is upstairs? I promise! All five of us came home completely “staired out!”
We ate lunch one day at Toot’s Grocery -- a real grocery store that has a corner full of tables and makes fabulous hamburgers. Made me think of our Phillips Grocery.
I hated to miss a visit to Jackie’s house, but all us “girls” really enjoyed our historical weekend.
And yes, there is a quilt shop in Vicksburg. Wonder how I know?
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