A lot of my road trips are sudden.
Such was the case last week, when on Wednesday, my wife Pam said we need to go to Hattiesburg tomorrow (Thursday, Sept. 12) or the next Thursday.
I chose the tomorrow option.
The wedding of our son Andy and his fiancée Brooke is just a couple of months away. It will take place on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi.
One of our responsibilities as the groom’s parents, as I have learned, is the rehearsal dinner – thus the purpose of our quick trip. Pam needed to look at some possible locations for the dinner.
We’ve made many, many, many trips from Holly Springs to Hattiesburg since the fall of 2009, when our oldest daughter Emma entered USM as a freshman. Then Andy followed, as his college choice was the same.
We’ve used both routes – Oxford to Jackson to Hattiesburg or Tupelo to Meridian to Hattiesburg. We prefer the latter.
It’s largely because I don’t like Highway 49 from Jackson to Hattiesburg.
But another huge reason is that bakery in Brooksville, Ole Country Bakery, between West Point and Macon.
This time around, we actually grabbed a late breakfast in Tupelo and skipped the bakery. That might have been a first.
We always like driving through Laurel, where we once lived for a couple of years. However, we skipped that stop, too, on this particular road trip. We simply had too much to accomplish in too short a time.
On I-59, we always pass Nora Davis Magnet School, where Emma and Andy attended, plus the youth baseball field, where Andy played coach-pitch baseball. Those are good memories.
This time around, we arrived in Hattiesburg in time for a late lunch and after that, we checked out a couple of possible rehearsal dinner venues. We also made a brief drive onto the USM campus, particularly to get a look at the beautiful setting of the Ogletree House, where the wedding will take place.
After some phone calls to Andy and making our minds up on the location for the rehearsal dinner, we headed home about three hours after arriving in Hattiesburg.
We made a pit stop in Meridian and ate a late dinner in Tupelo.
When I hit the bed Thursday night, I was about as tired as I’ve ever been. In fact, I fell asleep on the couch before going to bed. And stayed there for a couple of hours.
We left for Hattiesburg at 8:30 a.m. last Thursday and got back home about 10 p.m. We covered about 600 miles.
Driving time total was about nine hours. And as is typical most of the time, I did all the driving – my choice.
Over the years, we typically have not traveled down there and back in one day. But it was a must this time around, due to our work schedule and more.
Our youngest daughter Erin is a high school senior. At this point, she has no idea where she will be attending college.
If she follows the path of her two older siblings, one thing is certain, we know our favorite way to Hattiesburg and we know it well.