Posted by: JJ | April 25, 2008

Day 17 – Mississippi; Mud Bugs, Mud Pie and Muddy Waters

One last Beignet and Cafe Au Lait before leaving New Orleans for Mississippi. We savored our last taste of N.O. at the big cafe situated right by Jackson Square, in the heart of the French Quarter called Cafe du Monde.

Statue of Andrew Jackson graces the center of the square.

If you read the history books they’ll tell you that New Orleans was founded in 1718 by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville and that it was named for Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, who was Regent of France at the time. HOWEVER, the lesser told story is of the Portuguese explorer who actually stumbled into this area years before. Unfortunately, the explore was too intoxicated to know where he had landed, thus never having claimed the rights to the city. Years later Moyne de Bienville passed a law in his honor. The new law granted permission to all citizens, regardless of color, be allowed to be consume alcohol freely upon the streets of New Orleans. And so it was.

I was lucky to find this stature of the mysterious, drunkin’ explorer titled “Capt’n Snagbird”.

…we set out up the Muddy Mississippi, River Road through the Plantation-rich areas. Along the way we got to see river houses and people fishing along the banks.

It was a very nice drive through historic areas such as St. Francisville where we stopped for lunch at the Magnolia Cafe. We couldn’t resist the Memphis BBQ sandwiches topped with slaw, that they had on special.

After lunch we visited the Rosedown Plantation. Built by cotton planter Daniel Turnbull and his wife, Martha Barrow Turnbull, in West Feliciana parish, Louisiana, near St. Francisville

Mississippi was just a short distance from here, we passed into the state to find streets even more heavily lined with Spanish moss dripping trees and hand made signs declaring “Mud Bugs” on about every corner.

Vicksburg was on the map about halfway to Memphis so we decided to roll into town and just find any ol’ place to lay our heads. Well, we were in for a surprise. This little town is full of excitement. It has lists of historical sights and museums, it sets right on the muddy Mississippi river, the citizens have put tremendous effort into attracting tourism with Riverboats converted to Casinos (it’s legal to gamble here), parks, pretty streetlights and even their levee wall is painted by local artists depicting Vicksburg’s history.

We drove right through main street and discovered a place called The Ware House Hotel. We stopped and inquired. It looked to rich for our taste but the location was great. It was 129.00 for a standard per night, so we said okay. Then after chatting with the owner it turns out that he is from San Diego (you can see the influence in the design here) and so he bumped us up to a suite room. Uhm, yes it’s actually a loft style condo with all the amenities, even a view of the river!

After a few drinks at the hotel bar we became friends with the bartender Laytoya and soon decided we’d start the new Jackson Three. Janet (me), Laytoya and Michael (played by Dennis of course)…she was really a hoot. She and Dennis decided to have a “worm” contest that never did pan out. Oh well, she did recommend a restaurant to us called “Rusty’s” though, that did pan out!

We walked down the main street, which was lined with some very new looking shops and some completely empty, old, buildings as well. The town was quiet and seemed on the surface, almost vacant at about five in the afternoon.

As though we were the only people in town, we frolicked about the streets and discovered a playground near the water.

We got to Rusty’s and as soon as we opened the door… we figured out where all the towns people were. They were at Rusty’s… no doubt.

Dennis had Filet Mignon with a baked sweet potato and I had the Red Fish with Crawfish sauce and cheese grits. For dessert we couldn’t resist the Mississippi Mud Pie!



  1. i want the mud pie, please send me some in tupperware ok hahahaha
    xoxoxo mom

  2. jj. &denny
    that condo, hotel, loft , is just what you need in s.d. i love it.
    looks just like your style too.
    love mom

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