We just returned from our annual trip to Mississippi where we visit with my family and friends there and go to put flowers on the grave sites of my parents, grandparents, and other relatives. The area was lush and green this year. They've had plenty of rain this spring and the wildflowers and gardens certainly testify to that.
Every year, we try to vary our route so that we get to see a different part of the country. This year, we went through central Louisiana and entered Mississippi at Natchez.
Natchez is a very old river town, established in the 1700s, and, of course, it is famous for its ante bellum homes and the "pilgrimage" to those homes every spring when they are at their height of beauty. But we didn't visit any of them on this trip. Been there, done that before.
Instead, we headed out of town on the Natchez Trace Parkway, a 444 mile scenic route that goes all the way from Natchez to Nashville. We made our first stop just outside of Natchez.
Heading north from Natchez, our next stop was just north of Jackson at the Mississippi Craft Center. We try to make it a point to stop here every year, no matter what route we are taking. It is a wonderful place.
This is just the tip of the iceberg really. There is so much more here, from quilts to metal crafts to intricate stained glass objects to unique one-of-a-kind furniture. If you are ever in the Jackson area, by all means, you should make it a point to visit the Mississippi Craft Center.
We still had much farther to go, so we headed north again. It was a lovely drive. The wildflowers along the roadside were never more beautiful. The Natchez Trace Parkway is another treasure of the National Park System. It is a shame that sequestration has forced it to close some of the restrooms along the long drive and has impacted other services of the National Park Service - but that's a rant for another day.