Wednesday, April 12, 2017

2016 Road Trip Day 3......AL to MS to LA

*Part One of the 2016 Road Trip HERE
* Part Two of the 2016 Road Trip HERE

Day Three and guess where we went for breakfast?

If you said right across the parking lot to Waffle House you would be correct! lolz

 Hubs needed his "morning fuel"(shown above)and I needed my iced tea(hold the sugar).

I had a relatively healthy breakfast of eggs, bacon, a biscuit with jam and tomato slices.
At least it was a wide range of food groups and kept me full for the day.

After breakfast we headed West on I-10.  The exit sign above made me think of this.......

Pretty soon we crossed over into Mississippi.

And after that we headed South and got on the coastal Rte. 90 and hit Biloxi.

Everyone who doesn't live in Mississippi seems to make jokes about Mississippi and it's poverty and lack of sophistication.
Looks like this person driving around in Mississippi doesn't seem to have a money problem.
Hmmm, or maybe they do but want to appear affluent?

We stopped for gas at a convenience store and they were selling hot Boiled Peanuts.
This is a Southern delicacy and I took and included this photo of the peanuts sign for Cousin Sonya Ann because she LOVES 'em!
Now go nag her to get back to writing on her blog, ok?

In the median of Route 90 in Biloxi is the strange little lighthouse.  History of the Biloxi lighthouse HERE.  We didn't stop because we hat a tight schedule that day plus we've visited many lighthouses along the Eastern Seaboard already in our adventures the past 30+ years.

After passing a few more restaurants and souvenir shops we got to our destination.....

Beauvoir, the last home of Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America(CSA).

We just HAD to stop here and tour the house and grounds since I am sort of related to him too through his first wife, Sarah Knox "Knoxie" Taylor, the daughter of US President Zachary Taylor.
It's all part of the twisted up roots of various family trees that go back to the early 1600's and the FFV(First Families of Virginia) but I won't hijack this post and go into that now.  ;-)

Anyway, we paid our entry fee(no discount for relatives, darn it!)and wandered about briefly before touring the cottage home.

Construction began in 1848 and completed in 1852 on this Summer home along the Gulf coast of Biloxi MS for James Brown, a planter and entrepreneur with a plantation North of the area.  This was to be his family's Summer home.  Facing the Gulf of Mexico the house was raised up on pillons and had windows which fully raised to door height(and you could literally walk through them)to catch the gulf breezes to cool off in the muggy heat of Delta Summers.

 It was purchased in 1873 from an interim owner, Frank Johnston, by Samuel and Sarah Ellis Dorsey.  Here are their portraits that hand inside the central hallway in the house.

When Samuel died two years later and upon hearing of the Davis families financial difficulties, Sarah, being an ardent supporter of the Confederate Cause, offered a guest house on the property to Jefferson and Varina Davis to live in and where Davis could write his memoir, "The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government".  Mrs. Dorsey also helped Davis with the secretarial aspects of the writing of his epic book.

The widow Dorsey redid her will and bequeathed Beauvoir to Jefferson and his youngest daughter, Winnie Davis in 1878. Davis, Varina, his wife, and Winnie lived at Beauvoir until Jefferson Davis' death in 1889.  At this point Varina and Winnie moved to New York City.

Varina outlived both her husband and her daughter(so Beauvoir passed onto her at the death of Winnie)and in 1902 gave Beauvoir to the Sons of Confederate Veterans of Mississippi Organization to be used as a convalescence and charity home for sick and destitute Confederate veterans and their widows.

If you watch the genealogy show "Who Do You Think You Are?" you may remember that actor, Noah Wyle, found out that his 3 x Great Grandmother, Mary Emily Brown Mills, lived out her last days at Beauvoir as her husband, John Henry Mills had served in the Confederate Army in the Crescent Regiment from Louisiana and saw action at Shiloh.

Noah Wyle on the porch at Beauvoir during filming of his episode.  Though we are not related, it's cool to think that I sat on the same porch last year as Noah did, only months apart!

The Beauvoir property took a direct hit from Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Five of the seven buildings on the property were destroyed.  The main house porches which surround the cottage as well as most of the inside of the house was wrecked.

The six brick fireplaces kept the core of the cottage from washing away in the storm surge and the subsequent flooding.  The full length, functional original green storm shutters on the windows kept the glass from breaking during the storm and afterwards while floating flotsam and jetsam battered the cottage.

The roof was mostly washed away too.

A photo of the state of devastation at Beauvoir in 2006, 7 months after Katrina hit.

A painting of the cottage at Beauvoir viewed from the Biloxi beach back before US 90 was built between the property and the Gulf shore's beach.

They have done a wonderful job restoring Beauvoir to it's original splendor since 2005.  Beauvoir reopened to the public in 2009 after renovations to both building and the original furniture was masterfully completed.

The interior of the guest house were Jefferson Davis lived and wrote his memoir.

You can see the same guest cottage behind this statue of Davis with two of his "sons", Joe Davis and an mixed race child Jefferson and Varina took in as a foster child in the midst of the war, when they lived in the Confederate White House in Richmond.  The child was known as Jim Limber. Varina had seen someone beating the boy while out in the city of Richmond and rescued him from his plight. It's said his mother had died when he was about 2 years old and she had given him to a woman to raise but she was abusive toward  him.  Varina gave him a home and he was a playmate for her son Joseph, until later in 1864 when little Joe fell off a portico and died at 5 years old.
When fleeing Richmond about a year after taking him in Jim was taken from the Davis' and handed over to Union General Rufus Saxton for safekeeping and eventually Jim was sent North for an education and training.  Some say Jim ended up in the Sea Islands Freedman Colony off the coast of Georgia but no one knows for sure whatever became of him.

Here is Hubs posting with a statue of Jeff Davis in front of his rebuilt Presidential Library.

Another painting of the Beauvoir Cottage.

It was only mid April but it was hot as blazes so we hung out in the gift shop for a bit.  We didn't have a lot of time to spend so we didn't get to the Presidential Library, the Gardens, the Confederate Graveyard.

I'll second the saying on these magnets!  And they are HUGE too!!....not the magnets, the skeeters. ;-)

You can still buy a dvd of that classic Disney movie "Song of the South" here.

I was looking at some glass suncatchers and heard a big SQUAWK behind me and turned to see this rather large Scarlet Macaw.

Quite a beautiful bird which hung out on the outside of his cage.  I tried to get a closer photo but he likes to nip...eek!

Here's a sun catcher/Xmas ornament I brought home.
Of course it's purple.  ;-)

It was getting late in the day so we had to hit the road again west on Rte. 90 and through Gulfport Mississippi.
The Gulf Coast area was hit hard by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.  Driving along the coastal highway there a good 10+ years later you can still see the affect of the devastation it wrought.  Many of the shore front homes were leveled and vacant lots now abound, most with 'for sale' signs on them.  There is a smattering of new homes and still many flooded out buildings in various states of un-repair.  Rebuilding here is going very slowly as these coastal areas of MS and LA didn't get nearly as much media attention or dollars for rebuilding as New Orleans received yet the devastation was just as bad.

Fairly soon we were crossing into Louisiana and near Slidell we hooked up to I-12.

As we hadn't eaten lunch yet we made a short detour off I-10 to the town of Abita Springs LA.

This is the original brew pub in the dinky little town of Abita Springs where Abita brewing began.  The brewery is down the road near Covington LA now.
To say this brew pub is off the beaten path is an understatement!
But then so again is the little town of Abita Springs.  The town began life as a Choctaw settlement before the natives were rounded up and sent to Oklahoma by the federal government.  Then a mix of Americans settled the area which was notable for it's fresh water springs.  A Covington doctor discovered the medicinal qualities of the springs and by the late 1800's the town had become a resort area of hotels and boarding houses full of people traveling here to "take the waters" for their health.

Here I am posting with a rather large sign in the outside patio area at the brew pub.

As it was even warmer inland we opted to eat inside rather than on the patio.  I got a hard root beer which was better than all those other "hard" root beers that seem to pop up like dandelions nowadays.  It didn't have that nasty after taste that most of the other ones I've tried have.

I followed it up with a gourmet soda, the Bananas Foster.
Mmmm....bananas!  It was good but a bit sweet for my taste.

Maybe my hard root beer was kicking, but I can't remember what Hubs had but it was two different beer varieties they make that they had on tap. You could say that Abita Springs still beckons people to the area to take the brewed waters for their health.  ;-)

The place was packed(it was a week day and around 3pm)and they were understaffed.  The wait for food was long and the food was nothing special and way overpriced.  I can't even remember what I got but it was expensive and I could have made a better one myself. lolz

But I did love this souvenir t-shirt in the gift shop area. lolz
Of course they were out of it.....

We still had an almost 5 hour drive to the hotel in Shreveport so we hit the road around 4:30 pm again......right after Hubs let me hit Artique's Arbita Market(did I mention it was tiny?) to pick up 2 packs of gourmet soda....Bananas Foster and the King Cake varieties.

I-12 ended near Baton Rouge and became I-10 again.  Northwest of Baton Rouge(after hitting rush hour traffic)we got onto Rte. 190 so we could hook up to I-49 near Opelousas LA, which would take us North to Shreveport.  After hitting Baton Rough traffic, we wanted to avoid the other big city of Lafayette(which we would have had to go through if we stayed on I-10)so we took back roads for awhile.
Rte. 190 was quite the "scenic" route.....and not in a good way.  After many lights through little towns, many turns to go around refineries(some looked abandoned)and miserably kept up roads(or should I say not kept up?)and glimpses at semi-rural poverty stricken areas we finally got onto I-49.

We stopped again for gas and a potty break outside of Alexandria Louisiana.

You know you are in Louisiana when you see a sign for Boudin in the window at the gas station. lolz

We got into the motel before dusk, unpacked, put our feet up for a few minutes and then drove the short distance to a nearby Raising Canes chicken place for a small bite for dinner.
Cheap and good food.....if you like chicken fingers.  Their sauce is to die for!

Then it was back to the room for tv and an early bedtime.  We had to be at the lawyer's office bright and early.



  1. Goodness, you sure pack a lot of stuff into your day! Waffle House is the best way to start your day.

  2. Hopefully you will get to do more traveling for fun with your hubby retiring now. I realize this was not one of those but at least you got to see some stuff along the way

    1. We had some fun anyway and we got to see our daughter(which until she moved back home last Summer we only got to do once a year).

  3. Given your aversion to heat and mosquitoes, I still cannot imagine retiring that far in the South is going to agree with you. I live north of Birmingham and the heat and mosquitoes are horrid here. Of course, if you can sit in a breeze, maybe both will be bearable.

    The roads have improved over the last 50 years in MS, if you can believe that.

  4. We love that ride along the beach in Biloxi. It's beautiful there, but go a few streets deep behind the pretty strip and it's not all that great. We went sourcing in that area one Saturday and saw the seedier side of town. The casinos are beautiful though!

  5. They wouldn't let you browse ye old family homestead??? I"m shocked!
    What a beautiful place!!

  6. Thanks for sharing your trip to Beauvoir. I was wondering if it had re-opened. I LOVE historic house tours and have been wanting to visit Beauvoir for years. It looks like you had a fun trip. Safe travels home. - Ellie


Hey there! Thanks for leaving a comment. Though I moderate it's partly to keep spam out but also partly so that I read every comment. I don't often respond to comments so if you need me to answer you please write me at my email addy posted on my "About Me" page, linked on the side bar.