Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Mississippi Burning

A quiet few days after leaving Clarksdale...

The scenery in Mississippi was incredible - vast cotton fields as far as the eye can see - but all the locals we spoke to warned us there wasn't much to do in the area. With two nights to kill before New Orleans (which everyone kept telling us we'd love, as it was 'party town'), we edged down through Mississippi over Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday night found us in Oxford, MS, a quaint college town that was (unfortunately for us) empty, since everyone was down in New Orleans for a football game. We went out for pizza and drinks anyway, but everything closed at midnight and just as we were getting going, it was time to go home. Ho hum. Still, wasn't missing much - seemed like the guys in this town were sponsored by polo shirts and chino shorts. Welcome to Fratsville!

On Sunday it was another hour or so down the road until we reached Vicksburg, MS. It was the first time we'd actually got to walk down to the side of the Mississippi river - strains of Lissie's 'Oh Mississippi' resounded from the lads... We ended up at the Ameristar Casino Hotel, which was great - an unexpected oasis of luxury after a few days of budget accommodation. Across the road from the hotel building was a moored riverboat which housed three floors of casinos, and all-you-can-eat buffets. After a bellyfull of fried meat, creamed corn and ribs, there wasn't much energy to gamble - we each lost $20 in 10 minutes, and then it was time for the first (and only) early night of the trip (but not before Ladbelly beat us all at Beatles Trivial Pursuit, which he'd bought back in Nashville).

Since we were in no rush on Monday morning, we had the opportunity to sample the hotel swimming pool - actually enjoying the sun and heat for the first time instead of passing the day in an air-conditioned car. Lewis Armstrong's belly-flop somersault was impressive. Ladbelly's lobster chest was not.

After drying off, we set our sights on Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and drove out of Mississippi into the Creole state. We drove through some of the most beautiful scenery we've ever experienced - greenery, swamps, creeks, dusty roads... Just incredible. Thanks to the power of Twitter, we were contacted by @visitbatonrouge, who arranged a fantastic hotel deal for us in Baton Rouge - we stayed at the Hyatt Place, and now we're starting to get used to this luxury! We hit the town, following drinking recommendations from locals. T-Bone suggested the Spanish Moon, but we were the first people to arrive at an otherwise empty bar, so a cab was called, and we headed towards the more populated area of the city's campus. We ended up having dinner, drinks and shots in The Chimes, then a few more in the Northgate Tavern, whose jukebox and pool table got severely abused by us! A lovely little town, we'd definitely suggest you rather visit it on a weekend, as Monday nights probably don't show it at its best...

Less than an hour after leaving Baton Rouge, we were in New Orleans and a whole other world of luxury...but that's a whole other blog!!!


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