The week started with a two-day stop in Natchez, Mississippi. Our research notes described a town with an abundance of antebellum mansions, self-guided walking tours, and a nice location on a high bluff above the Mississippi River.
Natchez also marked the last two days of the heat wave we’ve endured, so our walking was limited to a short stroll along the river trail, and to Fat Mama’s Tamales for dinner.
Sadly this once booming town (prior capital of Mississippi and an important port for trade along the river) has clearly seen better days, but we enjoyed our drive tour of the mansions and the tamales were great!
Monday we drove to Texarkana, Texas. There is not much to say about Texarkana except that they have the strangest, most confusing highway system we’ve encountered in our travels. They’ve employed a system of seemingly parallel highways so the main central highway has exits to the frontage road highways that have even more exits and turnarounds (that lead you in the opposite direction without having to go through traffic lights). Sections of the frontage road highways have simple cross traffic entrances and exits to shopping malls, which can be a bit tricky when the highway traffic is going 60 mph! Needless to say we drove a few extra miles and made a record number of wrong turns during our one day in Texarkana.
I think almost all of us have a friend or two from childhood that we lost track of but would love to find, so here is Robin’s story of reconnecting with a friend she hadn’t seen in over 40 years:
Robin grew up with a friend named Molly Tully. They went to high school together, traveled to Israel together, and hung out with many of the same friends. After high school Molly went to KU, met Sheldon Berger, got married, lived in Chicago (while Sheldon was in medical school), and the family eventually settled in Tulsa. Molly recently attended their 40th high school reunion where she reconnected with mutual friend Marcy Ruback, who in turn mentioned the meeting to Robin. So, with the help of social media, Robin and Molly found each other, and therefore we added Tulsa to our itinerary.
We really had a wonderful time visiting with Molly, Sheldon, and their dog Lexie. The Berger’s had us to their beautiful home a couple of nights for dinner and they were gracious enough to allow Wilma to swim (to her heart’s content) in their backyard pool.
It turns that we have a lot in common with the Bergers. Molly and Sheldon were married just two weeks before us, in Omaha, in the same synagogue, and by the same Rabbi. They lived in Chicago two years with Molly working while Sheldon was in school (just like us), they have two children (older boy, younger girl….just like us), and they even honeymooned in San Francisco (not like us… but you see the connection).
Thanks so much Molly and Sheldon for showing us a great time in Tulsa, recommending a great hair stylist, taking Robin for a mani/pedi, and letting Wilma swim in your pool! Hopefully we’ll get to hang out again soon!
Another reason for going to Tulsa (well, not actually a “reason” ….more of a “oh, look what’s near Tulsa…..I want to go” coincidence) was to visit Ree Drummond’s Mercantile in Pawhuska, Oklahoma. Robin is a big fan of The Pioneer Woman TV cooking show, which stars Ree Drummond. The show has done so well that Ree bought an old abandoned warehouse near her ranch and built a mercantile. Apparently the Mercantile is a pretty popular place to shop, so we planned a day trip to Pawhuska to see what all the fuss was about.
We were amazed that after driving 60 solitary miles through Oklahoma prairie, and into the small town of Pawhuska, that almost every living being in sight was in line at the Mercantile. Where did all these people come from? It turns out that the line was for the restaurant in the Mercantile (2 hour wait), so we were able to just go inside and look around. The place was jam-packed with busy shoppers picking up all kinds of souvenirs for their kitchens. We were hoping to have lunch there, but had alternative plans just in case the rumored long lines were real, so off we went to Skiatook for award-winning barbecue at Mac’s. Of course Mac’s was “on vacation”, so we settled for sandwiches at an Einstein’s Bagels. Ugh.
So after a mostly successful trip to Tulsa, we got back in the Old Home and made our way to Amarillo…..for the second time this year. This time around, Amarillo was just a stop over for the night, so we found a good burger place and called it a night.
I’ll save the next post for our complete tour of Southern Colorado….so I’ll end this post with a picture of what the drive looks like from Amarillo to Pueblo.