Wednesday, 16 September 2009
It was pouring down rain when we got up, so we just didn’t get moving. We caught up on some computer time and were just avoiding the inevitable when we got a call from the place where our mom lives in Durham. They reported that mom had been found on the floor next to her bed that morning, and that while she seemed okay, could I please come take her to the doctor? Needless to say, that was a no, so they took her to the ER at Duke, where she spent the day but was released in good shape. David and Rex went to visit her last night and said she seemed none the worse for wear and that she apparently just rolled out of the bed in her sleep. We are grateful that it was nothing more!
http://www.hollyeats.com/BarbarasHomeCooking.htm It was almost 11:30 and still raining by the time we got over there, but boy, was it worth it. We were greeted at the door by a lovely South African woman and a sign that said “Barbara’s Home Cookin’ welcomes all families HOWEVER, unruly children Will Be DEEP FRIED (the secret is in the sauce)” – ya gotta love it! We had the CUTEST server in the world named Matt. We knew we loved him when he brought us a basket of three huge hot rolls with our iced teas. For those of you Clark School kids who remember how you never wanted to miss Thursdays because it was hot roll day in the cafeteria – these were the closest thing to those that I’ve had in years! Heaven in a yeast roll, with a huge bowl of butter, too!
Matt proceeded to help us order from the giant blackboard right above our table. Kim chose a vegetable plate with cucumber and tomato salad, broccoli cheese casserole, and fried okra, and I had a scoop of the chicken salad on top of a bed of spinach with feta cheese and fresh fruit – strawberries, grapes, and oranges – with a little yummy dressing. Right after we ordered, one of Kim’s college roommates, Debbie, called. She lives just up the road, so she came over and joined us. She got the poppyseed chicken casserole with turnip greens and zucchini and tomato casserole. Dessert proved to be impossible to resist – we were going to share the peach cobbler, until it became either blackberry or blueberry, so I went for the chocolate chip bread pudding with caramel sauce, and Kim had ice cream. Debbie abstained, and she also didn’t eat her basket of rolls, so we took them with us to go with our pimiento cheese. We wanted to take Matt with us, but we didn't have room in the car...
It was still raining when we left Barbara’s, so Debbie led us to the terminus of the Natchez Trace, which is right next to the Loveless. It was almost two when we started off, and it’s 444 miles of 40 to 50 mph parkway. Yikes! Right away we pulled off to photograph the beautiful Birdsong Hollow bridge, and the rain even let up some. The bridge is 155 feet above the valley below, and its double-arch construction has won design awards. We considered stopping at the historic Leipers Fork, but it was raining too hard to be worth it. The rain was short-lived, though, once we got going on the Trace, and we stopped off at several overlooks, historic sights, and hiking spots along the way. In fact, we stopped so much that after almost three hours, we’d only covered about 50 miles! We hiked down about 900 feet to see a waterfall that we thought would be raging, given the recent rains, but we were wrong. It was better than the Western Australia waterfall, but it was not much! We stopped at an old tobacco barn and were able to drive about a mile down an original section of the Trace, and we hiked down to a place where there was a ferryboat landing, way back in the day. We stopped at Meriwether Lewis’s grave, crossed the bridge spanning the Tennessee River, and saw several ancient Indian burial mounds. For those of you unfamiliar with the Natchez Trace, read about it at this website, http://www.nps.gov/natr/index.htm and make plans to drive it someday when you are not in a hurry to get anywhere. It was originally a buffalo trail, then an Indian one, and then it was a postal route from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee. Now it’s a parkway, similar to the Blue Ridge Parkway, just without the mountains. It’s a beautiful drive!
It was almost dark when we rolled into Tupelo and found our hotel. We got the car unloaded and then went to Harvey’s, a local restaurant. Great food and friendly service! Kim and I both had Blue Moons, then she had a salad and I had the tenderloin kabobs with rice pilaf, vegetables, and a side salad. We split a delicious coconut chess pie for dessert, then headed back to the hotel. We had a long drive ahead of us tomorrow since we still had about 270 miles of Parkway to go before we got to Natchez.
Dreaming of fluffy hot yeast rolls,