Monday, August 18, 2008

Back from the truly Deep South...

We had a fantabulous time this past weekend (that's like a combination between fantastic and marvelous, which means it really was great!). I spoke at the Mississippi Writers Guild's annual conference and Gary tagged along to enjoy a weekend away with me. Everything about it was really wonderful!

I already live in the Deep South, but the people there in Vicksburg made me feel even more Southern...if that's at all possible. They had the loveliest accents, and hugged me on sight, and went and got me sweet tea whenever I asked for it, and told wonderful stories like only Southerners can tell. It was a really great experience (so, thank you, Richelle and Anne and all you wonderful folks, for making me feel so welcome).

On Saturday night, after the conference had finished, we went with other speakers and their spouses and other leaders of the Guild and ate at The Cedar Grove Inn. It is a lovely (and huge) antebellum home two blocks in front of the Mississippi River. It was built by a father for her daughter and son-in-law when they got married (how about that for a wedding gift?) and the mother was actually related to General Sherman of the Union army; so the home remained intact during the siege of Vicksburg (aside from two cannonballs that were inadvertantly shot from a Yankee boat going down the river; one of the cannonballs is still lodged in the front parlor wall).

The house is also apparently haunted, and we learned some wonderful stories about the smell of cigar smoke lingering in the library and the handprint on one of the mantels that reappears even after the housekeepers clean it off (of course, Gary and I investigated all the supposed haunted spots). We also wandered up for a view of the Mississippi from the roof, and explored the grounds, and then enjoyed the best Shrimp and Grits you could imagine (and some fabulous bread pudding as well).

Alas...I have no bed-jumping pictures because I left without taking my camera. Gary had his camera, but he didn't have a wide-angled lens with him (there was one on my camera, that would have helped...if I'd actually brought it!). So, Gary took some great shots at the Civil War battlefield park there in town, but didn't get any good ones of my food, or the cannonball lodged in the wall, or of me bed-jumping (he would have had to open the door and take the picture through the window from across the courtyard, to get me in the frame!).

I have returned home full of more ideas to write about; a few more pounds on me from the delicious food I ate; the reminder that time away is always good; and a new appreciation for the South and sweet, new friends.


Monogram Queen said...

Sounds like a wonderful time and my Mom has a book of haunted inns and that one is mentioned!!!

People can joke or bash but there is nothing like southern hospitality!!!

Gretchen said...

Gotta love the bed-jumping. So glad you got to go away and do something so adult and fun.

Gin said...

Sounds like a really good weekend. That food sure sounds good.

Kari (GrannySkywalker) said...

My cousins, sister and I are planning a Vicksburg getaway next summer, maybe (it's the halfway point between my sister's house and mine and pretty close for the cousins). We haven't finalized any plans yet, though. We met up in B'ham a week and a half ago. It was fun, but I didn't get to do some of the stuff I had looked forward Edgars, for instance. We shopped at The Summit - but all decided it was too expensive for our tastes. lol Then we went to another mall and finally had dinner at Firebirds steakhouse. Pretty good stuff there. I gained a couple of pounds on this little "Cousins Getaway" and I almost regret that. lol


P.S. I've been watching MUCH more of the Olympics than I thought I would. I can't help it...between Micheal Phelps and the women's gymnastics, I can't seem to turn away! :)

hippochick said...

Sounds like a truly fantabulous weekend. That's a word I use also.

I'm so sorry you didn't have your camera. I would have loved to see you, just you, jumping on the bed.

~hippo hugs~

Adrienne said...

Glad you had a good time!

Anonymous said...

I love your life Cheryl. You always make me feel super lazy and happy at the same time. How do you do that? wink-wink

Anonymous said...

That all just sounds divine. Glad it went so well.

Kimberly said...

Sounds like ya'll had a really great time. My hubby and me need to plan us a weekend away...soon! LOL! Hope you continue to have a great week!

Cheryl Wray said...

Queen--You are absolutely right. People who haven't experienced Southern hospitality truly do not understand how wonderful it is. It's one reason I love to live in the South!


Gin--It WAS good!!

Kari--Okay, give me your email address and I will send you some ideas your way about Vicksburg. It is a really nice place.

Pam--I can't believe I didn't take my camera. That was not like me (since I like to take pictures of EVERYTHING!).

Cheryl Wray said...

Adrienne--We really did have a great time!

Yvonne--Ha ha!! Superlazy and happy together. I love it! (And I think you have a pretty good life too! :-)

Anon--It was great!

Kimberly--I am a BIG proponent of getting away overnight (or for a few days)with your husband. It does wonders for you!

Edleen said...

glad that you had a fantabulous time! :) so what did you eat? ;)

if you're ever here, i've got many places to take you for makan(eat)! very famous word in Malay here :D

have a super day Cheryl!

Kathy said...

Monogram Queen took the words right out of my mouth.

"Sounds like a WONDERFUL time!"

I love it when vacations turn out exactly as you had hoped for.

hippochick said...


Jim and I had a one day getaway (no overnight)today. Corning Glass Museum. This is the week leading up to our 40th wedding anniversary. We plan to celebrate all week.

~hippo hugs~


Lynilu said...

What a good weekend that sounds like! I love events that allow for enrichment and relaxation at the same time.

There are several websites that list haunted houses by the state. You can enter your state, and see what might be haunted in your town or nearby places. It is fun to look and pick out some places to visit.

Cheryl Wray said...

Edleen--Do you know how much I would LOVE to come to your side of the world? If I ever did, I know that you would show me all the great food!!!! Let's see...this past weekend I had incredible shrimp and grits; catfish with a crabmeat mixture on top of it; bread pudding with bourbon sauce. Yummmyyyy!

Kathy--It really was a great time. I already miss it!

Pam--How FUN!! And Happy (early) Anniversary! That's a big one!!!

Lynilu--That's what I liked about the weekend.I stretched my brain, interacted with other people professionally, and then also just had a lot of fun!

Auburn Kat said...

No bed jumping pictures?!? =)

Renee said...

Sounds great. I wish I could do it myself.