Mississippi (2016)

For Spring Break, I got the chance to go home for the first time in three years! This all happened because Fall Out Boy started up their “Wintour Is Coming” tour, and they were going to be visiting Louisiana! Fall Out Boy was my favorite band from like age 11 to 15, and they still hold a pretty special place in my heart. I was lucky enough to be able to sneak into the bathroom at work and get both pit and meet and greet tickets on my phone!

I landed in Louisiana on the 19th. The plane ride from Hawaii to Louisiana is about 10 hours, and the time change is six hours ahead. Needless to say, I was fucked up from the jetlag. I landed around 9am and the meet and greet started at 5pm! Being at the meet and greet was such a weird experience because I was surrounded by a bunch of teenagers? I definitely felt like I was too old to be there. I’d never had the chance to see them as a teenager myself, though, so just getting to see them once was really all I needed. The show was great, but I’ll probably never see them again.

It took about an hour to get through the meet and greet. I got a photo with them, totally choked and said a dumb joke, and then got my terrible terrible photo a couple of days later. I’m making the worst face of my life, so I’m not going to put it here. It is on my Instagram, though, if you wanna see it in a really small way where you can’t see the look on my face haha. I also got them to sign my Infinity on High CD, which is my favorite album of theirs.

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They let us into the pit and it was another hour before the show started! Please keep in mind I’ve been awake since 3pm the day before and have only had hot cheetos and some M&M’s to eat. I didn’t pass out though! The show really was amazing. I wasn’t sure if they would put less effort into the show since it was just New Orleans and not a big fancy city like Los Angeles, but they really did do an amazing job! Here’s some of my favorite photos from the concert!

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I stayed up until 2am, making the time I’d been awake somewhere around 30 hours. We woke up the next day, and my mom drove me back to Mississippi. I spent the day with my family, the next day with my friends, and the third day with just my dog. London is my pomeranian I got while I was married in 2013. After my divorce, I shipped her back to live with my mom on her farm. She is still my best friend, and when I move back to the mainland, she will come with me wherever I go! She was an amazing little travel buddy, and I hope we get to experience many more adventures together 🙂

Before I came to Mississippi for Spring Break, I had spent a lot of time researching things and places to visit. There wasn’t a whole lot, and I even used Google Earth to try to find things myself. It was my goal to drive up to Tupelo, but it turns out there’s a lot more to do in Mississippi than I thought!

On the way to Tupelo, I saw a sign advertising the Mississippi Petrified Forest. I stopped to check it out, and it turns out they allow dogs on their small trail!

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One thing that I was able to find on Google Earth was this little rundown building that says “Old School Disco.” I thought that was hella cool, so that was our next stop. I thought I grew up in the “boonies,” but where I found this and the surrounding areas really opened my eyes. Old barns labeled as schools, graveyards in front yards, huge huge cotton fields. I found the building and spent the next four hours getting purposefully lost in all of the things there really were to do in Mississippi.

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There was the Delta National Forest, which apparently has several entrances. I happened to pick the one that was flooded, but I am definitely going to return. There’s also Panther Swamp National Wildlife Refugee. Most of these trails seemed to be geared towards hunting, and this really got me thinking about maybe why people have this idea of Mississippi being boring.

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After leaving Panther Swamp, I returned to trying to reach Tupelo. Sadly, I was still very very jetlagged and started to get desperately tired around 4pm. Driving through Grenada, I pulled up Google Maps on my phone to try to find a nearby park. I was surprised that there were several nearby. This, too, made me wonder about how many things there are in Mississippi that we are unaware of. I chose to go to Hugh White State Park, where I set up our hammock for the night. Got to watch the sun go down with my one true bae! 🙂

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We returned home early early in the morning (I think around 2am, since my sleep pattern was so fucked). The whole ride back, I thought about how many more things there were to do in Mississippi that I didn’t know about, that couldn’t be found online. And this thinking is actually the reason that I decided to make this blog! I’ll be living in Mississippi for the summer, and I’m hoping I’ll have the chance to explore and blog about all of the things I find. It would be nice if hunting trails could eventually be marketed as hiking trails, like many here in Hawaii are.

I did visit Calling Panther Lake right before I had to turn my rental car in!

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I spent the rest of the day with my mom, who took me to Mynelle Gardens. This place is right in Jackson, where I grew up, and I had never heard of it before. My mom said that it was around when she was a kid, but it amazes me that this knowledge doesn’t seem to be filtering down generations.

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My trip back to Mississippi definitely changed my perspective on my home state. I’ve been telling people here in Hawaii that one of the main reasons that I moved was because there was nothing to do in Mississippi, totally unaware of the truth. Mississippi – you’re beautiful!

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