After solving the puzzle of how to fit all of our stuff into the CRV, we left Spanish Fort, Alabama, at 1 pm on Thursday, June 15.
You can see from the smiles on our faces how glad we are to finally start our journey. (And, according to Claire, "I take selfies like a mom!") Today, we headed to my parents' home in Bossier City, Louisiana.
Our route took us through Hattiesburg, Mississippi--where the gas is always cheap! No kidding, the gas was 20 cents cheaper here than in Alabama!
Then on to Jackson and Vicksburg. Between Jackson and Vicksburg--near Flowers, Mississippi-- there are two homes I always look for--one is a gorgeous planation style home that sits south of 1-20. First you see a white fence surrounding the property, then a large pond and a wide sloping lawn that leads up to the house which is surrounded by many large oak (or maybe pecan) trees and pink flowered crepe myrtles. Sometimes you can see horses, but not today.) Just west of that house and across the interstate is a much smaller cream-colored home with a comfy wrap-around porch. These homes have been here since I first started traveling on I-20 back in 1987. They now mark the halfway point between our home in Spanish For and my parents' home. I love to see how these places are always the same, year after year.
Mississippi Welcome Center, vicksburg
If you need a safe, clean and interesting place for a break, stop at the Mississippi Welcome Center located on the bluff of the Mississippi River. Here you can find clean restrooms and a great view of the Mighty Mississippi!
Next, we drove through the lush, green delta of Louisiana--familiar territory for me. In high school, my basketball team travelled these roads often for tournaments and games. Confession: I used to trick the girls on my basketball team into believing I had memorized all the parishes in Louisiana, but really, I just looked for the signs on the side of the road. (Madison says I was truly a nerd back then.) Since then, I have memorized all the parishes found on I-20.
Madison and I were surprised and amused to see a sign warning of us bears on the highway around Rayville. We looked carefully for a bear but sadly did not find one.
The next landmark I look for is the house that sits on top of a nine story building in Monroe, La. It's not just a tiny apartment; it is an actual two-story bungalow that is on top of the Old Monroe Hotel situated on the bank of the Ouachita River. The bungalow used to be pink, but now it is white. I know I am almost home when this house comes into view. I have to take a quick peak at it every time I drive home. You can own this home for a mere 1.1 million dollars! Here is link to a virtual tour.
Next is Ruston and Louisiana Tech--one hour away.
The final landmark is Louisiana Downs. When I see the racetrack, I know I am home.
Finally, we pull into my parents' driveway, and I notice how tall the trees have grown since my last visit.
Waiting at the door is my mother with a smile on her face and her arms open wide.