Four Points Bulletin

Travels north, east, south, and west of our Oceanside home base.

Something I noticed about our Southern trip, something that I have never in my life experienced before while traveling, was how surprised people were that we were going to the south, that this was our final destination. It started before our trip, people would question where we were going. If I said with a huge smile on my face that we were going to the South, the reply may be, “you mean the South of France?” It continued throughout our trip, locals were in disbelief that we weren’t visiting family or something, that we chose to be there. And it was the only place we wanted to be.

Our summer southern sojourn surpassed our highest expectations. Because of this, there were no specific trip highlights. Every day was spectacular. We saw a lot in our three-week window. In total, we drove 2,720 miles and spent 76 hours in our rented Ford Explorer. At the age of three, our daughter has now been to twenty out of our fifty US states, and visited sixteen out of sixty three US National Parks.

Southern hospitality is an honest concept that we will greatly miss. It will be especially noticeable at restaurants, where the kindness of servers compares to a pre-pandemic era. We didn’t just go on vacation, so did our tastebuds. I chose to altar my eating habits to conform to what food was readily available, going from a vegetarian who eats seafood on rare occasion to a full blown pescatarian, but there is no better place to do it. Lousiana is the nation’s second largest seafood supplier. Between the three of us we devoured ribs, blackened catfish, fried chicken, hushpuppies, corn fritters, snowballs stuffed with ice cream, baked potatoes, bread pudding, po’ boys, spicy shrimp, brisket, praline, coleslaw, crawfish etoufee, baked beans, macaroni and cheese, green beans, beignets, and gumbo. Maybe this should have been my response to one of the dozen or more times an eyebrow was raised by our travels to the South.

4 thoughts on “The South, USA

  1. Denise says:

    What an exceptional recap of your exceptional Trip to the South. I totally get it about the lure of this part of America. You captured it fabulously. Thank you for helping this armchair traveler see new sights. Someone once said, “Travelling leaves you speechless and then turns you into a storyteller!” What a story!!!

    1. Thank you! We honestly can’t wait to go back!

  2. tagpipspearl says:

    Thoughtful and nicely written synopsis. We’ve been to the South twice, and I agree with your observations – the surprised reactions you received when people learned that you traveled south to see the South – not to visit relatives or friends. When we traveled south many years ago (our son was 7 yrs old), we encountered a few people who had never heard of Seattle, and a couple of people who didn’t know where Washington state is, but all were friendly, interested and welcoming.
    We found the people of Kentucky to be sincerely kind. Those folks we met in New Orleans were mostly interested in “Why live up there? It’s so cold!” but were also very nice. Our love of music seemed to be the biggest common denominator that inspired many fun conversations.
    And as I’m also a vegetarian I appreciate your observations about the food. It was good to try different foods. It all was delicious – Kentucky’s corn bread is the best I’ve ever had.
    Thanks much for your wonderful posts. I’ve enjoyed revisiting the area through your writing and pictures.

    1. How interesting that you had the same experience regarding people expressing surprise about your southern travels. Obviously the people who question it aren’t travelers. People who travel would never think that, so it’s hard to comprehend for us!
      I originally thought we would be hearing more music in the streets, pouring out from establishments like it does in Nashville. Unfortunately that didn’t happen as predicted. At least where we were.

      Thanks for the tip about Kentucky cornbread. I had no idea!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: