Tag Archives: Mississippi

the roadtrip

11 Apr


As many of you already know one of my goals from last year was to drive across the country before I turned 30. I’ve always thought it sounded incredibly adventurous and the idea of roaming the country without a care in the world sounded beyond romantic. At heart I am a total free spirit; sometimes I think I forget that when I am busy writing to-do lists!

I am happiest going with the flow of life, without an agenda.

Leading up to the trip I wasn’t sure how I was going to pull it all off. Who was going to go with me? Mr. McClafferty would just die if I drove it by myself. How would I take all that time off from work? How would I afford the trip? How? How? How?

But as most things do when you trust the universe, it all fell into place perfectly. My wildly adventurous and free-spirited best girlfriend, Rachel of One Part Gypsy signed up to go on the trip with me. I got the time off from work and we somehow paid for most of the trip with the help of fabulous sponsors (thanks guys!). We got lucky, but we also worked our asses of to put this trip together.

We left on the roadtrip exactly one year ago and it ended up being the Best. Month. Of. My. Life.

Sure, there was some fighting…I mean, have you ever traveled in a car with a person for a month? Sure, we almost lost our lives in Mississippi when a big rig swerved into our lane and ran us off the road. Sure, we got lost more times than I’d care to admit (shhhh….sometimes we drove hours out-of-the-way). Sure, we woke up most mornings at 4am to start the drive. Sure, we probably both gained 10 (ok maybe 8) pounds eating our way across America…I mean, have you been to the South?? But, we survived it all with our senses of humor and an insane amount of red bulls, and we are better friends because if it.

There really isn’t another person I could imagine having accomplished this goal with. Traveling across the country with Rachel will forever be one of my favorite memories. I’m pretty sure when we are old and grey we will be telling our grandkids about the wild month in 2012 we conquered the USA.


































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Read some of my favorite posts from that month!

– Marfa, Texas

– Getting chased by a dirt devil 

– Visiting Georgia O’ Keefe’s private residence

– Memphis! 

– Our night at a sweet little B&B in Alabama

–  Our day with wild horses 

– Santa Fe

– Struggs

–  Going to F. Scott Fitzgeralds home 

– We’re going to Graceland! 


Day 11, Part 1: Jackson, Mississippi…The End

8 May


{family portrait/ photo by One Part Gypsy}

I awoke at Motel 6 under an orange bedspread, very confused about where I was. This was starting to happen a lot- I never knew where the hell I was when I first woke up!

Too many cities…too many beds.

After getting my bearings, I showered up, we packed the car (at this point we could pack a car in 1 minute flat- we were like machines) and set off to continue on our adventure.

Can I be honest about something? I wasn’t a big fan of Jackson, MS. I think one of my readers said it best in a note she wrote to me yesterday-

“The only thing I liked about Jackson, MS was leaving…”

Hahahaha. This really got a laugh out of me. But, in all seriousness, she’s kinda right. I’m not saying Jackson is horrible. I’m just saying when you are going to amazing cities like Memphis, New Orleans, Charleston and Austin it kinda falls a little flat.

Geez somebody in Jackson now probably hates me…

 Before we left Jackson to head to Memphis (which was probably one of my favorite cities on the trip so get ready for lots and lots of Memphis posts), we drove around downtown Jackson to see a bit more of the city.

My favorite moments from our drive-

{The trees at the The Fairview}

{this celebrate Jesus sign…it just screams party doesn’t it?}

{Rachel with the Andrew Jackson statue in front of The Jackson City Hall}

{Brent’s Drugs- It has been there since 1946 and was also a location used in the movie “The Help”}

{The blue skies with flags in front of The Jackson Courthouse}

{me in front of The State Capital}

Afterwards we stopped at Julep for one last Mississippi meal. This was the meal I fell in love with southern biscuits and fried green tomatoes. In my everyday life (when I am not touring America with my best girlfriend), I don’t eat biscuits and now I know why! They are too buttery and too delicious to have on one’s list of appropriate things to eat everyday! I do realize that my introduction to them were in the south and they may never be this good ever again.

{photo by One Part Gypsy}….

Day 11, Part 2 : Arriving in Tennessee up next!!


For Rachel’s blog click here!

365til30: instagram  @kate365, twitterfacebook

Day 10, Part 2 : Jackson, Mississippi

7 May


 Day 10, Part 2

 I finally made it to Mississippi, had a near death experience, ate fried catfish & slept at a Motel 6- it was a day of first’s

After saying our goodbye’s to NOLA (sniffle sniffle), we packed up the car to make our way to Jackson, Mississippi!

You’re probably thinking…why go to Jackson, Mississippi, right?

Well, because I thought it would be an important stop on our road trip to learn about the history of America. So much took place in Mississippi during the Civil Rights movement and I wanted to learn more about the role Jackson played.

So off to Mississippi we went.

The drive  from NOLA to Jackson was a short one compared to most of our other drives- just 3 short hours, like a trip to the neighborhood market for us at this point!

The first half of our drive was rather uneventful…well, other than learning (from the state sign) that Mississippi was the “birthplace of America’s music”?!?! Really? How did I not know this?

After stopping for a few minutes to take pictures with the state sign, we set off to finish the last leg of the trip.

An hour outside Jackson (while we chatted about mindless things like nail polish colors), with Rachel behind the wheel of my car, a HUGE big rig cut us off without a moment’s notice. Compared to the now hysterical “tornado” near death experience on day 6, this was not so comical- it was actually one of the scariest moments of my life. It all happened so fast and I sincerely thought we were going to be crushed by the big rig and that AGAIN my father would be proven right…it is dangerous to drive across the country!

Instead of being crushed by the big rig, Rachel swerved off the road (at the last possible second) and into gravel where a rock popped up, smacked the window and cracked it.

In retrospect, it ended up being a rather comical ending to a terrifying situation. Compared to death, a broken window was a small price to pay!

Welcome to Mississippi, y’all!

After recovering from our near death experience, we decided we were in need of a mellow evening and southern food- they don’t say southern food is comforting for nothing. So we headed to Hal & Mal’s in downtown Jackson to grab a bite. Hal & Mal’s was started by brothers Hal and Malcolm White in the 1970’s and has been a Jackson staple ever since. In addition to a restaurant it also serves as a venue for listening to upscale honky-tonk music.

We decided to really go for it and order everything southern we had never tried. Our meal composed of Bayou Gumbo, Red Beans/White Rice & fried catfish and it did not disappoint.

I learned that evening that catfish + fried = delicious.

 It was at Hal & Mal’s that I also learned how much I love with the word “y’all”. The restaurant was filled with heavy southern accents and I just couldn’t get enough. There is just something about the way it rolls off the tongue

After dinner we went back to our groovy room at Motel 6 (my first motel 6 experience EVER. It wouldn’t be a road trip with out a Motel 6, right?) and zoned out on mindless television for the night. I will admit I was less than thrilled about staying at a Motel 6, especially after spending the first 9 nights sleeping in fabulous 5 star hotels across America.

But there was no other option that night!

Oh, how the mighty had fallen. Even Herb was a little sad about his new digs. But we all made it work and it ended up being pretty nice! My bed was comfy, the shower was hot and they had lots of television channels- and sometimes on a road trip that is all that matters.

Day 11, Part 1 next.

365til30: instagram  @kate365, twitterfacebook

For Rachel’s take click here!


9 Aug


The route has been decided and it will now be referred to as “Southern Charm With A Splash Of Delaware”. I have decided to start in Delaware because it’s where my family is from and I will take any excuse to get back east to visit family, eat crabs and catch fireflies. That’s what’s so fun about planning this trip. The continent is my oyster. What freedom! The thought of completing this goal puts a huge smile on my face.  A joyful, giddy, silly AND huge smile on my face. I have always wanted to do this drive and I am doing it!  I still have no idea how I am going to take 3 weeks off from my LA life but those are just minor details…right?  I have found that’s what always stands in the way. Thinking there will “one day” be a better time to do something you long to do. But, really the time is now. Since I put this on my 365 to 30 list for the world to see, I will be filling my soul with cross-country memories before my 30th birthday.

 I figured the first thing to decide was my route then build around that. I went with my gut and chose the South. What better place to start I thought? It is filled with fantastic culture, food and people. Oh man, I can’t wait to get lost and eat pie.

The Route


North Carolina

South Carolina






New Mexico


HOME In California!!


“Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living”

Miriam Beard


01 Life Is a Highway