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April 2011: PixTraveler's 2011 Road Trip - Part 2: Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee

Join us on our 2011 Road Trip. This part covers our return home via Louisiana, Natchez, Mississippi, the Natchez Trace, and Nashville, Tennessee.

Our Itinerary

Our Route

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Here is a Google Earth file that shows the dates and route of the entire trip.

Day 18 of Reynolds Road Trip 2011 - Houston to Baton Rouge

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On Monday, April 11, 2011, we drove from Houston, Texas to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Baton Rouge was our base for the trip New Orleans. More...

Day 19 of Reynolds Road Trip 2011 - Visiting New Orleans

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On Tuesday, April 12, 2011, we drive from Baton Rouge to New Orleans stopping at the Oak Alley Plantation. In New Orleans we listen to Jazz in the French Quarter and visit the Cafe Du Monde in the original French Market for coffee and beignets, delicious French style sugared donuts.

Day 20 of Reynolds Road Trip 2011 - Visiting Lafayette, LA

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On Wednesday, April 13, 2011 in Lafayette, LA we visit the Acadian Village exhibit in Lafayette taking walking tour of a beautiful park and replica of Acadian homes, shops, and churches. We also visit the Prairie Acadian Cultural Center in Eunice, LA, which is one of four sections of the Jean Lafitte National Park.

Day 21 of Reynolds Road Trip 2011 - Second Day in Lafayette, LA

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On Thursday, April 14, 2011, our second day in Lafayette, LA we visit to the Acadian History exhibit in Vermilionville, LA. The exhibit is located next to a muddy, slow moving bayou. We walked through a replica of Acadian village. We also visit to the "Shadows-on-the-Teche" mansion, on the Teche bayou in New Iberia, LA.

Day 22 of Reynolds Road Trip 2011 - Driving to Natchez, MS

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On Friday, April 15, 2011 we leave Lafayette, head north then east, and then north again following the Mississippi to Natchez, MS. As the route approaches the river there are through large cultivated areas, bird hunting camps, and flood control facilities, but few signs of human habitation.

Day 23 of Reynolds Road Trip 2011 - Natchez, MS

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On Saturday, April 16, 2011 we stay in Natchez, MS. I think Natchez, MS was the most beautiful city on our trip. It is a peaceful, walkable city set on the bluffs above the Mississippi river. It is blessed with quiet streets and elegant, historic homes. Located near what was then the northernmost navigable point on the river, Natchez was the site of the French Ft. Rosalie built in 1716. Numerous beautiful homes are located nearby in the Garden District on the bluffs above the river. The Longwood Octagonal House (c1860-1861) is the largest and most celebrated Octagonal house in the United States. The construction of Longwood was interrupted by the Civil War, and while the ground level was later completed and occupied, the upper stories still retain their original scaffolding.

Day 24 of Reynolds Road Trip 2011 - Natchez Trace, Day 1

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On Sunday, April 17, 2011, we started our drive northeast on the Natchez Trace Parkway. We made about ten stops on this day including a side trip to Vicksburg, MS where our first stop was the Old Vicksburg Court House where Jefferson Davis began his political career. We stayed that night in Starkville, MS near the campus of the Mississippi State University.

Day 25 of Reynolds Road Trip 2011 - Natchez Trace, Day 2

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On Monday, April 18, 2011, we continued our drive on the Natchez Trace Parkway. We stop at the twin Bynum Indian mounds that are part of a larger group of built by people of the Woodland period between 100 B.C. and 100 A.D. We also stop at the nearby Tupelo National Battlefield and the Natchez Trace Chickasaw Nation Exhibit which interprets the story of the Chickasaw people. We enjoy numerous beautiful views along the way. After crossing the still wild and beautiful Tennessee River near Krogers Island, we leave the parkway headed for our hotel in Florence, AL.

Day 26 of Reynolds Road Trip 2011 - Natchez Trace, Day 3

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On Tuesday, April 19, 2011, we finish our drive up the Natchez Trace Parkway. We visit what I think is the most beautiful location on the parkway, the Sweetwater Branch Nature Trail. We also visit the Pioneer Cemetery in Meriwether Lewis Park, the gravesite of Meriwether Lewis who died nearby in 1809. Other stops included a visit to a typical early 1900's tobacco farm and a hike down a steep trail down to beautiful Jackson Falls. As we approached Nashville, TN, the final leg of the trip took us past the wide Water Valley in Maury County, TN and other views of the beautiful Tennessee mountains.

Day 27 of Reynolds Road Trip 2011 - Nashville, Day 1

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On Wednesday, April 20, 2011 we take a bus tour around Nashville. The tour includes a ride past the recording studios of "Music City, USA" and the Parthenon at Centennial Park. This is Nashville, the home of country music. We stop at the famous Ryman Auditorium, the original home of the Grand Ole Opry and visit the Country Music Hall of Fame. A fun stop for me was Legends Corner at Broadway and 5'th Street, the location of Tootsie's Orchid Lounge "The best honky tonk bar in the country".

Day 28 of Reynolds Road Trip 2011 - Nashville, Day 2

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On Thursday, April 21, 2011, we spent our second day in Nashville, the last major stop on our road trip. This day was devoted to a visit to the Creekwood Gardens and the Creekwood Museum of Art. Creekwood, once the elegant home of the Cheek family, includes the original Cheek gardens, designed by Bryant Fleming, with pools, fountains, statuary, and breathtaking views of the rolling Tennessee hills.