Nana’s travel buddy


Ayda enjoying the fall leaves

Recently, my daughter, who lives in New Orleans, bought a round trip ticket for me, so that I could come and babysit for a long weekend.  My first thought was, YES!!!  Any time I can see my kids or my granddaughter, I am thrilled.

A little later though, I wondered how I was going to fit in my annual fall pilgrimage northward from FL to find some fall weather and leaves.  I couldn’t do both…or could I?  After some internet research I discovered that Natchez Trace Parkway was a mere three hours from their home.  My road trip plans began to formulate and in no time at all, I had reservations near Natchez, MS, where we would get on the parkway.  I arrived in New Orleans on a Wednesday and we left on Friday after school (that was a mom requirement).

We stayed in a hotel on the Mississippi River and the next morning we had breakfast, spilled milk and then walked/ran/hopped/skipped the boardwalk and took lots of photos.  We crossed the river and made our way through Natchez and on to the parkway.


The day was a little cloudy to begin with but ended up being sunny and beautiful.  We took in many of the sites along the parkway, her favorite being Mount Locust .  One of the bedrooms on display there showed some toys like corn husk dolls and she thought it was sad that perhaps that was all they had to play with.  I explained all the fun children used to have playing outside until dark.  She was a little skeptical.


Ayda in the front yard at Mount Locust

For a five year old, she sincerely enjoyed learning some of the history.  She was certainly a trooper and lasted a lot longer than I expected.  We got off the parkway for lunch and I enjoyed Mr “D”s ‘Heavenly Fried Chicken’ at the Old Country Store Restaurant in Lorman, MS.  Ayda enjoyed the biscuits.

That evening we found a hotel and she wanted to order room service, so of course I told her that’s exactly what we would do.  We were both tired from all of the walking and sight-seeing.  We were waiting at the elevators; me with 100 lbs of luggage and her with her new doll, when she said, “Nana, there is only an up button for the elevator because we are on the very first floor and we don’t need to go underground.”  I snapped the picture below right before she said that; it shows the thoughtful expression before her announcement.


Waiting for the elevator

The next morning, I had planned to just take the quickest route home, even though deep in my heart, I wanted to get back on the parkway and go back the way we came.  It was rainy though, and surely she wouldn’t want to do that again.  While we were at breakfast, we discussed it and she said, “Oh Nana, please can we go back the way we came?”.  I said, “Honey, it’s rainy today and we may not be able to get out and explore as much”.  She insisted that she did not care.


It was rainy, but we enjoyed ourselves anyway.  We couldn’t get out much but the beauty around us was enough.  She sang most of the way and I taught her to spell Mississippi, the way I was first taught.  MI crooked letter, crooked letter, I, crooked letter, crooked letter, I, humpback, humpback I.  She got a kick out of making a video to send to her parents.

We stopped for lunch in Natchez and while enroute to the restaurant the GPS took us along the Mississippi River.  She said, “Is that the Mississippi River?” and I said, yes, honey it is.  She declared, “Well, then our hotel is right on the other side”.  Yes, it was.  As a matter of fact, we could see it after we drove a little further.  I know that I am a typical Nana, but this kid never ceases to amaze me.

The rain picked up and we had to run through it because I parked a little too far away from the restaurant.  We got wet and giggled at how silly our hair looked.

We were almost back to New Orleans and she was telling me that if I was looking for a road sign to tell me how far we had to go, to always look on the right.  I wondered how a five year old would realize that, and asked her what I would do without her on these crazy road trips.  She said, “Nana, I guess if Papa wouldn’t go, you’d just be alone.  It’s a good thing you have me.”   Yes, it is, baby girl, yes it is.


  1. Happy to have found your blog through the 30 Days of content challenge. It’s always encouraging to find other grandmothers who are recording the days made special simply because a grandchild was involved!!

  2. Terrie Goff says:

    How precious! Treasure the memories!!

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