On Saturday, I took a road trip by myself to Jackson, Mississippi for a Vault Party.

Although I don’t normally travel to do jean parties, two of my long-time blog and twitter friends, Sarah and Megan, had invited me to come.  So besides the fun of offering makeovers to dozens of women’s butts, it was an opportunity to have a blog meet-up, something that I try to do as often as possible, because you guys are all so cool.

And just a few miles after I crossed the state line, I knew why I had come.


Mississippi clearly needed an intervention.

We had a fabulous party, I loved visiting with Sarah and Megan, and I am still kicking myself for not getting a photo with them.


I am the WORST blogger ever.

Chris and I had decided that I would stay the night and have a Mommy’s retreat – after all, my last three weeks had consisted of a printer panic attack, Chris being gone for four days, an abscessed tooth, Noah getting his first stomach virus, Noah gifting me with said stomach virus, and a couple more days later, I found myself getting reacquainted with the letters UTI.   And all of this was interspersed regularly with minor tragedies such as this one:


(Which, for the record, was my fault, not the incriminated-by-photography subject that can be seen to the right.)

Clearly, Mommy needed a break.

Sarah recommended the King Edward Hotel, a stunningly beautiful landmark built in 1923 (but recently rebranded as the “Hilton Garden Inn Jackson”, a clear case of a treacherous renaming – nearly as grievous as my beloved department store, Parisian, getting renamed to Belk.)

Does this look like a Hilton Garden Inn to you?


No.  It looks like The King Edward Hotel.  So let’s call it that.

I have a quirky bit of snobbery about a hotel’s atrium.  If it doesn’t feel grand, then I don’t enjoy my stay quite as much.  When booking a hotel, I always scour the online photos – just to make sure the atrium is going to provide me the ambiance that I desire.

The King Edward Hotel passed this test with gusto.




After I checked into the hotel and made myself cozy, I planned on having a long evening of getting caught up on writing blog posts, reading your blogs, and in general, as I mentioned, getting caught up.

…right after I ordered room service, which consisted of a perfect blend of two of my favorite things, Mediterranean Shrimp Tacos,


And a Chocolate Pecan Torte, which was so richly divine it lasted two days.


Then I tried to get to work again, but I found myself relaxed…and distracted…and tired.

A little while later of getting nothing done, and Chef Nick, who is a friend of Sarah’s, sent this unexpected late night delivery up to my room:


And those cookies were still HOT, reminding me what southern hospitality really is.

(Something that I often need reminded of, since my husband so accurately once told me, “Hospitality isn’t your gift, is it?”)

(No, it is not.)

So then.  To get something accomplished.

But my eyes…they were so tired.

And my head…it was so scrambled.

And my feet…well they had nothing to do with blogging but they hurt.

And those cookies…were so tasty.

And so I slept.

And slept.

And slept some more.

Making me the worst blogger ever.

During the night, I heard a faint but steady rumble, getting closer and closer.  It was such an odd noise, so faint yet so close that I could feel it.  In my sleeping state, I actually spent a good five seconds wondering if the world was coming to an end while I was in Mississippi.

Then I remembered the quaint view that I had seen outside of my window the day before.


As I fell back asleep, I pondered how thick the windows must be if that’s all the train I could hear.

I woke up the next morning, but didn’t open my eyes for a good 30 minutes.  I just lay there, no idea what time it  was, and not at all caring.  When I finally did decide to get up, I was ready and excited to get some of that blogging done.

But then I noticed a piece of paper under my door – a note from Chef Nick, inviting me downstairs to have breakfast.

And so I went.  And I ate fabulous food.  And I didn’t blog.  Again making me the worst blogger ever.

Then I walked outside, and immediately felt wistful, the streets of Jackson reminding me of the historical Birmingham photo books that I adore.  IMG_9997

(Other than the vintage of the automobiles, anyway.)


There were so many things about this city and the people there that made me feel reminiscent of how the south should feel.

I had noticed at the party the day before that Sarah, Megan, and their guests had an unidentifiable facet of southern culture that I didn’t possess – and the hotel staff had it, too. It was almost as if they were genuine southerners, and in comparison, I was someone who lived in a big city that just happened to be located in the south.

Yes, Birmingham is a southern city and we have innumerable southern tendencies and habits, but they seemed to have the true Southern Spirit – Sarah and Megan knew everyone in their small town, the waiters at breakfast visited jovially with me as if they had nowhere to be until sometime next week, and no one in that city seemed to be in too big of a hurry to proactively seek out a personal interaction with a complete stranger.

It’s hard to put into words, but there was a genuineness and unabashed interest in other people that I suddenly felt as if I was lacking in comparison.

On the way home, I realized how very much I had needed that trip.  The past month and a half have been rough, and they’d left me quite fatigued.  Because of that, in the weeks leading up to the trip, it had felt like one more exhausting thing on my to-do list.  But the beautiful environment, the warmth of the people, and the silence of being by myself provided exactly what I needed: some time apart from my to-do list.

Worst blogger ever?  Maybe.  Rested and refreshed?  Definitely.

28 thoughts on “The Worst Blogger Ever.

  1. I love your stories about the South. One, because they are full of sunshine and good food. Two, because they make me laugh at what an unfriendly northerner I am. If a stranger stopped me on the street to chat I would smile and nod, but one hand would be gripping my keys in eye-gouging position. Seriously, we suck up here. /grin

    My biggest culture-clash was with a friend from California. He went on and on one day about what an great person I was and I finally had to ask him “Are you being sarcastic? Are you making fun of me? Because I know you are not trying to sell me something!” He was so bewildered, poor guy. He really was just being nice. Apparently people compliment each other in other parts of the world and it is not considered an invasion of privacy! Who knew? (Although part of me still suspects he may have been drunk or something.)

    If I ever have the pleasure of visiting the South I will remind myself to be open and warm, try to avoid making panic-eyes at strangers, and to keep my keys firmly in my purse. :)

    1. Jackson was even nicer than Birmingham, which made me realize that perhaps I wasn’t AS Southern as I could be after all.

      For instance, one of the waiters came up to me, and in genuine niceness and southern drawl, said, “Well, aren’t YOU a sight for sore eyes!!” — in Birmingham, only men that were creepy or socially awkward would say that. But he had a huge smile, a twinkle in his eyes, and an innocence that portrayed that it was just a nice greeting – nothing more. Everyone stopped to talk to me, inquire as to my stay in Jackson, and get to know me. The niceness was even surprising to me, so I do believe it might make you convulse with confusion. ;)

  2. Sometimes, taking time to take care of yourself…resting, recharging, etc…is the only way to be the best at something. Sounds like your trip was just what the doctor ordered. I’m so glad you got to go. Sounds like the hotel was gorgeous, the food delicious and the company hospitable and genuine. That’s the stuff great vacations are made of. You have certainly inspired a trip to the south at some point in my life…

  3. Awwwww, you are making me homesick! I went to school in Jackson and lived there for 10 years!! All those pictures bring back great memories! Glad you had a relaxing time and got some much needed rest!!

  4. I loved this blog post. What a great way to recharge too! I think it’s wonderful you were able to get away. Don’t feel like a bad blogger because you didn’t blog over the weekend. That time away to absorb all the wonderful things in Jackson made this post perfect. Makes me want to visit the south again sometime. Oh and the hotel you stayed at…simply stunning. I like the name King Edward Hotel better as well. Makes it sound more distinguished. :)

  5. That sounds divine! I’m always so glad to hear when other moms get a chance to get away and recharge. We have a really hard job and it is constant and in the “spirit of selflessness” we give and give and give until we are so depleted we can hardly take a breath in without feeling like we have to give that, too. So, good for you! I would love to visit the south sometime, seems so idyllic.

  6. When we moved to Birmingham from Marietta, GA (a suburb of Atlanta), I felt the same way that you felt about Jackson. I guess there are varying degrees of southern hospitality.

    1. Yes! Chris and I discussed this, because we feel the opposite about Atlanta. And probably, people from Jackson feel the way I did when they go to a smaller, older southern town.

  7. Jackson is a neat place! And, yes, I totally agree. One of the worst things to have happened was renaming Parisian! I miss the store soooo bad. No matter what people say, Belk is just a poser! They are not Parisian!!!!!!!

    Btw, you are not the worst blogger ever! ;-)

  8. it sounds like just what you needed! i’m glad you were able to get away b/c things have seemed very stressful for you. what a great husband you have! i hope you don’t have any guilt over not blogging. you gotta take care of yourself as well! and it sounds like i could learn some good stuff from the south as well. i like to do hospitality but having conversations with strangers, indeed even friends, is hard for me. God made us all different didn’t He?!

  9. Yum! This post made me hungry! I laughed over your intervention picture – too funny :)

    Sounds like a very relaxing vacation.

    PS Definitely not worst blogger ever; I’ve been totally silent about major life changed and am currently *month* behind but since bloggers get to make their own rules I refuse to feel guilty about it. If I’m not worst blogger ever, then you definitely aren’t!

  10. This sounds like the best getaway-for-one EVER. And yes, I totally get what you mean about that Southern “feel.”

    Going to check out this Birmingham book now….

  11. Well, if you ever find yourself in Hot Springs, Arkansas, I think you will find that the Arlington will suit your magnificent needs! ;) It’s pretty grand, we stayed there before we moved here.

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