Where I’ve been…

I’ve been away. Well actually I’ve been staying in my same spot, I’ve just been really busy. Last week was a seventy hour week, the week before was similar and the week before… well I’ve forgotten… but I’m pretty sure I was busy. So in pictures, this is what I’ve been up to for the past few weeks or so. (Above, my hunny at sunset).

I turned 26. The cakes were awesome. I feel old. The wrinkles are settling in. Dad took us to my favorite restaurant in the whole world… DARWELL’S. Oh, I love that place. Everything in there is good. I’ve started trying new things and we heard Mr. Darwell himself say that you can get anything as a side, you could get prime rib as a side. Now that’s my kind of place. And you’ll see that I got my own very special Darwell hand drawn cup. Go there. It’s the Bomb. dot. Com.

We saw this little gem on our way to see dad. Nothing better than an old school fast food joint. I think these old buildings are so cool.

Barq’s bottles. There’s a bottling plant in Gulfport, MS. I’ve never seen Barq’s bottles outside of MS.

Cooler full of crawfish… waiting for the boiler.

A visitor at work.

Sunset on the Bay during a break at work. You can’t beat this view.

Dinner one night. Toast with parmesan, fresh tomatoes, with avocado and black pepper and sea salt.

A lock on one of the service vans at work. Now can you look at me and tell me that’s not awesome? Yeah, I thought not.

One night we went down to the Local’s part of the bay and brought our dinner down there with us. It was so nice to sit down there with no one else on the beach and just relax.

Toes at sunset.

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Today I am thankful for: an end to the 70 hour weeks.

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Spring Break: Days 3-6

For some people Spring Break means raucous partying, loud music, binge drinking, and one night stands… for me; however, I just like to lay back and take it easy. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had my wild nights — but I’m getting older, some might even say wiser. And that’s why my trip to Gulfport, MS was so lovely. No one was there. There was not a soul to be found that was there for Spring Break. And the beaches almost always looked like the photograph above. Now, this could be both good and bad… good for me because there aren’t any redneck college kids annoying me, bad because business should be better in this area… it’s a nice little place that no one quite knows about just yet–other than the Casino regulars. It’s like Destin, FL before it became what it is today… before it was “discovered”. Let me be the first to tell you… the place is going to grow. And it’s going to happen soon. Investment opportunity? I’m just saying I warned you.

My relaxing days continued as my mother pampered me for my 25th Birthday… (gross). We had… a spa day. And let me tell you. It was LOVELY. Who doesn’t love a mani, pedi, scrub, facial, AND a massage. Ohhhh…. Life is good.

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Today I am thankful for: being back at home in my own little lonely bed.

Listening to: Kings of Convenience – Gold in the Air Like Summer

Remember to Spread the Good Word:

Mississippi/Alabama State Line

My best friend had her relatives from Seattle come to visit. Well, being the educator of the South that I am —  we had to cross a state line — at least one. So we did. I was charged (by my family) on a mission to deliver some very important CAKE. My brother and his Misses forgot the top tiers of their wedding cakes (his and hers). So I met my brother halfway-ish while they were visiting her family in MS over the Christmas holiday. Thus giving us a perfectly good excuse for a little Road Trip. It was so funny. All the Northerners (Seatle Folk) wanted to see a cotton field and eat corn bread. Unfortunately we didn’t see a cotton field and nor did we eat any corn bread on this trip — however; along the way I got 10 truckers to honk their horns. It was epic.

You see, I come all that way and he won’t even turn around and take a picture with me. How rude.

So there is probably something that you didn’t know about me… I. am. an. Excellent. Jumper. Except sometimes I lose my shoes.

Oh how I love this state. And yes, Alabama, you are beautiful!

A gentle reminder to us all. I was trying to wave at the locals… but they just wouldn’t wave back. Again, How rude!

Nothin’s better than an ice cold condensatin’ Pepsi… unless it’s a Coke. Some old wall art that can be found around Reform or Gordo, AL… I can never remember which one. Oh well.

Photos are compliments of VS.

Long Beach, MS: Darwell’s Café

So there is this awesome cafe that my dad took me to when went and visited Gulfport, MS. I think it’s actually located in Long Beach — but that’s neither here nor there… He told me that this is the local hot spot and they serve the best food… EVER. And guess what ?? They have even been on Diner’s, Drive-In’s, and Dive’s.

The Place: Darwell’s Cafe

The Mission: To serve Bad Ass food to all who seek it.

The Menu: see below

Darwell's Cafe Menu

I never saw this menu when I walked in the door. I just saw a bunch of things on old-school neon colored Poster Board.

So we ordered our food, (which you’ll see a bit later) and then we go to get our drinks. And who serves them up? None other than Young Darwell, himself. My dad gets his typical Styrofoam cup; however, for all of the women who come in get their very own personalized cup that has been drawn on by Papa Darwell — who hangs out at this hotspot as well.  How cool is that? Oh, and this is the best part… they don’t have Rootbeer on “tap” so they serve it ice cold out of the can. Darwell told me that I could have as many as I wanted AND that I could even take 1 or 2 for the road when we left. Ahhhhhh, I love this place.

AAC Darwell CupsYep, you have to be jealous.

AAC Blackened Dish

My dad ordered the shrimp, crabmeat, and blackened beeftips. It was a special and maybe one of the best dishes I have ever had. I, typically, don’t order anything blackened because all too often chef’s seemingly think that blackened means burning whatever it is that you are cooking. Well well well. Not at Darwell’s. The beef was absolutely de-vine and it was seasoned to perfection (Oh, Mr. Darwell — tell me your secrets). The crab meat was perfectly tender and the shrimp was literally to die for. YUM.

AAC Cheeseburger Club Sandwich

This my friends is a Cheeseburger Club Sandwich. I, unknowingly, didn’t go with delicious seafood but went with something a bit unusual. A Cheeseburger Club Sandwich. It had grilled sliced ham and lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, maybe some bacon (I don’t remember) and a cheeseburger, of course. I was so delighfully surprised. Now, I know, that the best burger is an Awesome Burger. See this post. But this has to be a very very close second. Oh, it was so good. My dad and I split our meals so that we could share … somewhat equally — he’s a good sharer. I. Am. Not.

The atmosphere is great. They come and find you when your food is ready. It’s both indoors and outdoors. We ate indoors. But in both places you’ll find your share of really great Kitche Artwork. And outside you’ll see some sign that were left over from when Hurricane Katrina passed through Long Beach, MS.

AAC Darwell's Indoors

AAC Darwell's Outdoors

Ok now a video that you will just want to see so that you can go down to Darwell’s with more than just my word. Let’s go with someone famous… like Guy Fieri. You have to believe him, because I say so.

I guess Anthony Bourdain said it right —  and these guys listened. A big thank you to Darwell’s from me and my Pop’s. It was lovely. Check them out here!!

TOOMSUBA

Have you ever been driving down the interstate on a really long drive and see a road sign that makes you want to stop and check out what’s really going on there? Ha ha, I do. So, whenever I drive to see my favorite people in Mississippi,  I always pass by a town called TOOMSUBA. I text one of my besties everytime I pass it … and this last time, I just had to check it out. I had to see what was going on there. Here are some photos of a town inside Meridian and the hunt for Toomsuba’s one and only attraction — its lake. Oh yeah, we were coming back from a wedding 🙂

This is a building around the corner from where my friend got married.

Causeyville Whynot?

The beginning of Toomsuba.

Photo taken by V.S.

Still in search of the Lake...

This looks like a woman on a mission... for a lake!!!

Photo taken by V.S.

I had to see what was behind the gate...

Photo taken by V.S.

The Field.

I think we found it...

We were planning to go for a dip... but then we read the sign.

I knew it existed!!