Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Natchez, Mississippi Day 2 Fall Pilgrimage

The next morning we began with a DELICIOUS breakfast at Monmouth Plantation.  We went into the breakfast room across the courtyard from our suite.  Then we got started on our plantation tour!
The breakfast area was so beautiful and the china was so pretty.
There was a serve-yourself area for fruit, yogurt and granola but I also chose to be served the hot breakfast served that day.  It was just as good as it looks!
When we were walking from the breakfast area to our suite I caught a great picture of some of the garden area of Monmouth.  So beautiful and well taken care of!
Then we headed off to the first plantation on our stop, Dunleith.  This plantation is on the Historical Registrar and offers tour year-round.  It's also a plantation home that you can stay at, like Monmouth!
We were at the back of the plantation home, waiting for the next tour when I was snapping pictures left and right with my pink "point and shoot" camera......when it dropped and busted.  Nice, huh?  Thank goodness, I'm used to my clumsiness.  I quickly got out my more expensive, larger camera and shot the rest of the trip with it...  I love being prepared!  (But it still stunk...) 
The flowers and bushes at Dunleith were very beautiful, especially for September, after a harsh summer.
The courtyard where I busted my camera :)  Can you imagine the wonderful parties that must have gone on here?  Now you can enjoy the courtyard if you stay here (which I would LOVE to do one day!).
 The historical markers 8-)  My nerd glasses there for ya...  Just love these!
 After the tour (where pictures are not allowed) my aunt and I went out to the front of the house where we took some more pictures of the gorgeous structure.
Then we headed over to the Natchez Visitor Center to get our tickets for the Fall Pilgrimage of historic antebellum homes.  The tickets are pretty pricey, about $40 for 3 tours, so we decided to pick the ones we really wanted to see and do an overall tour in a limo.
The inside of the visitors center was very nice.  There were quite a few exhibits on local information and a gift shop.  I got a lot of great books from authors of the area.  They had a good selection of children's books that explain the history of the Civil War, too.
Some wonderful writers from the Natchez area.
Then we headed to Rosalie Plantation.  We decided not to take the tour (although I would have loved to) but rather toured the outside of the home.
On the premises they had the bell from the U.S.S. Mississippi.
The courtyard of Rosalie was very impressive and I LOVED the big oak trees!
The National Historic Landmark sign :D 
If you look closely at the door you'll see a woman in period clothing who was waiting to give the next tour.
I would have loved to live in an area with all these beautiful oak trees!  What a savior they must have been before AC was invented...and in the South.
One of the other notable things to see at Rosalie is the Fort markers where Fort Rosalie stood during the Civil War.  Just beyond the trees was the Mississippi River so this area contained a safe-guard fort that protected the least until the Union completely took Natchez off the map, almost.  The plantation home was named after the fort.
Then we decided to take the hour-long tour of historic homes that was an option at the Visitors Center.  (Bad freakin' idea!)  I was so excited when the limo pulled up, but it actually ended up being a drag.  The views in a limo are horrible, there was no top to stand up to and it was really just three rows of regular seats.
For the record we did drive by a lot of great-looking homes...but we got a brief history, although my aunt didn't hear much because of her hearing.
The woman was very rude who led the tour and was very derogatory when my aunt said she couldn't hear.  We did get our money back for my aunt but I didn't press the issue with my ticket (around $40).  But... it was a very unfortunate situation.
We had really been looking forward to eating lunch at Fat Mama's Tamales from our 1000 Things Before You Die book.  It was a really cute set-up and very laid back.  I loved the travel posts in the parking lot.
The Knock-You-Naked margarita was delicious and the tamales were awesome!!!  Such a great place to go when in Natchez.
I have a huge love for the National Park Service so as we were leaving our tamales and heading to more plantation homes my aunt let us stop at the William Johnson House.
William Johnson was an African American barber in Natchez who wrote an amazing journal that chronicled life as an African American in Natchez during a very unfair time in the USA.  In the red-bricked building is the National Park exhibit and then you can go upstairs to see his home.
Then we headed to Melrose, with only an hour left before they closed.  Another National Park Service we were the only ones that were there and had a private tour from a very nice (cute) park ranger. :)
The house was being worked on from the outside but the inside was decorated very nice.  I loved seeing the huge fan in the middle of the table that a slave had to move (with the rope) back and forth during the entire meal.
The parlor was a very colorful green design.  It looked kind of comfy actually but I can't imagine the heat with no AC during the summer!
The in-tact slave cabins were definitely a historical site to see.  Such a big piece of American history and so controversial.  I almost wonder if touring these are like walking into Auschwitz or something...
The front of Melrose in the process of being restored.  Still, the columns are beautiful and very prestigious, at least to me.
After closing down all the historical sites we went back to clean up for a wonderful, fancy dinner at 1818, the restaurant at our plantation home hotel, Monmouth.  We had three big courses of shrimp, salmon and a tasty blueberry dessert.  It was a great way to end our last night in Natchez!

1 comment:

  1. It was too bad about the limo tour, but they should really have tour rides that are a bit more open. Maybe something with the top down, or even those golf shuttles so you can see everything as you move along. But there is a certain allure in riding a limo around while touring classic places. It was just the wrong type of ride for the situation, I guess.