After having another nice visit in the morning, we set back out on the road to head back home. We didn’t want to take the interstate the whole way, so we decided to take the Natchez Trace Parkway for awhile. It was such a scenic drive. We drove alongside the Barnett Reservoir for a good while, so looking over at the water was a great view.
Jack wanted to make a stop in Carthage, MS because he was offered a job there at one point. After seeing how small it was and seeing the downtown that spanned about 4 blocks, he was glad that he did not accept that position. It would have been such a different life!
At this point we weren’t driving on the Natchez Trace anymore, but we continued on Highway 25 up through Starkville, MS. This is the home of Mississippi State University. We didn’t feel like seeing the whole campus, but we did drive by. Not a whole lot in the town of Starkville…definitely a college town!!
We ventured on toward Tuscaloosa. There were 2 reasons that we wanted to stop there. Reason #1: Dreamland Ribs. My Dad had always talked about how awesome it was, and even my Grandmother and Aunt. Having not been there, I felt like I needed to fix that. This place is pretty much in the middle of nowhere, off Jug Factory Road just outside Tuscaloosa. But despite its location, they were the best ribs that I’ve had in a loooooooong time. They came with some white bread with which came some barbecue sauce that you could dip it in. Apparently if you get their “rib sandwich” it is just the ribs by themselves plus some extra bread on the side 🙂 We just got a regular rib plate with a few sides. There banana pudding was also excellent! They have several locations, so if you ever come across one, you HAVE to stop and check them out!!
Reason #2 for why we stopped in Tuscaloosa: Jack wanted to see the Alabama stadium. I absolutely had no desire whatsoever to see it (I didn’t want to betray my Alma Mater 🙂 ) but I went along with it. We did see their stadium and how massive it was. It brought back memories of the first time I was there when Lane Kiffin was coach of Tennessee. It was essentially the last play of the game, and we were kicking a field goal. Making it would have put us up by 1 point. We lined up for the kick…we were sure that we would win! Until… It was blocked! I as well as the rest of the Tennessee Band, as well as all of the fans that had surrounded us in such an amazing moment were completely heartbroken. That would have been Alabama’s only loss of the season…Rats!! We will beat them soon. Soon…
After Jack’s 30 minutes of elation while seeing the stadium, we got back on the road to head toward Chattanooga. We met with our friend Mike for dinner at Boathouse on the river, and walked around downtown Chattanooga for a little while. Stopped by the Moon Pie store to get a Moon Pie and saw the Tennessee Aquarium (it was closed though). I realized how quaint the town of Chattanooga is…seems like it would be a really neat and pretty place to live, especially since it is surrounded by so many rolling hills, and also Lookout Mountain!
We got back on the road and headed back to Knoxville. We had to turn in our rental car upon arriving. I did one last check of the mileage of our trip…turns out that we ended up driving 2,240.2 miles in 6 days! We also had driven through 8 states: Tennessee, Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia. It was an amazing road trip, and we saw so many things, but it felt good to get back home. Home, sweet home!