Trail of Wine and Food – Paul and Merrill Expedition 2023

The journey begins… Louisiana and Mississippi

Spending five weeks together driving across America is a great test of a marriage. We have always done everything together – just not four hundred miles a day for so many days. The results were a stronger relationship, so many more memories together, shared delight in the God moments we witnessed, and a greater appreciation for the beauty of and freedoms enjoyed in America. This was our 2023 journey. We hope you will plan your own…

Wine and Food travel opens doors for new experiences and new friendships. Take advantage of local adventures and keep your mind open to unexpected discoveries and God moments!

Packing for a five-week road trip seems daunting but we have learned to pack light and take snacks. With one carryon size suitcase each, we packed things that could be layered for variable weather and things that could be hand-washed and dry overnight. 

Our first stop was Opelousas, Louisiana where we came upon Targil Seasonings (229 Wartell Ave.) and found every spice imaginable with red pepper in it! Baking supplies and restaurant quality supplies are available, too. We stocked up on cajun spice blends. The Garlic Butter seasoning is now our favorite for popcorn.

Driving around the downtown area we found the Palace Diner and stopped for strong coffee and beignets to start our trail. It brought back fond memories of our first time at Jackson Square in New Orleans.

In Kinder we checked out the Coushatta Casino and the Seven Clans Hotel. The entire resort has doubled in size since we last saw it.

Hattiesburg, Mississippi offered sweet time with friends Don and Lynn Hagan. 

We toured the campus of University of Southern Mississippi and the downtown area. Our favorite “do not miss” attractions were the campus chapel, the story marker of Jimmy Buffet and Fingers Taylor, and the statue of Oseola McCarty. The Oseola McCarty bronze and historic marker was a particular blessing. Her story was of kindness and love, and the statue featured her in her chair holding her bible next to an empty chair as though she was waiting for us to sit.

We ate at the Half Shell Oyster House. 6555 US-98 #1, Hattiesburg, MS 39402

One of the most impressive stops was the Art Alley. An alley that had once been a place to avoid was transformed into an every changing and interactive outdoor art gallery and tourist destination!

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