Mona has always wanted to see the sunrise on the beach and today was to be the day!  it was a truly beautiful morning with lots of colors and dramatic clouds….but Mona was still in bed so, I took pictures for her!  Pictures are almost the only way Mona sees a sunrise.


Rays and skates were cruising the beach this morning so I took a pic and texted it to Mona. Not long after  she was down on the beach
with me….talk about LIKE!  We walked the beach for a couple of hours; watching the rays go one way and the seabirds go another.  After about an hour each

School of Rays

group changed directions.  Anyone got any ideas as to why they do this??

We really enjoyed our beach visit, but time to move on.  Our destination was Vicksburg, Mississippi and we drove on non-interstate roads all the way across Mississippi.  There were forests across much of the way, with stands virtually every mile advertising Cajun shrimp and boiled peanuts.  Tempting, but we moved on.

Finally stopped at a Wards for lunch.  Had never heard of this chain until today.  Asked our server what Wards was famous for.  “Chilli Burger” was the reply.
Of course I had to try one and it was soooo good!  Glad there aren’t any of these close to Illinois because they would be way too tempting!
Our first stop in Vicksburg was the Vicksburg National Military Park…where the Battle of Vicksburg was fought and where 20.000 lost their lives.  The visit begins with a 20 minute movie where you’re given an excellent overview of the battle and the key
people involved.  You then drive through the park and use your phone to listen to commentary about the battles and the memorials.  So many memorial stones….so many gravestones.   Another reminder of the steep price that has been paid for freedom in our country.

The U.S.S. Cairo Exhibit was a highlight of our visit.  Remember the Battle of the Monitor and Merrimack…the first ironclad ships?  The Cairo was a direct descendent of the Monitor ; built by James Eads (Eads Bridge!) at Carondelet…just south of St. Louis.  The Cairo sawuch action in several Civil War battles, but saw its end in the Yazoo River when it became the first ship ever sunk by a torpedo.  It lay at rest in the river for over 90years, but has since been raised from the river and has been restored as much as possible.  Words can’t describe how this ship brings history to life….the heat of the boilers, the noise of the cannon and the smell of the gunpowder and sweat. This is an incredible exhibit and it alone is worth a visit to Vicksburg.

As you exit the park you see thousands and thousands of graves….the vast majority (0ver 17,000) marked “Unknown”.  How sad for all those families who would never know.  (Did you know there are graves of Civil War unknown soldiers in Decatur, Illinois?  We were geocaching in Greenwood Cemetery there and the cache led us to these graves.)
It was time for dinner….and we wanted something Vicksburgian….no chain food…just local.  Finally, we were pointed to “Rusty’s”, a place in old town section, down on the river. There was a wait, so we sat outside with some local women.  We started talking and they ended up telling us what we “MUST” order.  We ordered everything they told us to.  O.M.G!

Fried Green Tomatoes topped with Hollandaise and lump crab
Fried crawfish tails
Broiled shrimp
Broiled scallops And last, but definitely not least….cheese grits!

Such, such good food!  Easily the best fried tomatoes’ we’ve ever had…and the grits…oh my!

It was way too much food and we had to leave a lot…but we so enjoyed getting a taste of Vicksburg!

We’ve really enjoyed visiting Vicksburg and would love to come here again.  We’d like to stay in a Bed and Breakfast and take our time to enjoy all this delightful city has to offer!

Tomorrow is Thursday, we think.  Time to turn northwards and see what lies between here and home.




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