A few weeks ago, it was time for Unofficial Booktopia. What is Unofficial Booktopia, you ask? Well, Unofficial Booktopia is a play on Official Booktopia (hosted by the fantastic Books on The Nightstand). How did it all start? A few of us met in Oxford, MS back in 2012- and we became fast friends- discussing books, going out for drinks, and just having a good time. After that weekend, we all stayed in touch through the power of social media and monthly phone chats. Unofficial Booktopia happened, though, because in 2013- none of the Booktopia sites were close for 2 of us to get to be able to attend (basically, it was a wing and a prayer kind of thing). So, one suggested- let’s get together in Jackson, MS (home to Lemuria Books). So we began the plan and it worked! We all managed to get together (and engage in some literary hijinks!) We had such a good time that Unofficial Booktopia was born- and this year, it was in Texas. Continue reading
As much as I love summer (think sitting on beach, ice-cold drinks, beach reading, tan lines, too many good things to name), spring also holds a good place for me. It’s getting me close to summer and it’s the perfect time of the year for outdoor festivals. Enter Double Decker Arts Festival. Held every year in Oxford, MS on the historic square- it’s a fun event to go to. Combining art, kid’s stuff and music for the adults/collegians- it’s the kind of event that you do not want to miss.
Picture this: Walking onto The Square in Oxford. Vendors and tents everywhere- food and art vendors. People walking around and enjoying the ambience. Music playing the majority of the day- local music, bigger bands for the later shows- if this is the kind of thing you like, prepare for a treat.
Did I mention it’s free? Oh sure, you have to pay for what you buy- but the music and getting into Double Decker is free. In the last couple of years, Double Decker has also had musical acts for Friday night before the Double Decker Arts Festival on Saturday. Generally, that is 10 buck admission-but worth it if you enjoy live music.
There is a real live Double Decker bus that does tours for a nominal fee. It’s something fun to ride and a memorable picture for people that like that kind of stuff.
There is so many kinds of art and crafts- it’s fun to walk through and look (plus, with Mother’s Day being just a few weeks later- it’s a great time to get Mom something).
If in the month of April, you are looking for something fun to do, consider Double Decker Arts Festival. It’s an experience.
Part of the fun of road-trips is spotting the sign that says “Welcome to (insert appropriate state)”! It helps pass the time and it’s neat seeing what each state’s sign looks like. If I’m not driving, I try to get a pic of each sign to add to my scrapbook for documenting the road-trip adventures. Sometimes I’m successful and get great pictures; sometimes not so much.
Does anyone else do this? What other road-trip tricks do you have to pass the time in the car?
My survival pack for road-trips:
1. New CD
2. Fully Charged Ipod
3. Book or Kindle
4. Cooler with drinks and snacks (depending on length of trip & how many passengers)
5. A good night’s sleep, fully charged GPS, maps, and Google Map or Map Quest directions.
Just 4 mere days away from Booktopia in Oxford, MS. It feels like I’ve been waiting forever and now it’s so close to being here! The author line-up is quite nice- Jesmyn Ward, Tom Franklin, Kevin Brockmeier, Ellen F. Brown, and a few others.
I’m beyond ready to spend a couple of days in Oxford- it’s one of my favorite places. The Square, Square Books, sitting on balcony at Burgundy Room or City Grocery, the food, shopping- plus since it’s summer- the town will have almost a sleepy feel at times with the majority of the students being gone.
While I have not finished all my Booktopia reading, I’m not going to stress. I’m going to go, enjoy listening to the authors, and have a good time. I’m also going to eat at all my favorite places, take pictures and really enjoy a weekend of being away.
My packing list: Flip flops, shorts, cute shirts, nice pants for dinner, books to be signed by authors, camera, big sunglasses, and my Kindle.
There’s something about a state fair that makes me happy. Maybe it’s the food? In a single place, you can consume more “bad for you, but oh so good” food. Personally, I like to bring a friend who likes fair food and split things with them- that way you can enjoy much more. Penn’s Chicken, funnel cakes, lemonade, cotton candy, roasted corn (ooh, I think I’m drooling)- that and much more can be found at the Mississippi State Fair.
I do enjoy some of the rides, as well. Huge fan of the Pirate Ship (arms raised and screaming), the Scrambler, and the Ferris Wheel. I don’t enjoy the carnival games, but as a kid, I did. Now, much smarter about my money.
The best days at the fair- the weather is sunny with a nice breeze. Arriving around lunch to start eating the best food, ride some rides and watch some fair entertainment. Basically, rinse and repeat until time to leave. That’s a day at the fair!
I don’t usually find myself in Starkville too much, but when I read Mississippi Magazine’s summer issue- the one where they name the “Best” things in Mississippi-and I saw that Strange Brew made the list AND it was just down the road- well, I knew we were destined to meet one day soon. That day has come twice in the late winter- once in December and once in January. Both times I bought the same drink- I forget what they call it, but I asked for something similar to a Cups Blondie and they recommended this drink- and it was fantastic for a cold night. They have a drive-thru if you do not feel like getting out of the car for your coffee goodness- which I find appealing. I’m not going to rave about this being THE BEST cup of coffee I’ve ever had because I like drinks at a variety of places, but if you happen to be in Starkville, I urge you to go by and give it a try. It is really good, the atmosphere is inviting, and if you’re grabbing it on your way out of town- there is a convenient drive-thru.
One other positive thought about StrangeBrew- they are using social media to their benefit. After tweeting that I saw SB in the Mississippi magazine and wanted to try the coffee, I was tweeted back by Strange Brew “Thanks for the mention & show us this tweet for a 20% discount when you stop by!” Now, that’s what I call good social media!
To learn more about Strange Brew Coffeehouse- follow them on Twitter @SBCoffeehouse.