I Left my Heart in Mississippi


This past Friday my family and I caught a 6:20am flight from Boston to Jackson, Mississippi. Yes, we had to be wide awake at 3am to head to Logan Airport! Yawn.

Why Mississippi, you ask? Well, my grandmother on my dad’s side was born and raised there. Growing up we always heard stories about her childhood there and saw tons of family photos from when she was young yet none of us had been to her home-state, besides my uncle. A couple months ago, while my sister and brother-in-law were visiting my grandmother in New York, the subject of us taking a family trip to Mississippi came up and before I knew it my sister had emailed me saying plane tickets had been booked.

Our grandmother is 88 years old and she is everyone’s everything. She’s my motivation. Being able to take this trip to see where she came from (literally! We found the house she grew up in!), meet distant relatives we never knew existed, and see her so, so, so happy being around all of us in the state she grew up in was easily one of the best experiences of my life. I was planning on writing a really long post about the trip but at the end of the weekend I realized there are very few words to describe how special it was. Mississippi is a state rich with history in general, but my family’s history, too.

On our first night we went to my grandmother’s aunt’s old house and met up with a bunch of family who welcomed us with open arms. So much so that we piled in the back of one of their pickup trucks and he took us around his property and for a tour of the town.





It was everything I pictured the deep south to be. Stunning and simple.


And it was almost like a few beautiful things from years and years ago still existed. There were so many untouched fixtures that completely stood out.





And riding in the back of a pickup truck down winding country roads is my newest favorite hobby. It’s illegal here in Massachusetts so it was definitely a moment I savored this weekend 🙂







Being so close to the Mississippi River was also a highlight!






Of course I snuck in some fried pickles, too. No one makes them like they do in the south!






The weekend was also filled with lots and lots of storytelling and admiring old photos. My grandmother’s aunt lived to be 100 years old so spending time with her cousins and hearing that our family history on that side of the family has been traced back to 1805 was thrilling!




We were only down in Mississippi for the weekend but it felt like a lot longer because we packed so much into the three days we were there. Even drove over the Louisiana line just to say we did it 🙂



My favorite part of the weekend, besides spending it with my grandmother and family, was meeting so many new relatives for the first time but having the feeling that I’ve known them my entire life. It blew me away at how welcoming they all were and it’s the part that I’m struggling with finding appropriate words for. There was so much love. And food. And homemade jelly in ball jars. Much too much for me to fully wrap my head around.

My sister and I also noticed that none of our older relatives have wrinkles. Which, not to brag, is amaaaazing to know we have such good genes 😉

And I do know one more thing. The sunsets in Mississippi are like nothing I’ve ever seen before. They’re perfect.


Just like my grandmother.


21 Responses to "I Left my Heart in Mississippi"

  1. Looks like an awesome trip. Great photos chels!

  2. What a beautiful recap of your time with your loved ones.

  3. Michelle says:

    What a beautiful post! It sounds like you had a wonderful weekend!

  4. Maggie says:

    Beautiful photos!

  5. Lexi says:

    Gorgeous! Glad you had an amazing trip!

  6. Elizabeth says:

    Chels I love this post! Some of the photos literally look like illustrations from a period novel. So so cool. And I was going to say, your grandmother doesn’t look a day over 65 😉

  7. kitchenbelle says:

    What an incredible once in a lifetime trip! I have an infatuation with the deep south and I don’t even have roots there. Thanks for sharing your experience with your readers. I feel the love via the pics! 🙂

  8. brandi says:

    i love this – the pictures are awesome! sounds like the best kind of weekend, especially with a sunset like that.

  9. sounds like an incredible weekend. Very touching post!

  10. Daisy says:

    i love old fashioned coke signs, general stores, gas stations, all those photos are awesome. so is your family! what an amazing trip!

  11. Des says:

    🙂 best trip ever! Grandma is the cutest…and I want another $.60 Dr. Pepper ASAP:) tasted so yummmy….
    Love this post:)

  12. Chris says:

    Great photos Chels.

  13. Lindsay says:

    Your family is adorable! Looks like a fantastic trip. And yum to those fried pickles!!

  14. Cara says:

    Looks like a really special weekend, love all the beautiful pictures of everyday life in MS, and those fried pickles!!! I had a similar weekend with my grandma in Indiana two weeks ago, so I totally understand how sweet a weekend Iike that can be. 😀

  15. As a Tennessee girl, I love this! There’s something just so darn charming about the cities like Jackson and Baton Rouge in the deep, deep South.

  16. Haley says:

    I’ve never been down South – aside from California… does that count? – but I love the photos! It’s so special that you got to spend time with your family and your Grandma… you’re all so cute!

  17. Chels – Thank you so much for sharing your trip (and your beautiful family) with us. I love all your photos, especially the ones with your grandmother – you are smart to treasure your time with her.

  18. Katie says:

    aww what a sweet post!! i got a little teary-eyed reading it…love your fam.and the pics you took are amazing!

  19. maiah says:

    i just love this. so important to be able to share these kinds of moments with family. thanks for sharing!

  20. Jennie says:

    I loved this post. I am from Alabama and these pictures remind me country drives. It is interesting since my family is from the north and I haven’t spent much time there. Back in June our family went up and my brother and I had such a great time that weekend in Pittsburgh visiting distant realivtes and it was just so great how open they were with us. I am glad that the south was so welcoming to you. The northeast is quite beautiful as well!

  21. MOHAMMAD says:

    Thank you very much for allowing me to experience wonderful and extraordinary memories through these beautiful pictures…
    I also found an atmosphere that I thought lost forever

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