Tupelo In The Spring Time

Maybe it is the season.  Maybe because it’s spring and everything is budding back into life, we felt drawn out of our forced Covid enclosure and just had to go somewhere.  Any excuse to take Blu out is a good one so Michael quickly looked up places to check out within a 4 hour drive.  His search brought up Tupelo, Mississippi.   BIRTH PLACE OF ELVIS!  So off we went into the spring time weather, which is always a question mark.  (That’s a bit of foreshadowing by the way).

He reserved a spot at an RV park right in town, just miles from the Elvis Presley birthplace museum.  The Campground at Barnes Crossing is a great place to stop for a night or two while you check out Tupelo.  In route we called to ask about the check in process should we arrive late.  Unfortunately, we called after the office had closed and just left a voicemail.  I figured we’d have to find out when we got there but a very nice man called us right back with the information.  The sites here are nice and there are 2 or three areas for dog walking.  The bathrooms were the cleanest I’ve seen at a campground.  This may be because this is specifically an RV park and most people are using their own facilities but it was so nice to walk into (not all park potties are equal!). 

I was unhappy when I noticed the signs stating “NO HOT WATER” on the bathrooms and the laundry room.  The weather was warm and muggy so a shower would have made me feel a lot less sticky.  This trip was only two nights though and I am used to using baby wipes to freshen up on the trail, so it wasn’t too bad.

They are preparing to use this as a storm shelter……

We looked a little out of place in our mini-van camper conversion next to all the RVs.  Set up was quick though and after a quick tour around the park we had nothing to do but make dinner and relax. 

Sleeping in an RV park that is in town was different.  We had the front windows down and the sun roof open with netting over both to allow air flow.  This meant we could hear the traffic all night.   It rained off and on but never very hard.  In the morning it was coffee, breakfast, and the Elvis Museum.

I really enjoyed the Elvis Museum.  The house he was born in, the church he attended, and a small museum are all on site.  The grounds are very nice and spread out too.  If I were traveling with younger children, it would be a great place to stop and run around for bit.  You can choose to see just house, the church, the museum, or all three. 

 

Seeing the two room shotgun house where Elvis was born really moved me.  The difference in our life and this part of his, despite the fact that we are currently down sizing to a home of similar size is so vast.  His was a time when people in families of this economic level lived in a small house out of necessity.  They worked long, hard, hours and the money made was just enough to get by.  Then there is us.  Our small house is very much a choice.  We work hard but bring in enough to have vacations and trips like this.  One day we will go to Graceland and see the other end of his story.  This is the part that is most interesting to me though.  The beginning, not the end. 

Throughout the day we kept getting alerts on our phones of thunderstorms both in Tupelo and back home.  Then those warnings changed from thunderstorms and flash floods to possible tornadoes.  I’m still getting used to the idea of leaving town with our kids at home, even though they are both college age now.  So, we decided to finish our site seeing and head back home a day early. 

The only place left on our itinerary was the The Queen’s Reward, a meadery.  I’d never even tried mead before.  Mead brings to mind kings with silver goblets shouting “serf, bring me more mead!”.  This was wholly different though.  There are tastings for $15 per person which are wonderful.  You can try a variety of what is available with an explanation of what to expect in range of sweet to dry and whether it should be served warm or chilled.  It was all good. We left with two bottles, the blackberry and the winter spice. 

We stopped at Veteran’s Park before driving home.  There is a replica of the Washington DC Vietnam Memorial here which is very impressive.  Tupelo has strong appreciation for military service members and it is felt throughout the city. There are also walking paths too if you want roam around a bit. The rain had begun again and the storm warnings were still persistent, so we did not wander around too long .

 Break Down

  • Travel Time: 4 hrs
  • Camping Location: RV Park – Barns Crossing

                                   Cost: $45 per night

                                    Food:  Thai Garden- $23

                                    Campsite Food: – Next time I will kept track of how much we spent on groceries!

  • Site Seeing: Elvis Museum:

                              Cost: Tickets-Adult Grand (all three sites) $19

                               Michael’s ticket was free because he has a Retiree military ID (very much appreciated!)

  • The Queen’s Reward:

                                Tastings- $15 per person 

 

  • Veterans Park:

                               Cost: Free

Where Do Vegan’s Eat?:

                         There are only a handful of Vegan options in town. By this I mean a side salad with out cheese is not a vegan option.  We had lunch at Thai Garden which was very good.

Overall:

This is a great place to stop in route.   The traffic around the RV park was a bit noisy with the windows down so I wouldn’t want to stay more than a few days.  We would have been able to see everything that interested us in two days.  I will not hesitate to stop in here if we are traveling through again someday. Maybe a road trip of the Natchez Trace? 

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