My vacations are mostly staycations because I live in paradise, and there is so much to do with the beach, parks, arts and culture. When I actually do get away, it’s back to my home state of Mississippi. Last time I visited, I could smell the dirt, and I wanted to get out of the car and lie in it. No, I didn’t do it. It was actually a work trip, and I didn’t want the woman from Los Angeles to think I was one of those nutty, eccentric artists. Well, not the kind she’s used too. 😉

I have a hard time not taking photos on my vacations. The Mississippi Fall collection is from November ’22 while visiting family at nearby rental cabins. I can’t believe I had forgotten about the carpets of pine needles and all the beautiful tones of brown. It was so refreshing to escape from the landscaping noise and bumper-to-bumper traffic to just be in the trees.

Mississippi gets a bad rap mostly from a select group of ignorant folks, but those aren’t my people. My people are kind, generous and full of love and laughter. The landscape is slowly changing. Mississippi is home to the Blues Trail ( where you can follow the roots of some of the greatest blues singers like BB King, Robert Johnson, Elvis Presley, and Muddy Waters. If you’re a foodie like me, you’ll find good home cooking like fried green tomatoes, fried catfish, collard greens, fresh fish, crawfish during season and other Cajun cuisines from neighboring Louisiana. Make room for desserts like lemon meringue, chocolate and pecan pie.

The Fall and Spring are the best times to visit. Lodging is affordable. Hospitality is king. Time slows down. It was nice to get my kids out of the virtual world and spend time canoeing in the lake, hanging fireside with the family and playing board games in the evening. The real paradise is where you can stop the chaos and just be with family and friends. That’s Mississippi.

Photo Location and Lodging: Lake Toc-O-Leen, Lumberton, MS