Yesterday I turned 31. Last year I was soooo excited to be turning 30 and I even threw a big party to celebrate. This year I’m feeling a little more low key and choosing to soak up some R&R where I can. I asked Matthew for a shopping trip for my birthday because that ole closet of mine is needing a refresh these days. This past weekend, we went to Jackson, MS to hit up some of my favorite stores and check out the outlet mall. Here’s a fun recap of the weekend.
First things first, let’s address the crazy weird weather that rolled through this weekend. Out of nowhere, an ice storm and crazy cold temps hit the South. The day we were headed out, roads were being closed and everyone was a bit freaked about the ice everywhere. It’s the south – we don’t know what to do when the temp drops below 55 degrees. I should also mention that I woke up with a terrible migraine and all of the shit hit the fan in the real estate world. I was trying to pack, not throw up, neutralize that headache, AND solve 1,000 problems that came out of nowhere. Happy Birthday weekend to me. *insert all the eye rolls* Nonetheless, I was determined to salvage this day and we buckled down and headed out of town. So let’s talk about the fun stuff!
Let’s start with that amazing Airbnb! This adorable cottage is in the Fondren area of Jackson, which is the artsy/hip part of town. It is 102 years old and on the National Register of Historic places. Be still my heart! The owner is an interior designer so everything was decorated and staged beautifully, much to my own taste actually. The host was simply phenomenal and one of the best we’ve ever had! When we arrived, ice was collecting all around us and we weren’t sure if we’d be able to leave once we got in! She offered to bring us chili if we couldn’t make it to a restaurant (which we did – more on that later) and I thought that was the sweetest thing! Southern hospitality at its finest, I’d say. She even had the place stocked with fresh fruit, coffee supplies, juice, and water in the fridge, which aren’t things you’d find at a normal Airbnb. If you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend a stay with Susan. Hell, even if you’re not going to be in the area, make a special trip!
I mentioned that we did make it to dinner that first night. Let’s talk about that. As I said, ice was falling from the sky like Elsa herself was in charge. The roads were iced over and within minutes of parking, our car was covered. We started calling restaurants nearby, only to find that everyone had closed and gone home because of the weather! I finally got someone at one of our old favorites, Babalu Tacos & Tapas. The catch was, they were closing in 50 minutes! Hurriedly, we gathered our things and headed out. And by headed out, I mean started the 9+ minute walk there. In temps below 30 (consider Southern humidity and wind chill here). With ice still falling from the sky. Looking back, we probably should have taken some of Susan’s chili! I’ll also point out that we did not have clothes appropriate for these temps. It was a grand Artic adventure!
As usual, Babalu did not disappoint. The food was delicious and even with the storm, the atmosphere was on point. If you get a chance to pop in, everyone loves the queso blanco appetizer, and my favorite small plate is the filet on a stick. Those potatoes are where it’s at! And of course, the tacos.
After our chilly trek home, we turned in for the night and crossed our fingers that we’d be able to get out and about the next day. We woke up to things still covered in ice and decided we’d walk back over for lunch and hope that some of the shops were open. I called Brent’s Drugs and they warned me that they were running on a limited staff and menu and we were good with that. Beggars in the cold can’t be choosers right? Isn’t that how the saying goes?
Even with the limitations, Brent’s was one of my favorites. The history of the place is fascinating and had me sold immediately. Even though is was -20 degrees outside (Yes, I’m exaggerating. Keep up.), we just had to get a shake. We compensated for the weather by sharing one instead of each getting our own. Doesn’t that sound romantic?? I’ll just remind you that it was freezing and there wasn’t much romantic about that. The shake was yummy and I loved the big straw! I’ll never drink another shake without one! My favorite from the restaurant though? That hamburger and fries. Oh. My. Gosh. It’s those old school, thin, smushed just perfectly, crunchy on the edges burgers and hand cut fries. You prefer those big nasty burgers you say? You disgust me. Kidding. I loved that burger so much and my mouth is watering just thinking about it. The folks there were nice and I felt terrible for how busy they were while running on a skeleton crew. I almost offered to help wait tables until things calmed down. On my birthday trip. I don’t know why, but I always feel the urge to do this when I see folks struggling…
Next we walked around Fondren popping into whatever shops were open. We bought baked goods at Campbell’s to share with our friends and family. Just kidding. All 12+ items were for the two of us. Cold weather makes you want to eat! Actually, being awake makes me want to eat. Which explains a lot. Next, we stopped at Sneaky Beans for coffee, as more of a survival technique than an afternoon treat. It was there that I got what ended up being my favorite treat from the entire trip – the delicious Snickerdoodle Latte. It’s a seasonal drink apparently, so I’m not sure what we’ll do about that if I visit in July… This was seriously the best latte I’ve had in so long. It made the entire trip worth it. By the way, the barista got a little backed up while we were there and I wanted to help her too. I probably could have successfully waited tables. Making fancy coffee? Not so much. My contribution here would have been telling jokes to the folks in line.
For dinner, we called around again and found that one of the places we wanted to hit, Saltines, would be open that night. We made a reservation and took our usual trek through the ice, arriving with frozen noses and toes. It was worth the frigid trip. Saltines is located in the same old school as Babalu, which instantly makes the environment pretty awesome. To carry on the theme a bit, their menus are in school folders! Y’all know I love a good detail. My favorite food of the night was the tuna dip appetizer. So good! I also loved the Nautilus cocktail; it’s basically a Moscow Mule (my favorite) with pineapple juice (another favorite). Matthew ate the Nashville Hot Chicken because apparently he likes to torture himself. This was a great restaurant and it’s one we’ll definitely return to.
Sunday was our last day there so we worked hard to squeeze in all of the mall shopping I missed because of the weather and get my phone fixed. (Have an iPhone 6s with battery problems? Like it dies constantly even if it’s charged? You might be a part of a battery recall.) On the way to the outlets Sunday morning, we popped into Broad Street Bakery. I loved the cleanliness (except for the bathrooms) and the awesome selection of pastries available. The menu was rather impressive, both for breakfast and lunch, and if I worked/lived nearby, I’d be 20 lbs heavier.
These are just a few highlights from our trip. The weather altered several of our plans, and we still got to see and do a lot of what we intended. We mainly stayed in the Fondren area so that’s where a lot of my suggestions are from. If you’re going to be in other parts of the city, there are several good options there too. Some places we hope to try later are: Two Sister’s Kitchen, Parlor Market, Walker’s Drive-in, and Lou’s. Also, The Pig & Pint often comes highly recommended. We ate there once before and I didn’t like what I ordered, so my opinion is a little skewed. We’re told it’s a favorite though! My first suggestion is to not visit during an ice storm. Just know that even if you do, you can still enjoy yourself!
If you visit any of these places, be sure to come back and tell me about it!