Jackson, Tennessee, is a little town somewhere between Memphis and Nashville. If you haven’t heard of it...well, neither had I prior to this trip. The only reason we decided to visit Jackson is because my mother in law has an old work friend who lives there.
We met Milton at Dumplins Bistro and Bakery for lunch as soon as we arrived. A well groomed man wearing a suit jacket and speaking in a very slow and articulate manner, he reminded me of Stephen Root (Gaston Means in Boardwalk Empire or Hawthorne Abendsen in The Man in the High Castle).
Lunch was great, but dessert was really something to write home about! They have displays with rows and rows of cakes and pies to choose from, and beautiful freshly baked cakes are constantly brought out of the kitchen to restock the shelves. It was a tough call to make, but we decided to go with three pies: lemon ice-box, German chocolate, and a chocolate pecan. And now I want to move to Jackson (just kidding)!
After lunch Milton insisted that he drive us around all the sites and tell us all the history that took place in this little town in Tennessee. We must’ve driven for about two hours, stopping at war sites, driving through an old (and still functional) cotton mill, and stopping to take pictures of what must’ve been an old run down house of a sharecropper back in the day.
The way Milton spoke of Jackson was very reminiscent of my grandfather, who will make you believe that the little town he grew up in is the center of the universe! It was very sweet, and I especially enjoyed hearing about the farmers who lived in the region (less so about all the various wars and such).
This little torn down house caught my eye as we drove by, and I could just imagine a family living here, all the sheep that may have run around in the field, and all the various crops that may have grown here (although, let’s be honest, it was probably just corn).
Perhaps the biggest treat of the day, though, was our visit to Milton’s house and gardens. He invited us over for some pre-dinner wine and cheese. We sipped a delicious Bordeaux as he gave us a tour of his beautiful house, the garden room of which I wanted to stay in forever.
His garden was even more impressive...fresh grass so green you could hardly believe it was real, a giant southern magnolia, and cherry blossoms! Pure magic!
I would’ve happily stayed at Milton’s house all evening, sipping on delicious wine, admiring the trees and watching Anya run around. Alas, he had made dinner plans at his country club, which was nowhere near as nice as his house. We still had a lovely dinner and lots of interesting conversations.
By the time dinner was over, it was way past Anya’s bedtime. She passed out with my phone in her hands, two seconds into watching The Swan Lake (almost two months and it’s still her absolute favorite!).
And in case you thought that was the end of Jackson, think again! It wouldn’t be called “southern hospitality” if it didn’t also include a full greasy breakfast on a Sunday morning!
We met Milton (who, by the way, was all suited up for church later that morning) at The Old Country Store in Casey Jones village. Breakfast was a full buffet, complete with fried chicken and apple pie filling. For breakfast! I kid you not! After a week of constant BBQ, dessert, and fried chicken, I could only handle several plates of fruit. After we finished eating, we bid Milton goodbye and walked around the shops a little, where we may have also purchased a jar or two of homemade jam! Mmmm yumm…
Here are some more cute Anya + gorgeous garden photos!