The top three photos are from Double Decker's Facebook page. I did take my camera with me, but the crowds were not conducive to picture taking!
O-U Stadium/Swayze Field, Summer 2006. We love our Ole Miss Baseball!
Yikes, I'm becoming a bad blogger, but I promise I won't abandon it completely. I enjoy it way too much for that. :)
This past weekend we went down to our favorite Mississippi town, Oxford. Neither of us is from Oxford, but it will always feel like home because we spent three of the best years of our adult lives there. We also met and fell in love during our first year in town and made the best friends we'll ever have.
Since we graduated four years ago, I can count the number of times we've stayed down there on one hand. It's sad because it's literally a 1.5 hour drive, and we have a place to stay. Life, unfortunately, always seems to get in the way, and trips to Oxford haven't worked out for us much over these past four years.
Life did work out for us this past weekend, and we journeyed down for two days and two nights of fun. We ate lots of good food, visited with family and friends, watched Ole Miss whip arch-rival LSU in baseball (can we say SWEEP?), enjoyed the fabulous Double Decker Arts Festival on the Square, stayed up too late and even slept in just like the good ole days!
If you aren't an Oxford-Ole Miss lover, you need to become one. It's a magical place. The arts are all written all over it (literally), and it feels more like the South than most cities I've visited.
Here are some of our highlights:
Square Books - When I visit a bookstore, I hold it against this one to see if it measures up. Square Books, Off Square Books and Square Books Jr. are all staples of the Oxford Square, and a visit to the city isn't complete without a visit to at least two of the three. Square Books is my number #1 because it has a cool staircase which leads to a coffee bar and more books and because you just know you're going to pass the ghost of William Faulkner on the way back down. Off Square Books is pretty rad as well, and most of their books are used (read: CHEAP). They also have a store cat. I didn't visit Square Books Jr. because I don't have kids, but they did have books made from recycled materials in their windows :)
The Blind Pig - It was our first time to visit this little deli and bar in the basement in one of the new buildings on the Square (rebuilt only because the previous building caved in). It was divine. Sandwiches are their specialty, and I had a yummy panini with black forest ham, Roma tomatoes, Swiss cheese and honey mustard. Delish. We visited in the middle of the day, but apparently they also have good music at night.
Ajax - Ajax is one of the other staples of the Square. I first visited it more than a dozen years ago when my grandmother was in town from California. We didn't really appreciate it back then, but we love its southern feel now. It's a mixture of an old juke joint and a restaurant somewhere in Louisiana. Lamar Sorrento's cool midtown Memphis folk art covers the walls, blues plays in the background and the crowd is pretty eclectic too. Even if you don't like fried pickles and catfish, you'll want to hang around because of the vibe. It just makes you feel cooler.
Two Stick - On Friday night we were feeling healthy, so we went to Two Stick. Their sushi is the best we've ever had, and their salads are great as well. We also tried the wontons and guacamole, and it was so good! Jonathan and I once ate on the floor at their old location, which wasn't as fun as you might think. Looking back, I'm glad we did it though! Ah, memories!
Other yummy notables: Varsity Grill and The Bungalow, which were also yummy. I had great salads at both! I'm going back to The Bungalow because they were out of Filipino egg rolls, and I love Filipino egg rolls so much!
O-U Stadium/Swayze Field - We love watching baseball here. In college, we were at games on most pretty weekends and on a lot of rainy, cold weekends as well. Everyone in the outfield cooks out, so it always smells divine. Plus, we're actually pretty darn good in baseball. This weekend was even sweeter because it involved three wins against #5 LSU, our arch-rival.
The Double Decker Arts and Music Festival - Rated the best large festival in the state, Double Decker is named for the big red bus that the city imported from England in 1994 (two years after we were imported from England - lol!). I do have a soft spot for Oxford because of the bus, and for the red telephone booth which also sits on a corner of the Square, but hey, I don't see much of England in the South! The backdrop of the festival is the picturesque Lafayette County Courthouse, so Double Decker is not only a great festival, but it's a pretty one too. This year, rainy weather delayed it until Sunday, but the rain didn't stop the music or the artists from coming out. The crowds were crazy, but we weren't in a shopping mood anyway. We just enjoyed the sunny weather and a leisurely stroll and were so grateful to be in one of our favorite places on Earth.
AC's Bed and Bath Company - Also on the Square is this little shop filled with linens, soaps, night gowns and loads of other pretty things. I love all of their gorgeous vignettes, and I always leave there feeling very inspired. I do love linens, you know!
If you aren't inspired to make a road trip to Oxford just yet, don't worry - I plan to follow up with my own photos of the city over the next few months. Jonathan and I have a few summer road trip weekends in the cards, and we want to enjoy some more art, music and food from a Southern city that isn't Memphis. :)