Augusta,Georgia: very cool. great sized city, good vibe, the Morris Museum of Art is an outstanding museum of Southern art. It's in an office building, which is a little weird, but it's right on the river, next door to the Marriott, a few blocks from the downtown gallery/shopping street. Broad St., I think it was. Bought amazing skincare products from this little local shop, Cloud Nine, Body Yogurt yummy body moisturizer, a salt rub, and some shea butter, all amazing stuff. Also way cool earrings at Silver City. I could totally live in Augusta - it's just the right medium-sized kind of city. Plus people seem really nice and friendly in a southern way without being clubby and exclusive the way some small southern towns can be.
The Mississippi Delta: it's just hot up there, what can I say? Also, never accept a dinner invitation without inquiring whether the dinner is 1. a club meeting, and/or 2. followed by a guest speaker. I'm just sayin'. You might get trapped in an hour of self-involved speaking by a loathesomely inane local writer. It could happen to you. Don't let it. Do, however, make an appointment to visit Mama's Dream World Museum if you care for folk art or needlework.
Thence onward from the Delta to Oxford, MS: a great place to visit for a day. A day is all you need. Go to the Ole Miss Museum, go to the Faulkner House (Rowan Oak), and mosey around the Square for some recreational shopping. Square Books really is a fine independent bookstore. I bought the newest Margaret Atwood short story collection, a memoir about artists in East Hampton called De Kooning's Bicycle and a Moleskine notebook with squared (instead of lined) pages. We stayed at the Inn on campus, which is totally civilized, reasonably priced, and has an excellent pool. The breakfast is continental, so if you need protein, bring your own. Who ever heard of a college with its own hotel? Oxford is such a country club, I swear. It really is a pleasant place to spend a day but I could never live in such a country clubby environment. It'd get real old real fast. My friends who grew up there hated it.
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