“What is there to do in Oxford, Mississippi?” my friend, Jessica, texted me last Thursday.
Update: there is actually quite a lot to do. In fact, I was having so much fun exploring that I forgot to take pictures of everything, but memories are more valuable than photos anyway.
Travelling has always been one of my favorite things. And travelling with your favorite people makes it all the more special.
In July, I started dating a boy named Dalton, and from the beginning, our relationship has been rooted in music, movies, and driving around together. We’ve been to Oklahoma City, to Kansas City, and we’ve explored so much of Northwest Arkansas with some of our best friends. And now we’ve been to Oxford!!
Dalton and his family all went to the University of Mississippi. I’ve heard so many stories, so I was excited to visit this past weekend and attach a place to these stories.
And did I get a grand tour!! We drove around campus, went thrift shopping, ate food, and just drove around town.
First thing I noticed: the downtown square is THRIVING. In recent years, I think there has been a major push to revitalize Main Street America. In the transition to fast shopping, it is common to see many smaller shops eliminated because they cannot compete with the speed and pricing that larger retail stores can offer. HOWEVER, that is not the case here. There are many clothing stores, a coffee shop, a few bookstores, and even a record store!
I’m not sure exactly when it began, but two of my favorite things to do when I go to a town is (1) find a coffee shop, and (2) see if they have a record store. It’s always fun to compare the record collection from town to town. When we walked inside the store on the square, Black Pumas was playing. We saw them this summer during a forest concert series at our art museum, Crystal Bridges.
One main reason we visited was to see Dalton’s brother in a performance of Crimes of the Heart. I’ll be honest, I had never heard of this play prior. Wikipedia told me it was made into a movie in the 1980s. Anyway, I really enjoyed the show! The plot centers on three sisters: one is turning 30 and takes care of their dying grandfather; another is an aspiring (read: failing) singer; and the youngest sister has just shot her famous-for-a-small-town lawyer/husband. Between the oldest sister constantly bringing up her shrunken ovary and how her horse got struck by lightning, I was laughing almost the entire time
The next morning, Dalton and I got up early, grabbed coffee and walked over to Square Books which, you guessed it, is on the square. Dalton used to work at the bookstore, so I’ve heard my share of stories, but I did not expect the store to (1) be three stories and (2) have a super cute balcony perfect for people-watching (another personal fav). We each picked out a book (I got Normal People, by Sally Rooney; he got Cigarette Lighter by Jack Pendarvis) and sat on balcony while we waited for everyone else to wake up.
Here are the few pictures I took during this trip. They don’t capture everything, but I did throw in a pic of one of the Starships, since a lot of this trip was me being fascinated by these little food-delivering robots. Also threw in the fabulous photo Dalton took of me on the bookstore balcony (the one from dinner is not as fabulous, but still cute). As my friend Brooke said, he really is a great (Instagram) boyfriend.