A few days in Hattiesburg

We were hoping to continue down south to Picayune (pick-uh-yoon) after one night at Shivan and Mat’s house, but upon awakening in Hattiesburg, we saw that it was still raining and quite cold.  Shivan and Mat told us we could stay as long as we needed to, so we decided to stay another night.  It did not help our motivation when it was cold and rainy the following morning, and we ended up staying yet another day.

Both days in Hattiesburg were laid back and relaxing.  The first day, Phil wanted to find a buckle so he could rig one of his front panniers into a shoulder bag by clipping on a longer strap to the existing buckles, so we biked to Walmart in search of something that would do the trick.  He didn’t find anything.  Then we went to a restaurant, 206 Front, for Sunday brunch.  We spent the remainder of the day lounging at T-Bone’s Cafe, where we hung out the previous night, reading and taking advantage of the free wifi.  When we returned to the house, Shivan made delicious sandwiches from cauliflower, cheese, bacon and seasonings, and we drank vodka.  When the vodka was gone, we broke out the wine we had bought from the vineyard in Anniston, Alabama.

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Brindle

Shivan and Mat have quite a few pets: three dogs and at least three cats, including a tiny kitten.  The small dog, Brindle, is an attention whore and insists on being picked up or in someone’s lap at all times.  I allowed him to sit on my lap while I played piano, relearning some songs I used to know well, and learning (or trying to stumble through) a few new songs.  Mat also has a baritone horn, which he let me play as well.  I miss having instruments lying around and being able to play whenever the urge strikes.  I spent a good part of our second day in Hattiesburg just playing music, while Phil was walking around the town and visiting the library.

In the afternoon, I walked with Shivan and Mat to their friend Jeannie’s house, where Jeannie had a room full of Mary Kay products she was selling.  I’m not a huge fan of overly scented products, and I don’t wear make-up, but I have noticed that my skin has been extremely dry, probably from daily sun and wind exposure, and I had mentioned that I needed some kind of moisturizer.  I did not end up purchasing anything from her, but did eventually go with a foot lotion from Shivan the next morning.  I will test it out and see if that helps my dry legs.

From Jeannie’s house, we walked to a natural food store that Mat and Shivan frequent called New Yokel, where we ate salads.  On the way back to the house, I stopped at a local bakery and purchased a few sweets to share with everyone.

James and me after watching the Saints game

While we still weren’t sure if we’d be able to get in touch with Mat, one of the other couchsurfers we had contacted got back to me.  I told him we had found a place to stay after all  but suggested we meet up anyway for a drink.  There was a trivia night in a pub near the Southern Miss campus, but it was cold and miserable outside and a bit too far.  James suggested we go to a closer bar to watch the Saints game.  Phil opted to stay in, so James biked over to the house to pick me up.  We rode to the Keg and Barrel, a bar with the largest selection of beers on tap and in bottle in all of southern Mississippi.  James is originally from Brazil and has been in Hattiesburg for two years.  He told me of how he made an enormous flag to support the school’s football team, and the school liked it so much that they opened a fund for him to travel to all of the away games with the flag.  He pretty much gets paid to be a fan!  Football is clearly very important down here.

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About Sarah

Sarah grew up in Cranston - just south of Providence, Rhode Island - and developed a love for travel, music, and outdoor sports at an early age. She had started bicycling long distances at age 12, as a participant of the MS150 bike tours to raise money for the MS Society. She didn't use her bike regularly until she built her own while studying in Montreal and found it an excellent way to get around the city. After graduating from McGill and moving back to Providence, Sarah started working at Brown University's office of Environmental Health & Safety as the Biological Safety Specialist. She was living 4 miles away at the time, and for the first few weeks was driving to work. She made the switch from driving to bicycling when she realized that she could get to work faster, avoid parking tickets, and integrate a few miles of training into her day. Bicycling was better for the environment and better for her own health and mood. She found that she had more energy and felt much happier once she started biking to work. When her car broke down several months later, she never bothered replacing it. After 4 years of working in Biosafety (and on her master's in Environmental Studies), Sarah left her job to pursue her passion. She has been working various jobs in the bicycle industry since June of 2011, including pedicab driver, bicycle tour guide, bike mechanic and traveling bicycle advocate. In between seasonal jobs, she has done a few long-distance bike tours, which is the main reason for this blog. Her dream is to eventually ride around the world and sail across the oceans.

Posted on 29 November 2011, in Providence to New Orleans. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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