It’s Thursday, so you know what that means – time to put on your Thursday undies. But also, it’s time for our almost-weekly Road Trip Series of destinations within a six-hour drive of Dallas. This week, we return to our new favorite state, Louisiana, for a little small-town charm, a few meat pies and a walk through a graveyard where Dolly Parton’s boobies once jiggled in utter sorrow.
Yes, we’re talking about Natchitoches, a town so nice they named it when they were drunk. (We think.) It’s pronounced NAC-a-dish (or NAC-a-tish, NAC-a-desh, or sometimes just Springfield), so pray your children never get the word in a spelling bee.
The town was established in 1714, a time when gays were still hiding in the shadows as generals in the army, tribal chiefs and the occasional saloon girl. It’s a city steeped in history and dripping with Southern hospitality. You may recognize it and not even know it, because Natchitoches is the setting for one of the gays’ favorite films, Steel Magnolias. We went on a Steel Magnolias tour with a spitfire named Barbara Bailey and learned everything we ever wanted to know about the movie and how for several weeks, Hollywood was around every corner.
Whenever we weren’t touring filming locations, we stuck to the gorgeous historic district where we supped on plenty of great Cajun and Creole-style dishes, including the famous Natchitoches meat pie at Lasyone’s Meat Pie Kitchen & Restaurant (a favorite haunt of the Magnolias cast). We relaxed at an amazing gay-owned bed-and-breakfast called the Violet Hill B&B, which is like something out of a movie itself. And then we just did some general shopping in the quaint, locally-owned stores along Front Street.
So pack up the car, load up enough podcasts for a short four-and-a-half hour drive from Dallas, and escape to a town where things are so delightfully slow, foreplay takes a fortnight.
Click on the links in the story for complete details on everywhere we ate, drank, toured and rested our weary heads while in Natchitoches, Louisiana.