Our Mississippi Trip

According to Google Maps, we traveled 489 miles, and drove for 9 hours and 2 minutes during our week in Mississippi.

Each state we visit, we will choose at least one point of interest from each of the following categories: Famous Person, Famous Food, Roadside Attraction, State Capitol & State Museum, National Park, Historic Location, Can't Miss Attraction, and Made in the USA Tour. Some of the categories may have more than one selection, and sometimes a category will be vacant due to the lack of a candidate. Please click on the links below for the corresponding blog related our experiences in Mississippi the past week.

Famous Person: Kermit the Frog

Famous Food: Mississippi Mud Pie

Roadside Attraction: None

State Capitol/Museum: Jackson

National Park: Vicksburg National Military Park

Historic Location: Elvis Presley’s Birthplace

Can't miss attraction: Mississippi Entomological Museum

Made in the USA tour: Norris Bookbinding

Please view our previous blog posts for further explanations of our experiences in Mississippi over the past week.

A breakdown of our expenses of the past week are as follows:

Gas $129.00

$ 2.05 gal. in Tupelo ,MS was the lowest price paid.

$ 2.25 gal. in Vicksburg ,MS was highest price paid.


We did great in this category!

Groceries: $144.00

Walmart $82.00

Costco $62.00


We bought a lot of food in Mississippi!

Dining out $79.00

Starbucks $9.00 (Tea x4 for free WiFi)

Billy’s Italian $36.00 (Awful Italian food)

Kroger $34.00 (Yummy vegetarian sushi)


We did great in this category!

Entertainment: $10.00

Redbox $10.00 (Movies x5)


We did great in this category!

Lodging: $0.00

Walmart $0.00 (Slept in parking lot x 7 nights)


We did great in this category

Miscellaneous: $0.00

Parking $0.00


We did great in this category

Mississippi Expenses Grand Total: $ 362.00

(Our expense list does not include re-occurring expenses such as insurance and cellphone etc.)

Is Mississippi Our New Home State?

Here are the rules:

Below are the 5 categories that are important to us in choosing our new home state. Each category is rated from 1 to 10 based on our personal experience in no particular order. 1 is the lowest and 10 is the highest for each category. Each category will receive 2 scores; 1 from Lori and 1 from Nate. The average of these two scores will determine the final score for each category. To determine a state’s final score, we will average the total score of each category. If a state’s final score is less than 8, then that state is eliminated from consideration. At the end of our year long cross country trip, the states that scored 8 or higher will be subject to further consideration. In addition, Lori and I each have 1 wild card option, which allows a state that otherwise would have been eliminated, to be considered as our new home state.


Nate: 2

“Gambling, automotive manufacturing, and agriculture is the basis of Mississippi’s struggling economy. The state’s unemployment rate of 4.6% is 10% higher than the national average. Not good!

Lori: 2

“In 2016, Mississippi’s budget was 130 million in the red, but the state is attempting to pass an amendment to their constitution requiring a balanced budget. The state's average household income is $40,593 ranking 50th in the nation. Not good!”

Economy score: 2

Cost of Living:

Nate: 6

“With an income tax of 5%, a sales tax as high as 8% after local surcharges, and the 19th lowest property taxes in the nation, Mississippi is average when it comes time to pay Uncle Sam. Most disturbingly, we discovered food was taxed as high as 9.75%.”

Lori: 7

“In Mississippi, the housing is 33% cheaper, the price of a gallon of gas is 10% cheaper, and food is 7% cheaper than the national average. This is where Mississippi shines!

Cost of living score: 6.5

Quality of life:

Nate: 3

“The Mississippi River is the 2nd most polluted river in the nation and is often called the colon of America, and agricultural pollution is the main culprit. Where the mouth of the Mississippi meets the Gulf of Mexico there is a 6,000-8,000 square miles of dead zone where aquatic life can’t live. On a more positive note, Mississippi’s violent crime rate of 2.8 is 27% lower than the national average.”

Lori: 6

“Mississippi features a warm humid subtropical climate, with temperate winters and long hot summers. Mississippi ranks 18th in the nation for natural disasters. Hurricanes, flooding and tornadoes are what Mississippians are most at risk for.”

Quality of life score: 4.5


Nate: 7

“Despite the state’s residents having the lowest average family income in the nation, Mississippi ranks as the highest per capita in charitable contributions. True to their nickname “The Hospitality State, Mississippian’s were among the friendliest and considerate people we have encountered on our cross country trip.”

Lori: 3

“Mississippi ranks 47th in the nation for electricity production from renewable sources specifically wind and solar, and 41st in the nation for hydroelectric energy. Furthermore, Mississippi has the 2nd highest rate of adult obesity in the nation, and the 3rd highest rate of smokers in the nation. Mississippi is neither healthy, nor green.”

Culture Score: 5


Nate: 6

“The state's roads were easy to drive, well maintained, and I encountered little traffic. However, roadway flooding is a serious concern especially when traveling through the Mississippi Delta”.

Lori: 5

“Outside of the state’s capitol of Jackson, and the shoreline cities of Biloxi and Gulfport, the rest of the state is very rural with limited access to goods and services”.

Environment Score: 5.5

The verdict is in:

The final score for Mississippi was 4.7, and it will NOT be our new home. Nate already used his wild card, and Lori chose not to use her wild card on this state

Below are the current standings:

Colorado 9.2

Michigan 8.3

Oregon 8.2

Ohio 7.6

Indiana 7.4

Texas 7.3 (NATE’S WILD CARD)

South Dakota 7.1

North Dakota 6.9

Washington 6.9

Georgia 6.8

Virginia 6.6

Wyoming 6.5

Arizona 6.5

Pennsylvania 6.5

Florida 6.2

Idaho 6.1

West Virginia 6.0

California 5.9

Alabama 5.9

Nevada 5.8

Nebraska 5.7

South Carolina 5.4

Utah 5.0

Kentucky 4.9

Mississippi 4.7

Wisconsin 4.5

New Mexico 4.5

Louisiana 4.3

Minnesota 4.2

Montana 4.1

Missouri 3.5

Iowa 3.3

Illinois 1.9