If you have been following me on Facebook, you’ll know I have been in Mississippi. I wasn’t sure how much I could talk about what I was doing on my blog until now…. so here is the scoop!!

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Have you read The Help by Kathryn Stockett? I did and absolutely LOVED it!! At the time, I thought, this has to be made into a movie! So I found their Facebook page, which confirmed they were making a movie, which lead me to a link about a contest where you could win a trip to be on the movie set. With about 2 hours until the contest closed, I entered a photo and talked about how the book inspired me. Never thinking another thing about it, because I never win that sort of thing.

Turns out, I did!! I was one of the five grand prize winners! So earlier this week, my friend Naomi and I, had one of the most wonderful girl trips EVER to the cotton capital of Mississippi to meet movie stars, hang out with wonderful people, and stuff ourselves silly with fried southern food.

This wouldn’t be a good trip with out something happening right?

After arriving at the Memphis airport, I find out that my luggage never made it on the plane. What?? A car was coming to pick us up in about twenty minutes and drive us two hours away for only one day. I really needed my bag that day!

My luggage would be put on another plane, but not arriving until later that evening. Ack!! I’m going to meet movie stars and have no underwear, make-up or my high heels!! Noooooo! So that’s exactly what I said to the workers behind the counter at the “Lost Luggage” place. This is how the conversation started in a very southern drawl…

Luggage Lady: “A movie set? Well gosh! So, where you gonna be staying at? We’ll have someone deliver your bag when it gets here.”

Me: “A hotel in Greenwood, Mississippi. I think it’s several hours from here. We actually have to go soon to catch our ride. Is there anyway possible my bag will get there tonight because I’m only here for one day?”

Luggage Lady to Luggage Man sitting next to her: “Hey, isn’t Morgan Freeman from Greenville?”

Luggage Man: “Yes, I think he is!!”

Me: “Excuse me, I said GreenWOOD, not Greenville.”

Luggage Man: “I swear, I thought he was from Greenville, but now that she said Greenwood, I think that’s where he’s from!”

Luggage Lady: “What would you know, you’re not from the south anyway!?!?!”

Luggage Man: “Hey now, I’ve been here long enough to know where Morgan Freeman is from! Is he in that movie you’re going to see?”

Me (Ignoring Luggage Man): “Sorry, are you sure you got that I’m going to GreenWOOD and not Greenville? I really need my underwear.”

Luggage Lady: “Oh honey, I almost put down Greenville! Good thing you corrected me because that’s a really far drive. I wondered why you would you be going there? Unless they were filming that movie there, because that’s where Morgan Freeman’s from, you know?”

Several long minutes later of trying to figure out where Morgan Freeman was from… I leave the Lost Luggage office more confused than ever, but ready to have a good time no matter what and just cross my fingers my bag shows up sometime that night. I’m in the deep south. This should be fun!

Evidence of being in the south. I’ve never seen so many flavors of pork skins in my life!! ha.

After arriving at the hotel, I noticed a few gorgeous clothing boutiques right across the street. Of course, in small towns, nothing is open on Sunday and if it is, it closes early.

I call the airline and am told there is no way my bag will get there tonight. Ack! We leave for the movie set in the morning!

Twenty minutes before our scheduled dinner, one of the hotel workers drives us to JCPenney (it’s either that or Walmart) to find some clothes. I feel so much better just knowing I’ll have some underwear!!

As we walk into JCPenney a worker gets on the loud speaker and says. “Attention shoppers, we will be closing in 10 minutes, please bring your items to the check out counter.” Noooo!!! Seriously cracking up, my girlfriend and I split up for a super quick shop-a-thon!! LOL! I think the lady working there thought we were crazy. After 10 minutes, I had a few tops, a necklace, and best of all underwear. Too bad they didn’t have make-up and hairspray at that store.

On the way back to the hotel, we got a short tour of the town and saw some antique cars that were being used for the movie. The guy driving told us the cast was mostly gone because they had the wrap party the previous night. It was a big to-do, the town even had fireworks for them!

I have to say Greenwood is beautiful and the magnolia trees are bigger than houses!

 

Dinner Surprise

We made it to dinner, got to know the other winners and meet the film studio’s publicist. I found the stories about the movie fascinating and the fried shrimp and fried green tomatoes amazing! It was such a fun time, so what if I was wearing granny panties from JCPenney!

Then out of nowhere we heard a loud southern voice say, “Did someone order some chocolate pie??? You better hurry and eat this because I’ve got five kids I need to get home to!”. It was Octavia Spencer, who plays Minny, and one of the producers Brunson Green, holding chocolate pies. If you have read the book, you know the significance of that pie… and this was the pie that would be in the movie!

Octavia is one of the nicest, funniest people you’ll meet. The character Minny was actually based on her. It was a blast having her at dinner.

Octavia Spencer - The Help - Oscar Winner

We enjoyed the most incredible chocolate pie I’ve ever had. I’m guessing it had caramel in it as well. YUM!

Minny's Chocolate Pie from The Help - Octavia Spencer

The producers are from the area and their moms bring in homemade pies and cakes. Apparently everyone has gained weight from working in Mississippi. After eating this pie, I can see why!

The next day we were off to the movie set to watch scenes filmed with Emma Stone (Skeeter), Viola Davis (Aibileen) and Octavia (Minny).

I’ll continue my story soon… maybe when the movie comes out.

UPDATE: Check out behind the scenes from The Help Movie & more movie set photos in my movie review.

So have you read the book? What did you think of it?

Don’t miss the behind the scenes update….

The Help Movie - Behind the Scenes

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50 Comments

  1. That is so amazing!! What a great win and a great trip!! And of course, a perfect photo to save… She’s on a streak!

  2. I am so happy to have found this site!! I have just read the book and seen the movie and I absolutely loved it!!! You are soo lucky to have been there! What a treat! The story inspired me so much and I admire all those great women who worked the way they did back in the day- and Skeeter is just wonderful and courageous to work with the women and uncover the truth for all others to know what it must have been like in 1960s South. I love Minny and the story made me laugh but also cry how unfair and awful human beings can be to each other. Would love to find the recipe for Minny’s pie. Thank you for this site and thank you for sharing!! Best regards from Europe!! Much love to all.

  3. I am in the process of reading the book…about 1/3rd of the way done…..can’t wait for the movie…congrats on the win ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Just finished The Help this morning and knew I had to come back and read this post. *sigh* I don’t have anything witty to say. Just jealous you got to be there! And happy for you! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Oh. My. Gosh. I’m catching up on your blog tonight and nearly fell over when I got to this post. I’m just now in the middle of reading “The Help” and am slightly obsessed with it. It’s just sooo good. I had no idea they had already filmed the movie. I thought they were still casting it. How exciting to hear who is playing each of the roles. Sounds like they cast it perfectly.

    I can’t believe you got to visit the set and everything. Wow! That is just too cool, Amy.

  6. How amazing! What an incredible experience – the trip – not the luggage debacle! Funny, though!
    I loved “The Help”. I am from the deep South and the book made me so homesick (I don’t live in the South now). I thought alot of the older generation of my family and “the help” that was a part of their lives.
    What an adventure you had – good for you!
    Missy

  7. Nice to read your story about Greenwood. I lived there for 3 years until 2 weeks ago and had a blast hanging out with the cast and crew at the Alluvian bar most nights (and on the courtyard)…

  8. Loved reading your blog about your visit to the set of “The Help”! I live in Greenwood and it has been quite exciting for our little town to have all of the movie people in town. So glad you enjoyed your trip! Yes, the Alluvian is fantastic and all of our little shops on Howard Street are pretty cool! I hope you got to visit all of them. And from your description about who made the pie, it had to be Martha Foose. She’s an amazing chef who is from the Delta and has done some great things! She has a cookbook out and appeared on “Good Morning America” a while back to promote it. Looking forward to reading more about your trip!

    Cindy B.

  9. I haven’t read that book – but now I’m gonna have to. I’m a MS gal myself, live close to Memphis now, but grew up in NE MS all my life.

    I’m so glad you enjoyed our state, and I can totally imagine that conversation at the Memphis Airport. LOL And yes, we love our pork rinds, pie and sweet tea! I wish I had known you were coming through, I woulda told you to stop in Southaven on the way down for clothes. Next time, call me! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Congratulations on winning!!

  10. Loved the book and can’t wait to see the movie!! What a great experience for you. I’m anxious to read the next part of your story.

  11. @Brooke M.,

    That was how I won the trip… I talked about Mae Mobley! I loved her and Aibileen’s relationship. It makes me want to tell my daughter how good and smart she is. Then when I met Viola Davis, I asked her about the actress who played Mae Mobley. She was soooo nice and went to find her photo album with photos of her and the little girl. OMG! She’s adorable. Little blonde curls and a fat tummy. I got to see a shot of her sitting on the toilet in the yard!!! That scene is going to be so funny:-) Mae Mobley, Celia and Minny were my faves.

  12. @Amy, haaa i just laughed out loud reading my original message in your reply…besuturil…LOL…silly cell phone. *blushing*
    anyways. you’re amazing, and i’m happy you enjoyed your fun trip!

  13. YES! I LOVED the book and passed it along to many of my girlfriends. While I was reading it I too thought about how this HAD to be made into a movie and then stumbled upon an article about the making of the movie ๐Ÿ™‚
    The book was so inspiring and I couldnt put it down but didnt want it to end! I actually named my new kitten Mae Mobley because I just loved that little girl!

  14. i am your newest follower.. I just finished the book last month.. loved it.. had no idea about a contest.. good for you… and so not fun about your luggage.. but very fun…. about having minny’s choc.. cake.. esepecially if there were no hidden ingredients.. very funny post.. can’t wait to hear more.
    Lisa
    Wasabi mommmy

  15. @Amy, I looked on Tasty Kitchen and threre’s a chocolate buttermilk pie as well as two chocolate chess ones. I bet one of those recipes would come close to what you had. I think I may try the chocolate buttermilk one; I have a can of powdered buttermilk and need to use it! I’ll let you know how it turns out…

  16. Amy, how amazing! I literally just finished this book, and returned it to the library on Monday. Loved it. I’m looking forward to seeing the movie, now that I know there will be one.
    Thanks for sharing!

  17. Love, loved, loved the book!

    What a great trip…lost luggage and all. Once you have clean underwear, the problems just add to the story anyway. ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. @Amy,

    I live in Brandon, MS now (a couple hours south of Greenwood). The Alluvian is funded by Viking Range Corp. They are great at restoring old buildings in Greenwood and giving them a new life.

    I apparently have a thick Southern drawl since every time we visit my husband’s family in Illinois, I am made fun of!!

    I cannot wait to see it!! I think the whole town tried to be an extra!

  19. I have not read the book but I will now. There is a reason Mississippi is the fattest state and Tennessee is second. I lived in Mississippi for 8 years. The food is wonderful and the southern hospitality is amazing!

  20. The trips sounds amazing…aside from the luggage being delayed. (We ONLY use carry-ons because of this very reason.) Thanks so much for sharing your fun with the rest of us. ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. @Laura Parsons,

    Do you still live there? That hotel was amazing! I’m from a small town and we have nothing like that. I was amazed.

    We shopped across the street and I swear, I could just sit and listen to the ladies that came in talk for hours! LOL! And here I thought I had an accent!! No way. ha.

    I bet you have lots of friends who were extras. Going to be a fun film to watch!

  22. I knew that bridge picture you put on Facebook was in Greenwood!! And then when you talked about the tiny JCPenny and the beautiful hotel (Alluvian) I became more certain. I am from Greenwood (my parents still live there). I read and loved The Help. There really isn’t any other place in the world like the Delta! I am so glad you won the trip and had such an eventful time!

  23. @Pam D,

    If you find something similar let me know. The woman who made this pie is from the Greenwood area. Apparently she lived in France and was a pastry chef, then came back home years later. Iโ€™ve never had anything like it before. It was kind-of like a pecan pie without the pecans, but it tasted like caramel to me.

    Thatโ€™s so crazyโ€ฆ Iโ€™ve heard of 3 other movies being filmed in small towns! One is my home town in Oklahoma! There are big time stars in that one. Itโ€™s all the talk right now on Facebook:-) I loved Footloose. Canโ€™t wait to see that one. ha!

  24. I haven’t read the book but I will now! How fun is that? I went to college in Columbus, Mississippi and still have friends (and Facebook contacts) that live there. If you didn’t get your fill of movie sets, come visit me here in Georgia. A couple of miles from where Adam goes to school, they’re filming a remake of “Footloose” with Dennis Quaid!
    Now, off to search for a chocolate pie recipe with caramel … maybe Tasty Kitchen can hook me up! oh… and what did you end up doing with the granny panties? heee… !

  25. How exciting! I actually grew up not too far from Greenwood. Facebook has been saturated with lots of my friends photos from being extras in the movie. I love Greenwood and go there quite frequently…Glad you had fun!

  26. I am so jealous!!!! No, really, I’m happy for you. ๐Ÿ™‚ What a fun opportunity. Can’t wait to hear more.

  27. @Mariah Humphries,
    Yes, Cicely Tyson plays Constantine. They do flash backs. We saw photos of all the actors in character and it’s going to be great!! Just the clothes and cars alone are going to be so much fun:-)

  28. Oh My Goodness!! You are so lucky!! I LOVED that book and can’t wait for the movie to come out. What an amazing experience.

  29. Read the book, loved the book, cannot wait for the movie….I can say that I choclate pie freaks me out a little now. ๐Ÿ˜‰ You were so lucky to be picked! So jealous!

  30. Oh, darling, I can completely hear that conversation in my mind!

    And yes, there is a reason the states in the south lead in obesity…just eat in moderation and be sure to exercise! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Love your blog, and glad you won the contest!

  31. What a great post! Glad you had fun-Mississippi is always a trip! Growing up there, seventeen years, I have wonderful memories and special places I love;) the other day on Facebook when you mentioned your luggage and being at a besuturil hotel-i thought, she must be at the Alluvian, only beautiful hotel in the whole state ๐Ÿ˜‰

  32. Such a great story Amy! So glad you won! The luggage convo was hysterical! I can feel your frustration. I’m a New Yorker and lived in Florida for a while. The whole “moving at a snail’s pace” made me crazy!! No sense of urgency down there – unless there’s a threat of a hurricane! ๐Ÿ™‚

  33. AMY!!!! How fun is that?! I am so glad you went. That book was incredible and cannot wait for the movie to come out. Gives me chills. Isn’t Cicely Tyson in it?? I heard that somewhere and LOVE her!

  34. I could totally hear that conversation in my head, lol! Gotta love the Deep South. Too bad it was Mississippi and not the movie they’re filming in my little Louisiana town–we could’ve met up for lunch. ๐Ÿ™‚

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