Friday, November 30, 2012

11/27-12/5 EZ Daze RV Park, Southaven, MS

view from Tom Lee Park.
This is a nice friendly park with lots of pull-thrus.  Yay.  The first night in town, we had tacos at Mama Jane's house with our friend Barb, and her cousin Lisa, and Lisa's husband Steve.  Mama Jane is Barb's mom, and we see her during her visits at Barb's and at South Padre the last couple of years.
BB King's on Beale Street

Barb took us on a tour of Memphis the next day.  We saw Tom Lee Park, right on the mighty Mississippi, we wandered on Beale Street and ate at Corky's BBQ.  We saw the outside of the Pink Palace Museum, toured the Victorian Village, and the Mud Island homes.  It was great.  Barb went home to KC the next day, so we were on our own from there.
part of Victorian Village

We visited the Memphis Zoo and had a great time.  A lot of the warm-weather animals were already housed for the winter, but the giraffes were out and having a gallop.

The next day we were picked up in the bus for the Memphis Best Tours.  We saw St. Jude Children's hospital, The Peabody Hotel (and the ducks), drove by Sun Studio and the Pyramid (which is to become a Bass Pro Shop).  We ate lunch at the Rum Boogie Cafe on Beale Street.  Then we spent some time at Graceland and saw all things Elvis!  Cathy purchased a pair of Elvis socks with rhinestones!  Steve liked the cars best.
Eagle in his pond!

Who is observing whom?
Another day took us to Collierville, TN with lunch at the Silver Caboose.  They even have a soda fountain!  We also visited the Tunica River Park.  We could see there that the water was waaaay down!

Steve took another day to visit Barb's friend Dan, and his home full of Coca Cola memorabilia.  All in all, a great time here!

Tunica River Park Dock

11/26-11/27 Road Runner RV Park, West Plains, MO

We stopped here overnight on our way to Memphis.  Much warmer than KC!!!

10/28-11/26 Walnut Grove RV Park, Merriam, KS

Well, here we are at our "home" park!  Back into our favorite spot.  Immediately started going out with friends...we are really into the socializing, especially Steve.  (Just ask him what his favorite beer is).

Doctors, dentists, financial advisors, and veterinarians were all visited this month and everyone got a clean bill of health. (and get to stay retired, for now).

Took a couple of trips back to Nebraska to visit some new arrivals, Jackson Colton and Maxson Colton.  They are second cousins to each other.  The next trip was for Thanksgiving, and Cathy's nephews from Chicago (Joe) and New York (Jon) were there, with Jon's fiancee, Rachael.  I hope everyone had as much fun as we did!

We were also able to participate in a friend's retirement celebration! That was fun.  Other friend traveled to KC from NE and we had a card night for a couple of days!!

10/22-10/28 The Creeks, Cave Springs, AR

Well, our first day of touring was a bust!  Cathy wanted to visit the Logan Cave Wildlife Refuge, which besides being in the deepest boonies, has no public is truly a refuge for wildlife and no one is allowed in.  Huh!  Then we went to the River Glen Feline Rescue...which of course has long closed its doors!  On to the Siloam Spring Museum.  (Steve thought Cathy didn't know from Shiloh...fooled him).  Then on to Cabela's to look for some chairs, which are no longer made, of course!!!
some of the cannon at Pea Ridge

Eureka Springs
Thorncrown Chapel
Day two was a little bit better, as we toured the Pea Ridge National Military Park, Eureka Springs, Thorncrown Chapel, and had BBQ at Bubba's!

Steve took a day to bike around the Crystal Palace grounds and visit the library.

Crystal Bridges
Crystal Bridges Complex
We also went to the Walmart Visitor Center in Bentonville, in the Walton 5 and dime.  They have some great stuff in there, and I even remember some of it.  We bought a wax mustache and red lips!  Remember those??

Our tour of Crystal Bridges was wonderful.  It is full of American artists, including Norman Rockwell, Georgia O'Keefe and others.  Fabulous place!

10/14-10/22 Catherine's Landing, Hot Springs, AR

We met up with our mentors, Paul and Mary, again here!  Very nice park we are staying at.  Steve is happy they sell ice cream at the lodge!

This was once a hospital.
We all toured Hot Springs National Park, which, unlike most parks, is right downtown, and even consists of some of the old bath houses.  There are faucets all along the street and you can fill up your containers with either hot or cold spring water.  Now all the springs are covered and controlled, so the water stays clean.  Lunch at Taco Mama...great chimis!!

We all took in the Baths at Quapaw.  While all the others lounged in the 4 heated pools of differing temperatures, Cathy treated herself to a massage and facial.  A fabulous time was had by all.  A quick look at the rest of the downtown area, and we called it a day.  There are some beautiful buildings down here.

Paul and Mary, taking a break.

view from the Gardens
We all toured Garvan Gardens, including the Anthony Chapel, and by the time we were through it, we were all pooped!  But we persevered, and at Q at the famous McClard's BBQ.  Boy were we stuffed when we left there!  Then on to a tour of Hot Springs Village, which is another retirement type village like the one in Hardy.  Still not convinced that it is for us.

A tour of Lake Catherine State Park, and a final dinner at Colton's Steakhouse was enjoyed by all.

10/11-10/14 Downtown Riverside Park, North Little Rock, AR

view from our park
Wow, this is a great park right on the river and next to the pedestrian/bike bridge from North Little Rock over to Little Rock proper.  Steve took a bike tour on the Arkansas River Trail immediately!

state capitol building
We toured the State Capitol building and took a trip to see Little Rock Central High School, and the National Historic Site that they built there.
Central High School
Clinton Library

 Steve took in the Clinton Presidential Library.  Very informative, even for a Republican
Just a cool car we saw downtown!

10/4-10/11 Wagon Circle RV Park, Heber City, AR

Wow.  This campground is wide-open.  We took a spot far from anyone, and Dottie could roam to her heart's content!

Our first night here was kind of a disaster.  The power kept tripping the surge protector!  If you sleep with a noise machine or a fan, you know about waking up at once when it goes silent!  We called the owner over in the morning, and he was sure that any surge would trip his own breakers!  He was so insistent, that he got Steve to plug into his power WITHOUT the surge protector.  WHAT A DISASTER!!!!!  We blew out the microwave and the sound machine was toast.

We moved to another spot without any problems, and we hopefully learned our lesson about why we have a surge protector in the first place!!

Steve was busy touring the JFK Overlook to Greers Ferry Lake, and the Dam visitors center, and The Little Red River.  He then toured Sugar Loaf Mountain and Josh Park Memorial Trail.

Steve and Cathy went to find Bridal Veil Falls, but after hiking for an hour, there was no water and no falls!
Then we decided to visit the courthouse, but court was in session and it was BORING!!

Interesting sign downtown!

We enjoyed a campfire, and saw our first ever shooting star!

9/30-10/4 Hardy City Campground, Hardy, AR

This is a very interesting little town.  Our campsite backs up to the Spring river and the walking trail, so we see a lot of folks walking their dogs.  We ate dinner at an authentic (yes, really!) English pub run by a transplanted Blimey and his wife.  Authentic bangers and mash, and fish and chips.

We toured Mammoth Spring State Park, and saw the spring.  9 million gallons of water an hour flow from here.  They used to have an electric generating plant here, but now only the rusted out equipment can be seen.

We also toured Cherokee Village, which is a large retirement village.  It is HUGE, with 5 lakes and roads with names that all sound alike.  Don't think this is the place for us.

We took a kayak trip up the river to the falls (took forever, even though the river isn't flowing very fast) and then back down.  Steve let Cathy off about halfway, and she slogged her way home carrying her paddle.  Steve forgot where he left the truck, so his trip downriver and then back up, was longer than he had planned.

9/23-9/30 Lost Horizons RV Park, Owensville, MO

Well, after just sitting in on a seminar on wide-turning and safe driving, Cathy turned too sharp in the RV Park, and clipped a boulder beside the road.  Not much rig damage, but she sheared off the valve stem on one of the new RV tires and it went flat as a pancake.  The very nice maintenance guys at the park came down and changed the tire to the spare, Steve took the tire into town and got the valve stem fixed, and then he got it jacked up and switched out the tire again.  All in all, not a big deal.  Cathy was glad about that, or she never would have heard the end of it!

We toured the Capitol in Jeff City.  What a beauty!  All the walls are painted with murals.  One of the best buildings we have seen so far.

Steve took the Katy trail home on his bike, and Cathy picked him up in Hermann.  Another day, Cathy drove him to Washington, and he rode the other way to Hermann.

9/16-9/23 Escapees Escapade, Sedalia, MO

This was a fun-filled week.  We learned some new things at the seminars, got to see Yakov Smirnov perform, and listened to our mentors, Paul and Mary, derail some myths about how inexpensive full-time rving can be.  YOUR EXPENSES MAY VARY!!!

We got our rig weighed again, as we purchased our new truck after the last weigh-in.  We are still 100 pounds overweight!  Steve had some suggestions on how to reduce the weight, but Cathy isn't sure about some of them.

Steve took the opportunity after the Escapade to ride on the Katy trail with his bicycle.  He seems determined to ride all the way.  It runs from here to St. Louis.

I can't believe we didn't take any pictures!!!

9/9-9/16 Osage Beach RV Park, Osage Beach, MO

We reconnected with friends Loren and Karla from South Padre Island.  They have a great place at Sunrise Beach.  We ate fresh caught fish and other munchies and took a lake tour on their boat!

Steve took the opportunity to do some hiking and biking around Ha Ha Tonka State Park.  Cathy did mundane things around the RV.

Steve also went to a car and bike show.  I guess this is a hybrid!

9/2-9/9 Branson Stagecoach, Branson, MO

Had a great time here, as our friend Barb drove through on her way from Memphis to Kansas City!  We went to the Grand Jubilee Show, and were favorably impressed.  We also went into the lake on the ducks!  We quacked the whole way, as we got some very stale jokes from the tour guide.  On the island in the lake are a lot of WW2 vehicles and he was very informative in telling us what they were and what they were used for.

After Barb left, Steve and Cathy boarded the Showboat Branson Belle for the dinner cruise.  Of course it was raining and pitch black, so it seemed just like any other dinner show.  We also saw the Shanghai Acrobats!  They were fun to watch.  Found out they are only here for 1 year, and then they all have to go back to China, to be replace by another bunch.

Also went shopping in the outlet mall!  One whole mall is now empty except for the Crocs store, which will be moving as soon as their new space is ready.  Found out that the city bought the whole property, but don't know what they are going to do with it.

8/29-9/2 City RV Park, Chanute, KS

Stayed around after picking up our new leather furniture, until it was time to go to Branson.  Nothing very exciting around here!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

8/24 - 8/29 Lincoln, NE

Well, we are back at Mom's house for a few days.  It is fun to visit family for no special occasion.  Dottie likes the fenced in back yard!!!

8/22 - 8/24 Jellystone RV Park, Sioux Falls, SD

We visited Falls Park, which is where the city's name came from.  We also toured the Courthouse Museum and the Pettigrew Home and Museum.  Mr. Pettigrew wanted the city to grow, so he invited journalists from "Back East" for a visit and hopefully a good write-up.  Since the river was down, he had it dammed up for 4 weeks before the journalists got there, so the falls would be full for their visit.  It worked!!!...the pictures showed the falls to perfection, and the city grew!  We also saw some of the sculptures around the downtown.
Mr. Pettigrew added onto the house for his museum, and faced it with Petrified Wood from what is now a National Park!
The Old courthouse has murals painted on all the walls.  The same painter did all of them for $500.00 in the '20s.

this place has the BEST grilled cheese sandwiches, EVER.