Sunday, September 8, 2013


Thursday, Aug 22 - We are back at TT Chesapeake Bay!!  Have not been here since July 2010 when we left for places unknown:  Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho,Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona!!  We are back after three wonderful years of traveling!!!

More Blog news later!!!


Tuesday and Wednesday, Aug 20 and 21 - Stasia lives only about 60 miles from Barry.  However, there is no place in Goldsboro to stay with the RV.  So, we left Tuesday morning and headed for a Passport America campground in Wilson, NC, about 30 miles from Goldsboro.  Stasia and her husband Gene came over to our campground after work and we went to Chili's for dinner.  How did I forget to take pictures!!???!!  When I remembered, as we were leaving, no one was in the mode!!

On Wednesday morning, I joined Stasia and participated in her Senior Games Day!!  I played Shuffle Board and Corn Hole but only did average in each!!  After all, I'm a Pickleball Player!!  HA HA!!

Stasia explaining Shuffle Board rules to a couple of participants!

In addition to the Shuffle Board and Corn Hole, they had Wi Bowling and Table Tennis and maybe other games I have forgotten!  After the games, box lunches were served to all participants.

After the games we went to the nearby Senior House that was recently opened on the grounds of the Goldsboro Parks and Recreation where Stasia is in charge of the Senior Program.  The Senior House is open for seniors to come by for luncheons, card games, library, TV, etc., etc., etc.!!

Here is Stasia with the "Hostess" of the House.

Gene and Stasia recently bought a really neat sports car - Mazda something or other.  Since it was raining, again (doesn't rain in Southern California!!), so I took their picture in the garage!!  Stasia with her beauty queen wave!!

A member of the family -- Labradoodle Jake!!

After dinner by Chef Gene, we finally posed for the family legs portrait!

Oh, No!!  The fun is over and the problems begin.  Knew it was too good to be true that we had made it all the way across country with no RV problems!!

As we were leaving our campground on Thursday morning, Aug 22, we discovered our driver's side tail lights did not work.  In fact, we discovered that the new tail pipe extension had worked loose and the heat from the exhaust had melted the tail light assembly and wiring!!!  We decided to take a chance and finish our trip to TT Chesapeake Bay.  We would take care of the problem when we were back home!!!


Sunday and Monday, Aug 18-19 - When in Raleigh, we stay at the State Fairgrounds Campground.  The last time we were there, May 2010, the camping area was small and far from ideal.  We were really surprised to learn that the Fairgrounds now have 300-500 campsites with 50 Amp full hook-up!  $25/night.

We did not have far to travel so we arrived early enough to have Sunday brunch with Barry's family.  We went to the Sunday breakfast buffet at Tir Na Nog - a favorite!!  UUMMMMM!

The family:  Ken, Faye, Thomas, MaryAnne, Barry!!

Later in the day, Barry rode his bike from his home to our campground.  Ken drove while I showed my bravado and rode on the back of Barry's bike!!  What fun!!  Scary but fun!!

Still later in the afternoon, we all went to the barn where Thomas boards his horse Chello and watched Barry put his horse through his paces!

I did not got to the Greensboro, NC horse show later in August, but Barry sent me picture of Thomas and Chello!  WOW!!  Proud Grandmother!!!


Saturday, Aug 17 - I had hoped to make it from Lebanon to my son's home in Raleigh, NC but the distance was just too far.  So we stopped over at TT Forest Lakes in Lexington, NC.  We arrived after 5 PM in the pouring down rain!  There were only a few sites vacant, so that was a lot of fun, finding a site and hooking up in the rain!!

By next day the rain had stopped for our enjoyable trip to Raleigh!


Friday, Aug 16 - Today we drove to Nashville, TN.  We have been here before but when we were here, the Ryman Auditorium, original home of the Grand Ole Opry, was closed for renovation 1993-95.  We wanted to take this opportunity to tour the old theatre.  We decided to park the RV at a small truck stop off I-40, Exit 212, and drove to the Ryman.

Unfortunately, when I spoke with the Nashville Visitor Information I inquired about touring the Grand Ole Opry, thinking it was still housed at the Ryman Auditorium.  We followed their directions, 10 miles north to the Grand Ole Opry Convention Center.  As we were traveling North on SR 155, Briley Parkway, I mentioned to Ken that I thought the Ryman was down town!  When we arrived at the Convention Center I knew we were in the wrong place!  I immediately called the Nashville Visitor Information again and asked for information on touring the Ryman Auditorium.  Discovered their last tour was at 4 PM and they did have space available.  It was now 3 PM.

Following their directions, we drove 10 miles south on SR 155, Briley Parkway, passed right I-40, Exit (you guessed it!) Exit 212!!  Then we drove the four miles to the Ryman.

The auditorium first opened as the Union Gospel Tabernacle in 1892. It was built by Thomas Ryman (1843–1904), a riverboat captain and Nashville businessman who owned several saloons. Ryman conceived of the auditorium as a tabernacle for the influential revivalist Samuel Porter Jones.  After Ryman's death, the Tabernacle was renamed Ryman Auditorium in his honor.

The Ryman Auditorium!

The Grand Ole Opry stage.

Looking up to the balcony.  The paneling in front of the balcony is the original panel.
Audiences at the Ryman find themselves sitting in pews, the 1994 renovation notwithstanding. The seating is a reminder of the auditorium's origins as a house of worship, hence giving it the nickname "The Mother Church of Country Music".

Original cast iron steps leading to the balcony.

A timeline was posted in the hallway outside the balcony, showing everyone who has performed on the Grand Ole Opry stage.

The balcony.  The beautiful stained glass windows were added during the renovation.

Exhibits of costumes worn by various performers.  June Carter and Johnny Cash displayed in the center picture.

During the tour we went to the various dressing rooms and back stage.  Of particular interest is the stage floor -- all new flooring installed in 1951.  However, in an effort to maintain continuity with the Opry's storied past, it retained a 36-inch lip of the blonde oak at the front of the stage.

We are so glad we made the effort to tour the old Auditorium!  Highly recommend it.

After the tour, we hooked up to the motor home and drove about 40 miles east of Nashville and stayed at a small campground in Lebanon, TN.


Wednesday, Thursday Aug 14-15 - We drove into North Little Rock, AR today and were pleasantly surprised to find the Downtown Riverside RV Park, a Passport America for which we had reservations.  This RV park was located right off the highway and on the Arkansas River.  We had full hook-up with 50 Amps for only $11/night.  We, between ourselves, voted this park one of "The Best of Passport America!!"

View of North Little Rock skyline from our RV.

View of Walking Bridge from our RV.  The bridge was closed to have lights installed.

Another view of the Walking Bridge.  Thank Goodness it was closed so we did not have to walk across it!!  HA HA

The Walking Bridge led right into the grounds of the Clinton Presidential Center Museum.

View of our campground across the river from the Clinton Presidential Center.

We drove across the river to tour the Clinton Presidential Center.  This was one thing we had planned for this stop on our cross-country journey.

The presidential limo.

The Oval Office.  A full-scale reconstruction of the Oval Office shows the room and its furnishings as they appeared during the Clinton administration.

The Presidential Seal in the rug in front of the President's desk.

Opposite end of the Oval Office.

Cabinet Room.  A full-scale replica of the White House Cabinet Room.  Ken at the far end!

Timeline.  Key events and highlights of the Clinton administration presented on a timeline.  Tooooo much reading for me!!

Replica of the Presidential dining table set for a formal dinner.

Oscar de la Renta has dressed many First Ladies -- Nancy Reagan, Laura Bush, and Hillary Clinton.  An Exhibit of Oscar de la Renta designs was in a wing of the Clinton Presidential Library.

I found a dress for myself!

Funny story!  I had asked the guide at the Clinton Museum if there was a trolley that would take us for a riding tour downtown.  He told us about the Streetcar stop on the next corner.  It just so happened that a streetcar was just arriving.  We raced over to see if we could board for a ride downtown.

The driver of the first car said he only went to Little Rock, but the next car covered both Little Rock as well as North Little Rock.  We decided to wait for the "better" car.  When we talked with that driver, he told us that he did indeed go to both Little Rock and North Little Rock.  Great!  How much?  75 Cents!!  But, he said, "We don't come back to this stop.  This is our last trip.  We will not be coming back."  "Do you mean you would just leave us downtown!!??  Do you mean the other streetcar would have taken us downtown and left us!!??!!"  So glad he happened to mention that little fact!!

We chose to go HOME!!


Tuesday, Aug 13 - Today we were in Oklahoma City, OK.  We stayed at the Elk's Lodge in Midwest City, OK.  I had wanted to have Happy Hour at Toby Keith's "I Hate This Bar" Bar, but we spent our time replacing our 50 Amp plug.  In other words, No Fun In Oklahoma City!!


Monday, Aug 12 - Our next stop was in Amarillo, TX.  Sue and Jack (of the 10-Pak) passed through Amarillo in June and after reading Sue’s Letter From The Road about the Cadillac Ranch, I told Ken WE had to stop at the Cadillac Ranch on our way into Amarillo.

I’ll let Sue tell you all about it in this excerpt from her Letter From The Road:

     Standing along Route 66 west of Amarillo, Cadillac Ranch was invented and built by a group of art-hippies imported from San Francisco. Their silent partner was Amarillo billionaire Stanley Marsh 3. He wanted a piece of public art that would baffle the locals, and the hippies came up with a tribute to the evolution of the Cadillac tail fin. Ten Caddies were driven into one of Stanley Marsh's fields, then half-buried, nose-down, in the dirt. They faced west in a line, their tail fins held high for all to see.

     That was in 1974. People would stop along the highway, walk out to view the cars -- then, sadly, deface them or rip off pieces as souvenirs. : ( Decades have passed. The Cadillacs have now been in the ground as art longer than they were on the road as cars. They are stripped to their battered frames, splattered in paint, barely recognizable as automobiles.

     Yet Cadillac Ranch is now more popular than ever. It's become a ritual site for those who travel The Mother Road.  Everyone now brings cans of spray paint to add to the art work!

We parked the RV on the side of the access road just off of I-40 and walked over to take a closer look.  We, of course, did not have any spray paint with us, but a nice young lady had leftover paint in her spray can and asked us if we would like to have it.  Of course we would!

 Ken adding his contribution!

Later we gave our spray can of paint to this couple passing by.

They offered to take our picture with Ken's art work - VCU for his son Mike's college basketball team!

It was a lot of fun spending a moment at The Cadillac Ranch, just off of I-40 in Amarillo, TX!


Another place mentioned by Sue in her newsletter was The Big Texan, "Home of the Free 72 Oz. Steak"  in Amarillo!!  That is where we went for dinner!

Ken standing on the porch before we went in.

The Big Texan is quite a BIG place!

Here we are enjoying our meal.

Not a 72 Oz. Steak but this rib eye was plenty big for me!  UUMMMMMM!!

The 72 Oz. Steak is only Free to those who can eat the entire steak with sides within 60 minutes!  Our table was next to the stage where contestants attempt the almost impossible feat!  I was disappointed because no one took the challenge while we were there.

You can't tell it here, but the table and chairs are up on a stage with the 60 minute count-down in red lights in the background.

We had a delicious, delightful time at The Big Texan!  If you are ever in Amarillo, you must give it a try.