Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Home again... for a little while

We had a nice time in Amarillo last week.  We took my sister to see Cadillac Ranch.

Everyone writes their names on these buried cars.  It's very colorful.  I am told every once in a while the owners spray them solid again and it starts over.  There is no telling how many layers of paint are on these vehicles!

We also went out to Palo Duro Canyon and saw the play "Texas".  It was very good and I recommend that if you are in the area you check this out.  The canyon is beautiful and to have a play there among its beauty is something everyone should experience.

The stage before the play started.  They don't allow pictures during the show. they used those canyon walls for backdrops for the lasers and holographs.
 We were one of the first to sit down.  Believe me every seat was filled. My only complaint was I wish they had more comfortable seats.

These were some of the horses used in the play.  They graciously let Ashlynn get on one of the horses. She was sure she was a cowgirl that day!

Now that we are home it's time to start planning our next trip.  We have a few things to tend to first.  We need to get our passports and fix a leak in the generator.  Don't know if it is oil or diesel.  Will have to check it out.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Just wanted to touch base

Since we have been home there isn't much to write about.  My daughter-in-law and granddaughter arrived the other day and I have been enjoying their company.  We will load up a U-haul of things that were her mothers and take them back to Amarillo at the end of the week.  She will then fly to Atlanta for a writers convention and we will keep Ashlynn while she is gone. ( Our son works nights.)   So we will be on the road again, but this time we will go by car and U-haul.
Speaking of U-haul, I didn't know it could be so difficult to try and rent one of those.  It seems they don't keep them at the rental stores, you put in your request for what you want and when you want it.  You then give them a credit card and they make a "reservation" for you.  If they have or can get what you wanted they will call you.  Gee, we need a truck by friday! We won't know till hopefully tomorrow if they can get one for us or not.  If they can't, that doesn't leave much time for us to find another one somewhere else! BUMMER!!!  We don't have any other rental places here in town.  Looks like we may have to drive to Little Rock if they don't come through for us.
We also looked at headstones today for her mother.  They make some really pretty ones and I wasn't aware of how great the cost was.  I guess Doug and I need to think about things like that.   We need to make arrangements for our funeral and headstone.  No one wants to do it, but someone has to and I guess it would be better for us to get it all settled than to leave it for the boys to try and figure out what we would have wanted.
You know, getting old sucks!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Home again

Betsy is back in her "stall"

House is the same, just needs some attention!

The apple tree has apple for now.  A squirrel was running off with one when I took this picture!
This grew while we were gone. Don't know what it is?

We are home again and most of the unpacking has been done.  I still have to empty the refrigerator.  It's good to be home but I like my bed in the motorhome so much better.  I woke up this morning with aching hips, back and shoulder.  I need a new mattress or to just sleep in the motorhome all the time. (hmm not a bad idea)

I worked on my balance sheet to see how much we spent on this trip.  We were gone 4 weeks.  We used  124.482 gal of diesel, traveled 1906.7 miles.  Our total cost for RV campgrounds for the month was $818.66.  I didn't keep up with food cost because we would eat no matter where we were. (of course)  LOL

I hope everyone had a safe, happy 4th celebration.  Went to my sisters house to eat burgers and watch the fireworks.
They had some great big beautiful ones.  My camera wasn't very good at capturing them.
One of the small ones!

Everyone watching!

My daughter-in-law and granddaughter will fly into town on Monday and I am very excited about that. They will be here for a week and then we go back to Amarillo with them for a week.  We are going to keep Ashlynn while Lori goes to a writers convention in Atlanta.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Last day in Vicksburg.

Part II  Military Park

We drove through the Vicksburg National Military Park and saw the U.S.Cairo.  This driving tour is 16 miles long.

There are plenty of plaques that explain all the battles in each area.

Each state that had soldiers in the war has put up monuments in honor of those that fought and died.  This is the memorial for Arkansas soldiers.  One of the largest and prettiest was from Illinois.  When the government told each state they could build these monuments,  the northern states built big beautiful ones right away.  Because of the loss of economy in the south, most were small or not built for many many years.

This is the Union ironclad gunboat Cairo.  It was sunk in the Yazoo River in 1862.

 Over 100 years later it was brought up and put back together like a mammoth jigsaw puzzle.
This was well worth the $8 per car for entrance into the park.  Give yourself a couple of hours (or more) to see everything there.

Tomorrow we head toward home.  It's been a month and it seems like we left yesterday.  I am still not ready to go home.  We have had a real good time and seen and done a lot of things.   It' was a "good thing".  LOL

Vicksburg, Ms.

We moved on to Vicksburg yesterday.  The only thing I didn't like about where we stayed in Natchez was their wifi.  It was almost useless.  I was using our hotspot most of the time.  Then I ran out of that.  I have 6GB  who would have thought that I would use all that.  My plan recharges (lol) on the 4th so I only have a few days that I am dependent on the campgrounds wifi.  We are staying at Ameristar Campround/Casino.  They have great wifi so that shouldn't be a problem here.
There is free shuttle service to and from the casino and their restaurants.  We used it last night to go to their Bourbon Steakhouse.  The food was good and the atmosphere very quiet. (Casinos tend to be noisy. Lol)

I need to back up to Natchez for a minute.  I forgot to tell you about the Natchez Trace.  We only drove about 15 miles of it.  It is a very pretty drive.  There are no commercial vehicles on this road so there is little traffic.  Make sure you have gas because there is NO commercial anything on this road.  It goes all the way to Nashville if you are so inclined. There are historical markers along the way for you to stop and see.

 On one of them there was also a small cemetery.   There was a large number of children from one family buried there.

These were so sad.  It was a set of twins.  They were 11 years old.  I wonder if they died of yellow fever.  It seems that was the case with a lot of people of that time.  Agnes was the first to die.  (Jan.) Notice the two doves on top of her headstone.  They died in 1862, could it have been war related?

This is her sister, Sarah's headstone she died 11 months later (Dec.).  Notice the doves on top of the headstone.  Here they are both dead. Symbolism???  There were several other children even younger that were buried there.  A very hard time to live in, for all.

This is the actual trail going out into the woods that they traveled.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Natchez Part II

Natchez, Ms.  Part II
Stanton Hall 
Friday, June 28, 2013

Today we toured Stanton Hall.  It was built in 1857 for cotton magnate Frederick Stanton.  This home has silver door knobs and hinges! It also has two of the largest mirrors I have ever seen.  (7‘x17’)  They came from Paris, France. This home was used in the filming of North and South.  It was the plantation home of Patrick Swayze’ character.  He stayed in the home while filming. It is very ornate and has the largest collection of one style of furniture in one place. (of course I can’t remember the designers name, I do remember that he was from New York and the furniture was a carved, curved wood.  Hows that for being technical) I wish that they would let you take pictures inside the house.


We also toured Longwood today.  This is the largest octagonal house in America.  It was begun in 1860 for cotton planter Haller Nutt.  The octagonal rotunda is open to the entire six stories and crowning the whole is a Byzantine-Moorish dome with a 24 foot finial!  By 1861 they had completed what is seen now.  The Civil War started and most of the workers were from the north.  They dropped their tools and fled to the north.  Their buckets, oil cans, and tools are where they left them.  Mr. Nutt and some local craftsmen finished the basement.  He and  his family lived in the basement.  He died in 1864 and his wife lived there until her death in 1897.  This was my favorite home that I have seen. It’s odd shape and design was fascinating.  It was designed so that a light tunnel went from the top dome to the basement.  These “windows” were to be designed into the floor pattern.

The boxes on the floor cover the light tunnels so that you can see where they would have been in the floor.  The alcoves in each corner was going to be for statues.  All of the brick would have been covered with plaster.

I am looking up to the unfinished floors above.  This is just as it was left.

This is the second floor plan.

This is the front door entrance that was never used.  All of this brick would have been covered.

These bottom columns and the porch below are the only parts of the house that have the plaster over the bricks. It would have been painted and scored to look like large marble blocks.

Make sure you see this if you are in the area.