Monday, June 30, 2014

Stones, Coke & News

June 30, 2014  
Jim Miller Park
Marietta, GA

We are now in the Atlanta area and since there is so much too see we will probably stay until the Forth of July.

Saturday we drove out to Stone Mountain Park.  It is a beautiful park with lots of very nice trails.

Near the end of the day we decided to take the Skyride to the top of Stone Mountain.  It was a very nice ride up and the views were wonderful. 

 While we were at the top, a loudspeaker came on to inform everyone that the Skyride was shut down until the thunderstorm and lightning passed by.  It was not very comforting to know that lightning strikes the tallest thing and we wouldn't be going down anytime soon.

Yesterday we went to see some of the sights in downtown Atlanta. Naturally we couldn't visit Atlanta and not see the World of Coca-Cola.

This downtown park was a very busy place on such a nice day.

On the other side of the park is CNN headquarters.  This very large atrium used to be the site of an ice skating rink.  Now it is stores and a food court.

This escalator (white structure) is eight stories tall and ends inside a very large globe of the world.

I felt like we were in the enemy's camp during the tour.  Do you think we would have been treated as spies if they found out that our daughter works for Fox TV?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

POWs & Peanuts

June 26, 2014  
Brickyard Plantation
Americus, Georgia

This morning we drove to Andersonville to view the Civil War prison site.  We were somewhat surprised to find out the visitor center was the site of the National Prisoner of War Museum.  While there was some information on Andersonville, the museum also covered POWs from the Revolutionary War to present.  It is   an excellent museum with very well done exhibits.

This was part of a large memorial dedicated to all POWs.

A small part of the prison has been reconstructed.

After Andersonville we drove over to Plains, GA to visit the Jimmy Carter Historic Site.   This is the "main" street in Plains.  I don't think there were more than about a dozen storefronts in the entire town.

This is the old train depot that served as the Carter campaign headquarters.  This building was used because it was the only available building with an indoor bathroom.  Earlier a small trainload of tourists had arrived in town.  We were in a small store browsing when the owner said she had to step outside for a few minutes.  The train was leaving and all the towns folk went outside to wave good-bye as the tourists departed. 

There were many sites to see here.  The Jimmy Carter Museum was in the old high school.   The Carter farm is where Jimmy Carter grew up in "rural" Plains about 8-10 miles from "town".  We are planning to go to his presidential library when we get to Atlanta.

Billy Carter's Gas Station

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Savannah, Rain, Charleston

June 24, 2014  
Red Gate Campground
Savannah, Georgia


We arrived in Savannah fairly early yesterday and decided to go down to the historic district before dinner.  The large oak trees in the public squares and the architecture 
of the restored houses were gorgeous.

This is a "Your Choice" police cruiser.  If you have been drinking, you can use the yellow door and for $20 you will receive a ride home.  If you are caught driving under the influence, you use the white door (front seat) and pay an $1800 fine.

At the end of the day we were exploring City Market and looking for an interesting place for dinner when it started to rain - and I mean RAIN.  We got back to the camper as quickly as possible.  Before morning, between 6 3/4" and 10 1/2" fell in Savannah.  Do you have any idea how long a bath towel takes to dry after a shower when you get 10" of rain?  I am desperate enough that I may have to get the hair dryer out tomorrow.

Today we made a side trip to Charleston to see Ft. Sumter.  We visited some other historic sites in the area before starting back to the camper.  About 5 miles from Savannah it started to RAIN and it has continued all through the evening.  I hope the camper doesn't sink into the ground during the night.  Tomorrow we are heading inland and hopefully away from all this humidity.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Forts, Coast Guard and Shrimp

June 22, 2014  
Coastal Georgia RV Park
Brunswick, Georgia

In between thunder showers, we drove out to Jekyll Island and St. Simon Island.  Both islands are covered with very large oak trees and many moss covered low hanging branches. 

We visited some of the sites including Fort Frederica and the historic Coast Guard Station.


We saw lots of people fishing, but no one was catching.

We spent most of our time in a seafood restaurant enjoying some of the local shrimp.  It's always our waistlines that suffer the most on these trips.

Possums, Beaches & Smokin' Pigs

June 20, 2014  
Florida Springs RV Campground
Bonifay, Florida

We were on our way to Savannah, but decided to spend the night in the Florida panhandle to see some of the local sights.

We wouldn't want to miss
Wausau, Florida, the self proclaimed "Possum Capital of the World".  A monument at the town's crossroads pays tribute to the possum who, in times of need, provided food and fur for the local residents.

The "monument" is a small enclosed corner of a yard with benches and a wrought iron fence.  Evidently, people use the benches when contemplating possums or recipes.  Anywhere in the country, when a strolling possum becomes roadkill, it faces Wausau before it's final demise.

We also continued on down the road to Panama City Beach.

On the way back to the camper we didn't see many eating places on this country road so when we saw a smokin' pig we didn't pass it up.  Apparently this was a carry out place because the only seating was a porch swing with a sign that said "Employees Only".  Even so, we thoroughly enjoyed the delicious bar-b-que pork while we had a picnic in the truck.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

More Navy Stuff

June 19, 2014  
Meaher State Park
Spanish Fort, Alabama

A drive over to Pensacola to see the National Museum of Naval Aviation was on the agenda for today.  Guess Dave didn't get his fill of Navy things yesterday.
As soon as we walked in the door Dave saw a model of the USS Essex (the ship Dave was on).  As if that wasn't enough, sections of the Essex were also on display on the second floor.  Dave had another trip back to his youth today.  

This is a gigantic museum and another complete building had recently been opened.   


Dave is coming out of the presidential helicopter.  
Look carefully and you can see President Nixon at the window.

I was ready to quit when the tour guide asked Dave if he wanted to take a trip out to the flight line to see more planes.  I wasn't thrilled when Dave said "Sure."  I was beginning to think we would be spending the night.

Even the benches outside said "Fly Navy".

Battleships, Subs, Planes and Alligators

June 18, 2014  
Meaher State Park
Spanish Fort, Alabama

Today we drove along the Gulf of Mexico to Mobile, Alabama.  We are camped on the east side of Mobile Bay right across the bay from the USS Alabama.  It's a nice park and we  were lucky to get a site that backed right up to the water.

After quickly setting up the camper, we hurried over to the USS Alabama for a tour before the thunderstorms arrived.

The ship had three different tours: the red one, the yellow one and the green one.         
After doing ALL THREE tours I found out there was also a submarine, the USS Drum, and a large hanger full of planes to tour.

We made it back to the camper just before a large thunderstorm hit.

After dinner we walked out to the fishing pier to see the sunset.  We were talking to some fishermen when one of them got a hit.  Before he could land the fish a 12' Alligator tried to get an easy meal.

The gator positioned himself so he was in striking distance for anyone fishing or crabbing and patiently waited for his next chance at dinner.  The pier was lighted so we watched him for quite a while.  Unfortunately it was too dark for a photo.  

The next morning we saw a sign behind the camper that we had missed the day before.  We also discovered why the locals didn't park on the bayside sites.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Sunshine and Surf

June 17, 2014  
Buccaneer State Park
Waveland, Mississippi

When we left Arizona, one of the places we definetely wanted to see was the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida.  This morning we left Vicksburg and drove down to the Gulf of Mexico. 

Our campsite was right on the water and we had a lovely view of the Gulf.

 This was the view out our back window.  I was surprised at the warm temperature of the water.  It was about the same temperature as the water that comes out of an Arizona cold water faucet in the summer.

Monday, June 16, 2014

War, Tomatoes and Pig Lips

June 16, 2014
Ameristar Vicksburg RV Park
Vicksburg, Mississippi


We wanted to see the Vicksburg Battlefield site so we made a stop in this historic town.

After looking at all the Army fortifications, Dave was pleased to see the Navy represented.  The USS Cairo was a Union ironclad that was sunk early in the Civil War.

After 100 years, the Cairo was located and parts of it were slowly brought to the surface.  The Park Service restored it to the point that visitors can walk through it.

Seven identical ships were built in 100 days.  These ships were considered state of the art at the time.

I was looking forward to lunch since some of the locals had all recommended a local eatery, the "Tomato Place". 



We were a little skeptical when we drove up.  It was a converted produce stand with lots of character, but we had delicious sandwiches on homemade bread with fresh squeezed orangeade.  We bought fresh tomatoes and peaches on the way out.

On the way back to the camper, we stopped at Walmart for a loaf of bread.  Only at a Mississippi Walmart would you find large economy size jars of "Pickled Pigs Lips" sharing the shelf with pickled pigs feet and pickled eggs.

Ducks and Crime

June 14, 2014
Lincoln Parrish Park
Ruston,  Louisiana

Today we wandered down some back roads to explore the sights of the area.  Gibsland's claim to fame is that it was the site of the ambush and death of Bonnie and Clyde.  The museum was certainly in a category by itself. As with most of the quality museums, no photography was allowed so we only have a photo of the entrance to document this educational experience. 

It was sort of a do it yourself type of place but proved to be very entertaining.  The owner, Boots Hinton, is the son of the local deputy sheriff who participated in the ambush.  After about 1300 rounds were fired into Bonnie and Clyde's car and  they had met their demise, the six law enforcement officers proceeded to search the car and remove all the weapons while the two bodies were slumped in the front seat.  While all of this was going on, Boots' father was filming everything with a 16 mm camera.  It was very interesting to see the film and hear the stories from Boots.  Some of the "artifacts" were the shirt that Clyde was wearing complete with bullet holes, Bonnie's hat, autopsy photos, pieces of glass and part of the seat from the "death car". 

  For a change of pace, we also visited the Duck Commander Warehouse (from Duck Dynasty fame).  The walkway up to the front door was marked with duck footprints so you wouldn't get lost.



We didn't see anything we couldn't live without but we did have a nice lunch at Willie's Duck Diner.

We know we are in the south when all of the meat is blackened and the side dishes are okra and Jambalaya.