Tuesday, April 21, 2015


We arrived home at noon on Monday. Pleasant drive from Chattanooga.  Obviously there had been a lot of rain late yesterday and overnight as all the creeks were high.  One exit was closed for flooding.  Our total mileage was about 3,000 miles.  The other measurements are of the priceless variety - beautiful flowers seen and enjoyed; enjoyed visit with friends; and lots of great food eaten.  Another measurement is 5 loads of laundry - we usually wash every 9-10 days when on the road but since this trip was about 2 weeks we packed not to do laundry - worked fine!

Glad to get home in time to enjoy our dogwoods.  Think they are as pretty as they have ever been.  Quite a few flowers blooming too. Oh my the grass and weeds have certainly grown in 2 weeks! Good to be home.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Jackson MS to Chattanooga TN

On the road by 8:30 ready for a 400+ mile day.  We considered driving all the way to Kingsport but since we are a day early anyway why make it a marathon driving day.  We made a reservation in Chattanooga and headed out. The sky was gray and we heard of tornadoes somewhere in Alabama.  We were unable to find anything in the areas we were headed for so started out but were keeping an eye on the weather.

Interstate driving is really boring after all the beauty we have seen the last couple weeks. We still had about 1/3 of Grey Mountain to hear.  There were still lots of flowers along the highway just not in the numbers that we had seen in TX.  All the creeks and rivers were full to overflowing.

By lunchtime we were in Tuscaloosa AL and saw the sign or the original Dreamland BBQ.  So we headed the couple miles off the interstate to find the BBQ.  We had read about it on our trip down to the gulf coast a couple years ago and it was well known in the state.  The original location only serves ribs and sausage - so that's what we had.  The ribs were pretty good but the sausage certainly did not measure up at all to the links in TX.  I guess you should not measure one type BBQ against another....It was crowded with all the tables full mostly with families at Sunday lunch.

Back on the road the sky continued to look threatening.  We were in and out of rain all afternoon.  Finished Grey Mountain - John Gresham tells a good story.  We are now listening to the beginning book in the CORP series by W E B Griffin.  I have read several of his books but not any of this series that tells the story of the Marines.

We are at a Red Roof Inn Plus in Chattanooga - brand new and seems nice,  We have never stayed in a Red Roof Inn before - using up some of our "points".  Not very hungry after the BBQ at lunch we went to an Applebee's  for Ben to have wings and Jane a salad.  During dinner we watched a severe thunderstorm.  Black skies and when we came out the sun was shining brightly and there was a huge rainbow.  Should have thought to take a panorama photo!

Tomorrow we head to home having our fill of driving, BBQ and maybe even flowers for a while! No, more flowers would be fine: but no more BBQ or driving for a bit.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Starting Home - Ennis TX to Jackson MS

Hard rain during the night!  About 10:30 several additional campers came in and set up camps.  Surprisingly when we were out for a few minutes and were amazed to see the sky lit up with lights from Dallas.  We then closed up for the night and the rain began shortly after.  Going to sleep with the rain on the metal roof is not a problem at all.

Dallas lights at High View Campground

This morning some of the campers from last night were gone - guess the rain did them in - but we had 4 other campers for the weekend.  It was clear when we got up but by the time we were leaving Ennis at 9:00 clouds were beginning to roll in.  I don;t believe I mentioned the bluebonnets at our campground.  They were blooming in most of the open fields in the park.
Blue bonnets at High View COE Park

 We headed northeast on TX 34 towards I 20 and our destination Jackson MS.

There were still some wildflowers along the interstate but primarily crimson clover and paintbrush - nothing to take photos of compared with yesterday.
Back to our book - we finished one book and started on John Gresham's Gray Mountain. Interesting book about coal mining in the Appalachian Mountains.

We stopped at an interesting spot for lunch - Counter Culture in Ruston Louisiana,  We had some excellent cajun soup and yogert.  Strange lunch you may say but it was tasty and we did not want anything heavy.

We caught up with the rain from last night and drove in rain most of the afternoon arriving about 3:30 in Jackson and our hotel room.  We did not see any restaurants near us that looked interesting so we drove to the nearby Cracker Barrel. Always easy to find something to eat there.

An early evening with posting the blog and maybe watching the news - have not really seen any news in a week! Nice vacation!

Dallas - Bush Library Museum and Ennis Blue Bonnets

We slept until 8 AM when Ben’s phone rang.  Being the only campers in an entire area makes for quiet sleeping.  The sky was gray but no rain expected – so we ate our wonderful kolaches from the Village Bakery and enjoyed leisurely cups of coffee and a walk around the loop.  There were already 3 sets of fishermen out on the lake.  We have certainly not missed out on any sleep on this vacation!

By 9:30 we were on our way into Ennis to get information on the Blue Bonnet Trails. They have a north and a south loop mapped out with a nice map and they say there are signs so you can’t get lost…there were two busloads of seniors coming in to the visitor center just as we left – seems they have been busy for weeks with visitors. 

There was not going to be sunshine today so we headed north about 35 miles to Dallas to visit the George W. Bush Presidential Library.  We have worked to avoid cities on this trip but it was unavoidable if we wanted to visit this museum. 
Dallas in Gray Fog
There was surprisingly light traffic up I 45 through Dallas to I 75 and our exit a SMU.  We drove right into the parking area, got parked and were in the Library-Museum in no time.  
George W. Bush Library and Museum
The exhibits were excellent and certainly brought back memories of times gone by – many that were very emotional – 911 and Katrina were both extremely difficult for our country. 
From 9 11

There was an exact to scale replica of the Oval Office.  I took photos but even tho they would photograph you or you could take your own photo at the President’s Desk – just did not seem right to sit there.  The room was smaller than I had expected or perhaps it was because there were a number of people in it. 

There were a variety of exhibits – serious, informational, as well as several that were funny.  One the daughters narrated that included lots of funny photos of their Dad was cute.  Technology was used throughout the exhibits.  One that was especially interesting was the Decision Points exhibit that discussed several of the difficult situations George Bush faced during his presidency.  Everyone in the room had a monitor and first voted on which situation to discuss….the majority of our group selected Katrina.   So Katrina was our situation.  Each of us had to use the monitor to listen to various opinions and information on our screens, occasionally we were interrupted on a big screen with updates on the situation. Then we had to vote on what we would decide to do- then last we were given the decision Bush made and why.  Certainly made you look at all sides of the situation. 
We had an excellent lunch at the 43 CafĂ© just outside the Library and returned to finish the exhibits. By about 2:00 we were finished and headed back through Dallas towards Ennis.  The sky had remained gray all  day and as we checked weather it was not going to be any better tomorrow- in fact might be worse.  So we checked the map and got off the Interstate at the northern end of one of the bluebonnet loops and drove it backwards towards Ennis.  We were not expecting much to be honest and were blown away with the fields of bluebonnets.  There were so many that we could even smell them – sort of like a heavy honeysuckle smell but very pleasant.  We enjoyed the drive and the flowers and scenery. 

In fact we even finished the southern loop too.  Finishing up about 4:15 back in Ennis at the Kolache Depot Bakery for more kolaches to have for breakfast tomorrow!

Back at camp we relaxed a while and cooked dinner – I brought 4 dinners to cook – my one pot variety for camping but we have had so much leftover BBQ that I have not needed to prepare any dinners until tonight! 
We had expected this campground to be filled for the weekend when we drove back in – still not one other camper in our loop.  As I am tying this at 8:30 two other groups have arrived so we will not be alone tonight.  The sites are spaced well though so we do not feel at all crowded like in some private RV parks.  Since it is probably going to rain tomorrow and we have driven the trails we are going to head home a day early.  Ben has a big inspection mid-week and this will give him a day to rest up from the driving.

Lockhart TX to Ennis TX Thursday

Quiet night and sleeping was great.  We left camp and headed to the McDonalds so that Ben could send a couple work emails and Jane could post the blog.  Last long trip we were on, McDonalds WIFI did not work where ever we were, – today it worked great.  A cup of coffee and 30 minutes of internet work and we drove back to Smitty’s.  Ben has a friend that begged him to bring some brisket to him – so we stopped and brought brisket and some links to put in the freezer – and since we were doing it anyway why not some for ourselves!  We came in a different way and saw the large smokestack on the back of the market.

Into the GPS went the address of High View COE Park near Ennis and off we went.  We programmed it to take back roads so we did not have to follow the interstates all the way.  We drove through Elgin, Taylor, and Temple.  Stopped for lunch under a tree in front of a Lutheran Church in a little town and then took I 35 right through the center of Waco.  There were Bluebonnets, Paintbrush, and Indian blanket as well as other wild flowers along the road.  Really pretty drive through rolling pasture land. Primarily ranches with corn and cattle.  Ben thought it was strange to see a cowboy riding along on his horse talking on his cell. 

One of the disadvantages of not being on interstates is occasionally you get behind something strange - we were behind 3 very long tractor trailers with bridge trusses for some time.  Finally they left but only after blocking the entire intersection for about 10 minutes.  I would not want to be driving one of those trucks.

Just north of Waco in the small town of West we stopped at the Village Bakery.  This is an area of Texas settled by the Czech and the Village Bakery was established in 1952 and claims to be the oldest Czech Bakery in Texas.  It has quite the reputation so it was on “the list” of places to stop.  My photo is poor but the baked goods are fantastic.  Jane has Apricot Kolache and Apple Strudel.  Ben has Strawberry Kolache and a Cherry Buchta – we only tasted as they are tomorrow’s breakfast!  Well Ben also had a Blueberry Scone that he ate on the road. Glenda you would have loved this place!

Just past West we left I 35 and headed east towards Ennis arriving at High View about 3 PM.  Our campsite is on a thin bit of land jutting out into Lake Bardwell.  We are right on the edge of the water in a lovely site.  There are two parts of the campground – one for larger RV’s with 50 amp power and then the area with 30 amp power.  We selected the 30 amp area and are the only people in the 15 campsite area.  So we have a quiet area with no one to share the nice bathhouse with!

About 4:30 we saw the sky getting very black – the wind blew hard – lightening all around us – there was some rain and lots of whitecaps on the previously peaceful lake.  After about an hour it was gone and the sun came back out.  There remains some wind and the temperature is much cooler than last night.

Supper was leftover Cooper’s Brisket and beans with one sausage link from Smitty’s.  Excellent the second time around! 

We made a thorough search to find the lost items and found them both in the trash can!  Luckily they were in the trash can in the front that had only some empty water bottles and a few other things in it.  How we did that I do not know – Jane’s chambray shirt and Ben’s bottle of TUMS !!!

Wrote the blog and will watch a movie from Ben’s computer and read tonight.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Lockhart TX

After our wonderful breakfast at Granny D’s we visited a little while more while Jane posted the blog.  Not sure when we will have an internet connection again.  We had a great visit with Tom and Mary Ann in Spring Branch and certainly thank them for their Texas hospitality.

We plugged Lockhart State Park into the GPS and off we went now east across some of the middle of Texas.  We still enjoyed paintbrush and bluebonnets along with other wild flowers all along the roads.  We passed by a couple lakes, through several small towns and the large town of San Marcos and finally arrived at Lockhart State Park. 

This is a rather small park with only 20 campsites but has a pool (not open yet) and a nice looking golf course. 

  Why did we pick out this out of the way park?  BBQ – Lockhart is one of several BBQ capitols of TX.  There are 4 major and several minor BBQ restaurants in Lockhart and a couple more in the nearby town of Luling.  We are maybe 60 miles east and north of San Antonio.  Maybe 50 miles south of Austin.  The state park has a map all printed up with the hours of each of the major BBQ restaurants and can tell you a bit about each.  Several are all run by members of the same family – we selected Smitty’s which is in the original building where BBQ has been smoked for generations. 

We selected a site and checked in – rested a while – read books – and really did nothing until about 4 when we drove into Lockhart – about 4 miles and got our BBQ.  We had brisket and some “hot links” their own sausage cooked over the coals.  Again you ordered directly from the pit and your meat was weighed and then you went inside with your meat on paper.  Inside a long room with tables and chairs you could select any sides you wanted – white bread, jalapenos, onions, beans, avocados, slaw, potato salad, and sauce.  We had seen people eating jalapenos straight before – but here they were just biting off the whole jalapeno – that was a first.  We had some beans, potato salad, and our meats.  The brisket and sausage were both good.  The sausage extremely good – never tasted anything like it. 

Made a couple phone calls while in town as the park has very spotty phone service.  Back at camp we finished our books, walked around, talked with people about our TN flag again and finally about 8:00 ate a few snacks and settled down to watch a TV show or two that Ben has loaded on his laptop. 

It is very quiet here.  Maybe 10 of the 20 sites are occupied.  Clear sky with lots of stars. 

Posting from McDonalds on Thursday morning.  We are headed to a Corp of Engineers Park on a lake near Ennis.  Ennis is south of Dallas and we will use it as a home spot to visit the George Bush museum on Friday and a Blue Bonnet Festival on Saturday .  Then we head east towards Tennessee. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Travel Day and Visiting Friends

We were up and away from Fredericksburg by 9:00 with two immediate goals. One the handle on our port-a-pottie broke forcing us to look for a new one - I guess 9 years is a good life.  So first stop was Wal-Mart in Fredericksburg...no try the bigger Wal-Mart in Boerne.  We drove through some very nice TX ranchland passing by Luckenbach .  If you had not visited it is worth a stop but we had been there. On we drove to Boerne and another Wal-Mart  - still no port-a-pottie.  This is TX with ever so many campers!  Next stop was a Bass Pro Shop which was sure to have one - but it is much too near San Antonio for us -- but we found it - in Fiesta - do you know what is in Fiesta TX - Six Flags Over TX - wow everything is there!  We had lunch in the Bass Pro restaurant and then found the Port-A-Pottie. Success on task one.

However before we left the Fredericksburg area we had a second goal - visit Wildseeds - a wildflower seed farm and store.  It was outstanding with fields of bluebonnets, poppies, and ever so many other flowers.  They had everything bluebonnet you could think of to purchase and an entire room of seeds and I bought entirely too many.  Let's hope they grow in TN - they did have wildflower seed packets that would grow in each part of the country.
Nice stop but you could have spent way too much $$$$!

Back to Bass Pro - lunch was great and with our shopping done we headed to Spring Branch and a visit with a couple that Ben had known since college days at North Carolina State.  We arrived in Spring Branch to spend some time with Tom and Mary Ann.  What a nice home they have with more bluebonnets in the yard!  We enjoyed conversation, a great dinner and a quiet night sleeping in our van beside their home.  They had traveled the country in their RV so installed an RV camping spot beside their home for their traveling friends.

Wednesday after a great nights sleep we drove to nearby Canyon Lake to Granny D's for breakfast.  We had been warned to only order one pancake and that was all anyone could eat - thank goodness we listened.  What pancakes they were - we each had one - some Carrot Cake, some Carmel Apple and mine Cinnamon Roll - and although we tried we have half of one pancake left for tomorrow.  I give them a 5 of 5 for pancakes!

Nice visit with Tom and Mary Ann but we were off for more TX adventures.
We are headed towards Lockhart which was a recommended BBQ stop by John and Dale.  Another beautiful blue day with temperature about 70 - what could be perfect. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Second day in Fredericksburg

What a beautiful day!  We had rain off and on all night and a very heavy mist hung in the air as we relaxed drinking coffee and planning our day.  By the time we were back at the Nimitz Museum to finish our tour it was beautiful. Quite the comparison to the gray skies of yesterday. You can just catch Ben as he heads in the door of the museum.

Being able to break the museum into two days really made a difference. More places like this should allow a two day window as it it difficult to absorb so much at one time.  This new gallery begins with the situation between China and Japan and clearly explains the world situation leading up to the bombing of Pearl Harbor.  Then it takes you through all the battles and ends with the surrender and dropping of the atomic bombs.  It is very well done.  Throughout the entire time you are reminded of the situation in Europe and back home in the USA.  Nimitz was the commander  of one portion of the Pacific and MacArthur another part. Maps clearly defined the area for people like me who have trouble with keeping it all straight.  It certainly was well done in Jane's opinion and Ben said he felt like it told the story better than even the WWII Museum in New Orleans. It is highly recommended if anyone is in this part of Texas.  Being able to concentrate only on the Pacific made it simpler.  I took some photos but my museum photos are never very good.

About noon we headed north on Rt 16 back towards Llano looking for the Willow Loop.  This was a small road leading to a tiny town of Willow and then looping back through the backcountry to the main road.  It was said to have beautiful bluebonnets.  About 12 miles out of Fredericksburg we turned on Willow loop and were in for about 2 hours of beautiful scenery and flowers.

We stopped along a fence with bluebonnets and longhorn cattle and settled down for a relaxing picnic lunch. After lunch we continued on for 13 miles with many a stop along the way to view and take a few photos.  I can't imagine what the traffic would have been on the weekend - because it was fairly heavy for a back road today.  I will let a few photos tell the story.

This last photo is white poppies as far as the eye can see. It was a beautiful drive with so many varieties of flowers we could not begin to list them all.

Finally we drove back into Fredericksburg and made a stop at WalMart to buy a new TV remote.  For some reason ours was not working even with brand new batteries.  

Our last stop was at St. Mary's Catholic Church in the downtown area.  The original church was built in the 1800's when the area was settled. The larger one was built around 1900 and was built and decorated to resemble the painted churches of Europe.  While not as ornate as some I visited in Germany it was very beautiful with at least 10 very beautiful stained glass windows and some paintings on the ceiling. 

Back home at the RV park we got the remote working, read about the German restaurants in town and organized things.  It seems that after about day 3 it is time to reqroup and reorganize things.  

We drove back the few blocks to the Main downtown area and selected Der Linderbaum for our dinner.  Jane enjoyed a Schnitzel and Ben  had a pork dish that was the special - it had a mustard sauce and some wonderful German potato salad.  Everything was great. 

One interesting conversation - well really two different conversations today. We always fly our Tennessee Flag from the Sprinter when we are parked in RV or State Park Campgrounds.  Usually someone asks us what kind of flag we are flying.  Evidently it was the topic of discussion at the 8 AM coffee group this morning.  One guy came by this morning and asked Ben - said he thought it must be from one of "those Asian countries".  Then late this afternoon a couple stopped during their walk around camp to ask what sort of flag it was...he was nice enough to invite Ben to come to the guy's coffee group tomorrow morning!  It is so interesting that most people do not recognize the flag of our great state of Tennessee.  Of course here in Texas it always leads to a tale about TN guys coming to help at the Alamo!

A really great day !!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Fredericksburg - Nimitz Museum of the Pacific War

Up about 8:30 after a great nights sleep.  There are lots of doves here at this park and they sing and sing late and early but did not seem to bother our sleep!

After a pleasant slow morning of coffee, breakfast and checking emails we headed off about 10AM .  We wanted to be on time for the 11:00 Reinactment of the Battle of Tarawa. I was regretting forgetting ear plugs but they gave everyone a pair.

There were probably 100 people there for the show.  It is held in an outdoor theater with bleachers located about 2 blocks from the museum. Of interest was that we had 2 WWII vets in the audience - one had been a pilot and the other had served in the navy but not sure his position.

Also sitting right behind us was a young man - Toby - who was 11 years old.  He was very outgoing and wanted to talk about all the movies and videos he had watched about WWII.  His grandparents said he was very excited about being there today - which was very obvious.  When the program began they asked for a volunteer and of course it was Toby.  He got to go up on the stage and model all the parts of a Marines gear.  He was perfect in the role and as a token of thanks they gave him a set of dogtags which he could get personalized in the gift shop.  He was thrilled!

The cast of Marines and a few Japanese were mostly young men who trained for the role.  Some were retired military but most were young men from the area.  They demonstrated each type of weapon as well as a tank and a half track.  All the munitions fired were blanks but they sure did make a  lot of noise,   They also demonstrated the methods used to take out a pillbox. The flame thrower was using real gas.

The end of the program was about a 10 minute battle to take one of the hills with a pillbox on the island of Tarawa.  It was quite an undertaking with about 20 "soldiers" taking part.

The grand finale was the burning of the pillbox and I have a short video of that part.  I will not include my longer video of most of the battle. In fact this may not load - not enough internet for it!.

After the reinactment we headed back up to Main Street and found a quick lunch before heading to the George W. Bush Gallery of the Nimitz Museum.  It was over 3,000 square feet of exhibits.  We made it through about half of it and were getting tired.  The bleachers were not great for either of our backs so since the ticket is good for 48 hours we will return tomorrow for the other half.  We saw the older part of the museum when we were here several years ago.

Jane with Nimitz Statue

Ben outside the Museum - this is the top part of a submarine

Back to the RV park and some relaxing and a second round of the great BBQ from Coopers.  Just as good tonight!

Time to watch Masterpiece Theater - Mr. Selfridge is not quite as good as Downton Abbey but  pretty good.  Tomorrow we finish the museum and take a wildflower drive.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Longview TX to Fredericksburg TX

We have made it to the Bluebonnets and BBQ!  And every expectation is met!
Leaving our hotel about 8:30 our first stop was at a nearby McDonald's for a bit of breakfast.  We had forgotten that the extended stay hotels, while usually very nice do not have breakfasts....no problem there was a McDonald's for a quick cup of coffee and a bite to eat.

We entered Fredericksburg in the GPS hoping it would take us on a non-interstate route. We were driving cross country on US31 to Tyler, several small towns, and then to Waco.  In Waco we set the GPS for Llano and then to Fredericksburg.

By the time we neared Waco the flowers began - first some paintbrush, then poppies, then a yellow daisy like flower, a type of phlox and then the bluebonnets!  I find it difficult to choose between the paintbush and the bluebonnets for a favorite.  The further south we came the more flowers! They covered most of the right of way along the roadways and often spilled over into the fields.  Sometimes entire fields were pink, blue, yellow or a combination.  We stopped for lunch at a picnic area and Ben walked over to check out the flowers.  He came back to say there were at least 10 different flowers around his feet.

By mid afternoon we reached Llano and decided to stop at Cooper's BBQ one of the best in TX according to many and pick-up our dinner.  It is about 40 miles from Fredericksburg to Llano and we had planned to head there one evening for dinner but this would save us 80 miles and we were here.  It was about 3 PM and there was a line the length of the building.  We got in line and chatted with folks from several parts of TX as we waited.  Not certain how long we were in line but I believe we were there about an hour, in line, picking out our meats, side dishes, and such.  At Cooper's you first stop at the "pit" and select your meats.  We got some brisket, pork loin, and pork ribs - enough for two or three meals.  Then with your portion chopped off of huge slabs of meat they put it on a tray you move inside where it is weighed. You then pick out any side dishes you want.  We managed to select only 3 meats - there was also sausage, turkey, chicken, steaks, prime rib, and others...hard to choose! Finally you reach the cashier and she tallies up your bill.

Many people are eating there at long tables - beans and sauce are "free" so we filled up some containers and got everything stored away in the frig and hit the road south.  The flowers continued to increase in numbers and we had spoken with several folks in the line who had been driving around looking at flowers today so made note of roads to drive on another day.

It began to rain a little and the sky turned gray - not so good for photos.  We made it to Fredericksburg RV Park and when Ben went in to register they greeted him by name - he wondered how they knew him - turns out we were the last folks with a reservation to arrive and filled the very last spot!  We had stayed here a night or two on our last visit and remembered they had good spaces, good utilities, good restrooms, and good internet and TV.  Everything you need right!

We got set up and pulled out the BBQ.  It was as good as we remembered from our last visit if not better.  We are only a few sites from the Recreation and Restroom building.  The recreation room has lots of tables and chairs so I am sitting here writing the blog.  Also a great carpeted floor for my exercises- just like home.  Ben is getting his TV to work as the cable in each RV park is a bit different.

The internet connection is not doing too well so I am not certain about pictures.  I will try.  Looking for even better ones on future days.

Tomorrow the WWII Museum of the Pacific and a live fire reinactment.  I forgot the earplugs...but that is so far the only thing forgotten.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Rain, Miles and Sunshine

We woke to thunder and rain, lots of rain!  On the road by 8:15 we were in and out of rain most of the morning as we cross the rest of Alabama and all of Mississippi.  Winter and brown grass and trees were left far behind us.  As we drove along listening to our books on tape - finished one from yesterday and began a second - we commented that Alabama must have the worst roads in the country...then we entered Mississippi and thought it was a tie,  Louisiana was some better and Texas is the best by far.

In Vicksburg MS we stopped for lunch.  We had been to the Vicksburg Nat'l Park at least once so passed that by.  I was in the mood for a shrimp po'boy sandwich and read Trip Advisor for some suggestions.  Always looking for an unusual experience we chose The Klondyke Trading Post which had Po'boys but also the special of the day Catfish on rice with a Crawfish Cajun Sauce.. reviewers said it was not to be missed...so we gave it a try.  The location was indeed nothing to look at but the parking lot was full which was a good sign.

The GPS took us right to the address down on the levee but a couple blocks away from all the fancy downtown addresses, shops, hotels, and restaurants, - and was the catfish ever good.

As you can see it was served on styrofoam plates but it was excellent - you wanted to lick the plate to get all the sauce!

Back on I 20 again we crossed the great Mississippi and began our trek across Louisiana.  The rain finally stopped but it remained cloudy until we crossed the Red River at Shreveport and finally made it to Texas. Then we had bright sunshine and a beautiful sunset.

Our 500 mile day ended about 5:30 in Longview TX where we had reservations at a new Suburban Extended Stay Hotel which was on a road new since we updated the GPS software...oops. We found it by using Google Maps on the i-phone.  More than one way to find your way these days!

Great dinner at a Cheddars not far from our hotel and on Eastman Road!  Cheddars in Kpt is on Eastman Road too!

Steve and Margaret we thought about you at lunch and dinner as the Master's was on big screen TV's during both our meals.

We saw lots of Indian Paint Brush along the highway this afternoon. Throughout the day there were many wildflowers in bloom along the highway - black thistles, primrose, spiderwort and others we could not identify from the van, Tomorrow we should see our first bluebonnets and get into our camping mode.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

On the Road to Blue Bonnets and BBQ

Been quite a while since I managed  Live Writer and my blog.  I think last fall I waited until I got back home to post…  Well I am going to try a short post tonight and will be a bit more adventuresome tomorrow night if this works!

After 3 very busy days we managed to complete all our commitments and activities as well as pack for a 2 week camping trip.  We were not sure we could do it but we left Kingsport at 8:30 this morning and enjoyed a beautiful drive. We had sunshine all the way and in fact 84 degrees this afternoon!

One of the guests at our Centennial Celebration program at First Presbyterian last evening lives in Austin and shared with me that the Bluebonnets are the most beautiful they have been for several years because of all the rain....we are really getting excited.

Today the Redbud trees were in full bloom and as we neared Knoxville the Dogwood was beginning to bloom. After we passed Chattanooga there were lots of flowers blooming along the highway and at the first Alabama rest area the colors were beautiful with white and pink dogwoods as well as red, pink, and white azaleas.  Spring is really here!

Having forgotten we would have the time change we stopped at 4:30 to find out it was 3:30.  Time for a nap and walk before dinner. We are south of Birmingham in Bessemer.

Tomorrow is our long day – we hope to drive from Bessemer AL to Longview TX – 500 miles.  This will allow us to reach Fredericksburg TX and the bluebonnets Saturday!  Of course we may see them along the way-

Supper was good – at the Cracker Barrel near our hotel.  Let’s see if the posting works!  Tomorrow I will try photos..