This is Diane and me at Sebastian Inlet State Park. This was a short drive from The Sunshine Travel Resort near Vero Beach where we were staying. This trip was a pre-trip dry run to test our ability to navigate crowded, high speed interstate highways like I-95 in our coach towing a car. We passed!
This is Sebastian Inlet itself. It is a beautiful setting. As we walked along the shore we saw a mom keeping a watchful eye on a couple of kids playing in the shallows. She told us her parents had regularly brought her here to play when she was a child. She said she was thrilled to be able to continue this tradition for her children.
This was our first stop on the trip. We were now officially on the road. We had stayed at Florida Caverns on a dry run trip on Mothers' Day knowing that this would be our first stop when we took off for real. We loved the park and Diane had a great Mother's Day. Going back to Florida Caverns on first day of the actual trip made the beginning of of our journey feel comfortable and familiar.
Merritts Mill Pond is spring fed and clear nearly 15 feet down. This is a view just a little away from where our site was on the water. It was beautiful.
Here's another view of Merritt's Mill Pond. Just walking along the shore was beautiful and relaxing.
We had never been to New Orleans and we would be visiting there on our 49th wedding anniversary, We made it the first major stop of our trip.
Like Jazz, you see references to Mardi Gras everywhere. it is intrinsic to the New Orleans identity. We saw this head dress in a shop window. The crews spend thousands of dollars on their costumes during Mardi Gras season.
In the 1800's the Mississippi river in Southern Louisiana was home to spectacular plantations. Oak Alley, Laura Plantation, and several others near the town of Vacherie Louisiana have been restored. They are a little over an hour's ride from New Orleans. Diane and I visited Oak Alley. It was spectacular. This is the view from the front porch. The Virginia Oaks you see in the picture to the right create a tunnel over the sidewalk that leads all the way down to the levee, the hill you see at the end of the tunnel. The Mississippi River is right on the other side of that hill. The pictures in the next section below show the beauty of the house, its gardens, and out buildings. Thanks for riding with us!
On our third and final full day in New Orleans, we wanted to do something that was unique to the city and its culture. Ken Blaine's Mardi Gras World was a bull's eye. It is a gigantic warehouse adjacent to the Civic Center. Ken Blaine and his family have been the largest provider of floats to Mardi Gras Krewes for several generations. You watch a movie on the history of Mardi Gras. the Krewes, and the making of the floats. You then take a self guided tour through this mammoth facility. Everywhere you look there are floats and float parts from prior years and artisans drawing, sculpting, and painting the floats for next year's parade. The only other way you could be this close to the action is by joining a Krewe and riding on a float in an actual parade. We hope you enjoy our pictures. Thanks for riding with us!
Dallas was our next big stop. Diane and I spent two days in Dallas visiting my cousin John Muscarella and his wife, Judy. We had a great time together. John took us around Dallas and their hometown, Frisco, one of the rapidly growing suburban cities north of Dallas. There is a tremendous sense of vitality in the area. The road system is high speed and well maintained. Everywhere you look you see new homes and businesses being built. The whole Dallas area feels upscale, on the move, and growing. You feel lucky to be a part of it.
We saw a lot of the chic and stylish mixed use commercial/residential areas that are creating a new "downtown" in the city of Frisco. We also visited the The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza in the old Dallas Text Book Repository building. This is the site from which Lee Harvey Oswald is alleged to have shot President John F. Kennedy. There is a lot of information on Kennedy's life and the day of the shooting in the museum.
Spending time with John and Judy was the real highlight of this stop. We hadn't seen them for five years and it was wonderful to have a chance to catch up, Seeing friends and family and having a chance to reaffirm these relationships was one of the best parts of our long journey.
What if John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States had not been assassinated? Was Lee Harvey Oswald the real assassin or just a dupe? Was there another shooter behind the fence on the grassy knoll? Where do you go if you want answers, or at least a repository of pictures, accounts, and speculation on what really happened? You go to the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas.
The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza is one of the most visited sites in Dallas . It is housed n the building that formerly served as the Texas School Book Repository. It is from a sixth floor window in this building that Lee Harvey Oswald was accused of shooting President Kennedy as his motorcade drove by.
Oswald never lived to face trial for his crime. He was shot by a local night club owner, Jack Ruby, as he was being transferred between holding facilities. The lack of a formal trial for Oswald and a rushed and what many felt was an incomplete initial investigation fueled endless speculation that Oswald had not acted alone.
The museum is a large collection of photographs, news videos, and artifacts. You see the actual window and corner where Oswald is alleged to have fired the three shots. From the sixth floor you also see an X on the road that marks the spot where Kennedy's car was when the fatal shot was fired.
Our pictures from the tour are in the scrolling slide show in the next section below. Just scroll horizontally from side to side to see all of them.
Thanks for riding with us!
Sometimes life just brings you unexpected joys. That what our trip to Amarillo, Texas turned out to be. We drove from Dallas to Amarillo. It was a long trip, 360 miles, 7 hours total. We minimized our stops because we knew we needed to make good time to get to our campsite and have time to set up. We didn't expect much. Amarillo was simply an overnight stopping place for us. Unwind from the day's driving, get to bed early, dump the tanks in the morning and hit the road for the final 300+ mile push to reach Albuquerque. Boy were we wrong.
Our stopover at Amarillo has turned out to be a fabulous experience. We are staying at the Big Texan RV Ranch and we had dinner at the Big Texan Steak Ranch restaurant. It turns out that Big Texan is a nationally known destination because of its 72 oz. steak challenge. Eat the steak and all the fixings within 60 minutes and your dinner is free. People come from far and wide to take the challenge.
We describe the 72 oz. steak challenge in the Blog section under the title "Everything is Texas is Bigger." It's a fun story. To access it, click on the "Looking for America Blog" tab at the top or bottom of this page. When you get to the blog section, be sure to scroll left or right in order to see all of the posts.
In addition to its good food, Big Texan has eclectic and fun decorations and architecture. We took a lot of pictures. You will find them in the next section below. As with the blog page, scroll left and right in order to see the full set of photos.
Thanks for riding with us!
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