Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Little Rock, Arkansas and tornados!

We arrived in the Little Rock area on Easter, for a 4 day visit.  We are staying at a Army Corp of Engineers (COE) park in Maumelle, 300 feet from the Arkansas River.  We have been busy seeing the sights.  We toured the William J. Clinton Presidential Library which was very impressive.  We took a tour of the Arkansas State Capitol building and the Arkansas Governor's Mansion.  (no photos of those 3 places, due to security reasons) We also visited the General MacArthur Museum of Military history, The Arkansas Plantation Museum and Arkansas's Koren War Memorial.  We also had the opportunity to visit the Little Rock Central High school, where school desegregation started.  In 1957, U.S. troops, sent in by President Eisenhower, escorted 9 very brave black students into the previously all white high school. The visitor's center's presentation was very interesting, powerful and enlightening.  Our last place to visit was the Old Mill in North Little Rock, which was very serene.
Tornados! On Monday night the sirens sounded and we, along with 6 other couples, hide in one of the men's bathrooms in the park.  We had high winds and golf ball size hail, which left a few minor dents in the truck.  After two hours, we went back to our RV, trudging through 18 inches of water at our site, covering the first step of our stairs.  The water by the power pole was so high that it engulfed our voltage regulator and it fried itself.  On Tuesday night we had severe thunder storms, but no tornado.  We did have pea sized hail which made a quarter size hole in our kitchen's sky light.  I patched it the today.  We'll  get a new one sometime in the future.  Debbie was very impressed this the vanilla ice cream at the Purple Cow ( a burger place), as the vanilla was purple too!



Monday, April 25, 2011

Vicksburg and Port Gibson, Mississippi

We stayed at Grand Gulf Military Park and Campground.  This was a treat, as it was so quiet and we were surrounded by history.  The battle of Vicksburg was a pivotal win for the Union Army during the Civil War.  The Union victory gave them control of the Mississippi River.  This victory and the victory at Gettysburg, the day prior, sealed the Union Victory.  We also saw the ruins of huge house in Windsor, near Port Gibson.  In Vicksburg we toured the Old Courthouse, the Corner Drug store, a preserved old time drug store, the Biendheim Coca Cola memorabilia museum, the saw the riverfront murals. The highlight was our 16 mile tour of the Vicksburg Battlefield.  We also were next to the Mississippi...and now I know why they call it "Big Muddy." It sure is brown. In the photos at Grand Gulf Military park, you'll see the jail and Debbie in jail, a view of the truck from atop the 75 foot fire tower

Mobile, Alabama

We stopped in Mobile for two days, staying at Meaher State Park.  We were right on Mobile Bay.  It was a great site with a great view and we had a constant breeze.  We spent an entire day at the famous and gorgeous Bellingrath Gardens.  We walked the gardens, visited the home and took a boat ride around the lake. Mr. Bellingrath made billions by having the first Coca-Cola franchise in Alabama. We ate at Lambert's Restaurant, the home of the "Throwed Rolls."  Great food, and when you need a roll, just put up your hand and they will throw it to you.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

We had a great cruise on the Norwegian Sun

We are back in Bartow after our cruise.  They say that the refrigerator is fixed and the body work complete.  The landing gear parts came in at 4 p.m. today, (Saturday) so we hope the job is finished on Monday. 
The cruise was great.  Nassau, Bahamas was okay, (we've been there before) so we walked around town and went back to the ship early to eat and swim in the pools.  St. Thomas was better, we took a tour to the top of the island, visited Black Beard's Castle, which was never finished.  We visited a rum distillery and some old houses on the property.  We went shopping and bought a few minor things. Debbie went into several jewelry stores that were giving away free jewelry.  It is small, but nice stuff that we will pass along to the young ladies of our family. Here is a fact for you....the coldest temperature ever recorded in St. Thomas was 61 degrees, nice, huh? Philipsburg in Saint Martin (Dutch) was hot.  We took a taxi to town and shopped. Debbie hit a few more jewelry stores, I bought some liquor and a few gifts.  Debbie purchased a nice summer sun dress, priced at $25.00, but bartered down the women to $15.00.  We ate at the Barefoot Restaurant, across from the beach, with a great view of the beach, dock and shopping.  A great people watching place. We took the water taxi back to the ship. The cruise was great. The entertainment was outstanding and the food was excellent. I think that we gained several pounds each. The crew was super fantastic, waiting on us like we were royalty. The Norwegian Sun was just terrific.  



Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Bored in Bartow......I think we'll take a cruise!

We are awaiting parts for the landing gear and fridge, and approval for the body work.  We've seen everything in Bartow and we are tired of sitting around awaiting.  So, we booked a cruise!  We are taking a 7 day cruise, out of Port Canaveral, starting this Saturday on NCL.  We are going to Nassau in the Bahamas, Charlotte Amalie in the Virgin Islands and Philipsburg on the Dutch side of St. Martin. Sitting here for a couple of weeks would drive us both nuts. We'll update you with photos when we get back. :-)

Vince & Debbie