Monday, June 10, 2013

Let's Back Up

I'll try to catch you up since the beginning of May, now that I have good internet and Google fixed my photos.

 After we left Bastrop, Texas, on May 7 our next stop was Lavon Lake COE CG in Wiley, TX where we met Donna and Ron after our gate guarding experiences.  While we parked there we drove in to Ft. Worth to see the long horn steer cattle drive down the street.  They were very docile, but still very large. 

This guy was saddled, but we passed on him. Ten dollars for a photo.  Poor guy.

The cowboy and his gal:
 These guys decided to have a Buffalo Butt Beer while sitting on saddles at the bar.  Apparently the beer is not recommended. They said it tastes like buffalo butt.  I don't know how they know that...

The next day we drove into Dallas.  Dealey Square was our first stop, and below is the Book Depository where supposedly JFK's assassin fired the fateful shots.  Our tour guide, Sherman, had a lot to say about that, and we debated the facts and fiction near the wooden fence.  We toured the memorial, the first house in Dealey square (a little log cabin) and the courthouse. 
Driving home an hour in the rain and dark was not pleasant, but I'm glad we got to see all we did.

It was time to move north again, to visit Ron's brother, Willis near Paris, Texas.  We were very kindly offered a spot in their yard and had 30 amp.
our site
Cowboy Up
The weather turned beautiful, and we were excited because Gary was hoping to ride a real horse, not a stable horse.  With permission, he and Willis saddled up Noah and Mouse and off they went.

Dixie and Donna did the honors for this picture of Paris's Eiffel Tower with its Red cowboy hat.

low cal chicken fried steak

Where can one find this delicacy?  At Weezy's, in downtown Paris, of course.

We enjoyed our stay even celebrating Mother's Day (happy belated Mother's Day to all moms) at Willis and Dixie's daughter's home with a BBQ.  Thank you, all of you, for your hospitality.

Normally we don't drive more than four hours a day, but this was a special circumstance, and we needed to be in the middle of Missouri by Friday.  That was a long haul, but they are worth it, and we made Ron's Doctor's appointment for Friday morning.  We were parked at their daughter, Lorisa's beautiful farmhouse in a country setting, but it was a challenge to get there.  Gary did it just fine!

our new spot

the view out our side window
There was a lot of severe weather threats, and a tornado did touch down in St. Charles, where their other daughter lived, however their home and family escaped harm by 1/4 mile.  We drove out to see the damage one day.  It was not pretty, and similar to hurricane damage which we had seen plenty of.
One sunset out of only three we saw all two weeks.  But it was a pretty one.
We had lots of ruby-throated hummers so three feeders were necessary.  Even so, six little gluttons were at this feeder on my window.  We had to refill the feeders every day.
On Sunday, June 2 we drove near to St. Louis and parked in an Elk's Lodge in O'Fallon.   We met some of their family that night at Macaroni Grill which was delicious and fun! Then we toured some of the tornado damage in St. Charles, where fortunately, no one was killed.  Lots of homes need help, though. 
There is a delicacy that you should not miss if you're near this way.  It's called Ted Drewes Frozen Custard, and is something to write home about. 
Here we are enjoying a delicious cup of creaminess:
Soon it was time to ride over to the airport to pick up our grandson, Lance, for his two week adventure with us.  He arrived all by himself (he's 12) about an hour late at 9:30.  It's an hour time difference from Tampa, so he was a tired puppy by the time we got him tucked in.
The next day we had planned to visit the St. Louis Zoo and the Arch, but we could not get anywhere near to finding a parking place.  It was jammed everywhere, so we abandoned the zoo idea and went straight to the St. Louis Arch.  At first we watched the very informative and beautifully done movie about the Lewis and Clark Expedition, then our journey up into the arch in this tiny thing:
Lance was a little claustrophobic, but he manned up and decided to go for it.  It was a 4 1/2 minute ride and dark and noisy, but we made it up to the top at 630 feet.  
And what a view! 
Busch Stadium (red)

Court House (green dome)
On the Missouri River side, it was not as pretty.  So much rain had flooded the river way over its banks (although not as much as other times), and a lot of things were under water:
notice tent roof? steps are covered to it.
So, how did they build this amazing structure?  We saw a 40 minute film describing the initial concept to completion, and it was truly amazing.
We still had some time, so we chose to see the Cathedral of St. Louis begun in 1907. 
 There are 83,000 square feet of mosaic art created by twenty artists and installed over a period of seventy-five years.  Two chapels on the west side were created by Tiffany.  Forty-one million, 500 thousand pieces of tesserae in more than 8000 different colors are on almost every surface within.
To get married here (if you are a resident of St. Louis) will cost a mere $2000, but get on the waiting list now.  It's over 5 years long.  Truly a magnificent piece of architecture.  The lighting (which was not on by the time we arrived) costs the church $31 a minute. 
The next morning (we're up to June 5 now) we parted ways with Ron and Donna, as they went home and we traveled east towards Kentucky.  Our first stop was in Indiana at Diamond Lakes, a PPA campground, and it had lots of things to do.  All Lance wanted to do was fish.  So fish he did, and he was very successful. 
Bass pro
Gary had corvettes in his youth, including one of these.  We had wanted to tour the GM Factory Plant, but tours were cancelled until the fall.  So the boys went to the Museum, hopefully to see a 1963 split window coupe stingray, one of Gary's former cars.  However the gentleman who loaned it to the museum was caught with evading taxes, so had to hand it over to the IRS.  Bummer.

However, Lance liked this model and decided to go for a spin.  (not)  Looks good, though...
At our next stop, Singing Hills RV campground in Cave city, KY, there just happened to be another pond with fish in it, so Lance was there with worms.  Again, he was successful two seconds after he cast his line.  We'll never get to eat any as it's catch and release.  OK with Gary - he dislikes cleaning fish.

A little one for Poppy
 Then we did more fun things:  Golfing,
 Driving cars,

Going up high and coming down fast:

And then stopping at the bait store for more worms.   Back to the lake for more fishing. 
Now you are caught up on our adventures.  Tomorrow we will be moving again into Tennessee this time where our destination is Pigeon Forge for a few days before Lance goes home on Friday. Hopefully we will get in some educational stuff too.  So much to do, and so little time. 
Thanks for hanging in there for this long blog.  Because right now, Life is Good!


  1. Not sure how I missed your blog! You guys have been busy. Have to pick your brain about the whole gate guard gig when we see you in SC. :)

  2. We had a great winter/spring with you! Not sure how to function without you and Gary beside us! lol We're looking forward to seeing you again in Raleigh. Countdown will begin as soon as we get Ron well and know for sure that we can make the trip. Looking forward to more good times!

  3. Why haven't we gotten to see those new boots yet?