We feel blessed to be able to travel and marvel at God's wonderful creation. Please join us for the ride through our blog.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Kentucky - Friends, Food and Foals

We had a wonderful two days in Shepardsville, Kentucky.  We arrived at Grandma's RV Park and found our friends, Bruce and Patsy parked in the site behind us.  It was so nice to see familiar faces and friends.  Our friends, Dale and Donna Short live here and came and picked the four of us up for dinner.  We dined on great food at Cattlemans and then went back to their house and enjoyed good wine and delicious Derby Pie.  Their southern hospitality was so appreciated, they made us feel so at home.  

The following day we all went out to breakfast to Cracker Barrel and then went to Churchill Downs.  The museum had so many exhibits about the Kentucky Derby, from hats worn to the race, outfits worn by the jockeys, race horse simulators etc.  They also showed a movie covering the entire day of the Derby.  

Before going on the historical tour, us girls stopped in the gift shop.  While we didn't purchase anything, we had so much fun trying on all the Derby hats they had for sale.  We all found one we liked but they cost anywhere from $40 - $140.  And Ray had fun taking pictures of us in them.
We then went on a tour outside of the stable area and track.  The tour guide was very informative and has attended the Kentucky Derby since he was 6 years old.  The track is very close to Louisville Airport and we learned that on Derby Day they actually reroute all planes away from the track.  In Kentucky they have no professional sports so the Kentucky Derby is their sport.  From what we were told, when the horses enter the track, the University of Louisville band plays and the crowd sings "My Old Kentucky Home" and there is not a dry eye at the track.  

After we left the track, we went to an eclectic restaurant for lunch called Lynn's Paradise Cafe.  Again, great food, great friends and great conversation.

Grandma must have been down for a long nap.  Never saw her the whole time.

An awesome track
There was a sign "no climbing".  Of course, Ray couldn't resist!

Bellying up to the bar in the bourbon room at the track
Pretty in  Pink. Yeah, right!
Only $140.00 at that!
Matches the cowgirl shirt perfectly
The winner's circle is under the tower.
We are so glad we decided to make this our stop on the way home.  We would hate to have missed out on seeing Churchill Downs but more importantly, we would have hated to miss out spending time with good friends!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Vicksburg - The Key to the South

We arrived in Vicksburg, Mississippi, and while the Ameristar RV Park falls short of what we have been used to, the City of Vicksburg is everything we were hoping for.  It is a city rich in history from their Circa 1800's Mansions to Vicksburg National Military Park and the Civil War Battle of Vicksburg.  We drove two scenic routes which took us along the Mississippi waterfront, through historic downtown, and past many Civil War monuments.

On a totally different note, it is the home of four casinos which we tried our luck at, only playing on the free play money we received when we signed up for their player card.  And we each got a free t-shirt, so we came out ahead of the game.

We took a walk downtown to photograph some of the historical buildings.  They were setting up for a Riverfest so it was hard to shoot a decent picture without obstacles in the way.  I did really like this building though.
A nice square in the middle of the city.  I think the bird house is a nice touch.
Catfish Row Childrens Art Park, a creative adventure into the history of the Mississippi River and the paddle wheel steamboats that once traveled the river.
Such a nice addition to the childrens park.

Along the riverfront is a wall featuring 32 life-like murals depicting periods of history which developed from Vicksburg.  These are just two of the many I photographed.  If you wish, you can view more at riverfrontmurals.com

I love this casino structure depicting a steamboat.  In the background is the bridge between Louisiana and Mississippi.  We were hoping to get a shot of it lit up at night, but apparently they don't light it up.
I could not believe the size of the magnolias on the trees here. We were told we just missed all the azaleas in bloom.

We are really glad we decided to stop here on our way back home.  Would hate to have missed it.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Good-bye to Texas

We decided to leave Victoria earlier in the morning than planned as there was a high wind warning.We had a smooth ride to Kinder, Louisiana. We crossed over Lake Charles on the way, but unfortunately we were not able to stop to check it out.  It looked like a very nice area to visit with nice parks and waterfront casinos. Maybe next time. We checked into Coushatta Red Shoes RV Resort and casino. Since the weekend is coming up it is pretty much full and a lot of families here for the weekend.  There is also an exhibition hall with a team roping event going on, so not only families but horses too.  It is a very nice park and large enough where we can walk around every morning to get some exercise.  There is not much to do in the area unless you are a gambler or a birder so we left the trailer hooked to the truck to save us some work.  During our morning walk we encountered friends we met in Texas.  It was great to see familiar faces and I am sure a happy hour will be in the works if we can withstand the high winds that are picking up here.  Hopefully we don't get any of the other bad weather that goes along with the winds. Next stop - Vicksburg, Mississippi.
We loved the large sites at the park and all with a small tree

Ray relaxing outside the lodge.
Of course we managed to try out the nice pool
Makes me look forward to spring back home

Volleyball courts, gazebo and even a nice fishing pond

Thursday, April 12, 2012

First Stop - Victoria, Texas

We left Mission, Texas on April 11th for our journey back home.  After a 3 hour drive we arrived at Gateway to the Gulf RV Park in Victoria, Texas.  We were rather disappointed in the park since we are 2 feet from our neighors and it is total sun, very little vegetation other than grass and a small pond. Mickey and Jerry were not too fond of the waddlers in the park but I thought their colors were rather neat. We are realizing more and more that we need to start taking advantage of state and corp parks. There is very little to do in the area, but we did go into the city of Victoria.  There were many historical buildings and a nice square in the middle of the city that we photographed.  We are looking forward to hitting the road again - next stop, Kinder, Louisiana.
St. Mary's Catholic Church - Built in 1902

Just thought this was a pretty neat apartment!

This Deli was established in 1882 and the building constructed in 1885 and moved to this location.  It is one of the oldest remaining commercial structures in Victoria.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter at BPV

Guy & Juanita (our park managers) and family
Even though it was hard to be away from family for Easter this year, we were fortunate to be invited to spend the holiday with our park managers families and other couples still in the park.  It was a beautiful sunny day, perfect for an Easter Egg hunt.  We feasted on delicious barbecue brisket and chicken and all the fixins.  It was such a joy to see all the little ones having so much fun.  They all took a shot at the Easter Bunny pinata until the last hit broke his neck and all the kids ran for the candy.  The kids then moved outside for an Easter Egg Hunt.  They have a tradition here of making and hiding Cascarones which are hollowed out egg shells which are filled with confetti.  The kids then sneak up on someone and smash them over their head.  We got such a kick out of watching them in action, and watching the little ones just sit on the floor and play with the confetti.  If we had to be away from home and our own family, we could not have picked a better family or group of people to spend the holiday with. 

A hard choice for Riley.

Hunting for eggs

Nice shot Aubrey! Ray looks so colorful!

Park guest sharing in the festivities

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Palm Sunday Procession

 Today the catholic church we attend, Our Lady of Guadalupe, held their annual Palm Sunday Procession in honor of Jesus triumphant entrance into Jerusalem.  We were not surprised at the number of people that took part in it, as it is a very active parish with a wonderful participation by the youth.  Our priest, Father Roy, has two burros given to him by Mexican children and also a llama, all of which were in the procession.  He also has several dogs which he adopted who did not march due to the heat.  The procession began at church with a reinactment and continued 4 miles to LaLomita, a small mission where the Diocese of Brownsville was started.  It was quite touching to watch.  Following the procession, there was a barbecue at LaLomita to wish farewell to all the Winter Texans and migrant workers. We did not attend as the weather was extremely warm. We are so grateful to be a part of such a great parish and to be welcomed by the Mexican people with open arms.   

Ray and Father Roy

Riding out the Storm

 Last week we experienced our first storm since leaving home in October.  We had tornado warnings, 80 mile per hour winds, hail, rain, thunder and lightening and two funnel clouds were sited in McAllen, just down the road from us. Mickey and Jerry alerted us ahead of time with their nervous behavior.  When the trailer started rocking so bad, and Mickey started shaking we decided it was time to move to the shower room in the park.  Of course it had a tin roof which would not be good if the tornado hit, but at least there were no windows.  Shortly after, our neighbors, Tom and Carol Sykes decided it was best to join us there.  Once there, Mickey and Jerry relaxed and even lied down to take a nap.  Some people in the park decided to weather the storm in their rigs and others in the laundry room.  After it was over we were just very glad we were okay and that there was no damage to the 5th wheel.  Our park suffered only a few branches down and lawn chairs floating in the pool.
Our neighbor Tom tracking the storm