Thursday, October 30, 2014

Hot Springs - Arkansas

Hot Springs is a place everyone should see.  It's main attraction is Hot Springs National Park.  It's the smallest National Park in the country, but it's also the most accessible.  It's literally adjacent to the historic city of Hot Springs.  The Park's most popular features are the historical bathhouses.  There are eight magnificent bathhouses which together are called 'Bathhouse Row'.  These huge bathhouses rival the ancient Roman versions.  They were built at the turn of the 20th century during the 'Golden Age of Bathing'.  Folks would come from all around to cure their ailments with the natural spring water which still comes out of the ground at 143 degrees.
 
 

View of Bathhouse Row.  On the right side of the sidewalk is downtown Hot Springs, Arkansas



Another view of Bathhouse Row with the historic Arlington Resort Hotel and Spa in the background



This is the Grand Promenade walkway which is located behind the bathhouses on the hillside.  It's a popular brick-lined walking path for both locals and visitors.

 


Garvan Woodland Gardens near Hot Springs Village

 


Anthony Chapel at Garvan Woodland Gardens.  This is a gorgeous wood beam and glass chapel.  It stands 6 stories tall.





From the inside, it feels like you are still outside among the forest and trees. 


 

A View of Lake Hamilton seen from the Garvan Gardens

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Missouri - The Show Me State

 
We made it to Missouri, and it was well worth the drive.  The landscape is beautiful here.  The rolling hills and forests are breathtaking.  We stayed in a small RV park midway between Springfield and Branson.  It was the perfect location, and at only $90/week with full hookups it was hard to beat.  Linda finally got to see her little sister Tammy after nearly 20 years.  It was so nice for me to finally meet her as well.  We had pizza and beer, and it was great seeing Linda and Tammy catching up and reminiscing about old times. 
While in the area, we visited both Springfield and Branson.  Springfield is more like a typical Midwest city, but Branson reminds of Vegas...without the gambling.  Branson is packed with lots of live entertainment and shows. 
 
Linda and Tammy
 
 
 
This is a hiking trail right in Branson

 
 
 
The trail led down to the river...On the way, there were a number of small caves.




We spotted this guy while driving down the '76 Strip' in Branson



Footbridge crossing the railroad tracks in Springfield.  The visitor center told us that it's the longest, continuously used footbridge in the country!
 

Beautiful park in Springfield





A glimpse of Historical C-Street (Commercial Street)

 


This is the ORIGINAL Bass Pro Shops in Springfield.  At nearly 500,000 sf, it's more than 3x the size of the BassPro in Vegas.  This is the granddaddy of them all!



Monday, October 20, 2014

Memphis - Tennessee

While Memphis and Nashville are both known for their music, Memphis has more than just Country Music.  It's famous for the Blues.  When strolling downtown Beale Street, you can hear a wide variety of sounds.  It's a totally different feel.  We stayed at a State Park just north of Memphis.  It's located in a state forest, and was a perfect campground (except for the mosquitos). 
 
 
Main Street in Downtown Memphis




The trolley runs up and down Main Street.

 


This is where the Mississippi and Wolf River meet...Looks just like the Luxor Hotel and Casino in the background...



Downtown Beale Street




Another view of Beale Street




A local Blues Band that we enjoyed



Our campsite at Meeman-Shelby State Park




The campground has a wide variety of trees including oaks, maples, hickory and poplars.


The General Store a few miles from the campground.  They advertised live entertainment and Steak Dinner.  The Steaks were great, and the entertainment was entertaining...a group of 5 fiddle players...not bad for the middle of nowhere...
 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Nashville - Music City USA


Well, we made it to Nashville.  It reminds me of Fremont Street in Las Vegas...Lots of Neon.  We loved walking up and down Broadway and 2nd Avenue.  There is great country music coming from everywhere.  It's especially fun in the evening hours when it starts getting busy with everyone walking up and down the streets.  What a great way to celebrate both of our birthdays!!

Downtown Nashville



Lots of Music, Food and Beer




Looking down 2nd Avenue




Grand Ole RV Park




Historic Bridge near the RV park




This is the aftermath of the torrential rain storm we had.  Luckily, we didn't see any tornadoes as they predicted...



Saturday, October 11, 2014

Kentucky - The Bourbon Trail

We're here in Bardstown, Kentucky - The Bourbon Capital of the World!  Kentucky is  a beautiful place with lots of green grass, mature trees and rolling hills.   Bardstown is the 2nd oldest city in Kentucky, founded in 1780.  It's also home to Federal Hill - the inspiration to 'My Old Kentucky Home'. 

This is the Welcome Center.  It's situated in the center of a traffic circle in the downtown area. 



Downtown Bardstown -voted one of America's best small downtown areas.

 



We took a tour of Heaven Hill Bourbon distillery - one of five distilleries in town.  It's the largest family owned bourbon distillery in the world.  It's only second to Jim Beam when it comes to production and sales.  The large white buildings in the background are the warehouses.  They store and age the barrels of spirit in 42 of these buildings.




Each warehouse stores 25,000 barrels.  And there are about 42 warehouses...Some of these barrels remain for 18 years to age properly.





Of course we sampled some bourbon. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Our Visit to Chicago

Our visit to Chicago was nice.  We stayed at Paul Wolf Campground in the Burnidge Preserve at Kane County.  It was a very nice campground with Electric and Water hookups.  Every site was covered with beautiful green grass.  During our time here, we were able to see my sister Shari, and her family.  It was really great catching up with everyone.  We also drove into the city of Chicago, where we strolled the streets and enjoyed all beautiful architecture and sights of the city.  


One of the country roads on our way to Elgin, IL



Paul Wolf Campground



This was a pond at the campground



Chicago Skyline seen from the truck




Downtown Chicago



Skyscrapers and boats on the Chicago River



Taylor, Mackenzi, Jasmine and Andrew making silly faces.




Visiting Shari and her family in Chicago

Friday, October 3, 2014

Leaving Colorado

It's been a really great summer!  We've made lots of new friends, seen many new places, and thoroughly enjoyed our time here in Estes Park.  It will be bitter-sweet leaving this place.  Saying goodbye to all the people will be hard, but at the same time we're looking forward to seeing new places.  We recently traded in our RV for a newer and larger one, and have been settling in to our new 'home'.  We really love it!  It's a 37 ft 2014 Heartland Gateway.  We're hoping for a safe journey to our next destination - Chicago!


 
 

 


This is a photo of Roger and I.  Roger and Selma were the other campground hosts.  We couldn't have asked to work with better people.  We're going to miss them.


This is a photo of Linda and Diana.  Diana is the office manager at Hermit Park.  Linda and Diana quickly became very good friends.  She's a really special lady.

From Left to Right - Bill, Howell, Vic, Garrison, Candice, Mark - These are the Rangers at Hermit Park.  The friendliest Rangers in Colorado!