Saturday, May 29, 2021

Return to Savannah....

This is not our first visit the Savannah, having been here several years ago, but a beautiful city like this, you can’t not stop and revisit when you are in the area!  There are so many interesting things to see and do in this area, we know we missed several things the first time around, so concentrated on looking into seeing what those were, along with saving time to revisit a couple of our favorite places.  

I knew I had spent quite a lot of time at well known Bonaventure  and Colonial Park Cemeteries, but was surprised I had missed the Laurel Grove North and South Cemeteries.  

The North was Established in 1852 and was once called Springfield Plantation.  It is the burial place of hundred of Confederate soldiers, as well as prominent citizens like Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of the Girls Scouts and Florence Martus, Savannah’s Waving Girl (a statue of her is at the wharf). 

The South serves as the final resting place for many members of Savannah’s African-American community.  Many slaves, freedmen and even two African-American Confederate veterans are buried here.  So, it was time to go check these two cemeteries out.  I found them to be very, very different from one another…

I was also surprised I had not visited two special churches in Savannah…The largest and most opulent, Cathedral of St. John (c1912) and the small.  First African Baptist Church (c1859).  

The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist has actually been built twice.  The first Parish was established in the late 1700s.  By 1873  the cornerstone was laid for a new structure dedicated to “Our Lady of Perpetual Help”, a name that was retained for ten years.  But in 1898 a devastating fire destroyed all of the Cathedral but the outside walls and the two spires.  It was another 14 years before the extensive decoration and artwork of the interior were finished.  The Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist was rededicated on Nov. 29, 2000.  
One of our favorite spots is The Pirates’ House Restaurant.  It’s a fun place, AND it has great food - can’t beat THAT combination!  So, after all that walking, and knowing we had a “special tour’ later, we headed there for a late lunch.  It didn’t disappoint.  It never ceases to amaze us though, that they actually took pages from an original First Addition book of Treasure Island and framed them!  That was a treasure in and of itself!  

We had done the Hop-on-Hop-Off Trolley Tour before, so we though “why not do something a little different this time?”  So, we went for the Ghosts and Gravestones Tour!  What the heck, right?  It included a visit into the Andrew Low House (Juliette Gordon Low’s father-in-law) and into Perkin’s & Son’s Ship Chandlery to hear stories of the haunted River Street.  Sounded like fun!  

The Low Home was beautiful, and it was where Juliette died, but that is not “who” is said to haunt it.  It seems the caretaker who stayed on, even after he was freed, loved this home, cared for everyone there, until he died an old, old man…still “lives” there today…

They told various stories of several areas around town and around the cemeteries, and ended the evening at the Chandlery with wonderful effects of lights going on and off and good sound effects of thunder and lightening, banging and tapping.  It was a fun ending to the evening.  

Afterward we walked along River Street and watched the sunset, it gave us a beautiful sendoff.  

The following day we drove out to see the Live Oak Avenue at Wormsloe.  400 Live Oaks were planted in the early 1890s along a mile and a half road by Wymberley Jones DeRenne to commemorate the birth of his son, Wymberley Wormsloe De Renne.  He also erected a grand masonry archway  to commemorate his son’s coming of age. Two dates are engraved on the arch: 1733 represents the year Noble Jones arrived in Savannah; 1913 marks the year the arch was erected.

I thought it would be beautiful to see…that was an understatement.  Nothing really prepares you for 400 trees creating their own archway to drive under for over a mile…it truly takes your breath away… 

In addition to this, they have the ruins of Noble Jones’ fortified tabby house as well as several other buildings.  They also had a couple of cute young men dressed as British Soldiers that I watched giving some young tourists lessons in “proper soldier duties”.   All the grounds were just beautiful to walk around, and tucked WAY back in, behind a gated wall, younger generations of the Jones’ family still retain homes (mansions) on the property.

The last thing left to do, was to pay a visit to another favorite spot of ours, Tybee Island.  A quick drive over the bridge, and we were once again on the island!  We actually found a spot to park next to the beach (yea Jack!) so I tootled out to see what I could see and snapped a couple of shots and scooped up some sand for my collection.  We got a scoop of ice cream and took a walk around.  Well…time has changed our sweet little island…what was once a funky, fun, laid-back, beach town, is now just like all the rest of the commercial beach areas.  If no one told you the name of the town, you wouldn’t know it from any other now.  Sad.

We did drive around to the “back areas” and found a few of the older homes still around and some of the fun funky yard art there, but I’d say only about 10 to 20% is left of the “old style” now.  Don’t think we will be back again. 
On our way out, we did see this little beauty though!  The Cockspur Island Lighthouse!  ;-)

That ended our stay in Georgia, we are off to the Carolina’s!  Hope everyone has a safe holiday, and remembers what it’s all about…

…kicking back in South Carolina,  Marie

If you would like to see the rest of my photos, you can on my Flickr at

Monday, May 24, 2021

The Golden Isle of Georgia...Part 2 - St. Simons and Jekyll Island

Frederica in 1740

The "second half" of our coastal journey lead us to the areas of Brunswick, St. Simons Island and Jekyll Island Georgia.  Our good luck continued and we had great weather, so our first visit was off to Jekyll Island to see Driftwood Beach!

Like Boneyard Beach in Florida, it is strewn with fallen trees, but I felt these were more "artistic" in nature.  Their simplistic, clean lines, along with some sea crustaceans here and there, gave them more character, I thought   either way, the beach was beautiful...

Jekyll Island has an interesting history. In 1733 General James Oglethorpe founded the colony of Georgia and named Jekyll Island in honor of Sir Joseph Jekyll, his friend and financier from England.  By 1736 English, Spanish, and Creek Indians met on the island in an effort to settle their differences through diplomacy.  In 1792 Fleeing the French Revolution, Christophe DuBignon purchased property on Jekyll Island.  But, the big change came in 1892 when Newton Finney, and brother-in-law, John Eugene DuBignon, a descendant of Christophe DuBignon, collaborate to turn Jekyll Island into a private hunting club for the nation’s wealthiest individuals, quickly becoming their winter hideaway.  By 1886 the Island was purchased by the newly formed Jekyll Island Club which Munsey’s Magazine called, “the richest, the most exclusive, the most inaccessible club in the world.”  The Club officially opened its doors in January 1888, quickly becoming a retreat for families that represented one-sixth of the world's wealth.

The Jekyll Island Club flourished throughout the 1930s, but world events took their toll. The Great Depression changed people’s priorities, and half of the Club’s membership dropped away. The final blow was World War II when the government ordered an evacuation of the Island due to the threat of enemy submarines off the coast.  The state of Georgia purchased Jekyll Island from the Jekyll Island Club for $675,000. The Island opened to the public as a State Park in 1948.  

All this is important because The Club and the Cottages is what IS Jekyll Island, really!  Because parking was difficult and the history was "important", we decided to take the Trolley Tour here.  For an hour, they take you all around and explain all this and show you the various Cottages (who built what and why) and then they took us into William and Almira Rockefeller's Cottage called Indian Mound (when your rich, you name your home).  

We stopped afterward and had lunch at "The Club" which is now a hotel.  Then went on to see Faith Chapel.

This small wooden church was built for interdenominational worship by the wealthy and powerful members of the Jekyll Island Club in 1904.  At the west end of the chapel is a magnificent, signed example of the work of Louis Comfort Tiffany (his signature is in the lower right hand corner.). This window was installed by the Jekyll Island Club and dedicated in 1921 to Frederick Gilbert Bourne, who had served as the club's fourth president.  

Next, it was time to go see the turtles!  Jekyll Island is home to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. It is a turtle rehabilitation, research, and education facility, providing state-of-the-art emergency care to sick and injured sea turtles.   It's small but mighty!  They had a variety of gallery exhibits educating the ways sea turtles live, can be harmed (both by nature and mankind) their breeding habits, etc.  They had a window to the hospital to watch while the vets worked and tanks outside where the current "patients" are being cared for.  Several different sea turtles were there being treated for everything from malnutrition to shell injury.  I have a special love of turtles, especially sea turtles, so this was a treat for me!

One last stop on the way off was the remains of the home of Maj. William Horton.  The first resident of Jekyll Island in 1736.  His home was a "Tabby" house (so much of it still remains). He was part of Oglethorpe's regiment.

 The following day was to over the (very) high, beautiful bridge to St. Simons Island!  First things first...the lighthouse!

Built in 1872, it stood proud and tall for all to see (not hidden behind a long road and chained off!).  One could climb the 129 stairs if they wanted to (not this time, thank you).  I was just here to take pictures...

Down the ways a bit was Fort Frederica. In 1736, James Oglethorpe came to to protect the southern boundary of his new colony of Georgia from the Spanish in Florida.  Colonists from England, Scotland, and the Germanic states came to Georgia to support this endeavor. 

Frederica in 1740
Named for Frederick Louis, the Prince of Wales (1702-1754), Frederica was a military outpost consisting of a fort and town.  By 1743, nearly 1,000 people lived at Frederica. The town enjoyed a relative measure of prosperity owing to the crown's dispensation, but it was a prosperity that was built on military outlays. For Frederica, the peace treaty that Great Britain and Spain signed in 1748 sounded its death knell. No longer needed to guard against Spanish attack, the garrison was withdrawn and disbanded.

The effect was similar to base closings today. The local economy collapsed and as many as half the town's people left to seek their fortunes elsewhere. Those that remained continued to call Frederica home until 1758.  Very little remains today.  Archaeologists have been able to dig up some artifacts, and with old maps, and some ruins of some of the town's foundations, note who lived where.  The only remains of the fort is  a bit of the Magazine and a small section of the Barracks.  

Afterward we drove on to see Christ Church, Frederica, built in 1736.  Christ Church is one of the oldest churches in Georgia and was founded on St. Simons Island nearly 70 years after the island was first settled by English colonists and set in tall, mossy grass under towering oak trees.  As I walked around the church, I found an old, lovely cemetery off to the side.  As I kept walking, I noticed it kept going, and going...all around to the back, much larger than I had suspected!  So peaceful, these sites under the massive trees and flowering bushes...

As we walked backed to the car, I noticed a path leading into the forest across the street, so I went to take a look.  A small sign read that it lead to the Wesley Memorial and I followed it.  When we got there, a clearing had been made and a large (18') Celtic Cross had been erected with a plaque honoring the Reverends John and Charles Wesley.  The Wesley's had come over with Gen. Oglethorpe and founded the Methodist Church. The area was quite lovely with plants and flowers...

Our last drive was to see the Avenue of the Oaks.  T he area was known to house cotton and rice plantations from 1760 until the beginning of the Civil War. The Retreat Plantation was one of the most prosperous and was located on the southern tip of St. Simons Island. The Sea Island cotton grown at this antebellum plantation became famously known worldwide for its impressive quality.Anna Page King, who inherited the land in 1826, planted the famous Avenue of the Oaks. It is said that Anna grew such an abundance of flowers at Retreat Plantation that sailors nearing St. Simons Island could smell the flowers' fragrance before they saw the Island shores.

These 400 trees once led guests by buggy into her home, now a road drives around them (to narrow for cars) for viewing, and to enter a private golf course!  Still so beautiful after all these years!! 

Our last little stop was to see one of several "tree spirits"!  Legend has it, the images immortalize the countless sailors who lost their lives at sea aboard the mighty sailing ships that were once made from St. Simons Island oak. Their sad, sorrowful expressions seem to reflect the grieving appearance of the trees themselves with their drooping branches and moss.  The mystifying mermaid named Cora has lived in the seas of the Golden Isles for centuries. Cora is the protector of the island's loggerhead turtles, so it was only appropriate that she be the one we sought...and what a beauty she was!  That was a great way to end our visit to the island!  ;-)

Well that did it for the "beaches"...for now, anyway!  We are off to Savannah for the next four days and that will conclude our excursion of Georgia!  I had looked so forward to this trip, and when one puts "high expectations" on something, it's always a gamble...well, this one paid off!  Everything I had hoped for was met...great weather, wonderful sights, beautiful fun beaches, good campgrounds, and even marvelous seafood!  It was to early for the famous Georgia peaches, but I knew that.  Such fun, now we shall see what the Carolina's will have for us!  ;-)  

...on the road in Georgia,  Marie


Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Golden Isle of Georgia...beginning with St Marys!

Exploring the coast ((The Golden Isles) of Georgia has been a dream of mine for over four years now.  Something has always come up to prevent it...hurricanes to COVID!  But I was determined that this was the year, so beginning in March, I started making campground reservations for the month of May!  Everything I had been reading said that restrictions were lessening with the virus but with that, campgrounds were getting more and more crowded and harder to get into!  What a dilemma...but I was steadfast and able to book us into four nights at each area I wanted all along the coast!

Our first stop, St Marys, at a beautiful campground, right on the edge of a little pond.  From here we would visit not only St Marys, but the northern areas of Amelia Island for their lighthouse and Ferandina Beach for Fort Clinch State Park for their Fort, and Big Talbot Island for their Boneyard Beach all in Florida (which is just across the border). 

We started our adventures in St Marys.  Picking up some brochures we found out that there was a Submarine Museum downtown, so we stopped there first.  It was small, but informative.  Displays started with WWI and WWII memorabilia along with actual instrument panel and periscope to look through.  Upstairs was the current collection of nuclear submarine information.  Afterward we had a wonderful chat with Keith, the Director and a couple of other "sub guys" about their experiences and about the museum in Phoenix AZ that we should go see.  

From there we drove around town with a map that showed us St Marys Historic Trees.  Live Oaks can live two to three hundred years and grow to be 60+ feet tall stretching branches up to 25+ feet.  Their Girth also can go 20+ feet wide as well...and the ones here were no exception!  Add the beauty of hanging moss and you've got a couple of "northerners" going "wow! a lot!

They also had on the list the first Pecan Trees planted around 1840 that started the first Georgia pecan orchard, which eventually produced large and heavy bearing nut trees.  Once reaching the peak of production trees, will bear fifty to one hundred pounds of nuts each year.  

Our drive took us to the Oak Grove Cemetery, laid out in 1787-88. Along with early residents, Many descendants of Acadian refugees from Nova Scotia were relocated here.  Soldiers from the American Revolution, The war of 1812 and the Civil War, and all wars subsequent to these, rest quietly in this peaceful setting.   The tragedies of yellow fever epidemics, malaria and illnesses as yet unidentified brought many others to this final destination overlooking the St Marys River and the salt marshes of the coast.  I've shared before that I have a love of photographing cemeteries...there is something special about each one of them, an intimate time capsule of sorts.  A part of their past that they are sharing with us, today.  This was a lovely, well kept, well loved cemetery among the trees and flowers.  

In the late 1820s John Houstoun McIntosh built The McIntosh Sugar works (made of tabby concrete).  After his death in 1836, it was sold and operated until after the Civil War.  During the war cane was planted and sugar was made and also used the tabby sugar works as a starch factory, producing arrowroot starch in large quantities.  Because of the type of material used to build it, (and that it changed names several times) it's now called the "Tabby Ruins".  The ruins are a fun photo stop and an interesting bit of history, that's for sure!

The following day was a trip south to Florida!  First, to see Amelia Lghthouse!  Well, THAT was a disappointment!   Seems it was closed, which I knew it was...but usually you can still "see" it...but NO, I guess they don't trust people, as they had a big ole gate across a long driveway, way down the street, so far down that you couldn't even see the lighthouse!  The best I could do, from a very far distance, was zoom in with my camera, the tip-top of it.  Bummer.  Selfish people. 

So, we went on to Fort Clinch State Park and visited the Fort.  Due to COVID, the reenactors weren't there to chat with, so we were on our own, but that was okay.  It was a small fort, not that much different than ones we've seen before.  Nice one for the soldiers at the time, it seemed.  

I actually found the drive in and out of the State Park more enjoyable than the Fort itself!  It had a "canopy drive" that had live oaks covered in moss hanging over the road all along the drive, really beautiful!

My favorite stop of the day was Boneyard Beach on Big Talbot Island!  I had been looking forward to this, and wasn't disappointed!  Wow, a photographer's dream...As the waters move around the barrier island, channels deepen, fill in and shift.  Relatively recently (within the past few hundred years), this has meant a swift retreat for the shoreline resulting in rapid tree fall. Their bones are bleached, smoothed and battered by sun, sand and wind. Trees of all shapes and sizes are strewn all along the beach for miles!  Beautiful driftwood everywhere, twisted, bleached, clean, just laying about on beautiful debris, no sea weed, no junk, etc.  pure beauty.  Of course I took way to many pictures! I finally told Jack to pull me away, or I would stay all day!  We left and found a fantastic restaurant and had a wonderful seafood lunch.  Could have stayed there all day too, just such a lovely way to spend the afternoon..

Our last day we took the Cumberland Queen Ferry over to spend the day on Cumberland Island.  Once again the weather was perfect!  You have to bring all your own food and beverages (carry in-carry-out), so we packed a picnic, camera and hats and off we went!  Lovely boat ride (45 min) and even saw a couple of playful dolphins!  I had heard that the island had feral horses and had hoped to see some...well, no worries there...they were everywhere, including at the dock!  The island is 18 miles long, I'd say (about the size of Catalina, if you've been there.  If you are (younger and healthier than us) you could hike it in a full day, but not us, we kept to the south end pretty much.  You can also camp there, and a number of young folks were doing that (bringing all that gear with them!).  They did have a number of picnic tables, restrooms and water fountains spread out around the island, which was great...and needed because you do a LOT of walking - even us, who are "out of shape and older" ended up walking more than 4 miles that day.  The "big thing" to see at the south end is the ruins of the Dungeness estate completed in 1885 by Thomas and Lucy Carnegie.  There are also a few shadows lingering from the earlier buildings built by Catharine Greene, wife of Revolutionary War hero Nathanael Greene and her second husband Phineas Miller.  Their graves are in the cemetery nearby.  

Along the edges of the island it has vast undeveloped beaches with sand dunes, sometimes as high as 40 feet.  They have a variety of birds that we could hear their song as we walked and I caught an osprey protecting her nest high up on the chimney.  Wild turkeys crossed our path, as well as a sweet deer took a quick peek at us as it munched on it's lunch.  The feral horses were everywhere, and as long as you didn't bother them, they didn't bother you.  The rangers warned us it was springtime and new foals were about, and parents were being protective, so give them space...they were known to bite and we did!  

The estate was massive in it's day, not only the mansion itself with over 50 rooms, but with a staff of over 300, they also needed housing.  As her nine children grew, they built houses on the property.  She had a pool, a "Recreation Building" that included a spa along with billiards, game tables, etc., a very large garden that would supply their food, cattle, sheep, etc. that would also supply that food source.  In other words, except for a few supplies, they were pretty self sustainable.  People came over by boat, were greeted by horse and buggy (later by car) and entertained elegantly, as only the Carnegie's could afford to do!

The last time Dungeness was used was for the 1929 wedding of a Carnegie daughter.  After the crash and the Great Depression, the family left the island and kept the mansion vacant.  It burned in a 1959 fire, believed to have been started by a poacher who had been shot in the leg by a caretaker weeks before. 

We are off to Brunswick Ga for the next four days...not that far, but many more adventures to seek out!  We will take a "day break" to relocate, and for Jack to rub the soreness out of his calves for more walking!  

If you are a glutton for all my pictures, you can see them on my Flickr account at:

...on the road in Georgia,  Marie

Friday, May 14, 2021

Family, Friends and Fun...

 One of the joys of traveling is the opportunity to stop and visit with family and friends along the way.  With our family so spread out, along with all of us being stuck at home for the past year of so, it’s been quite awhile since we’ve had the chance to visit anyone.  This trip is bringing us to a few people we haven’t been able to see in a very long (or ever) time!

Our first visit was to see my youngest grandchildren, in Texas.  At almost 4 and 7, I take every chance I can to see them, as they grow up so fast at that age and then as we all know, are off doing their own thing!  Those two boys are so full of energy and giggles it just warms my heart each time I see them!  We lucked out with the weather and even had a nice sunny, windy day and got to introduce the littlest one to “kite flying”.  He really did quite well too!  They have a rather large back yard, so can let loose and run and go with it quite a bit.  Sometimes just enjoying the simple things brings the biggest joys.  ;-)

After a week with them, we traveled on to Oklahoma where a couple of our friends from Happy Trails have their “other home”.  They hadn’t made it down to Arizona this past season and I really missed them, so we decided to come to them!  They have hook-ups in their driveway, which allowed us to park right there and stay a few days!  Terri and Don were such fantastic hosts, cooking us dinners, playing cards, going shopping and sightseeing.  We just had a ball, and almost hated to leave after our 3 day stay.  

Our next rendezvous was in Louisiana, where my Grandson and his family lives.  I have a new Great-Grandson that I hadn’t met yet and was anxious to meet, so had set up some time for all of us to get together over the weekend.  What a treat that was!  We all met over lunch first.   After all the hugs, I asked if I could hold him (he’s 9 months old).  He came right to me (you never know if a baby will take to you or not), he immediately put his little hands on my cheeks and gave me a big smile!  Well, THAT just melted my heart!  

After lunch we all went to the Shreveport Aquarium.  What fun, Ezra was just beside himself.  I put him next to the big tank and showed him the fish and he began to dance with joy!  He was just so cute to watch, so excited about all the colors and moving fish!  When we came to the tanks that you could reach in and touch the starfish or rays, he didn’t hesitate for a minute!  His little eyes took in everything.  I’m betting he went right to sleep on his way back home though, one tired little guy.  It was a to short a visit, but a wonderful one.

From Louisiana we traveled on to Georgia to see a dear friend I hadn’t seen in over 35 plus years!  Wayne was my “dancing partner” back in my “single days” in San Diego.  We danced together every Tuesday night at a club near where I lived.  He moved back to Georgia to help take care of his parents, and stayed.  A few years later, on a cross-country trip with a friend, we stopped and visited him, but that’s the last time I saw him.  We’ve stayed in contact though and remained friends, so when this opportunity came that we would be this close to where he lives, I wanted to see him (and dance!).  

Wayne is retired, but still works part time as a Columbus GA. Sheriff assigned to a Municipal Courtroom.  He was able to get one day off, but had to attend a class on the second day.  He met us the day we arrived and took us out to dinner and then dancing.  I haven’t been dancing (Jack doesn’t dance) in many, many, many years…but it all came right back!  It was just like old times!  We were the only ones on the dance floor, but we didn’t care.  Damn, it felt good!  We even got a few hoots and whistles!  He said several people were video taping us, so if you see us on UTube, let me know!  lol  He dances regularly and is very good.  One thing I’ve always enjoyed about him is that he is a great lead, and easy to follow.  

Our last night together he came and picked us up straight from work (still in uniform).  Drove us out to see where the law enforcement officers practice their shooting, then around town a bit and then changed clothes and then went to a great buffet dinner.  Afterward we searched for another place to dance, but alas, no luck.  Thursday nights just aren't "the night" for places to have live music, bummer.  All to soon, it was time for us to bid farewell.  I reminded him that he now owed me "two trips out my way" and now that his girls were older, and he was (kind of) retired, "no more excuses!"  He agreed. 

So much fun to have these kinds of visits along the way!  Now it's time to go see the "Gold Coast of Georgia"!  We will be visiting more family in July, but for the next six weeks or so, we are back to doing what we do best...seeing this beautiful country of ours!

...on the road in Georgia,  Marie

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Guthrie Oklahoma, A historical place to see!

 One of my favorite things to do while traveling is to visit small historic towns.  The most fun day for me is one that has a sunny blue sky with mild warm temperatures, lots of historic buildings with great architecture that have been "recycled" into wonderful boutiques, antique shops, cafes, candy shops, and bakeries.  A small museum is an added bonus.  Not to crowded, but enough people that keeps the places operating and open. 

All that, was delivered to us in Guthrie Oklahoma.  We were visiting friends outside of Oklahoma City and my friend said, "I have just the place to take you that I know you will love!"  Boy, she was sooo right!  

Guthrie was established during the famous Land Rush of 1889.  Guthrie promptly became the capital of the Oklahoma Territory. When Oklahoma became a state on November 16, 1907, Guthrie became the first state capital, a role it held until 1910, when the seat of government moved to Oklahoma City.

You can tell that Guthrie has worked hard to keep their downtown buildings in good condition while not loosing their historical character.  They have done a remarkable job! 

 In spite of very few people out and about, many of the shops were open for business...and we did our best to appreciate that by buying our fare share of goodies to take home!  ;-)  Guthrie also has a wonderful little pharmacy museum, called Oklahoma Frontier Drug Store Museum.  I think they had just about every kind of bottle, box, ointment, pill, mixture, formula, tincture, mortar and pestle sets that any "old" pharmacy could have had in the day!  Wow, was there a lot of stuff in that small shop!  Some cute ads to read too! ;-)

Speaking of "ads", there were some nice old ads on the buildings too...

All in all, it was a great day!  It was "Cinco de Mayo", so, of course, we had to end it with a great Mexican Dinner at Senor Lopez's Mexican Grill!  Yum!  I didn't get any pictures there...but I got to keep the (large) cup that my Margarita came in!  hee hee

All to soon, our visit with our friends came to an end and we needed to bid them farewell, so now we are off and on our way to Louisiana!

...on the road in Louisiana,  Marie

If you want to see more of my pictures, check them out on my Flickr:

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Oklahoma City...Visiting an old favorite!

Well we are back in one of our favorite cities, Oklahoma City!  There is always so much to see here, that we always find something new to go and find out about.  With a "list" in hand, we started out easy and headed out downtown to check out the area, see some art and then go celebrate my birthday at one of my most favorite restaurants, the Cattleman's Steakhouse (yum!).

First stop, an area they call "Plaza Walls".  Seems like more and more cities are getting into mural painting.  I guess they figured out that if you encourage the local artist, give them areas to paint, they won't graffiti your city in the areas you don't want them to!  Smart.  This area was mostly all down a back street, all along a fence and the opposite wall and then into a small eating area.  Like other places, some very good art, along with some quirky pieces.  One thing I noticed here in Oklahoma City, is a lot of murals done under bridges and along the over-under passes.  Some pieces here are HUGE too, taking up the side of whole apartment buildings...just amazing pieces.  

They also pay homage to their Route 66 strip, and have some historic pieces still left from "the day".  I couldn't pass that up!  So here are some nostalgic pictures of those!

Then it was dinner time!  The Cattleman's is always busy, but we got right in and Charles, our waiter treated us like royalty.  I always order the T Bone as I feel it has the most flavor.  Here, it's so tender you could cut it with a fork, and large enough for two nights (lucky me!).  Afterward, Charles "gifted" me with a generous slice of their signature coconut cream pie to take home!  (I'm still working on it!)

The next day we headed out first to the American Banjo Museum.  Wow, who knew there were so many different kinds of banjos?  The museum documents this colorful evolution, presenting every musical style and chapter associated with banjo history - from its roots in American slavery to its mainstream heyday of the Roaring 20s to its most recent voice in bluegrass, folk and world music.  As you entered, they had a delightful diorama with an old man and boy, with him showing the boy what a banjo was and how to play it, while sitting on the porch of a cabin. Very nice.  From there they had pictures with the history of the banjo then that led you into the displays of the banjos themselves.  The oldest being from the 1840s.  As time went on, they got fancier and fancier and "show" banjos really got fancier - wow!  Gold, with inlaid work on the back as well as up the neck and all around the edges - real works of art.  

Of course the had "famous" entertainers banjos donated too, like Steve Martin, Dolly Pardon, Roy Atkins, and of course Earl Scruggs...but did you know that little Shirley Temple played one too?  ;-) And Elvis?

Anyway, it was very entertaining and educational.  The museum collection contains more than 400 instruments, and its the largest collection of banjos on public display in the world.  They even had an area where you could handle a couple different styles and use a computer lesson to show you how to learn a few chords!  Pretty cool, I'd say!  One never knows, maybe there's a hidden banjo player deep inside, just waiting to come out!

Afterward, we drove over to the 99s Museum.  Now this one I was anxious to go see, as I had read a couple of books about these women.  The "99s" were formed back in 1929 by a group of women pilots.  There were 99 of them, hence the name.  It was at a time when they pretty much had to learn by the seat of their pants, against all the odds, with the worst of the planes, conditions, circumstances, (no) uniforms, etc. In spite of everything, they learned, flew and grew.  They showed the world that "a woman can do what a man can do!".  

The museum did a nice job of displaying artifacts from their heyday along with pictures of many of the original pilots from the group.  They really got noticed when they flew in what was referred to as "The Powder Puff Derby" - a cross country flight from Santa Monica CA to Cleveland Ohio. Nineteen started, and 15 finished 9 days later. It made history. No, Amelia Earhart was not the winner, a woman named Louise Thaden won. ;-)  It was after that race Amelia and others brought the group together to start the club.  

The museum also showcased women pilots through the years, all the way to today into space.  It sure would be a great place to take your daughters and them the fortitude and possibilities are all around them!  Great place for inspiration!

The change in weather (Arizona's 85-90's to Texas' 65, rain & hail), gave me the gift of a cold.  Not to bad of one, but enough that I don't want to make it worse or pass it along to others, so I have been hunkering down in the RV for the last couple of days.  Tomorrow we move over to a sweet friend's home here in the city and visit with her for another few days before heading on to Louisiana.  Who know what we will get ourselves into!  ;-)  

...kicking back in Oklahoma,  Marie

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