Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Natchez to New Orleans to Irma

March 10-11, 2014
Sunset over the river in Natchez

Beignets and cafe au lait

Rain in the big easy. After one hour of rain, streets were flooding. We were in up to our ankles crossing some streets. Not a good day to explore

Day before in Natchez at national park service antebellum home and slave quarters. This couch is for visiting with your boyfriend.

Lunch at ACME Oyster House. Herbie had crawfish tail po boy. I had an oyster po boy.

Staying tonight half way between the gulf and Memphis. Rained all day.


Monday, March 10, 2014

Vicksburg to Natchez

March 9, 2014

The Vicksburg National Military Park is so big the car tour is 16 miles long. There are hundreds of monuments throughout the park placed mostly by states.

This picture is part of a trench dug by the union soldiers during the siege at Vicksburg. This battle is one of the best documented battles ever.

Monuments like this were throughout the park

This is the ironclad ship Cairo which was sunk during the battle. It is the only one of ten that were made in 100 days for this battle. This is the front

Here art the five tanks used to generate steam. They burned coal. You can see the paddle wheels at the back

On the curved part of the front, railroad rails were attached for protection

Staying in Natchez. Supper at big mamas. Herb is enjoying his margarita. They claim it gets you naked.

Sunset in Natchez

Went to a play "Southern Exposure". In the Natchez little theater. This dude in the socializing room is decorated in shells. At intermission the drinks were complementary. Southern hospitality


Saturday, March 8, 2014

Clarksdale to Vicksburg

March 8, 2014

Clarksdale, MS is a blues center. Home of delta blues museum. This is not the museum, but a blues club near by called Ground Zero. This is the front entrance

On the porch are a couple old couches and overstuffed chairs

One should not be drunk when leaving. The fall could be pretty painful

This is the inside. We were there at 10 am. Music starts at 9pm daily

Graffiti is encouraged

The light shade over the pool tables were paper and well grafittized.

The entrance to the blues museum. No photos permitted inside. Tributes to many blues musicians. Muddy Waters got the most notice. Lots of very fancy clothes were on display. Glitzy and silky!

When we left the museum I pulled up the delta blues channel on pandora and we rode down the delta listening. After lunch we switched to local country radio. Added to the atmosphere

Dinner in Vicksburg

The fried dill pickles were the best part!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Memphis to Clarksdale

March 7, 2014
With the aid of my trusty iPhone, we traveled to downtown Memphis to first visit the Pink Palace which is not what it sounds like. It is a museum (natural history, science, history, planetarium, IMAX) that got its beginning in a Hugh mansion built by the inventor of the super market. He was the first to let the shopper pick up their items and take them to the check out. Became Piggly Wiggly. The building was greatly enlarged into a very classy museum. We were impressed with their evolution exhibit. They hit hard on the scientific evidence and emphasized the process of science vs religion.

Also their civil wash exhibit was interesting to us because it showed it from the souths vantage. Their minerals collection was beautiful.

Our second stop was the national civil rights museum which is in and across the street from the Lorraine Motel where MLK was shot.

While we were there a soldier took her oath as she re enlisted for another four years of military service in front of the motel. A man told me that many people choose to do this kind of thing frequently in this place

After lunch we headed back to the suburb of Germantown where Sherrill and Bev Ray live. Their house is full of family antiques of all types. I consider their house to be the third museum we visited today! Sherrill (who shares an ancestor with me, Swedish of course) and spent the afternoon looking at photos she has from her grandmother. She is trying to find out who is in the pictures. I didn't recognize anyone.

Sherrill and husband Bev

I enjoyed driving in and around Memphis. Without the iPhone it would have been a nightmare. Violet, my Prius navigator, was not helpful.


Chester, IL to Memphis

March 7, 2014

Travel advisor advice for the day - Miss Martha's cornbread and sweet tea in Hickman, KY

A very friendly waitress. She love the deep fried okra. We had chicken and dumplings. Was ok. Most fun was the place. Miss Martha was in

You start your meal with a basket of corm muffins and strawberry butter. No chips and salsa here

Miss Martha's ladies room

We drive most of the day. Didn't think we would get to Memphis, but there was really no place to visit. They were still healing from a big snow Sunday. Drove through a lot of slush

Got hotel in Germantown suburb of Memphis and called Sherrill Ray. We met her and her husband Bev at the Germantown Commissary for barbecue. Reminded me of Big Bobs except here deviled eggs came with everything.

Sherrill took we on a ride around Memphis. Beale street is blocked off to card and has lots of neon. Today we will go to sherrills house in the afternoon.


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Keokuk to Chester, IL

March 5, 2014

The day started with a very slow drive down Grand avenue. This town has a rich history. The rich built fabulous, mostly brick and stone, homes on the bluff above the river. This was my favorite

There was park right at the end of grand avenue

Lock and dam 19 at Keokuk. Water open below the dam for quite a bit,but frozen farther down.

We drove to Hannibal through Missouri.

Mark twain childhood home

Becky Thatchers home. She was real. Name changed

Original Rockwell paintings to illustrate huck Finn

Painting on the right. Numbered print on the left

Becky thatcher outfit. 7th graders are hired during the summer to help with local promotions

Huck Finn outfit. (My shadow)


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Galena to Keokuk march 4

A fresh two inches of snow on the ground in Dubuque. We drove about 30
miles to Galena, IL. A very cool place. The business district is about three long

blocks long, slightly curved and very well preserved. All the buildings are brick.. Now the shops are revamped for tourists. We visited the historical museum and saw Grants home. We now know the answer to the age old question "Who is buried in Grants tomb?" But we aren't telling. This picture shows the forms that were used to make Galena bricks. Galena was founded because it is a drift less area which had deposits of galena (lead ore) quite accessible to miners.

Grants family had a leather store in Galena. This stuff is from that store

The original painting of the surrender at Appomattox is in the museum

Our trip advisor score of the day was Cafe Crumbles in Savanna, IL. Herbie wanted a milkshake, but had to settle for a mocha frappe. Great food too.

At lock and dam 13 there was enough open water that several eagles were fishing. We are staying the night in Keokuk, Iowa. The ground is still covered with snow. We did see 30 degrees today though


The Great River Road Adventure

March 2-3, 2014

Our trip started Sunday night when jordan arrived. He is our house/dog sitter for the time we are gone. He brought the ingredients to make a. Dry special cake for his German class which was having a party Monday. He baked two layers of a German mocha cake. Monday morning he was up before 5 to make frosting and finish his cake. He split the layers and put mocha buttercream over all along with fresh raspberries.

This is the picture he sent of the cake. The called it "divine".

Our trip started about 8 am as we headed on the interstate south. We left the interstate about 30 miles north of Madison and headed for Prairie Du Chein. Had lunch there and saw the old part of town. Looking not too prosperous at the current time. Crossed the river here into Iowa and first saw McGregor, a quaint little small town on the river. Liza's grandma lived here. The most interesting town of the day was Guterburg, named after the printing press guy. It had a long peninsula going out into the river. Looks like flooding coming soon.

Out first river crossing

You can see the row of houses here. We are on a bluff coming into Guterburg. What looks like water is the other side of the river. There is a dam and lock here. Thought we might see some eagles. Not so. Only a small bit of liquid water just below the dam (about 10 feet) the whole river if solid otherwise.

Stayed in Dubuque, Iowa. Used trip advisor to find motel and dinner. Motel worked out great. First restaurant we went to was closed. The second had closed a year ago. I must right a review about that one.


Location:Mississippi River