Monday, October 9, 2017

Jefferson

Since we had a three day weekend, we decided to hit the road again.

This weekend took us to Jefferson, Texas.  We again stayed at an Army Corp of Engineers campground.  This time it was Buckhorn Creek-Lake O' the Pines.

We left as soon as J got home from work on Friday night.  It's only about an hour and 15 minute drive so we figured it would still be light when we got there and J should be able to get the camper hooked up with no issues.  Well, that was wrong.  When we got there (it was still light), but the man at the gate asked J to verify our campsite.  I had reserved E117 because it was right on the water.  The guy asked J his last name and asked if he was sure that was our site.  J of course said yes and had the paperwork showing we had reserved that spot.  I guess that another couple came in a little before us and they told the clerk they were in that same spot and he gave it to them.  So the clerk had us follow him so he could tell the other people they needed to move.  When we pulled up, the people were not at the camper, but the lady was just walking up.  After looking over her paperwork, it was determined they were indeed in the wrong spot.  Now, if they had been in a spot on the water, we would have just told them we would take theirs, but they weren't.  The park ranger showed up as well.  It was also time to give Buddy his shot and then feed him breakfast.  So by the time we "kicked" the other people out, it was 8 pm and completely dark outside.  Luckily J keeps a flashlight with him.

Here was our view:



On Saturday, we went into the town.  We stopped at a visitor's center and were told it was the annual Big Foot convention, however, they were all sold out so we had to find other ways to amuse ourselves.


Since it was still very early, we stopped at a small cafĂ© "The Bakery" in town for breakfast.  The service was very slow and it wasn't the cleanest place we've ever been, but it was actually pretty good and cheap.  We both had omelettes.





The flea market was also going on this weekend and there was a citywide rummage sale.   We found nothing that needed to come home with us. 



After hitting the flea market, we made our way back downtown and did some shopping.  There is a Blackburn syrup & jelly factory here so we stopped at their outlet store and picked up a few things.  We also went to the Jefferson Historical Museum.  J got in free because he was a veteran (which was nice), however, this was a very disappointing place.  The exhibits were not specific to the city and it was really a hodgepodge of stuff people had donated.  









The museum also had a model train exhibit:



There was also an old train car across the street:


We did some more walking around after this.  We had hoped to take a ride on the Steam Train, but it has closed for the season:


There were no less than 6 antique (junk) stores in the town.  We went in every one, but they all had the same overpriced things.  

And finally our last stop of the day was the "Touring Basin" Riverboat Tour:











We went back to the campground and cooked dinner, with Buddy patiently waiting:




We were up again early on Sunday and went back into the town just to make sure we hadn't missed anything.  We stopped at the Old General Store, and 2 fudge stores.  We also visited two more "antique" stores we missed the day before:




We were originally supposed to leave on Monday morning, however, because we had seen all of the sights, we decided to go back to the camper, have dinner then pack up and hit the road.  Jefferson was a nice, quaint town, but definitely not more than a day trip.

We'll be back out on the road in November (Veteran's Day) and head to Natchitoches, LA.  It's also a little over an hour away.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Little Rock

We took the camper to Little Rock for the Labor Day weekend.  We had originally planned to go to Galveston, but due to some unforeseeable events and Hurricane Harvey, those plans went out the window.  Little Rock seemed to be the next best thing.  We have to stay within a 1-2 hour radius on weekends that are "normal" i.e. Saturday and Sunday, but for those weekends that are either a 3 or 4 day weekend (as was this case this time) we'll go out a little further.  Little Rock is a little over 3 hours from our house.

We left on Thursday and arrived at the campground around 3.  We stayed in the North Little Rock KOA and it isn't a place we'd recommend.

The first two pictures show how small our camper is.  We always park in the 50 amp slots (because we have the portable a/c since the unit that came in it doesn't get that cold and we have Buddy, so...).  Anyway, we always look like the odd balls parked next to the big ones.  Once we got settled on Thursday night, we went to Gus' Fried Chicken for dinner.


 
 Friday, we were up bright and early to give Buddy his shot.  Once we were finished with that, we headed out.  Our first stop was a ''farmer's market" that I found in one of the top 20 things to do in Little Rock list.  It was called McGee and Me and it was really just a farm stand.  We ended up getting some zucchini and jalapenos to cook on the grill for dinner.


Next up was the William Jefferson Clinton presidential library.  We've been to the George Bush one in Dallas previously so we wanted to see how they compared.  The Clinton library was much bigger, but had less people and seemed to have less exhibits to look at.  One nice thing though was that we got it for free because J is retired military.  I guess it was a special weekend because retirees usually pay a lower rate.




Our tour guide.  There is a replica of the room the president holds meetings in so the group in the tour (they had a free 1.5 hour tour here that discussed historical aspects of the 8 years Clinton was in office).


 Picture of one of the halls:


These boxes contained the archives of his official papers:


 View of the outside.  The bridge is a walking bridge:


What a table would look like during a state dinner:


The next few pictures are of his oval office.  You were not allowed to take pictures in the room, but you could stand in the doorway and take them (makes a whole lot of sense):









This building is also on the grounds:



More of the bridge:



After visiting the library, we walked downtown for a bit and eventually caught a ride on the streetcar.  It was free and took you around the whole city.




After touring the city, we went to the Big Dam bridge.  It was only about 2 miles from the campground, but it took us about half an hour to get here because it was nothing but hills and curves (through a residential area).  We walked to the middle of the bridge and then turned around.















After the bridge, we called it a day and went back to the campground.   Here's our cooking set up (we do have a oooktop in the camper, but it's easier just to use the grill-that I got on Amazon Prime Day):


Buddy just hanging out:
 

Our dinner:



Saturday morning, we got up and went to The Purple Cow for breakfast.  It looks like a diner, but is definitely a dive.  The service was terrible and the food was just okay.  You can see the "seasoned potatoes" otherwise known as frozen french fries in the picture below.  We both had the same thing, but J ordered some cheesy grits.  Those were fine (he doesn't like sweet grits and these were not):




After breakfast, we went back to downtown Little Rock and hit the Farmer's Market located on the River Walk:

 




From there we went to see Little Rock Central High School where the Little Rock nine came from:


A gas station located on the corner near the school:



After visiting the school, we went to the state capital building.  We walked right in and there was nobody there.  We did see a security guard and we asked him if we were allowed in and he said yes:





From there, we went to the Arkansas Historical Museum and I took no pictures.  It was disappointing but at least we didn't pay an admission fee as part of the museum was closed for lunch so we walked through the free gallery part.  Our last stop of the day was the Little Rock outlet mall where we picked up a light jacket for J.

We also made a trip to Little Rock Air Force Base and did a bit of shopping there.   We loaded the up the camper on Sunday and headed back home.

Our next trip is scheduled for Columbus Day weekend.  Since J starts his new job this week and I am supposed to go to San Antonio for the last 2 weeks of September, we'll just stick close to home for the rest of the month.

Jefferson

Since we had a three day weekend, we decided to hit the road again. This weekend took us to Jefferson, Texas.  We again stayed at an Army ...