Excellent Times with Friends and Family
03.04.2013 - 16.04.2013
Sorry it has been so long since our last post. I have some reasons but no real excuses so I’ll just say sorry and we will try to post more often in the future.
Let’s see….when we posted our last update we had just completed our trip to the motor home manufacturer in Alabama. It was a great experience overall in that not only did we get the booth dinette changed with a computer desk and chairs but we also learned about other recall items that were fixed by Tiffin at no charge as well.
One thing we were able to do while awaiting repairs was to visit the Shiloh civil war battle field. The visitor’s center shows a movie every hour that highlights the history of the battle and has numerous items that have been recovered from the battle field over the years as well as presentations explaining the timeline of the two day plus battle. Once you have examined the items and learned about the timeline of the battle there is a long driving tour with well marked signs explaining where lines were formed and specific battles occurred. The feeling of standing on those battle fields was hard to explain but moving. Here are some pictures we took at the battle field.
There are many monuments constructed throughout the battle field honoring many individual battle groups.
A restored cannon from the battle field
This load called “grapeshot” was one of many options loaded into cannons as projectiles
Very interesting to learn that some very famous people were involved in the battle including two future US Presidents (Grant & Garfield) as well as the highest ranking US military officer ever killed in battle Confederate General Albert Sydney Johnston.
A tribute to the Minnesota militia who fought at the battle.
After leaving the NorthWest Alabama area we traveled through Mississippi and into Louisiana where we stopped for a couple of days in Shreveport. While there we spent a day at Barksdale AFB which is the home of the 8th Airforce and of the B52 aircraft. They have a nice museum and display of aircraft on the field. I won’t bore you with all the dozens of airplane pictures I took there but here are a couple.
Nose of a B17
Next we traveled a short distance to Tatum Texas to visit my daughter and to meet my new grandson.
Here I am with all three of my Grandsons Julian, Elijah and Samuel.
Once we left Tatum we traveled to Keller TX to spend a few days getting caught up with our friends Mo & Jerry. We had a great time there and some wonderful meals (as usual). I was also able to get some additional work on the motorcycle lift to make the platform level as I travel. Once we left there we traveled to Llano TX to pickup mom and travel to Nashville and Branson MO. We had a great time in both cities with mom but I think Nashville is a city that may warrant another visit. We visited the Country Music Hall of Fame and the associated famous RCA Studio B where so many classic hits were recorded. Here are some pictures of those visits.
This is “Ray” our mascot who we travel with and is rapidly becoming the most photographed hedgehog in history.
This is a 1962 Pontiac owned by Country singer Web Pierce who paid $20,000 to have the modifications done to this car. Checkout the saddle on the transmission hump not to mention the countless silver dollars glued all over the car.
Many famous items from the history of country music are archived here. This is the dress of Mini Perl worn at the Grand Ole Opry.
The famous RCA Studio B is often called the home a 10,000 hits. Not sure just how many hits were recorded there but the picture above shows the singles that Elvis Presley recorded here. In addition to Elvis many other artists recorded very famous songs here including, Eddie Arnold, Dolly Pardon, Jim Reeves, Charley Pride, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and many many others.
Here is a picture of the Everly Brothers recording in the same studio
Here we are with Mom in the studio behind the piano used by Elvis and many others in this studio over the years
Next we visited the famous Ryman Auditorium often called the Mother Church of country music because it was originally built as a temple before becoming the original home of the Grand Ole Opry. It was pretty neat to see the stage and backdrop that I had seen so many times as a child on TV. Some time in the 70’s I believe the Grand Ole Opry moved from the Ryman to a new larger and more modern building a bit further out of downtown. Here are some pics from our visit.
Here is a pic of the outside of the old Ryman Auditorium
Here is a picture of the inside of the auditorium from the bottom floor. You can see the upper balcony constructed in the late 1800’s for a confederate soldier reunion held at the auditorium.
The infamous stage backdrop of the Grand Ole Opry
A life sized bronze statue of Mini Perl and Roy Acuff in the lobby of the Ryman
A picture taken of a Friday night radio show we attended at the new Grand Ole Opry. They removed a 6 foot circle of the old wooden floor at the Ryman and placed it center stage at the new auditorium
We had a very fun couple of days in Nashville. We definitely want to go back to see more live music and visit some places we didn’t make it to. Next we were off to Branson Missouri. Branson is the tribute band capital of the world it seems. On any given day you can see someone imitating your favorite artist and doing a pretty good job of it as well. Branson’s airport is VERY small even though it accommodates Southwest Airlines 737’s.
Here is a picture of the inside of the Branson Airport.
One of the things we did in Branson was to take a dinner cruise on a paddle wheeler showboat. It was a pretty neat boat. Fairly new it was built here on the lake and claims to be the largest ship ever constructed on a land locked lake. It was impressive.
Here is a picture of the main show stage on the ship. We saw some very talented performers and musicians and enjoyed a pretty good meal. Overall, well worth the cost if you are in the area.
I don’t think I have ever photographed the inside of a restroom before but this forward head on the ship was so elaborately decorated with ships memorabilia that it seem appropriate
Branson has just about everything for family entertainment you could want. Here is an elaborate building housing a local wax museum. Wow!
Here is a shot of the old downtown Branson. There is a 5 & 10 cent store there that is not to be missed. You need to schedule at least an hour to look through it and could probably spend three hours if you wanted to
I guess if I had to sum up Branson in two words they would be God & Country. People here are very patriotic and religious. I think this sign pretty much sums it up
Well since we returned from our trip we have been hanging out in the Austin area for about a week now taking care of some business and maintenance issues. I think tomorrow we will head out again. Next is a trip up through the central states Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio and into the Pittsburgh area to attend a college graduation for Susan’s niece. We are looking forward to spending some time in Ohio attending the Rock-N-Roll Hall of Fame as well as the Football Hall of Fame. We also want to revisit the USAF museum at Wright Patterson AFB in Dayton on our way.
If you have some time drop us an email and let us know what is going on with you as well.
Tom & Susan