Find us on Google+ Rick and JoAnne's RV Travels: April 2012

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Friends, Family and T3

What a fantastic adventure we had!

Visiting Rick’s parents Mary and Dick, and helping to celebrate their 68th wedding anniversary, spending time with our family in Florida, and having Andrea and Caleb coming from Colorado, to our time in Key West with our friends Lois and Hal, catching up with some old friends, and then to be able to see, and spend a fun time with our grandchildren in St. Louis, Addison and David, and our grown kids there – Maggie and Jeff.

No…It wasn’t fun to see the devastating loss of their home from an electrical fire, but wonderful to know they are all okay and moving forward with building a completely new home.

Plus experiencing all of the historic and not so historic sites along the way, but of course, one of our most noteworthy memories will be our visit to Lazydays RV in Seffner, Florida and purchasing our new Winnebago Adventurer, affectionately known as T3.

Tonight we’re in Cheyenne, Wyoming and plan on being home tomorrow. We are anxious to see and spend time with our grandchildren and grown kids there, as well as our friends in Colorado.

It’s going to be a busy time for us getting ready to go full-time in T3, taking our grandchildren on week long adventures, and just hanging out with our grown kids and friends.

Life is good, and we are truly blessed!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Mark Twain's Hannibal, Missouri & American Gothic Eldon, Iowa

April 2, 2012 - After leaving our kids in St. Louis, we headed toward Des Moines, Iowa for a business meeting Rick needed to attend. So along the way we decided to stop in Hannibal, MO - the boyhood home of of Samuel L. Clemens - the famous Mark Twain.

The town clearly has seen "better days" but it was fun to visit the boyhood home of Sam Clemens, see Becky Thatcher's house, Tom Sawyer's white-washed fence, the Mark Twain Museum, Lover's Leap, and enjoy the most yummy gelato at Chocolaterie-Stam. SEE PHOTOS HERE

April 3, 2012 - American Gothic turn right – 

We saw the sign, and said “let’s stop!”

American Gothic is a painting by American painter, Grant Wood in Eldon, Iowa. His inspiration came from a cottage designed in the Gothic style with a distinctive upper window and a decision to paint the house along with "the kind of people I fancied should live in that house."

The painting shows a farmer standing beside his spinster daughter. The figures were modeled by the artist's dentist, Byron McKeeby and Wood’s sister, Nan Wood Graham. The woman is dressed in a colonial print apron mimicking 19th century Americana and the couple are in the traditional roles of men and women, the man's pitchfork symbolizing hard labor, and the flowers over the woman's right shoulder suggesting domesticity.

At the Visitor’s Center they shared interesting information about the painting, for example, Nan Wood Graham and Byron McKeeby had no idea where the house was. They were just “inserted into the painting.” Nan was invited to the opening of the center, and she was so happy to finally find out exactly where in Iowa the house was located. Also Bryon, Grant Woods’s dentist was so unhappy with the painting; he never talked to Grant again.

One of the many pictures they have displayed is of Grant Wood when he painted the house in 1930.

We asked if anyone lives in the home, and apparently the house has been used as a rental home over the years.

It was fascinating, great fun and we were oh so happy we made that right turn! SEE PHOTOS HERE

Saturday, April 7, 2012

St. Louis with Our Family There


As many of you know, our "St. Louis kids and grandkids" had a tragic and total loss of their home in Sunset Hills, MO due to an electrical fire the evening of March 4th. We were anxious to visit them, confirm they are indeed okay, and to see the progress on the "rebuilding" of their house, which from all indications will be completed in 6 to 8 months.

Normally when we visit them, we parked T2 in front of their home. Now of course it was all house to park in front of and with a much larger RV to find a place to park.

We decided on Babler State Park, in Wildwood, MO about 17 miles from their location. What a great State Park. We will definitely use this park again. That way we could drive in to see them, and they would be able to come out and visit with us. And that is what happened! In fact while just "hanging out" with us for a weekend, they said they were so grateful to "have a break" from all of the activities of the house fire, and just relax in the country.
I really enjoyed hanging out with them, but had such a blast with the kids! Making S'mores, watching baseball practice, listening to a school report, going out to dinner, celebrating birthday's, having our kids shopping spree, plus having chalk drawings done on our patio. We enjoyed some fun picnic dinners, and lots treasured lots of laughter!

How blessed we all are!   SEE PHOTOS HERE

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Pinson Mounds State Archaeological Area - Tennessee

We stopped here on March 27th:: One of our "on the road detours" were the Pinson Mounds which is a National Historic Landmark. We saw a "brown sign" (which indicates some sort of historical site) along the drive, and since neither one of us had been to a State Archaeological Area we thought..."what the heck" let's go see what they are.

Along a long, winding, back woods road, we ended up at the park museum which is built into a replicated prehistoric Native American mound. What a fascinating little place! We watched a documentary on the 1820 discovery by a surveying crew and then named after one of the surveyors, Joel Pinson. It also showed the 1950s and 60s archaeological digs of the area, and took a look at the prehistoric discoveries they found.

From there we walked out out into the complex which features at least 17 earthen mounds. Pinson is the largest Middle Woodland period (200 B.C. to 500 A.D.) mound center of the Southeast.

Rick decided to climb the second tallest mound in the United States, at 72 feet - Saul's Mound. Way to go Rick!!! I of course had to stay behind and document the climb! LOL

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Shiloh National Military Park and Cemetery...revisited!

We have been "on the go" these past few weeks so I wanted to catch up while we have some decent Internet access, on what we've been up to.

On March 25th...Yes, this is another one of those places we had visited before and didn't remember until we pulled into the visitors parking lot. Only this time, we stayed longer, studied more areas and monuments, and truly explored the park, plus the surrounding areas. We were there on the anniversary of the actual battle on April 6th and 7th, 1862 which gave us a whole new perspective, and discovered the Shiloh Missippian-era Indian Mounds which is now a National Historic Landmark.

We also had the opportunity to actually go into the Shiloh Visitor's Center this time which had a great film detailing Shiloh (also known as the "Battle of Pittsburg Landing"), the Civil War's first major combat in the western theater.
We visited the town of Savannah, TN. We saw Cherry Manson, which served as General Ulysses S. Grant's headquarters during the Battle of Shiloh, and on the way out of town, we had the chance to stop at the Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center in Corinth, MS near the site of Battery Robinett, a Union fortification around which some of the bloodiest fighting during the Battle of Corinth took place.

Even though one would think you might have an uneasy feeling of bloodshed and war, the day we were there left us with a feeling of peace and calm. The day was beautiful, flowers were blooming, the sun was shining, and there was a calm, cooling breeze along the Mississippi River.

If you ever get the chance to stop at the Tennessee River Museum while in Savannah, TN, make sure to do it! It was a great museum that chronicled prehistoric times, life of the Missippian mound builders, and told the tragic story of the "Trail of Tears," and the Civil War on the River, the Golden Age of Steamboats, and the Tennessee River today. SEE PHOTOS HERE