Sunday, June 24, 2012

Destination: Washington, D.C.

Susan and I first visited our Nation’s Capitol in 2007, when I was admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court.  It was a life-long goal for me to be granted such an honor, especially being sworn in by Chief Justice, John Roberts.  Susan and I returned to Washington in 2008, when we accompanied the OCU mock-trial team to the national mock-trial competition sponsored by Phi Alpha Delta.  My son, Keith, and a former law associate, assisted me in coaching the team, who placed “6th” out of 19 universities competing.  Not bad for their first year of competition! 

This trip to Washington is also a life-long goal for me.  I’ve always wanted to visit the Smithsonian with my son.  Keith and I have a mutual interest in aviation, and the “National Air & Space Museum” is high priority on our list of places to see. 

Susan will fly out in advance to attend “Continental Congress,” which is the annual national meeting of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution.  Susan currently serves as “Regent” of the Oklahoma City Chapter.  Keith and I will bring the coach and rendezvous with Susan early the following week.  The three of us will celebrate Independence Day together in the Nation’s Capitol. 

Although our destination is Washington, D.C., Keith and I hope to visit several other interesting places along the way; and after getting Keith to the airport for a return trip home by air, Susan and I hope to visit even more sites on the way home. 

Today is Thursday, June 28, 2012.  Although Susan caught her plane out of OKC early Tuesday morning, and Keith and I left late Tuesday afternoon, this is the first chance I’ve had to update the blog.  We were delayed Tuesday because of a leaking valve stem on the inside, right-rear tire, and more seriously, a blown inner-bearing seal on the right, front wheel of the coach.  I noticed brake fade on the trailer brakes, and promptly took it to my dealer, Lewis RV, for inspection and repair.  Grease completely covered the brake assembly and impeded any braking ability by the coach.  When towing an RV that weighs in at over 16,000 lbs., it must also have an adequate braking system to stop both vehicles.   

Once the repairs were complete (around 4:00 p.m.), Keith and I headed east on I-40 and made it as far as Alma, Arkansas.  The following morning, we traveled through Little Rock and decided to visit “The Bill Clinton Presidential Center” (President Bill Clinton’s Library & Museum).  We then traveled further east and spent the second night in Jackson, Tennessee.  Today, we pulled into Nashville.  This is where I will pause and comment on a subject I rarely discuss when writing “The Adventure” . . . . politics and government. 

Today’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, upholding “the individual mandate” that all Americans are required to have health insurance, literally made me sick to my stomach.  The court that I have for so long held in high esteem, whether I agreed with its opinion or not, drove me a step further in losing all faith in my government, particularly the judiciary. 

The Supreme Court is the “sentry” that protects the American people from erroneous laws that conflict with the Constitution.  Since when has our government had the power to mandate that we buy anything?  The court finds its reasoning in labeling the mandate a “constitutional tax.”  A tax is a levy on one’s income or property.  A “mandate” is not a levy.  It’s a demand that you and I comply with the government’s order to purchase health insurance, and if we don’t, the Internal Revenue Service will penalize us on our annual tax return for our failure to comply.  What’s next?  Will we be required to purchase an automobile (to protect GM from another bankruptcy or bailout)? 

What’s worse is that Chief Justice, John Roberts, appears to be the “swing vote.”  The very justice who swore me in to practice before the high court.  I practiced law for several years, and taught American National Government and numerous law courses at two local universities.  Today’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court flies in the face of every lecture I gave on the government’s limitation of powers on the people. 

I remain very proud to be an American.  I remain very proud of my country.  But today, I’m very, very disappointed in my government, especially the Supreme Court of whom I have so long revered.  As I told so many students over the years, Benjamin Franklin was asked by a woman standing outside Constitution Hall shortly after the Founding Fathers signed our Constitution, “What has happened?”  Mr. Franklin was heard to reply, “You have a Republic, madam, if you can keep it!”  Thanks to many great leaders and our military, this country has survived many perils.  I now hope it can survive destruction from within at its own hand, or our Republic may be lost.

I know this has been “wordy,” and I apologize to those who would prefer to view pictures with brief descriptions instead of a rant.  But, as long as the First Amendment remains intact, I have the right to criticize my government and have exercised that right here, today.  Thank you for your patience. 

Now, on with “The Adventure!”


The visit to President Clinton’s Library & Museum was wholly unplanned.  Keith mentioned it to me as we approached Little Rock and we decided to take a break and check it out.  Here’s a few of the images we captured . . . .




This is one neat Cadillac!  FDR was the first president to have an armored vehicle.  No domestic manufacturer built an armored vehicle at the time, but the government had confiscated one from gangster, Al Capone, which became the president’s personal car. 

Below are images of reconstructed rooms in the White House.  At top, is the president’s conference room, and below is the Oval Office. 



Some of Bill Clinton’s saxophones.




Below, is an actual World Series trophy temporarily on loan to the museum . . . .


I’m not sure, but I think this is a “Chihuli.”



Below is a view of a bridge over the Arkansas River as seen from the 3rd floor of the Clinton Museum. 


The Clinton Presidential Center is worth the tour, but as I suspected, it’s very self-serving.  Time to move east to Nashville!

I’ve encountered traffic backups from road construction on every trip I’ve made through Tennessee (just west of Nashville) . . . .


Keith and I called ahead and made reservations at the Nashville KOA.  It’s a very nice park situated within a mile of Opryland. 



Once the coach was set up and both A/Cs were blowing strong, we headed to “The Hermitage,” which is the home and plantation of President Andrew Jackson.  Susan and I visited it several years ago, but Keith had not seen it.  It’s truly worth your time and minimal admission fee to view it. 


Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take pictures inside.  But we were permitted to view each and every room through plexiglas barriers.  We were also required to walk on carpet runners to protect the original wood floors.

President Jackson’s furniture was sold after his death to pay creditors, but later repurchased so that the home could be restored to its original splendor. 

Below, is the actual coach used by President Jackson during his presidency.  Quite a bit different from President Clinton’s “coach.”


The grounds around the mansion are also interesting.  The grave sites of President Jackson and his wife Rachel are situated on the property, as are family members and his personal servants (slaves).



Rachel died several years before the president (1831), and while he was still in office.  The curators told us that his second term was very difficult as he suffered with severe depression over the loss of his wife.  They are buried side-by-side under the garden tomb pictured above.  President Jackson died in 1845. 

We walked through the estate without restriction.  The original slave quarters are still intact, and the gardens are meticulously cared for . . . .



Although the temperature was over 100 degrees during our tour, there was very little humidity and one could smell a variety of fragrances as we passed through the gardens.  I wished Susan was with us so she could enjoy the experience, as she loves the outdoors, summer’s warmth, and trees, shrubs, and flowers.

Another building was recently discovered on the estate when workers were maintaining the grounds . . . .


I’m not sure what the item is in the lower picture, but it appears it may have been a primitive bathtub.  Nevertheless, it’s situated to the side of the back porch and is about the length and width of a modern day tub. 


Our tour of Nashville also included Music Row, the “Batman” building (AT&T), Opryland, the Ryman Auditorium, and the Country Music Hall of Fame. 





After struggling with 108 degree temperatures all day, Keith and I decided to go back to the coach for a little rest, then freshen up and have a nice dinner. 


The “Cock of the Walk Restaurant” is situated next door to the KOA.  They serve steak, shrimp, catfish and chicken.  We both had the chicken and fish combination plate and it was excellent!  They also serve all you can eat homemade cornbread and pickled onions.  The onions go great with the fish. 


Keith and I both consider the “Cock of the Walk” a “must do” restaurant if you’re in the area. 

We left Nashville the next morning and drove east 484 miles to Lexington, Virginia.  This is the furthest I’ve ever pulled the RV in one day.  By the time we reached the RV park in Lexington, I was exhausted.  Keith offered to help me with the driving, but he has had no experience towing a 40-foot rig, and because of the earlier problems with the brakes, I felt it was better that I did the driving.  I know how the truck/trailer sounds, feels, and performs on the highway better than anyone, and in the event of a problem, I might detect it early enough to avoid an accident. 

While in Lexington, we stayed at the “Lee Hi Campground” off I-81 at Exit 195.  It’s situated behind a large truck stop and Berky’s Restaurant.  Berky’s has a great breakfast, but I don’t recommend it for lunch or supper.  The RV park is simple, but located high on a hill over the truck stop.  It has great views of the surrounding mountains. 


After setting up the coach for the night, we had dinner at the local “Ruby Tuesdays.”  We noticed an old drive-in theater along  the way with people lying on blankets on the grass watching the movie.  It took me back many years, and it was good to see people doing that again.  But, storm clouds had gathered on the horizon, and just as we pulled back into the RV park the storm’s fury was unleashed.  As Keith opened the passenger side door of the truck, 80 mph winds swept down upon us as we rushed to get inside the coach.  I’ve ridden out several Oklahoma storms in an RV, but I’ve never experienced winds like these.  Fortunately, these were straight winds, and the back of the coach was pointed into the wind and not crosswind.  I couldn’t help but think of the people at the drive-in theater, wondering if they were safe. 

When the wind subsided, I went outside to inspect the coach for damage and it appeared unscathed.  The national news indicated considerable damage throughout the northeast as this storm was unexpected.  We later discovered that power outages were widespread and trees were uprooted and broken throughout Virginia, Maryland, and the D.C. area. 


The above picture is facing north from the coach on the morning we left Lexington. 

Because we were so close, Keith wanted to detour toward Charlottesville and visit the home of Thomas Jefferson, “Monticello.”


I was sad that Susan wasn’t with us, because this was one of the “jewels” of the trip.  Jefferson was a fascinating man and his home proved it.  As you approach the house you can see the weather vane mounted high on the roof.  But a directional dial is directly below it on the ceiling of the porch so the wind direction can be read without stepping into the yard. 


Jefferson also installed a clock on the front of the house that is powered by weighted chains leading down into the basement. 


Here are several other views of Monticello . . . .





Pictured above and below are views of the kitchen. From what I read, Jefferson’s preferred meal was stew, and he invented cooking surfaces that directed the heat upward toward the bottom of the cooking vessels for a more intense heat and faster cooked meal.


Below, is one of the gardens where household food was raised.  Jefferson spent considerable time helping slaves tend to the gardens. 


If you look closely through the trees, you can see The University of Virginia in the following picture.  Jefferson founded the University and helped finance its construction.  This view is from Jefferson’s study. 


Underground tunnels are incorporated beneath the mansion where abundant storage for wine, food, and other items were stored.  I noticed an immediate drop in temperature as I entered the tunnels.  I’m certain this was a desired place to work or rest during the hot summer in early day Virginia.



Below, is the laundry.  Notice the washtub to the right of the fireplace. 



Jefferson loved wine.  The picture below reflects a dumbwaiter that was used to deliver bottles of wine from the basement to the upper floors when Jefferson rang a bell.  



Jefferson’s view from high atop the hill where Monticello is located . . . .



Jefferson’s mother is buried on a hill overlooking the garden area . . . .


Jefferson is buried on the property, but surprisingly, his tomb is situated a distance from his beloved Monticello . . . .



A statue of Jefferson at the visitor’s center . . . .


Monticello was well worth the visit!  But, back on the road to our destination, Washington, D.C.  Keith has never been to D.C., and now that he’s a bona-fide professor at OCU teaching Constitutional Law and other legal courses, it’s time he see the subject of his lectures. 

We’ll be spending our time in the Nation’s Capitol at “Cherry Hill Park,” located in College Park, Maryland.  It’s just off the beltway that surrounds D.C., and is billed as a “high-end resort.”  


At first glance, it appears to be wonderful. 




But, after registering at the park office and finding our site, we realized it’s just another RV park . . . .


The site next to us looked as though someone lived there on a full-time basis.  Perhaps the chairs were tossed during the recent storm, but they were not picked up during our entire stay. 

We arrived on Saturday, but Susan would not join us until Monday.  Keith and I didn’t waste any time and headed to D.C. early the next morning via the Metro. 


Our first stop was our father/son priority . . . “The National Air and Space Museum” at “The Smithsonian.” 


Above, the actual single engine monoplane flown solo by Charles Lindbergh May 20-21, 1927, on the first non-stop transatlantic flight from New York to Paris.  I couldn’t believe we were in the midst of such fantastic pieces of history! 


Below, the Apollo 11 Command Module that carried Neil Armstrong, Buz Aldrin, and Michael Collins on their voyage to the Moon on July 16-21, 1969.  Amazing! 


I remember it like yesterday – sitting on the living room floor in front of a Magnavox television watching every second in anticipation as Armstrong stepped off the Lunar Lander onto the surface of the Moon.  Below, is a duplicate Lander that would have been used if the original had failed.  The original, of course, remains on the Moon. 



Below, a Messerschmitt Me 262 jet propelled fighter from WWII. 


The Hughes H-1 (the plane Howard Hughes flew to a record speed in 1931) . . . . 


A Ford Tri-motor . . . .


Being a former private pilot, I found myself totally engulfed in my element!  Susan and I have visited many aircraft museums, but this is the ultimate.  Keith and I were witnessing the actual aircraft that made historical flights. 

Below, is Amelia Earhart’s Lockheed 5-A “Vega,” which she flew solo across the Atlantic in 1932 and twice across the U.S.  Earhart was the first female to accomplish the task. 



Above, actual flight gear worn by Amelia Earhart.

Arguably, the most famous item on display is the 1903 “Wright Flyer,” flown at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, on December 17, 1903.  It is the first heavier-than-air powered aircraft to maintain sustained flight with a pilot onboard . . . .


Below, is one of my personal favorites . . . a North American “P-51 Mustang,” used by the U.S. in WWII and credited with shooting down 4,950 enemy aircraft . . . .


This museum just goes on, and on, and on, with remarkable specimens of American aviation history . . . .




Our timing was perfect, because as Keith and I finished our tour of the Air and Space Museum, Susan called and said she and her friend and DAR sister, Debbie Aldridge, would meet us for lunch and join us for a tour of “The National Museum of American History.” 

Susan and Debbie arrived earlier in the week to attend “Continental Congress,” the annual conference of The Society of The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).  The meeting is held at Constitution Hall, which is situated near the White House in Washington, D.C., at 1776 D Street.

dar bldg

Constitution Hall

Pictured below is the Oklahoma Delegation of DAR to attend the 2012 Conference . . . .

DAR girls

After a quick lunch, Susan, Debbie, Keith and I began our tour of the Museum of American History.  This building is also part of the Smithsonian, and the collection is absolutely fascinating. 


One of the museum’s most treasured relics is the actual top hat worn by President Abraham Lincoln to the Ford Theater the night of his assassination . . . .


A bronze cast of Abraham Lincoln’s “life mask,” dated 1886 . . . .


Abraham Lincoln’s pocket watch and fob (I include this picture for my buddy, Cliff Vassallo) . . . .


Other items on display include “Archie Bunker’s” chair from “All in the Family . . . .


The actual uniform worn by General Andrew Jackson during The Battle of New Orleans (War of 1812) . . . .


The chairs and table used by Generals Grant and Lee during the signing of the surrender document of the Civil War at Appomattox.  Grant sat in the upholstered chair, while Lee sat in the other and used the table to sign the surrender . . . .  


Scarecrow’s hat and boots from the 1938 film, “The Wizard of Oz” . . . .


Dorothy’s “Ruby Slippers” . . . .


A fragment of “Plymouth Rock,” said to be where the Pilgrims landed in 1620 . . . .


And, “Kermit the Frog” . . . .


The foregoing is just a sampling of what is on display at the Smithsonian’s “National Museum of American History.”  Because of time constraints, we were unable to see it all.  I was most disappointed that we were unable to view the Thomas Jefferson collection.  Because Jefferson was bankrupt at the time of his death, his family sold most of his personal items to pay creditors, which were thought to be lost forever.  However, the museum has recovered many of those items which are now on display and available for viewing. 

Next stop, Arlington National Cemetery to pay our respect to our fallen soldiers . . . .


We were able to witness the changing of the guard, . . . .


and visit President and Mrs. Kennedy’s graves . . . .



“Arlington House,” the former home of Confederate General, Robert E. Lee, is situated high on a hill over the cemetery . . . .


Susan and I have visited Arlington on previous trips, and it always moves me to see the number of soldiers, and families, that have sacrificed so dearly for our country. 

Keith would later tour the National Archives, alone, as Susan and I have already done so. The U.S. Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, and other significantly important documents are housed here under tight security . . . .


Before leaving Oklahoma City, Keith contacted the office of Oklahoma U.S. Senator, Tom Coburn, to obtain his assistance in helping us make reservations to tour the White House and U.S. Capitol.  The senator’s staff was very gracious, and although it was too short notice for a White House tour, they did schedule a personal tour of the Capitol. 


We began our tour by meeting one of Senator Coburn’s staff members at his office in the Russell Senate Office Building, which is just across the street from the Capitol.


The first thing I noticed as we entered the Senate Office Building were the gold trash cans . . . .


Finally, Senator Coburn’s office . . . .


The following picture is difficult to make out, but the plaque commemorates the office formerly occupied by President Warren G. Harding, when he served as a senator from Ohio.  The office is directly across the hall from Senator Coburn’s.  


Below, Susan registers as a visitor at Senator Coburn’s office . . . .


Here are a few of the reasons I’m fond of Senator Coburn . . . .


Above, a U.S. Debt Clock. 



Perhaps he’ll do something about those gold trash cans?

Our tour group consisted of four families from Oklahoma, including Larry Alexander and his son, David, from Tulsa . . . .


Below, are a selection of pictures taken during our tour . . . .










Above, the old Supreme Court Chamber from 1810 – 1860.  Some of you may be familiar with the case McCulloch v. Maryland, and Chief Justices, John Marshall and Roger B. Taney.  Marshall spent 20 of his 34 years on the bench in this courtroom, where he delivered the ruling in McCulloch.  Taney succeeded Marshall as Chief Justice and delivered the Dred Scott decision in this courtroom in 1857.

More pictures of the Capitol . . . .


Above, the star on the floor of the Capitol Rotunda is the center of D.C.






Above left is a statue of President Ronald Reagan.  Below, is the base upon which President Regan’s statue rest.  The base is fashioned from material previously contained in the Berlin Wall.  




The U.S. Capitol has a collection of statues honoring significant people from each state.  Oklahoma is honored with two statues, one of Oklahoma’s “Favorite Son,” Will Rogers . . . . ,


and Sequoyah, creator of the Cherokee syllabary.


The following picture is a view from the Capitol facing west, where presidents currently take their oath of office.  The ceremony was previously conducted on the east side, until  President Ronald Reagan decided he wanted to face his home state of California during his inauguration. 




The model of the “Statue of Freedom,” which is mounted high on the dome above the U.S. Capitol . . . .


This was the first visit to the U.S. Capital for Keith, Susan, or me, and it was truly a memorable experience for us.  Thanks to Senator Coburn and his staff for making this tour possible on such short notice! 


Upon completion of our Capitol tour, we walked through the underground tunnel connecting the Capitol to the Library of Congress . . . .



The architecture of every building we entered in Washington is amazing! 




Who would have ever thought the Library of Congress would house books?  Especially books written by the likes of Benjamin Franklin!


Or, Mark Twain . . . .


L. Frank Baum’s, “The Wizard of Oz.”


Photographs weren’t allowed in the following library, but just being able to stand among the volumes of books owned by Thomas Jefferson was astounding. 


A view of the Capitol from the Library of Congress . . . .



We then walked a short distance to the U.S. Supreme Court building, which is directly next door to the Library of Congress. 


It seems construction is always taking place in D.C., and the Supreme Court building is no exception (notice the scaffolds along the wings of the building). 

I made certain to show Keith the following sign, which signifies my heightened level of credibility with the Court since my admission in 2007 . . . .



The Court also houses several interesting items . . . .


Above, is the mahogany bench chair used by Chief Justice, John Marshall, from 1819 – 1835.  Below, is a statue of John Marshall.



Above, is a portrait of retired justice, Sandra Day O’Connor.  Below, looking up through the spiral staircase of the Court.



Photographs were not permitted inside the courtroom.  Although, our visit was timely to catch a brief lecture by one of the justice’s aids describing the building the operation of the Court. 

Of course, my visit to the U.S. Supreme Court with my son will always remain memorable for me . . . .


Upon leaving the Court, Keith headed for the National Archives, and Susan and I headed toward the Metro to catch the next train back to the RV Park.  Little did we know that our train would stall a quarter mile from the nearest station in 100 degree temperatures. 


After assisting others depart the cars through the emergency doors, Suz and I walked the distance to the College Park Station, but still had to catch a taxi to the Greenbelt Station where our vehicle was parked. 


The authorities sent K-9 units and helicopters to assist us, but the police and fire personnel did nothing but stand around, observe, and shout orders to the passengers. 



Another reason I’m grateful for my home state of Oklahoma!  Our emergency service workers were truly put to the test during the Oklahoma City Bombing and they performed spectacularly.  From my observation during this minor incident, it appears D.C. and Metro officials were either untrained, unprepared, or simply too lazy to care.  And, while I’m ranting, I hate the traffic in D.C. and other large cities! 


Today is the final day of our visit to Washington, D.C., and we’ll tour “Mount Vernon,” the home of the “Father of our Country,” George Washington. 



It was hard to believe that I was actually sitting in a chair on the back porch of President and General Washington’s private home overlooking the Potomac . . . .


In the upper photo, the tree to the left is a 247-year-old Swamp Chestnut Oak Tree, that existed on the property during Washington’s lifetime. 

Other large and old trees remain on the premises . . . .






Unfortunately, last week’s storm packing 80 mph winds destroyed many of the these magnificent trees.  We also noticed many toppled and broken trees while at Arlington Cemetery. 

Upon our arrival to Mt. Vernon the morning of July 4, we were treated to a recreation of a revolutionary battle on the front lawn . . . .






Photography was not allowed inside the mansion, but we did see the home as it was when Washington was alive.  The actual bed where the President slept and died of a throat infection remains intact in his bedroom. 


To say the least, this trip to Washington, D.C. has been rich in American history.  It’s not likely that I’ll ever return for another visit, although, Susan may because of her connection through DAR.  I hope Keith will once again have the opportunity to revisit the area.  One simply cannot appreciate everything on display here in one short visit. 

Later in the evening, Keith took the Metro into D.C. to watch the fireworks from the Mall.  Susan and I opted to stay in and rest up for the next day’s travels.  We watched the D.C. fireworks display and nationally televised program from the comfort of the coach.  The following photos were taken from the rear of our coach looking toward the Mall . . . .





Keith arranged for shuttle service to Dulles the following morning, and Susan and I prepared the coach for departure. 

Along the way out of the D.C. area on the Beltway, we observed the Washington, D.C. Temple, which is the 18th constructed temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS).  It was dedicated in 1974 and the first LDS temple built east of the Mississippi River.  Cost to build the temple was in excess of $15 million.  It’s the tallest U.S. temple, contains more than 160,000 square feet, stands 288 feet at its highest point, is encased in white Alabama marble, and designed to emulate the Salt Lake Temple with six spires.  


The next step of our Adventure is very special to me.  My father owned the oldest private detective agency in Oklahoma, and retired after 34 years in business.  Shortly after high school graduation, I began an apprenticeship with my father to learn the family business, and as a young investigator, I had the opportunity to help a client locate his missing children.  He had been awarded custody of his children in divorce proceedings, but his former wife kidnapped the children and transported them somewhere in Oklahoma.

After several days and nights of undercover surveillance, I found the children living with their mother and her companion in a rural area in southwest Oklahoma.  Our client was so grateful for our service, that he became a dear friend to me and my family. 

We lost contact with each other for more than 37 years.  But, in 2011, my friend took it upon himself to reconnect with me and we’ve been back in touch ever since.  His children are now grown with kids of their own, and my friend, Cliff Vassallo, is remarried to a beautiful girl named Nina.  This trip to the D.C. area gave me and Susan the opportunity to greet Cliff and Nina with a surprise visit.  Upon leaving Washington, Susan and I drove directly to Winchester, VA (approximately 84 miles) to see Cliff and Nina. 






Cliff refurbishes “tether cars,” which were originally built in the 1940s.  These cars are “tethered” to a pole in the center of a round track and powered by a combustion engine, which is fueled by nitro or methanol.  The driver has no radio control of the speed or direction, and the cars can reach up to 200 mph.   


Susan and I spent just a short time with Cliff and Nina, but we thoroughly enjoyed our visit.  Other than the color of his hair, Cliff hasn’t changed a bit.  I’m so glad that he and Nina found each other. 

Nina is originally from Russia and is a retired physician.  Nina’s hobby is cross-stitch . . . .




It’s obvious that Nina’s skilled hands as a physician are useful in other ways.  Her work is beautiful! 

I noticed a picture of a young woman on Cliff’s shelf that looked familiar.  The photo is actually Cliff’s aunt when she was younger, but she bore a striking resemblance to my mother at that age . . . .


It was a tearful goodbye as Susan and I left Cliff and Nina.  But, maybe we’ll get to see them again.  We certainly won’t lose touch with each other again! 



Thanks for sharing the great pictures, Cliff and Nina! 

After leaving Cliff and Nina in Winchester, Susan and I drove 408 miles to Sevierville, Tennessee, where we checked into “Two Rivers Landing RV Resort.” 


This is what I consider a “resort class” RV park.  It has all concrete pads with convenient utility hookups.  The sites are level.  The Internet connection is excellent.  And look at the surrounding views . . . .






If interested, this park is located at 2328 Business Center Circle, Sevierville, TN  37876, (866)727-5781, or by the Internet at

We’ve planned to stay here a couple of days to rest up before we head back to OKC.  Sevierville is one of a three small towns linked together by State Highway 441, which includes Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  This is the area where Dolly Parton was born and raised, and she has quite an investment here with her famed amusement park, “Dollywood.”  There are also several other attractions in the area, including comedy and music shows. 


Susan and I arrived just in time to see Mel Tillis perform . . . .


On our second day, we took in a comedy show at the “Hatfield's and McCoy's Dinner Theater.” 

Our hostess . . . .


The show was funny!  The cast not only could sing,


but they could dance well, too!


Dinner was served before the show began, and included fried chicken, mashed potatoes, coleslaw, soup, cornbread, dessert, and tea or coffee. 







Below, is a “Hillbilly RV” . . . .


While we were in Sevierville, we came upon “Five Guys” hamburgers.  Keith told me it had great reviews, so we gave it a try.  Keith was right!  The hamburgers and fries are excellent. 


Well, vacation is coming to an end, and as I checked the air pressure in the truck and coach tires for this morning’s departure, I noticed that the right, inside rear, tire was seriously low.  The new steel valve stem that was recently installed bad broken. 


Good Sam Roadside Assistance removed the tire and installed the spare, but we don’t want to travel with the coach absent a good spare.  So, we’ll just have to spend another night at this first class resort and take in another music show.  Oh, well! 

By the time we get back to OKC, we’ll have traveled over 3,000 miles on this phase of “The Adventure,” “Destination: Washington, D.C.”   As stated earlier, it’s been a trip rich in American history and we’ve truly enjoyed it.  I especially enjoyed the road trip with my son, Keith, and I always enjoy traveling with my best friend and soul mate, Susan. 

Safe travels and watch for the next segment of our blog.  The year is only half over and we have many more miles to travel before it’s time to winterize the coach. 

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