Monday, May 12, 2014, Marietta, Georgia

This is our last journal entry for our trip. We decided to return home from San Antonio. The day before we were to leave, Bob tripped on the stairs from the bedroom and fell on his back. He developed a large bruise and a very sore lower back ribcage. On our way home, we drove back to Houston for a few days and left for Lafayette. We decided to continue home through Jackson Mississippi. We had considered driving home via the Natchez Trace Parkway, but decided to spend a rainy day and just see part of the parkway. From the parkway, we drove to the Vicksburg National Battlefield and drove through the park. From what we saw of the Natchez Trace, we will return on another trip to drive the parkway. It starts in Natchez Mississippi and ends in Nashville Tennessee, about four hundred and fifty miles. It is a very scenic and relaxing. The parkway is a two lane road with lower speed limits. We continued the next day to Anniston Alabama and returned home to Marietta.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014, San Antonio, Texas

Today was a rest day and we continued to work on our projects. We had breakfast at the campground outdoor restaurant, which was quite good and took a walk around the campground.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014, San Antonio, Texas

The Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park is in the Texas hill country 75 miles north of San Antonio and due west from Austin. We drove to the park and arrived around 9:30. The area consists of a state park and a national historic park. We went to the orientation at the state park welcome center and then drove to the Johnson home. Along the way we saw a reconstruction of Johnson's birth home, family cemetery and many acres of the original farm. The Johnson family deeded the property to the government and remains a working cattle ranch. The family home faces and is on the bank of the Pedernales River. The home was a pleasant surprise. We have visited many former presidents' homes and this was comfortable, livable and very well designed. The docent provided an excellent tour and we enjoyed the presentation. Since we travel with the retired generation, we all shared a similar thought when we got to the kitchen. Our guide told us that this was to be the next stop on President Kennedy's trip after he left Dallas in 1963. I believe we all thought of that day and what we were doing then. It got very quiet for a few moments. President Johnson had seventy-two phones installed in the Texas White House and had three televisions in at least three rooms. Some rooms only had one television. The docent told lots of interesting stories along the tour. Afterwards, we walked through the national park visitors center. Sue found a ceramic tile and Bob found a pin to add to our collections. We drove back to San Antonio and relaxed for the day.

Sunday, Monday, April 27-28, 2014, San Antonio, Texas

The temperature reach over 100 degrees and we decided to stay at the camper and try to stay cool. The temperature probe for our weather station is mounted under the hitch on the camper. It is total shade and senses the air temperature. The high temperatures occured around 6:00 PM. Saturday morning, we went shopping at Costco and Whole Foods in San Antonio. Sunday we fixed a pot roast in the slow cooler to keep the camper cooler and not use the grill outside.

Saturday, April 26, 2014, San Antonio, Texas

This morning, we took the public bus from the KOA campground to downtown San Antonio and walked to the Riverwalk. We decided to have brunch along the river. The meal was enjoyable and we were relaxing after the waiter brought the check. Just before Bob reached for the bill, we heard a loud SPLAT on the umbrella over our heads. Then we saw the cause of the noise. A large bird (probably a duck) released its droppings on the umbrella and on the part of the table not covered by the umbrella. The waiter and host both came over and saw the mess. Nothing reached us, but part of the table and sidewalk were a mess. We waited for a new bill and for someone to clean up the mess. No one wanted that job, but finally we got a new bill and a waiter came to clean up the bird's dirty work. After that experience, we decided to wear our hats and continued on the riverwalk. We took a ride on a tour boat along the river. The river is crowded, scenic and full of amazing trees and foliage. From there, we walked to the Alamo Plaza. We toured the mission church, saw a short video from the History Channel of the history of the Alamo, and toured the Long House. Bob found another pin for his collection at the gift house. We returned to the KOA at 2:00 on the city bus. We really like San Antonio. It's tourist and pedestrian friendly and has a lot to offer. And it's impossible to take a bad picture on the river. :)

Friday, April 25, 2014, San Antonio, Texas

We left the campground at mid morning and headed to the toll road. Along the way, we had to pass over a railroad track. It was very steep and we drove very slowly. When we drove down the other side, the rear of the camper scraped the pavement. Later we would find that the steps into the camper were hard to unfold and the door was hard to open. Something was bumped out of alignment. One more repair for Three Way Campers at home. We continued on the toll road and turned west on I10. The traffic for most of the trip was heavy, but we reached the KOA in San Antonio without incident. We thought we would return home through Houston, but we are considering driving north to Dallas and heading home from there. The traffic in, around, and through Houston was very heavy and the design and construction of the interstates were inconsistent and confusing. Lanes appeared and disappeared without any logic or consistency. We have taken the route via Dallas and we think it will be a little easier.

Thursday, April 24, 2014, Houston, Texas

Today was laundry day. The campground has a large laundromat. However, the machines do not take coins. Instead, a machine dispenses a prepaid debit card that is used to pay for the washers and driers. We cleaned up and got ready to head to San Antonio tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014, Houston, Texas

Today, we met Duane Bradshaw for lunch at his office in Houston. He has his own architectural practice now. Bob and Duane worked at Lloyd Jones Brewer Architects from 1982-84. We reminisced and caught up on the folks we worked with then. Later we met Carol Shackouls for dinner. Sue and Carol taught second grade together at Elm Grove Elementary from 1980 to 1984.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014, Houston, Texas

We drove to Bob and Barbara Bookstabers house at 4:30 for dinner. Bob and Barbara taught fifth grade together at Bear Branch Elementary, along with Annette, during the 1980-81 school year. We had a great time recalling those days and updating our family news. Of course, we took the tour of Barbara's garden before the festivities.

Monday, April 21, 2014, Houston, Texas

Today was a rest day and we worked on our projects

Sunday, April 20, 2014, Houston, Texas

When we travel, we usually look for Another Broken Egg breakfast restaurant. We located an Another Broken Egg north of us in the Woodlands and drove up for Easter breakfast. After breakfast, we found a Super Walmart and purchased food and supplies. We returned to the RV and worked on our projects. Bob contacted Duane Bradshaw, an architect he worked with at Lloyd Jones Brewer in Housten in the early 1980's. We set up a time to meet next Wednesday near Duane's office for lunch. We discussed the possibility of returning home via the Natchez Trace Parkway from Natchez to Nashville and south to Marietta.

Saturday, April 19, 2014, Houston, Texas

Today was a rest day and we caught up on some work. Sue worked on her family photo albums and Bob finished some work on the family web site. While we were in Lafayette, Annette prepared some cajun food for us to take with us on our trip. We ate Cajun tonight, crawfish etouffee, red beans and rice, and boudin. Thanks, Annette.

Friday, April 18, 2014, Houston, Texas

We left Lafayette this morning and drove to Houston on I10. In Texas, we took Route 90 to the campground. This route took us through the East Texas back country, but was a more direct route and we avoided the Houston traffic. It started out as a limited access four lane road, then a two lane, and finally, back to a four lane road. After we set up the camper, Ed and Pat met us at the campground and drove us to an Italian restaurant for dinner. After we ate, Ed gave us a tour around Kingwood. We saw our old neighborhood and house. Kingwood had nearly doubled in population since we left in 1983. After the tour, we went to Ed and Pat's house for some strawberry short cake and coffee. They drove us back to the campground and we relaxed for the night.

Thursday, April 17, 2014, Lafayette, Louisiana

Our day started with a shared breakfast at Another Broken Egg in Lafayette. From there, we visited the Acadian Culture Center of the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park. This park is comprised of six sites in the Mississippi delta area of southern Louisiana. We viewed a movie of the history of Acadia. It was narrated in English, which Bob could not hear well, since he left his hearing aids in the camper. He usually uses the captions to follow along with the narration. But this time, he was out of luck, since the captions were in French. Visual clues and crude interpertations were his only guides. We then toured the exhibit hall to learn more of the history of Acadia. We spent the afternoon in the camper and got ready to drive to Houston tomorrow morning. We returned to Don's Seafood Restaruant for another Cajun dinner. Sue had fried oysters and Bob had a seafood platter. Great food!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014, Lafayette, Louisiana

This campground is what we expect when we reserve a site from KOA. We have a comfortable site on a concrete pad, well maintained grounds, a lake and a campground store for emergency supplies. We were checked in by a pleasant worker with a charming Cajun accent.

We arrived around 2:00, set up the camper and showered. Annette arrived at 3:00 and she gave us a tour of Lafayette. Annette is Cajun and has lived in the area most of her life, not counting San Antonio, Houston and Germany. We saw the second oldest live oak tree in the United States - 500 years old, and later saw a roosting area for waterfowl in a swamp area protected for nesting birds. Then we ate at Don's, a local Cajun resturant. Bob and Sue shared a platter of authentic cajun food, including gumbo, stuffed shrimp, a crabmeat casserole, stuffed potato and eggplant with seafood. We will consider going back Thursday for some more great food! Annette also gave some of her home cooked cajun food of crawfish etouffee, red beans and rice, and boudin, a Louisiana sausage made with ground pork, vegetables, rice and Cajun seasoning in a natural casing. We will enjoy having that very soon.

Annette's father is ninety years old and lives in an assisted living unit not from his home in Lafayette. He served in World War II in Europe in the D-Day invasion at Normandy and later in the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium, France and Luxembourg. He is another unsung American hero of that time. Annette's mother is eighty four years old and is in good health. She still lives in their house next to Annette in Layfette. We enjoyed our visit with Annette and may stop back in Lafayette on our way home. We also learned that Annette is retiring this year from teaching. This school year, she was the finalist in the Layfayette Education Foundation (LEF) teacher awards.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014, Meridian Mississippi

We arrived at the KOA arround one o'clock and rested for our drive tommorrow to Lafayette. This campground is, by far, the worst KOA we have stayed at. We made reservations a month ago, but were placed in the overflow area. We think they took us out of the overflow area, but the site was so bad, we weren't sure. We were taken to the lowest level of the campground and given an end site that was short and very muddy. We reserved a premium site and were given a small muddy site on gravel. The operators were not frendly and we will NEVER use this KOA again.

Monday, April 14, 2014, Anniston Alabama

We sat out the rainy weather here in the KOA campground in Anniston. The T-storms did not arrive, but it rained most of the day. We prefer not to travel in the rain when we are towing the camper.

Sunday, April 13, 2014, Anniston Alabama

We decided to drive to Anniston to beat the Monday rush hour traffic and sit out the predicted storm due to arrive Monday.