Forum Index
Our trek across the country
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Week 19: ending 3/23/2003
Post new topic   Reply to topic Forum Index -> The Trip
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Site Admin

Joined: 05 Nov 2002
Posts: 95

PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2003 2:20 pm    Post subject: Week 19: ending 3/23/2003 Reply with quote

Week 19: Ending March 23, 2003

We slept in late and headed for downtown around 1 pm. The Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum is our first stop. It is a somber experience. Remains of the destroyed Journal Building and Murrah Building are incorporated into the Museum display and Memorial design, respectively. A cool spring rain falls upon us as we exit the Museum to walk the Memorial. It seems fitting.
Today is St. Patrick’s Day. We leave the business district for Bricktown, a renovated warehouse district which promises a happy celebration. As we park the Tahoe, we hear reports of tornado watches and golf-ball-sized hail in the next county. Just as we approach a policed canopy, the skies open up with a torrential downpour. We chat with OKC’s finest who assure us that the sun will be out soon (and that there is no corned beef and cabbage to be found!) Sure enough, they were correct on both points.
Bricktown is a neat idea: rehabbed brick warehouses centered alongside a water canal. There are close to twenty restaurants in the neighborhood, with the Triple A Bricktown Ballpark anchoring one end and only 4 retail shops, one of which is closed for the day. We visit the other three, make some purchases and decide to dine at Mickey Mantle’s Steakhouse for dinner. USDA Prime grade steaks are served: delicious!

The tornado watches have been lifted but the rain continues. Eastward we drive. Not far from OKC, we espy a billboard promoting Pig Out Palace, 100 miles ahead. We have to check it out. Turns out to be a small family restaurant with a large truck parking lot. Open 24 hours, they serve breakfast round the clock, as well as a bountiful buffet with soup, salad hot items and dessert and a pork-filled regular menu, too.
We leave with full tummies. Just down the road, Ron notices a sign for the town of Eufaula. There is a large lake in town and a hotel called an inn. Another sign directs us to Lake Eufaula Inn! It’s true! We resist the urge to stop to buy some postcards to prove our point and laughter and keep driving. Someone does have a sense of humor!
We call it a day at the Walmart Supercenter in Clarksvile, AR, about 60 miles over the state border. The rain continues through the night with occasional thunder bolts.

The sun is actually shining when we arise at 6 am. As we enter I-40 again, we notice lush green grass down the meridian and along either side of the highway. Trees and forests abound, with lots of dogwood in bloom. It seems almost like New England in Arkansas.
Having made such an early departure, we had planned to simply book it to Alabama. But the wind is so fierce on the road, as we near Memphis, TN, we decide to call it a day We pull into the Graceland Campground, located behind Heartbreak Hotel.
In addition to Graceland, Memphis is also known as the Home of the Blues. We drive downtown to Beale Street and find parking on Second St. Directly across the street is a large Prevost Motorhome Bus discreetly marked . Ron said “Maybe BB King is in town, we could hear him play.” We crossed the street and around the corner was a large banner declaring “BB King LIVE March 19-20” right there at the BB King Blues Café! The tickets were pricey ($100 each!), but included dinner, so we decided to make a night of it.
An excellent time was had by all: from waiting in line to enter through until the end of the night. One of the couples joining us at our table is from southern California. Julie is a beautician and a horse racer. Her husband is a fireman. Unfortunately, we have misplaced their business card. They own a fifth-wheel trailer for their racehorses which they are also converting part of the space for living quarters for themselves. A unique RV!
BB King’s set started up with performances from Larry Springfield, Praxton Shannon and Miss Ruby Wilson, all excellent entertainers in their own right. They were backed by BB’s Band. Photography was allowed, although no flash was permitted. Once the BB King Orchestra entered the stage, to back BB himself, however, all cameras were discouraged. It was a terrific show. BB King started out kind of slow and methodical, at first. As he warmed up, he really let loose and seemed to enjoy himself and his audience. After several encores, BB announced that the official concert was over but asked his orchestra members and any musicians in the audience if they would like to jam with him on stage. Amazingly, no one volunteered from the audience. We do not know if they were too shy or if there just weren’t any musicians in the audience that night. Praxton and Ruby joined BB on stage and the fun started. Praxton actually borrowed Lucille, BB’s world-famous guitar. He played several numbers with her and would not return her to BB for a while. (We’re not sure if he was kidding or not!)
It was a fantastic show, well worth the money. BB King performs across the country throughout the year, but only a couple of days at his own club. If you get a chance to see him perform live, it is a memorable event.
We finally left after midnight. Now waiting outside the café, in addition to the Prevost, was a Van Eyke motorhome, truly a luxurious vehicle. Given BB’s busy road schedule, this is probably his mode of transportation. The older Prevost is probably for his crew.

Only 150 miles to go to Red Bay, Alabama, and Tiffin Motorhomes. We take advantage of the late departure policy of the campground given the lateness of the previous night. We arrive at the Allegro Campground mid-afternoon. We register, file the list of needed repairs and prepare to wait.

Norris, the repair supervisor, knocks at our door around 7:30 am. We go over the repairs and discuss a few items not on the list. Norris tells us they are running about 8 days behind schedule and takes our dinette cushions with him for restuffing.
A few hours later, Norris surprises us by returning the cushions newly buffed and firm insides. Norris had taken them to upholstery himself. This was a promising start!
We call Ron’s aunt & uncle in Birmingham and arrange to meet at their house the following day.

We enjoy a wonderful visit with Aunt Edna and Uncle Hershey. They take us to dinner at popular regional chain called Jim ‘n Nick’s Bar-B-Q. Excellent cheese corn biscuits provided a scrumptious start to a delicious meal of smoked brisket and chargrilled steak. Jim ‘n Nick’s have five locations in the greater Birmingham area. Definitely worth a visit. Given the lateness of the hour and the fact that it was a 2 ½ hours drive back to Red Bay, Aunt Edna convinced us to stay the night. It was a welcome change of scenery from our motorhome’s walls.

We bid farewell for the week, promising to return the following weekend when their eldest daughter would be visiting with her family from Chicago. Aunt Edna directs us to an upscale mall for some early window-shopping. We discover “Cup of Joe” coffee and Bruno’s Supermarkets. Yum!
We take a different route back to Red Bay. Although it is longer in miles, it is actually shorter timewise to drive up I-65 to Rte 157 to Rte 24. Considerably less traffic and construction than taking I-78, which was the route that our Copilot 2003 had advised us to use to get to Birmingham.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic Forum Index -> The Trip All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Page 1 of 1

Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group