Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Walkin’ in Memphis–part 1

Home of the Blues

Black Friday – the rest of the world may have been out Christmas shopping, but we were making our way across Kentucky on the Cumberland Parkway (nice drive!),

Cumberland Parkwayand into Tennessee.


We needed to get to central Arkansas early on the following Tuesday to get some work done on our Aqua Hot system, so we made the decision to bypass Nashville (we’ve been there a couple of times in the past) and go straight to Memphis for the weekend.  We’d never been there before, so we could do some exploring, and have a fairly short drive on Tuesday.

After a quick overnight stop just about an hour east of Memphis, where Tom had to do a quick repair job on the steps in the morning before we could get on the road,

Fixing the step

we crossed the Mississippi River into Arkansas.

A new state - Arkansas

Mississippi River


Woo-Hoo!  A new state to add to our map!


When we were researching campgrounds, there were two main ones that RVers tended to stay in – either the Graceland RV Park, or the Tom Sawyer RV Park across the river in West Memphis, AR.  Tom Sawyer was clearly the favorite, with its views of the Mighty Mississippi,

Tom Sawyer RV Park

Nice day on the river

and close proximity to downtown Memphis, and we weren’t really sure if we would go to Graceland anyway, so we chose Tom Sawyer as our destination.

Even with our little repair job in the morning, we still arrived before noon and had to wait a little while to get on our site.  It wasn’t long, though, as soon enough we were all set up and ready to do some exploring.

Our site in the back row

We don’t normally plan to do anything on travel days, but it was Saturday, and our reason for arriving early was so that we could experience Beale Street on Saturday night.  So that’s what we did!

Welcome to Beale Street

We found a place to park just one block off Beale Street, and set out on foot.  While it was still light out, we visited the various touristy gift shops.  There were a few interesting ones,

Old records

Great hat!

but for the most part, they all had the same touristy “stuff”.  We did find a nice sticker for the Jeep – our only purchase!

There were street performers and musicians,

Blue Note Alley

photo ops,


music notes in the sidewalk,




horse-drawn carriages,


and painted guitars.



Elvis memorabilia was everywhere, as well as B.B. King.


B. B. King

We were also trying to pick a restaurant for dinner, and after getting a couple of recommendations for the Blues City Cafe, we decided to give it a try.

Blues City Cafe

That is a platter of ribs!

They definitely didn’t disappoint!  We split the full rack of ribs meal, with an added salad, and it was plenty of food for the two of us!  So good!

They’re keeping the legacy alive!

Blues City Cafe

After dinner, the sun was beginning to set and the neon lights were coming on.

Beale Street

We walked up and down the street again, stopping to listen to the various performers at outdoor stages.


We sat and listened to Cowboy Neal until the end of his show – they were really good!

Cowboy Neal was pretty good!

The outdoor musicians were packing up about the same time our time was running out on our meter, and we were ready to head back to the RV by then . . .

We did manage to catch the last few minutes of the MSU football game in a sushi bar – happy to see them pull off a win!

Found the MSU game!

Walking back to the Jeep, we spotted a pretty Christmas tree in front of one of the hotels,

Christmas Treeand back at the RV, we spotted the moon rising over the river while we took Casey out for a walk.

Moon rising over the river

It was a wonderful evening!

Evening on Beale Street

Friday, November 23, 2018

Thanksgiving Celebration


Prior to our Thanksgiving celebration, we spent a couple of afternoon visiting with Janetta and Tessa, and exploring Rockcastle County.

Tom and I browsed through the shops in the little artist village in Berea, KY.  We’ve driven by so many times as we travelled north or south on I-75, but this was our first time stopping and visiting the area.

Shopping in Old Town Berea

We found several really cute shops, and picked up a few gifts.  Another day, Janetta took Tom out on their gator to explore their property, while I visited with the cows and took pictures of the barn.

Begley barn

Begley barn

I dodged the cowpatties in the back pasture, and went out to get a closer look at the cows – and some pictures!

Begley cows



I think they were a little confused about why I was out there with them!


The little calf was so cute – peeking out from behind its mama!


Janetta has so many interesting things around to capture in photographs!


Thursday was a beautiful day – warm and sunny!

Happy Thanksgiving

Bryan had gotten home from Virginia on Wednesday, as did their son, Tristan, from college.  We would be joining the four of them, along with Janetta’s parents and uncle, for their Thanksgiving celebration.

I had made an apple pie to bring with us.


There was a huge selection of food,


and nobody went hungry!


IMG_2759Dinner was delicious, and the company was great – we’re so grateful to have been included in their celebration!


That’s one of the best things about this lifestyle -- as we travel the country, we continue to meet new people, and often even just a short interaction with someone will result in a lifelong friendship!

After cleaning up the dishes, Tom and I went for a drive with Bryan and Janetta to Climax Spring.  It’s a natural spring flowing out of the mountain, and a local company actually has a bottling operation at the site.

King Bottling

This spring has supplied drinking water to the locals for 100 years, so part of the arrangement that allowed bottling of the water also stated that free public access to the water had to remain. 

While we were there, several people came with water tanks and empty gallon jugs to get their water to take home, and there was a young girl having her senior pictures being taken in front of the waterfall.


It is a very picturesque area, so we took the opportunity to get some pictures, too, while we waited for our turn to get some water.

The old corn crib,

Corn Crib

a pretty barn across the street,

Kentucky barn

and selfie opportunities in front of the waterfall.


We got our own selfie with Janetta and Bryan in the background while they took their own.

Selfie photobomb

When it was our turn, we took our red solo cups over to the water pipe, and each got a cup of fresh, cold, mountain spring water!

Mmmmm . . . we feel younger already!

Enjoying our natural spring water

It was a great day spent with wonderful friends!  We’re so thankful!