Saturday, September 26, 2009

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Downtown Riverside RV Park

We decided to stay several days at the new (since October 2008) Downtown Riverside RV Park, a city owned and managed riverfront park on the Arkansas River, directly across from the downtown Little Rock area and the William J. Clinton Presidential Center. The park, located off Interstate 30, is extremely easy to access, and once you are inside, security is 24/7, always a nice feeling.

RV and I have not had an opportunity to visit any of the 12 existing presidential libraries, and since Little Rock is where Clinton's Presidential Center is located, we were anxious to see the 3-level contemporary-styled library, located on a 28-acre city park. We found it extremely interesting and enjoyed seeing full-scale replicas of the White House Cabinet Room and the Oval Office, a presidential limousine, and an exhibit on the work of the United States Secret Service. A special traveling exhibit of gifts many U.S. presidents had received while in office was spectacular. The Clinton Center anchors the city's bustling River Market District, a premier destination for art, culture, live music, dining and nightlife. Next to the Center is the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service in the renovated 1899 Choctaw Station.

From our riverfront campsite in North Little Rock we had a spectacular view of the Library as well as the Little Rock skyline. Some people jokingly refer to the architectural style of the Center and say it resembles a double-wide mobile home. You be the judge.

North Little Rock and Little Rock are very interesting from many historical perspectives; like the Trail Of Tears Historical Markers, Little Rock Central High, the Old State House Museum (the oldest standing state capitol west of the Mississippi River). The Arsenal Building, a National Historic Landmark and one of Little Rock's oldest surviving structures, was built in 1840 to protect Arkansas from Indian attack. It later became the birthplace of Army General Douglas MacArthur. There is just too much to see in a couple of days, so we will return one day, probably on our way to some other landmark.

From some of our past blogs, you may know how we love to find those local out-of-the-way restaurants that are packed every day, especially at lunchtime. You have to look for these little gems, talk to local people, and this time we found Kierre's Kountry Kitchen in Maumelle, AR. Inside what appeared to be a huge industrial warehouse we had one of the best blue plates we've had in awhile, and we both won the "clean your plate" award. We ordered from the blackboard situated on the side of the room. By the time we left, you couldn't get a parking space in their huge parking lot. Since it was RV's birthday, he splurged and had a huge piece of homemade chocolate pie. The restaurant we originally were searching for (Cock O'The Walk) was closed for lunch - (voted best Arkansas catfish restaurant for the last 16 years).

RV enjoyed his birthday, getting to do everything he wanted that day. We had planned a special steak dinner that night, but we were too full from lunch so we had a light dinner and we'll be having the steak tonight - on the banks of the Mississippi River. Did I mention we went to Flying Fish in Memphis for lunch for another bowl of their delicious seafood gumbo?

Once again, we are enjoying Tom Sawyer's RV Park in West Memphis, AR. We're still enjoying the barges going up and down the Mississippi River - and what beautiful weather!
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