Sunday, October 19, 2014


Our trip to have the leveling jacks replaced at Tiffin Motorhomes in Red Bay, AL, was hardly a blip in the interruption of our fun.  In fact, we arrived on Wednesday afternoon and after a few days we were back on the road again.
Tiffin Motorhomes Service Center 2014

Replacing Atwood Jacks on Allegro Bus 2014
Fortunately, we were able to enjoy the Annual Founder's Day festivities in downtown Red Bay all day Saturday.  Founder's Day is much like other small town festivals with a few exceptions.  
Red Bay, AL Founder's Day 2014

Red Bay Historical Marker - Continued 2014
Because we were at Dr. Jim Nabors' Downtown RV Campground we were able to walk over to the senior center (across from the police station) and enjoy a fantastic rib eye steak sandwich with all the trimmings which was presented by the Alabama Cattlemen's Association.  
Franklin County, AL Cattleman's Association Steak Sandwich Sale
 Along with a classic car show there were local arts and crafts, quilters, bands, storytelling, a fiddler's contest, bbq cook off, etc.  You could even get a puppy if you wanted (we didn't).
Founder's Day Classic Car Show - 2014
Founder's Day Classic Car Show - 2014

When Monday arrived we departed early to spend the next couple of days in Montgomery, the Capitol of Alabama.  Our new home/campground, Capitol City RV,  was a very neat and convenient campground owned by avid Auburn fans, and we spent the next couple of days exploring and getting to know as much as we could about the town known as the home of the Confederacy and the birthplace of the civil rights movement.

State Capitol, Montgomery, AL - 2014

Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, Montgomery, AL
We spent some time exploring the beautiful State Museum (next to the first White House and home of Jefferson Davis) and home of the impressive State Archives to research some family genealogy.

Department of Archives & History, Montgomery, AL
Not only did we learn a lot about Alabama history but we went to pay our respects to Hank Williams, Sr. at his gravesite at the Oakwood Cemetery.   By the way, have you ever listened to the lyrics of the song Alan Jackson sings about "Midnight In Montgomery"?
Gravesite and Memorial - Hank Williams, Sr. - Montgomery, AL 2014
After leaving Montgomery we traveled to the Gulf of Mexico beaches known as the Emerald Coast -  Miramar Beach, Destin, Santa Rosa Beach and one of our favorite campgrounds, Topsail Hill, off famous Highway 30A.  We met with several friends (about 6 couples) who also had reservations and we shared many delicious meals, lots of laughter, and good times.  

RV and MH - 2014
First Florida Grande Rally - Topsail - 2014

If we weren't at the beach, enjoying local restaurants, we were shopping, or just "chillaxin".  One coach after another has left until we are one of the last coaches in our group.    We're on the way to Pensacola NAS for one week and will be guests of our Michigan and Florida Grande friends, Gary and Mim Van Horn.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


Former President George W. and former First Lady Laura Bush
About 7 years ago when we started full timing in our RV, we decided we would try to visit all the presidential libraries in the country.  When we planned our trip to Texas we immediately knew we could check three presidential libraries and museums off our bucket list.  When our trip was cut short due to our leveling jack issue we immediately made reservations to see the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, located on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, before our departure.
George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum
Dallas, TX
At 226,560 square feet and a cost of $250,000,000, the Bush Presidential Center is the biggest and most expensive of the 13 presidential libraries.

George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum
Dallas TX
More than any other Presidential Library we have visited, the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum seemed to reflect so much of the personal lives of George and Laura Bush and their family.  We felt a little more informed about his political philosophy, belief in small government, capitalism, as well as his belief in a strong national defense.  The Library and Museum imparts a sense of their love for Texas in so many areas as well as their strong faith.  The landscaping throughout the grounds are from native Texas trees, as well as grasses and flowers located in the 15-acre urban park setting.

Courtyard of George W. Bush Presidential Library

Bronze Statues of 43rd U. S. President George W. Bush ,
and his father, 41st U.S.President George H. W. Bush 
 George W. Bush,  was the 43rd President of the United States.  This presidency took place during a very consequential time in American history.  So many Museum exhibits are made to promote a better understanding of government, public policy and history.  There is an exhibit examining the 9/11 attacks and the response of the President and the country in the aftermath.
Items from Twin Towers 9/11 Terrorist Attack
New York
A full size reproduction of the Oval Office, the Texas Rose Garden, and the "Life in the White House" exhibits allow visitors to experience the public and private areas of the First Family's home.

Map Showing Layout of The White House

Former First Lady Laura Bush Preparing for Inauguration 2001
Place Setting at Inaugural Dinner 2001

Presidential Medal Of Freedom

The Medal Of Honor

The Medal Of Honor
 There is an area of  the Museum designated for temporary exhibits which complement the permanent exhibits and illustrating themes and subjects relevant to the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.  When we visited the Library and Museum there was a temporary and very popular exhibit of  Oscar de la Renta, the internationally known designer who was responsible for so many of the beautiful gowns worn by former First Lady Laura Bush on special occasions.

Oscar de la Renta Exhibit at George W. Bush
Presidential Library and Museum

Oscar de la Renta Exhibit
George W. Bush Presidential Library
Oscar de la Renta Exhibit
George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum

A special section of archived records holds over 70 million pages of textual materials including Presidential Records from the Executive Office of the President, as well as donated collections and the Bush Gubernatorial records.

According to the staff at the Library the Presidential Museum is a popular tourist attraction in Dallas.  Cost of admission for both of us was $28, which goes toward the cost of supporting the Museum operations and programs.   The day we visited was crowded and we were lucky enough to park in the Museum's limited parking lot for $7.  Additional parking is at the SMU campus, and mass transit is also available.   A  beautiful gift shop as well as a cafe appropriately named "Cafe 43" is on the property.

Cafe 43 at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum
All United States Presidential Libraries are archives and museums that record the history of our American presidency and are part of a unique heritage that belongs to us, the American people.  President Franklin D. Roosevelt raised private funds and built a library, which he gave to the U.S. Government for operation through the National Archives.  In 1955, this process became law when the U.S. Congress passed the Presidential Libraries Act.
Presidential Seal of the
United States of America