About Us

Southeast (Gulf Coast), Texas, United States

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Friday – Deanne’s Presentation and Dinner

We slept in again this morning, and got up slowly. We watched TV until about 10:00AM, when we got up and started getting ready for attending Deanne’s presentation at 1:00PM at the hospital complex (on the 12th floor of the above building). We got there about noon, and found out that they had a ‘brunch’, but we had already eaten!!

The presentations by several residents and other doctors started at 1:00PM, and Deanne was first. We sat through her presentation and a couple more, and then we left at a break! Here are a couple of pics of Dr. Deanne King (aka Deanne) doing her talk:

At 6:30PM, there was a reception and awards presentation at a local country club in Little Rock. Here are pictures:
Mom and Deanne.....
Deanne getting her diploma and congratulations from Dr. James Suen, Chairman of the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.........

Deanne and Jason Smith (the other Chief Resident) are sitting in chairs that were given to them by the University. More detail on the chairs later..........

A group picture with Deanne, Jason Smith and the department secretary seated, and the remainder of the staff doctors and residents......

As promised, here is a closeup and detail of the chair presented to Deanne:
.....and here's the inscription:

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Thursday, June 7 -- Happy Anniversary to US!!

Today, Patsy and I have been married for 38 happy years! Here are her Wal-Mart flowers on the motor home table:

After sleeping in late, we went shopping for a few clothing items to wear to Deanne’s presentation and dinner that we failed to pack. In the afternoon, we sought out a public library with WIFI where I could really catch-up on internet stuff. During the day, we received several emails and phone calls congratulating us on our anniversary. One of the calls was a surprise from Bob and Linda Klyne of the http://www.because-we-can.net/ website who we camped in Quartzsite and ventured into Mexico with last winter. It was good hearing from them again.

In the afternoon, we drove to the Arkansas hospital complex to make sure we knew where to go tomorrow. Here is a picture of Deanne’s office building:

We had decided to go out for a steak dinner to celebrate our day. About 4:30PM, when we went out to get in the car to drive to town, I found the driver’s side front tire nearly flat. We quickly found a gas station with an air machine ($0.50 type), and put 40 lbs in it. I then sought out a Firestone Tire store to get the tire taken off and patched from the inside. With all that, we still got to the Outback Steak House by 6:00PM. As we entered the parking lot, Deanne called and asked where we were? She had finished up early, and joined us for dinner. That was nice. We had a gift for her, but had left it in the motor home, so we did not get to do that!! Right after dinner, she had to go back to the hospital to finish preparation for her presentation tomorrow.

After dinner, we went back to the motor home, had some ice cream, and watched some TV.

Wednesday – Little Rock

We left Lake Ouachita State Park yesterday about noon, and headed back to Little Rock, which was the real destination and reason for this trip. After our daughter, Deanne, finished medical school with a dual (MD & PHD) degree, she decided that she would become an ENT surgeon. To be a surgeon, you have to do a 5-year residency. She has been doing that here in Little Rock at the University of Arkansas Hospital. This month, she completes the 5 years, and there is a reception for her Friday night at the Pleasant Valley Country Club. Prior to that, she and other doctors have conference at the hospital where they are presenting ‘interesting’ talks! Deanne is first, and we will sit through it, but then we will find the first opportunity to leave!!!

I had made a four day reservation at our ‘regular’ park, Maumelle State Park in Little Rock, back in April, and requested what we think is one of the best sites in the park. It backs up to Lake Maumelle, and is a large site. Here it is:

After we arrived, we contacted Deanne, and found out that she was going to be tied up with surgeries and meetings until 9:30PM, so we took off for a drive. We went into West Little Rock and found a Wendy’s next to a Holiday Inn Express. While Patsy went into the Wendy’s to get our lunch, I check out WIFI……… and the Holiday Inn Express had a nice powerful, but unsecured site. I updated our blog through yesterday, sent a couple of emails and checked on some regular websites. We then went shopping at a Best Buy where I purchased a portable hard drive to back up by laptop computer. It is going on 2½ years old, and I have a lot of files on it……… especially pictures.

We then set off to Benton to see our home from 1980, when I transferred to the Benton, Arkansas refinery. Here it is with the landscaping all grown up:

Later, we had dinner at the Cracker Barrel restaurant in Benton, and then went shopping for a few necessities in the nearby Wal-Mart. One of the necessities was flowers for our Wedding Anniversary tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Tuesday – Atoka, TN to Hot Springs, AR

When we left the state park in Tennessee, we headed west on I-40, and stopped at the Arkansas Welcome station at the Tennessee/Arkansas state line. We looked at the map, and decided that we would try to camp one night in the Ouachita State Park campground. We called and got a site…… the last one with hookups. It took about 4 hours to drive to Hot Springs, actually, 40 or so miles past Little Rock!!! We got to the park about 2:30PM, and got set up. Then we decided that it would be nice to grill some steaks, but we did not have any. We found a Wal-Mart about 12 miles away, so we went and bought some steaks. We also found some garlic Texas Toast and twice-baked potatoes in Wal-Mart’s freezer section and bought that too!

We drove around the park, and then made our meal. It was great!! Here are the pics:

We spent another very peaceful night. We had forgotten how quiet and dark in gets in a state park……… after spending nights at truck stops, rest areas, casinos, and Wal-Mart parking lots!!!!

Monday – Atoka, TN

We woke up Monday and got a chance to visit with Norm Payne, and also met his brother -in-law. We did our laundry before we left to camp near Atoka, TN so we could visit with Patsy’s cousin, Betty, and her husband, Vernon. We had found the Meeman-Shelby State Park on the map and it was about 14 miles from Atoka, so we got a spot there for Monday night. It was nice and quiet. Here are some pictures of our site:
Vernon had to work the graveyard shift, so we toured the area, and waited until about 2:30PM to visit Betty and Vernon. Patsy and Betty had a good time visiting. I had planned on us eating out, but Betty had other plans. She got some local BBQ, and made the rest of the meal. It was excellent. Here are some pics:

We visited until about 9:30PM, and then returned to the motorhome to get a good nights rest before our trip toward Little Rock. We also took some leftovers (desserts) with us!

Sunday -- Tunica, MS

On Sunday morning, we drove to the River Park area in Tunica. It was nice, and here are some pictures of the dock and cruise ship and the museum:

Later in the day, we drove to all the casinos in the area. If they looked lucky to us, we went inside and dropped a few dollars. Sadly, it was not our weekend to win anything, but we tried.

We did visit a local shopping outlet, and the grandkids scored some shirts from the Oshkosh store.

We spent our second night in the Sam’s Town Campground.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Red Bay, AL to Tunica, MS

On Saturday morning, we unhooked and headed toward Tunica and the casinos. When we checked out, it costs us $30, four nights at $10 plus a free night for taking the plant tour. For that, we had full hookups with WIFI! We thouroughly enjoyed our stay.

Enroute, we decided to visit the First Monday Trades Days in Ripley, MS. We had picked up a brochure at the Mississippi visitor station last week, and it reminded us of the Trade Days in Canton, TX. We did, and it wasn’t………… it was a flea market like none we had seen. They had chickens, ducks, geese, goats, horses, all kinds of puppies, and a lot of junk. If Texans are stereotyped by wearing boots & hats and driving pickup trucks, Mississippians would be characterized by wearing camoflauge clothing, carrying shotguns, and driving four wheel ATV’s. The rows were filled with ATV’s cruising, with some even pulling trailers with 3—6 kids in them while Mom and Dad were on the ATV!! We didn’t buy anything, but it was fun to “look around”. Unfortunately, we did not carry the camera.

After Ripley, we headed toward Tunica via the small back roads. It was a nice drive, and we got to the Sam’s town campground about 2:00PM. We checked in for the night, plugged in the motorhome, turned on the air to let it cool (it was over 90), and went riding around in the CRV. Here are some pics:
When we parked, I noticed a nice looking Dutch Star motorhome next door, but did not pay much attention to it. As we were leaving later in the day, I saw a couple come out and walk toward the casino. I then recognized them as Linda and Norm Payne, who are full-timers who have a website that I read regularly. Here is a link to their website:


We drove up to them, and introduced ourselves. We had originally met them at an RVAmerica rally in the RGV in 2000. At the time, they were early in their full-timing, and we were still working! The Dutch Star that they purchased is exactly what Patsy and I were wanting to buy a couple of years ago……… interior color and all!! Here’s a picture of our rigs parked in the campground:
Gambling score as of late Saturday night: Casinos $25 -- US $0.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Friday -- Last Day in Red Bay

Last night, we got treated to an Alabama hootenanny! Each Thursday night, some of the Tiffin employees and others gather in the waiting room at the service center and play instruments & "sing" songs. Some of them were really good.

It seems that when you travel in the upper circles of the motorhome society, you are always subject to the finest elements. Last trip it was the 'Oak Ridge Boys' in Perry, GA, and now the "Tiffin Service Techs" in Red Bay, AL!! Throw in the fact that Patsy gets to travel with me, she's in hog heaven!!

Today, we wrapped up some loose ends. Made some final checks at the factory, went shopping at a Walmart about 25miles from here in Russellville, AL, and ate lunch at Piggly Wiggly! With today's lunch, we made the big three in Red Bay...... Piggly Wiggly, Swamp John's Restaurant, and the Belmont Cafe in Belmont, MS.

Tomorrow, we will head toward Tunica via Ripley, where we plan to visit the "First Monday Trades Day" event. It's apparently a big flea market like the one in Canton, TX. Then we plan to head to Tunica and the casinos.

We probably won't have WIFI until Sunday night or Monday, so this is the last post for a while.