The National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green KY

America’s Sports Car!

This is another bucket list place for us! I have loved Corvettes as long as I can remember. One of my first loves had a bright yellow one that I dreamed about driving. I’ve never driven one but after we win the one below in the $25 raffle event in August I will learn quickly, I promise! It’s a sweet and sleek cherry red beauty that would look awesome in our new driveway in Lake Ashton.

Below are samples of the various models – all beautiful and super charged. The museum had a tragic experience a few years ago when a sinkhole opened up in the large gallery space and sucked eight beautiful cars into its depths. Some had just arrived at the Museum – donated or on loan from loving owners. There was no premonition of the event, although people knew there was a subterranean cave alongside the museum area. We chatted with a woman staff member whose husband who was one of the first on scene when he reported to work that morning. Witnesses were horrified but immediately began the investigation and recovery procedures. They have developed a fabulous display and explanation of what happened and why and how they will prevent a reoccurrence. Losing the cars was terrible – only two started up once they were lifted out and most were not repaired due to the tremendous cost.

To the right of this 2006 model you can see a view of some recovered cars as they appeared after being lifted out of the sinkhole. It brings tears to your eye seeing the damage but no employees were hurt and that was important as the hole appeared in the very early morning.

The Sting Ray returns!

The one hundred thousand Corvette.

The 1958 model was always one of my favorites.

The 1967 models were the ones were relished when we were college students. Gotta be successful so you can get one…..The rally racing model above.

Sweet colors – loved the shiny silver ones – these models were made to intrigue and satisfy the desire for speed and pizazz. .

The gorgeous lemon yellow version that I loved as a teen.

A staged photo that gives you a idea of the devastating damage caused by the sinkhole.

Don’t we look good next to this one above or driving the one below?

This was a great tour through the design and development of America’s sports car !We would recommend this visit to anyone whether you are a Corvette enthusiast or not. The story of the Corvette is an all American story with people believing in a dream and making it come true through sheer hard work. The men and women involved were fascinating to learn about and gain respect for. A fun thing is sitting in a few and closing your eyes to dream. Several of the cars given to Apollo astronauts are also on display – that’s a fun link to the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing this year.

Fun stop just up the highway from Nashville off I 65 – there’s a cafe inside with classic American fare so you can spend a few hours and get a bite to eat.

Give your car guy or girl a fun day lusting after America’s favorite sports car.

We visit Graceland – Elvis has not left this building!

You can’t be a music lover without respecting or appreciating Elvis Presley and his music. Our visit to Graceland in Memphis followed our Nashville stop and was so illuminating about his life, family history and his accomplishments in music during such a short life.

We were reminded about his good looks, his easy smile and amazing poetic talent while waltzing through his home – his music in the background – viewing the eclectic furniture he loved and thousands of mementoes that are shared with his millions of fans. There was a certain reverence among the visitors like us – Graceland feels like a temple to his music and memory. We always wanted to visit here and were more impressed than we expected to be. We did the VIP tour with audio complement and saw the house, stables, awards rooms as well as costume and car collection.

We particularly enjoyed the early years exhibits and the movie displays – he appeared in more movies than we remembered and his musical talent as well as acting skills were remarkable.

Elvis and his family members are buried at Graceland in a respectful elegant setting. He was a dedicated family man who loved his family dearly and cared for all of them as they aged. His charitable works were amazing and his daughter Lisa continues them in his name today.

The mansion is well preserved and although somewhat grandiose, it still gives you a sense of his warmth and dedication to his family.

His concert costumes are beyond comparison – in my opinion, only Michael Jackson came close. It was cool to see so many of them and remember the songs you associated with that appearance.

I had forgotten how handsome he was and how vital his male sexuality was to his persona – you’d need to be a robot not to be affected by the smile, the lyrics and the hip swivel. He was an avid reader of everything but especially philosophy and religious works. You can see those influences in his poetry.

I took this picture of one of the news photographs taken while he served in Germany – even with the glare you can appreciate his composure and sweetness at a young 18 years old.

Oh yes the famous Pink Cadillac and it’s even cooler in person. Elvis loved cars deeply and has a fabulous collection from classics to Corvettes but this is my favorite.

More gold records than you can imagine……….

Loved this quote – it explains his determination early on to be the best he could be. Before illness and injuries that caused him constant pain, he was a force of nature in his efforts to succeed.

I couldn’t resist the Purple Caddy…..where do I get one?

The museum is staffed by a very diverse group of people – all local Memphis residents according to ones who we met – and it is clear that these Memphis residents still hold Elvis deeply in their hearts. He was a true son of this rural environment who came from very poor beginnings and proved that success was possible with hard work and a stunning talent.

This was a terrific museum and tour – we stayed in the RV Park adjacent to Graceland for a very reasonable amount – nothing elegant but very convenient especially because it was raining off and on while we were there. We thought it was so interesting and engaging – we were delighted that we had it on our 2019 itinerary.

We followed this visit with our stop in Little Rock, Arkansas and the Clinton Presidential Library, where another Son of rural roots is celebrated for his extraordinary achievements.

Notre Dame, Elkhart RV Museum and our second Entegra Homecoming.

We arrived at the South Bend Elkhart North KOA in Granger Indiana a few days before the Reunion so we had time to be tourists. It had been raining quite a bit so the grounds were damp and the weather was cloudy and cool. We had a few places to see that we had not had time to visit in 2018.

A brief visit to the campus of Notre Dame – it was graduation time so we were in and out quickly. It’s a beautiful campus and it was fun to see it in person.

Entegra Homecoming – meeting up with old friends and renewing contacts in the Entegra family. Getting service and maintenance tips and enjoying dinners plus entertainment with fellow Entegra owners. A fun time for all.

Another colorful diversion…….

Holland, Michigan – Tulip Time – an annual festival to honor and recognize the town’s heritage and the onset of spring. This year it was very breezy and quite chilly – 40 degrees the day we visited but the color and variety of tulips made it worth the hour and a half drive north. Lenny and Lola enjoyed it from the comfort of the stroller complete with blankets.

We loved these little girls all dressed in Dutch attire for the festival.

My personal favorite – a ruffled beauty in vivid orange as well as one with surprise white petals.

The shoes were part of an art competition that highlighted the Dutch heritage but added a bit of whimsy we appreciated.

Statue of the town’s founder and inspiration for the annual festival.

Riotous colors abound – who knew there were so many different types and colors of tulips? We would return to this event another year but it would need to be warmer…we just aren’t cold weather people anymore.

The Elkhart RV & Mobile Home Museum in Elkhart Is a fun unique museum with terrific examples of early campers and motor coaches. It was fun to see the inside and out of the older models and trace the progression to today’s models. Any RV enthusiast would enjoy this museum and we would recommend a visit. It’s very reasonably priced and a worthwhile stop.

The first Recreational vehicle…….A covered wagon.

This one was pulled by a version of the Model T

The first tent camper

Love the colors – inside and outside….

It doesn’t matter how you go… just that you go..,.

Tiny airstream style camper – people were smaller then we are today….

A bed unfolds from the back of this wagon with utensils stored in the doors.

A sweet winged beauty perfectly preserved.

Motor coaches begin to appear in the 1950’s

A wonderful collection of toy trailers and campers allowed you to see the vast variety of vehicles available over the years. This museum appealed to the kid in all of us.

Our simple recommendation…….

Even engine trouble doesn’t stop us – we had an dashboard engine light go on – telling us an error code – service was required. We took the Taj to a Cummins service center and had to stay in a motel a few days (??) but once it was done we headed north.

Our next stop will be Hearthside Grove Motor Coach Resort in Petoskey, MI

The Clinton Presidential Library and Little Rock, Arkansas

The highlight and main reason for this stop was to visit the Clinton Presidential Library and Museum. We also added another state to our list making Arkansas the 46th state we have stayed in. Did you know it was the largest grower of rice in the US as well as a leading chicken producer. It has acres and acres of farmland and is quite scenic.

The Clinton Library was a pleasure to visit and for me full of memories. I worked in Clinton campaign in 1991-92 and stayed involved through his Presidency. I will always treasure the time I spent with both the President and Hillary Clinton campaigning and working advance. The exhibits and displays were well done and perfectly arranged, documentation was expert with photos as well as memorabilia to remind us of our commitment to democracy.

That’s the Taj from the Clinton Library Park area – in the Downtown RV Park along side the Arkansas River in North Little Rock. A cool spot and there’s a free trolley to take you back and forth across the River.

Replica of President Clinton’s Oval Office with two highly qualified occupants…….

Front of the Museum & Library – a stunning building architecturally – with a sweet cafe where we enjoyed a delicious lunch and a fabulous view of the river.

A special exhibit at the Museum about the damage being done to our oceans by our needless disposal of plastics. Below is a mosaic made from discarded items picked up along shorelines and floating in the oceans. This exhibit gave us a whole new perspective on pollution. It’s embarrassing that we are responsible for such filth and destruction.

This photo reminded me of the Hillary I came to know and respect. A tireless campaigner who enjoyed all of America’s people – no matter where they came from.

Photos and memorabilia that brought so much back to mind.

A view across the museum galleries from the 2nd floor.

Another “Washed Ashore” sculpture made from plastic trash.

A photo I took with an American flag reflected as well as a news tape. Just liked it.

This is an extraordinary museum that covers eight years of good times and bad. It doesn’t overlook the impeachment issues but does present the viewpoint one expects. It does remind us of our history – our progress and it’s impact. It’s my fourth Presidential Library – we’d like to see the others as well. It’s a great way to appreciate our American history.

We took the trolley into downtown Little Rock – a small city named for the small rock at the river crossing by the French pioneers – Le Petite Roche.” It’s rediscovering its heritage as well as developing its future. The trolley driver provided us with a brief tour and helped us appreciate changes as well as the hopes for future development. Later we had a good lunch at an Irish Pub back across the River in North Little Rock – which as formerly named “Argenta” and that name is now used to identify that little sister city’s center area.

Heifer headquarters is located next to the Library – it’s an organization that helps fund self sufficiency and economic development in countries struggling to build modern economies and opportunities.

City skyline from the coach as we approached.

River views as we crossed the bridge into town.

Loved this restaurant sign and we heard the food is yummy.

River Market is the riverside development that has spurred tourism and vacationers.

Another River view from the trolley. At night several bridges are illuminated and their lights offer a mesmerizing dance from our RV Park.

Our 46th state – another one to add to our list.

Although not an elegant site or park,’it’s a cool riverside view and the proximity to the Library and city could not be beat. The people were friendly and accommodating and the price quite reasonable.

Our next stop was to be Springfield, Illinois to visit the Abraham Lincoln Library but the historic flooding of the Mississippi has postponed that visit to 2020. We will now head directly to South Bend area in Indiana after an overnight in a Walmart parking lot along the way.

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