|Aunt Marge and Uncle Ed|
We had a pleasant lunch with Marge and Ed before leaving for Louisville, where we had left the Mary Joan III. It took a little over six hours to reach Louisville. Arriving tired and not desiring to have to cook our own dinner, we stopped on Bardstown Road in Louisville, an area with many fine restaurants. After reading many excellent reviews we found on the internet, we chose Ramsi's Cafe on the World ( http://www.ramsiscafe.com/ ). The menu is extremely varied and has entrees from many different cultures. We decided to each order one of the three northern African dishes and share them (Faithful Falafel, Egyptian Chicken and The Spice Market). Each was well done and perfectly complemented the other. We were pleased with the food and the friendly service. We met the owner and learned how she and her husband had started the restaurant nineteen years earlier and that they have a farm that has supplied many of the ingredients used in the restaurant. We thought so highly of our experience, that we bought a gift certificate for our son and daughter-in-law who live in nearby Radcliff.
|Rhona, owner of Ramsi's Cafe on the World|
Thanks for a wonderful meal.
Stopping for dinner before going to the trailer turned out to be fortunate because on arrival at Grand Ma's RV park, we found the trailer's batteries were dead. There are two deep cycle batteries that should have been able to supply the small amount of electricity needed to operate the controls for the propane refrigerator. While the power needed to keep the food cool comes from propane, the refrigerator still needs a small amount of electricity to control the propane. With the trailer in storage and not plugged into external 110 volt power, we depended on the solar power panels to keep the batteries charged. We believe, judging by the minimal odor, that the refrigerator had not shut down too long prior to our arrival since it seemed the previously frozen foods were just beginning to spoil.
Despite being tired and realizing that two pounds of lobster meat was lost, the three of us worked quickly and in as good spirits as can be expected to get things cleaned up, organized and the trailer moved to a campsite in less than an hour. We were determined to be on the road by 8 AM in order to reach Corpus Christi, Texas, a distance of nearly 1,200 miles, with only two days on the road.
Our plan was to reach Atlanta State Park that is just south west of Texarkana where we would spend our first night. But, we were now in the mode of "the way we roll", which is that we are flexible and open to changes in our plans as the situation changes or new information or thoughts occur. On this day, while Sarah was relieving me at the wheel, I saw there was a National Park along our route that was a better option than the state park. I can forgive myself for missing the park when we first planned the route as it is very small. Hot Springs National Park is just a half hour off of I-30, our selected route through Arkansas. We arrived in time to explore the town a little before having dinner at Via Roma Italian Restaurant, where once again, we had a fine meal.
|Buckstaff Baths, Hot Springs, Arkansas|
The next morning found us on the road at 8 AM. On the way out of town we stopped and filled all of our available water receptacles with as much of the fine mineral water we could. The flavor is fresh and clean. And, it makes wonderful coffee.
|Every available container was used to collect the water|
|Hot Springs Fountain|
There was a big surprise awaiting us today. Our schedule was predicated on our need to travel about 550 miles a day to reach Padre Island near Corpus Christi, Texas where we were to join Sarah and Kate's sister, Nora. However, just before leaving, Kate pointed out to me that Nora was in South Padre Island near Brownsville, Texas, about 150 miles further than Corpus Christi. Now our required milage was 700 miles. This set a record we hope never to break. But, we wanted to be in our campsite on Saturday night so that we could have a relaxed Sunday to celebrate Kate's birthday by watching football games. Nora had scouted out sports bars and selected Louie's Backyard (http://lbyspi.com/). Louie's was packed and we found many tables were reserved. We wanted to be able to see both the Chicago Bears and the Patriots who were playing at the same time, but of the screens we could see, none had the Patriots. After assuring the bartender that I had poled the other fans around us if they would mind a switch of one screen to the Patriots, he quickly obliged. With special prices for draft beers and surprisingly good bar food, we enjoyed the festive atmosphere.
|Thirty cents a gallon less than Massachusetts|
Makes up for the decreased mileage we get at 75 MPH to cover the distance we needed to go
We finished the evening by stopping at Padre Rita's to listen to some live music and share a final margarita in celebration of Kate's birthday.
|Happy Birthday, Kate|
Our home here in South Padre Island is Andy Bowie County Park. Although not more than an RV parking lot, it is just what we would want for the time we will be here. It is situated just behind the dunes on the beach on the main road and next door to Nora's hotel.
|Andy Bowie County Park|
Now we need to plan our New Year's Eve celebration. Stay tuned.