July 26th- We woke up early and headed south. A goal of mine had been to see the relatively new Mercedes Benz factory in Vance, Alabama. The museum was very small and not especially interesting. I think that if I had been able to go on a factory tour the experience would have been more rewarding. After spending a few more hours driving we stayed the night at a La Quinta Inn in Meridian, Mississippi.
On Wednesday July 27th we headed west and toured Vicksburg National Battlefield Park that morning. We enjoyed lunch in downtown Vicksburg on the Mississippi River and visited the first location in the world to bottle Coca-Cola. It was not particularly interesting. We then headed back east to Jackson and visited the Old Capitol Museum which was a beautiful building that explores the history of the state. This was well worth the trip. Jackson overall seemed to be a pretty tired city with much poverty, at least the areas we drove through. After Jackson, we headed south on I-55 towards New Orleans arriving to visit a friend who lived in the city.
|A nice picture with a random monument.|
|A bend in the mighty Mississippi.|
July 28th - We toured the WWII museum in New Orleans, where the Higgens boat was built. (soem say....the savior of the war..) We spent time exploring the city and having lunch in the French Quarter with another friend.
|This graphic shows the size of the Japanese and German armies at the start of WWII compared to the US.|
|I recommend Tyler's Produce if you are in the New Orleans area.|
July 29th We woke up early and headed northwest on I-10 stoping in Baton Rouge to visit the Louisiana State Capital . It was a very impressive building that is the tallest of the state captiols. It acutally looks like a 1930’s office building, (which it is) I also learned about Huey Long and with help, found the bullet holes on the wall where Huey Long was assassinated.
|The bullet hole from where Huey Long was assassinated.|
We arrived to Denise’s parents house in Austin Texas, who we would stay with for the next few days. They were wonderful!
On July 30th we woke up and walked around the University of Texas campus, thinking about the dreadful 1966 campus shooting and then walked through campus to the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential library. It was a beautiful building and the exhibits were very interesting. My favorite was about the rise of the various counter-cultures during the time of LBJ.
|LBJ the teacher.|
|A seemingly odd exhibit at the LBJ Library.|
|I did not expect to find this shirt at LBJ's library,|
|or a picture of the famous bra burning!|
|Every Presidential Library seems to have a model Oval Office.|
We stayed with my friend’s wife’s family and Denise’s gave us some excellent tips for Austin.
Places to Eat:
The best place for Breakfast is Amaya's.
|Breakfast at Amaya's, excellent!|
Trudy's for dinner or lunch.
-We had lunch at Trudy’s one-day and it was very very good. I would suggest to anyone to eat there.
There are a TON of bats that live under congress bridge and people like to go see them come out at dusk.
|Amy's Ice Cream|
Amy's Ice Cream on South Congress Street. If you get ice cream, get mexican vanilla with strawberries. Everything else pales in comparison. Denise's opinion was correct.
BBQ-The Salt Lick BBQ is also good. We had wanted to go and eat at Salt Lick, but did not have a chance, fortunately they catered my friend Jesse’s wedding. There is little better in this world than Texas barbecue.
|Outside the Alamo.|
|Even the Japanese are interested in the Alamo!|
|On the river walk.|
|The lowest mile Tucker in existence.|
|A beautiful Franay bodied Dusenburg|
|The Marmon V16|
On arrival back to Austin we toured inside the Texas State Capitol. State Capital. As we had visited a few state capitals already on this trip we had high expectations for each. The Texas State Capital is very large and the best part was getting our picture under the painting of George W. Bush.
|It was hard to get a good picture of this, everyone wanted one.|
|Out front of the Dr. Pepper museum.|
|The spot of the second shot.|
|Standing where Zapruder took that infamous footage.|
August 2 – We woke up and drove 3 more hours to Midland, Texas. We went to the Petroleum Basin Museum and the Bush Boyhood home.
|The Bush Boyhood home.|
|The Petroleum Basin Museum|
August 3 The next morning we went and toured the Palo Duro Canyon.
|Our ride for the "jeep" tours.|
|All smilies at the Canyon|
|That name says it all!|
August 4- After an early breakfast at Philmont we headed west to Taos, New Mexico.
|Ellie and I in the garden of the Villa Philmonte|
|The Rio Grande Bridge.|
We then toured the Taos Pueblo, for the admission cost and what I had heard about it I was excited, but I found it to be rather depressing, with many indigenous people trying to eke out a profit. We then headed south for Santa Fe, the drive was incredible, the road stayed followed the course of the Rio Grande.
|"Art" in the New Mexico state capital.|
|Vendors outside the New Mexico History Museum|
August 6th- We drove back to Philmont, first exploring downtown Cimarron. Once back at Philmont we toured Waite Phillip’s residence, the Villa Philmonte.
|Ellie, Sarah and I in front of the "tooth of time"|
August 7th – We headed east on I-40 driving to Oklahoma City and toured the Memorial and museum, this was another very emotional day and you just did not want to do anything after visiting.
|The Memorial, each seat is for a victim.|
|This was located just inside the back entrance to the Murrah Federal Building.|
|The license plate of the rental truck driven by McVeigh|
August 8- Little Rock, AR
|Out front of the Clinton Library.|
|An interesting look for Bill.|
|Little Rock Central High|
Waking up early, we headed east to Little Rock Arkansas visiting the Clinton Presidential Library, Little Rock Central High School and the state capitol. The state capitol is a scale representation of the United States Capital. We then headed east and stayed the night in Memphis, TN.
|At the foot of a star|
Then headed south east back into Alabama to see the Tueplo Auto museum and the birth home of Elvis. it was a funny experience to be in rural Alabama and hear tourists from Brazil and Japan speaking in English to each other it’s about how important all this was to them.
Then we headed east and stayed the night in Huntsville Alabama at a La Quinta.
|Hand in hand with Jack D.|
|Michael and I with a Cadillac Tow-Truck|
Here is a map of our Trip:
View Texas New Mexico Road Trip 2011 in a larger map