Tuesday, April 14, 2009

High Museum of Art - Atlanta, 4/14/09

We visited the High Museum of ARt that was showcasing China GTerracotta Army. Qin Shi Huangdi was the First Emperor of China. The terracotta figures, dating from 210 BCE, were discovered in 1974 by some local farmers. There were many of these statues on display at the museum, which were amazing in detail and size. Qin Shi Huangdi was only 13 when he became emporer and he revolutionized China in many ways. He was concerned about is own immortality and had a 21 acre plot for his burian tomb surrounded by these figures to protect him in the afterlife.


The museum is know as the Louvre of Atlanta and housed extraordinary masterpieces of art, sculptors and artifacts. Really was an interesting day!
We also went to see Stone Mountain Park where there is a carving on the side of the mountain of Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis the carving is about 90 by 190 feet. We stayed at an Army Recreation area about 25 -30 miles north of Atlanta. We had a chance to visit with my niece and her family and went out to eat and had a great time.

The World of Coke - Atlanta, 4/13/09

We visited The World of Coke in Atlanta -- was a fun tour complete with a 3-D movie with seats that shook and sprayed water on us.

Coca-Cola memorbelia was displayed everywhere. The best part of the tour was the tasting room -- tasting soft drinks form around the world made by coke. There were some that were not so good!

We've bellied up to the soda fountain for a coke.

Somersworth had it's very own Coke Bottling company for many years -- the last of which was run by Rene's uncle Armand St. Hilaire. Rene tells the story about how at Christmas time his uncle used to offer him a coke that was in one of those coke dispensing machines with a door in the front. He always instructed Rene to take only from the top -- those were the bottles laced with Rum!

There was a whole series of coke art -- pretty creative.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Twin Coves, Alabama

We then moved on to Twin Coves, AL to catch up with friends from MA that we met while camping at Orr's Island, ME. We got our puppy fix again as they have a beautiful Golden by the name of Sasha. Had a great time with Phyllis and Charlie renewing our friendship and enjoying the area. Pensacola, FL is only 25 miles from Red Bay, which is where we went to pick up mail, but more importantly, to get our FL driver's licenses. Our address on our licenses is 2007MH (motorhome) and our license plates.
While driving over, we had a rock hit that left a crack in the windshield. Whoops, back to Red Bay for a new one -- we were about 6-7 hour drive from Red Bay. However, back we went and they fixed it in just a couple of hours. We are now heading toward Alanta, GA to meet up with family.

Tupelo, MS

While in Red Bay, AL, we went to Tupelo, MS, which was about 45 miles from Red Bay -- the Birthplace of Elvis. This is the actual home that his father, grandfather and uncle built, which is located on the actual plot of land. His dad borrowed about $300 to build the home, but due to hard times, lost the home to foreclosure and the Presley's lived in Tupelo for 13 years before moving to Memphis. In the pictures we saw, there was a row of these houses.

House consisted of only two rooms. This is a re-creation of what the home might have looked like when Elvis lived there. I was struck at how poor the family was. There was a story that Elvis wore bib overalls everday to school with a shirt. His shirts were in poor condition. A classmate's dad owned a factory that made shirts and offered to give some to Elvis. Elvis was very proud and it is said he had it out with the classmate. Elvis wanted a rifle for his 13th birthday, but his mother convinced him that a guitar would be better. His pastor taught him a few chords and the rest, as they say, his history.

Attending church was a big part of Elvis' life. This is the actual church that he attended and he also performed solos. Over time the church was converted to a 4 bedroom house but eventually the historical society was able to purchase the building and transport it to the grounds near Elvis' birthplace.

Red Bay, Alabama - 3/25/09

After leaving Tennessee, we headed to the home of Tiffin Motorhomes, where our RV was built. We took the factory tour, which was very interesting and then stayed in their campground for a few days to get some work done on the rig. We had 3 windows that were fogged and since they were under warranty, we preferred to have them installed by the guys who originally built our motorhome. There were a few other nickle/dime things that we had done. All in all, it was a good experience dealing with Tiffin.

While there, we made friends with a couple from Escondido, CA who have a beautiful blond golden retriever. We got our "puppy fix" and made good friends who we hope to catch up with in CO while they are camp hosts at a campground near Aspen.

There's not much to see and do in Red Bay, but located on the outskirts of town is the Coon Dog Cemetery which is the only one in the country. The cemetery was established in 1934 and only bonifide working coon dogs can be buried here.

Above is a memorial to the coon dog and also here is an example of the stones dedicated to a beloved dog.

Graceland, Memphis, TN

A highlight of visiting Memphis was visiting the home of the King -- Graceland. We took the guided/audio tour. I think what surpirsed me the most was that it was not as lavish as I would have expected. The house was built in 1934 and the rooms were small comparatively speaking of today's homes.

At left is the white living room that has the 17ft. sofa and you see the music room beyond with the piano. The first floor of the home was used to entertain guests reserving the upstairs of the home as his private residence.

Here's the kitchen -- notice the 70's decor and there was a gold fridge in the corner.

This is the "jungle room" with its over the top Hawaiian-inspired decor. There is carpet on the ceiling which was acoutically favorable for recording music.

Evlis is buried on the property along with his parents and grandmother. We learned that initially he was buried in a cemetery in Memphis until there was an attempt to steal the body. After that they brought him home to Graceland.

This is just a sampling of his clothes and awards/gold records on display.

Elvis loved his cars -- there was a whole museum of his different cars and "toys" that he had on the grounds of Graceland. The pink cadilac was the one he gave his mother, though she did not drive. But the pink cadilac was her favorite car.

Elvis had a couple of planes, one named the "Lisa Marie". He also owned a helicoper. This is inside the Lisa Marie -- was pretty nice complete with a bed and gold bathroom fixtures.