We are beginning our Great Escape part 1 around the USA from December 27th 2010 to August 18th 2011 when we arrive home for a short break and a wedding...
The goal is to see as much of the United States as possible within this time frame and make it back in one piece.
The travellers are Bob, Kam, Chris (Kam's 13 yr old son) and our English setter puppy Casper which at the start of the trip will be 6 months old.
The vehicle a Ford F450 duelly pulling a 40 ft bath and a half bunkhouse.
The challenge to survive on the road homeschooling Chris with many of our worldly items in storage and the necessities in what compartment storage we have in the fifth wheel.
Come along for the ride!
February 23rd 2011
This is the tallest capitol building in the United States, not the largest as that's in Texas but it is the tallest. It is also unusual in that it was designed in the art deco style rather than classical. It was commissioned by former Governor Huey P Long but he never had a chance to really use it as he was assassinated on the day that it opened. I love the interior detailing but my only wish is that I could capture what I see within one photo instead of seven...it makes me appreciate the human eye. The view from the top is gorgeous but in order to see it you need to arrive before 4 PM as that's when it closes. Another tip is that you should make sure to eat lunch before seeing the ... read more
February 22nd 2011
Like Kingsley Plantation, this plantation interested me because it was run by four generations of women which wasn't common in the 1800s but there is so much more to learn about over here. For those interested in Brer Rabbit, it is thought that the original tales of Compere Lapin originated at this house among the slaves that worked here. It is one of the only plantations that has original wooden slave cabins and furnishings and it is one of the few plantations where much is known about the owners mainly due to the memoirs of Laura who was the last of her family to run this plantation before selling out as she really didn't want to continue running it. The tour was really interesting and you learn that Creole refers to blood, language and culture. The ... read more
February 18th 2011
This museum was amazing. We spent at least 5 hours here and I wish that we could have spent an hour more. There are two huge buildings to explore the main museum and the hanger which houses the air craft that simply wouldn't fit inside the main building. Normally when you think of aviation your first thought is the air force but the Navy has also played a large part in aviation. This was Chris's favorite military museum so far. His main reason for this is that this covers so much of the history of flight from World War 1 through WW2 and choppers used in Vietnam and more modern jets...it really is astounding when you think of how much has changed in less than 100 years. You also get a far better idea of exactly ... read more
February 17th 2011
We had a good time in Pensacola, I had a change of plans as I didn't think that Tallahassee was as long of a day trip as it was, but there was plenty to do. We spent a few days going to some local antique stores and one day going to Gulf Shores National Seashore. Another day we went to the Pensacola Naval Museum and the Pensacola Lighthouse both of which were located at the Pensacola Naval Base and I strongly suggest that anyone visiting Pensacola makes time for visiting these sights. Please make sure that you have at least 5 hours available and preferably more. I will write more about the Naval Museum in a seperate post but for the sake of posting pictures I am combining photos of the light house with those from ... read more
February 13th 2011
The last post from the St Petersburg area, basically just wanted to show what a great block party it was... read more
February 12th 2011
More pictures from the area. These are from the Manatee Viewing Center. I am also adding a video from the hurricane experience with Chris at the manatee center and one of the new roller coaster at Busch Gardens that was supposed to debut this summer...as I am way behind in my posts if anyone has seen the new coaster (I believe it was called Cheetah Chase) you can compare it to when it was still under construction... read more
February 11th 2011
We enjoyed our time here and have to say environment wise it was one of our favorite campgrounds. There was a large enough pond for Bob and Chris to take out the Porta Bote and fish and they had BINGO at the recreation center where Chris won a round which he was very excited about and we were excited as well as it gave us laundry money for the week.We had a neighbor from Alaska and another neighbor gave us directions to a manatee viewing center at the Tampa Electric Power Plant I wish that the photos were clearer of the manatees as there were many in view but they only surfaced briefly, afterwards we went to Goodson's strawberry farm for some fantastic strawberry shortcake. While here we also went to Busch Gardens in Tampa we ... read more
February 5th 2011
We stopped here on the way to Pensacola, FL and spent several hours exploring the two estates. Thomas Edison bought his estate with 13 acres and two homes that were built. His original plan was to share it with his good friend and business partner Ezra Gilliland who bought the house and 4 acres that were on the south end of the property. Soon after Edison discovered that Mr Gilliland had sold rights to his inventions for far more than he had told Thomas Edison.It was a descrepancy amounting to over $ 100,000 which was a huge amount in the late 1800s. They fought and disolved the partnership. A number of years and several owners later found the south property sold to Henry Ford who was a close friend of Edison and a former worker for ... read more
February 3rd 2011
This was one of the areas that I really didn't schedule enough time in as I knew that it would be easier to visit after moving to Tennessee. We were here only two nights but there was a lot to do there. We stayed in Flamingo Campground which meant that we were using our generator for electricity and according to park rules all generators had to be turned off between 8 PM and 8 AM. It basically meant that after going hiking we rushed back to the camper to prepare supper and do dishes before the power went out. Thankfully Jordan and Aaron had given us a rechargeable lamp so we had a little light at night. Speaking of night the stars in the sky were incredible with virtually no light present after 8 PM, no ... read more
January 27th 2011
We spent a full day at this park and then tracking down The African Queen which I hadn't planned on doing but as it was less than 2 miles away I couldn't resist. Its late so I am going to label very few of these pictures but it was a pleasant cruise.. The first photos are from the information center and the boat coming in. Then there are pictures of the mangrove trees which are pretty incredible themselves for their contributions to the Florida coastline and also the fact that they can exist in brackish water....the yellow leaves on the tree are sacrificial leaves which absorb salt from the brackish water so that the rest of the tree can survive. These trees provide nesting for many birds and animals. Lastly we have pictures of coral, fish ... read more