Hello, beautiful readers! Today is Day 18 of the #RRBC 30-Day Blogging Challenge! Today was a regular work day with a little bit of fun. The Jason Taylor Foundation and the Bluapple Poetry Network came to my school to host a pep rally to get the students pumped up about writing a poem for the Florida Panthers' Panther Poetry Project contest. Six school winners get tickets to a Florida Panthers hockey game with the grand prize winner getting to ride the Zamboni and participate in a commercial (among other prizes). Last year, one of my poet's poem won the grand prize, and he was featured in this commercial.
We drove through Alabama on our way to Louisiana. It was just a resting spot; we planned to visit that state at a later time. So, our first real stop was New Orleans, LA. We ate at the famous Bubba Gump and walked Bourbon Street. We were only there for a day. I know there is so much more to see, but as it was our first road trip, we were still learning.
Our next stop was Cypress, TX, where my aunt and uncle lived. We spent a couple of days hanging out with them and my cousin and her children at a local pool. We also checked out some planes at the military base.
We stayed in Little Rock, Arkansas, for the night, before heading to St. Louis, MO. We travelled on part of the old Route 66, which was fun. We went to Six Flags St. Louis. We visited the Gateway Arch in St. Louis and travelled to the top as well.
Then, we headed to Ft. Leonard Wood, MO, or what we liked to call Fort Lost-in-the-Woods, Misery. My dad was stationed there when I was 2-5 years old. I remember very little, but according to him, everything has changed, including the entrance into the base. We actually got lost trying to find our way in. We stopped to enjoy some of the tanks on base.
Our next stop was Lake of the Ozarks, MO. There, I saw the biggest hornets I have ever seen. Luckily, they stayed away from us. We relaxed and enjoyed the lake at the state park. My son found a clam while he swam and dove underwater. We also visited the Bagnell Dam and Thunder Mountain Mining Company. My son got to "mine" his own gems for the first (but not final) time. He loved discovering the different stones he found. And we visited Bridal Cave, where my son saw caverns for the first time.
Our next stop was Memphis, TN , where I was able to enjoy my obsession with willow trees! We also visited Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley.
On our way back home, we stopped in Vicksburg, MS. We lived there for three years while I attended first through third grade. We went back to our old neighborhood, but our house no longer existed. We had a creek behind our house, and when it rained hard, it would rise. Many times it flooded, and when it did, it damaged the houses. The government eventually told the home owners they would no longer protect their homes. They gave them the option to stay at their own risk and expense or have the government buy them out. Most residents left, but there were still a few there. We also visited Top 'O The River, a great catfish restaurant overlooking the river.
My dad also visited his old base. So much had changed. The metal slide where I burned my legs every time I slid down no longer existed. We found out they dismantled the park after cars kept losing control and driving into it. And then, we headed home to Florida.
Have you ever visited an old home of yours? What was your experience like? I'd love to hear from you.