this is a new blog documenting our upcoming adventure through the northwest
Denver, the last city on our leaf odyssey tour. The remnants of fall are still here. We have had such a wonderful trip, visiting so many both old and new places and seeing many dear friends. But the most treasured gem of the trip was spending the vast majority of the time enjoying our warm friendship with one another..
P.S. A friend pointed out to us, last night (11/9) that we hadn’t told how many miles we went on our odyssey. The total was about 9200 miles!!!
Left Dallas in rain which, fortunately, continued only for about 30 minutes. Had a good dose of Texas “big sky” and rolling plains.
Allison and Sang were at work today. It was a rainy day, so we stayed in the house and caught up on the blog entiries, emails, read, relaxed. Sang came home and put finishing touches on the pizzas he had prepared, from scratch, the night before. Impressive and delicious. We then went to a performance of the Radiolab Apocalyptical, a live show based on the NPR series. A huge, impressive show in an immense auditorium in a little town outside of Dallas.
The most exciting highlight of our stay in Dallas was the ping png championship. Our visit with Allison and Sang has been just wonderful.
Day 64, Friday. The drive out of the Ozarks was fall foliage galore, then turned to plains and cows as we got to OK and TX. We were delighted to be staying with our niece and nephew, Allison Sample and Sang Pak, who just got married in April and moved to Dallas in June, where Sang is doing a fellowship in pediatric surgery at the Children’s Hospital and Allison is revolutionizing the personnel dept. at the Ally Bank here. Their duplex apartment is bright and spacious with high ceilings and high tech appliances and granite counters.
DAY 65: SAT.: Sang is on call today. We had a relaxed morning and then Allison gave us a tour of her neighborhood, then over to the swanky Highlands residential area on the way to have lunch with our ole friends from Denver, Rene and David Karp, who moved here years and years ago. One of their sons, Jon, and his wife Laurie and son Brady dropped in to see us. It was so much fun to catch up with them. David suggested that the Bush Library was interesting to see, in general and to see how history is rewritten to portray
Bush as a hero. Allison and I had to keep Lois muzzled throughout the visit.
DAY 66: SUN.: The highlight was nephew Rick and his son Rob Bradfield coming up from Waco to spend the day. Rene had recommended going to the Nasher Sculpture Center in downtown Dallas. It is an outstanding collection of modern sculpture that we greatly enjoyed. Rick then gave us a driving tour of downtown Dallas which has the most gigantic display of contemporary architecture that we have seen. They like to do things BIG here in Texas. We then returned home for a gala Korean pork dinner. Allison showed her culinary prowess and we all enjoyed visiting with each other.
The highlight of today was driving about 25 mi. north to Bentonville, AR, the home place of Walmart. One of the Walmart heirs, Alice Walton, both donated and raised money to found the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. The museum hosted over a million visitors in the first year. It is an impressive contribution to this community. The architect, Moshe Safdie, designed an imaginative building in a beautiful creek bed outside of the town. The large permanent collection is astounding, starting with early 18th century portraits and landscapes extending to impressionists such as Mary Cassatt, as well as artists such as Norman Rockwell, Mark Rothko, Andy Warhol and then to 21st century artists with whom we were not familiar, such as Evan Penny. We spent several hours touring the museum, having lunch at the cafeteria overlooking the creek and the lake, and then strolling among the autumn leaves on an art walk up the creek. A real treat of a day. Fayetteville and Bentonville are in the NW corner of AR, in the Ozark mountains and the foliage colors were splendid in the whole area. We feel that we have completed our leaf odyssey goal, of seeing the leaves turn into their fall colors, from Canada to Arkansas.
We then returned to Gen & Frank Broyles. Kat and George Paulson, Gen’s daughter and son-in-law, came over for a wonderful steak dinner. We had met them briefly, on prior visits, but thoroughly enjoyed spending the evening together and getting to know each other in more depth. This was a fun visit with our friends.
DAY 60: Monday, October 28: Memphis to Oxford to Belzoni, MS.
Easy day: Left Memphis around 10 a.m., went by Ms. Neely’s BBQ of the Interstate BBQ Restaurant,to take some of their delicious ribs and shoulder chopped pork to our friends in Belzoni. Next on the agenda was Oxford, MS – home of the illustrious OLE MISS – UNIVERSITY – where Lois received her BA degree. It’s still a gorgeous campus, even though it’s grown from (when I went) from 2000 students to 11,000 . The only thing clearly remembered was the small, but lovely, town square in Oxford. After touring the campus, we had lunch at the Grocery Store in Oxford and walked around the square. We arrived at our beloved friend’s home – the Winkie Hotel +++, in which we were honored by being met by my ole cradle buddie, Kate, for Winkie’s fantastic caramel cake and chocolate cake, and joined later for dinner by Bill, Winkie’s son, and his beautiful wife, Kathy. Lovey evening.
Day 61: Tuesday, October 29: Belzoni, MS
Lovely day. Kate and her husband Jerry picked us up around 12:45 and off we went to Greenwood, MS for a luncheon to the famous Crystal Grill, which had been arranged by Kate and my other cradle buddies, Louanne, and Lelia. You can not believe the wonderful luncheon of shrimp and crab newburg, salad, chocolate pie and peach cobbler we most certainly enjoyed. Thanks to Lelia and Louanne, who picked up the tab. There is no question that I will have to shop for a larger size in clothes before we return. Between Winkie and the Crystal Grill, I don’t have a prayer.
On the way, we passed what would have been a most ordinary sight, of cotton fields – when I grew up, that was all you saw – but in the past few dozen years, very little cotton was grown, the delta went into rice, catfish farms, soybeens, etc. Not now, It was quite lovely to see, and the new machinery makes cotton again a very profitable crop. See the pictures: the new methods , using the new machines, which pick and then pack the cotton in massive rolls, wrap the rolls for transporting the cotton to the gins in less than a quarter of the time when cotton was just picked by hand.
Day 62, Wednesday, October 30: Belzoni – Fayetteville, Arkansas
Drove pretty much all day, started seeing the pretty colors after Little Rock (at higher elevations, the colors are more pronounced), ran into a lot of road construction and were very relieved to finally arrive at at the home of my ole Vanderbilt grad school roomate, Gen Broyle, in Fayetteville. Terrific dinner of gumbo, quiche, black-eyed peas, salad , etc. I’ve lost the battle. Peter’s in for a shock.
A very easy drive. Decided to start our Memphis experience with a tour of GRACELAND! We had talked to our old friend, Ludie Henley, who said that it would be a crime to go to Memphis and not go to Graceland. She’s been there twice!. Keith had called while we were on route, and suggested that we get in the mood by listening to the satellite Elvis station to get warmed up. Glad we did. Learned a lot about Elvis that we didn’t know – such as his charities, his inner anxieties, his military service. His car exhibit was the best for me. Why in the world don’t the car manufactures take a clue and make car exteriors fun
again. Peter had researched BBQ places and so we went to the INTERSTATE BBQ restaurant for some extremely good BBQ – so good, in fact, that we arranged to pick up some on the way to Belzoni the next day. After lunch, we drove on to the PEABODY Hotel. What a lovely ole style delightful place! Arrived in time to watch the Bronco’s astoundingly successful football game on TV as well as witness the historical moment of the ducks’ march out of the fountain in the middle of the Peabody’s lobby. After the game, we gussied up and went to BEALE STREET, to sample their current versions of the Blues. Was fun.
A big driving day, lengthened by 1.5 hours because the Blue Ridge Parkway, leading to the Smokies, outside of Maggie Valley is closed. We then drive on west to Cherokee and the road over the Great Smoky Mountains has, literally, bumper to bumper traffic. So we turn around, go back east to Maggie Valley and go over the Smokies on I-40. The leaves are turning and pretty, but not the same thing seen from an interstate. However, the I-40 drive from Knoxville to Nashville is quite colorful and attractive. The only real highlight of the day was a tasty Italian lunch at Frankie’s, in Maggie Valley. One big disappointment of the trip is the book, “Roadfood”. They miss many towns and many good restaurants. We think we could do better! One huge bonus of being in TN is the gas price of $3.20/gal. Quite a contrast to Canada, where the price often converted to about $5/gal. Wonder why. Taxes? We finally get to Dickson, west of Nashville, around 8 PM, tired, but glad that the drive tomorrow to Memphis is just 2.5 hours.