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Birmingham, AL & HOME!! - 04/04/2012

Published at 6:25 PM in , ,

Today we headed home! This was the final leg of our trip.

Jim, the kids, and Uncle Johnny
We were driving through Birmingham where Jim's brother John lives.  So we called him and had him meet us for lunch.  It was a nice visit!

We got back on the road and went HOME!

End of this trip.  Stay tuned for more adventures!

:)

If you haven't looked at the pictures from this trip, jump on over to the Photo Gallery!

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Vicksburg & Jackson, MS - 04/03/2012

Published at 6:25 PM in , ,

Mississippi State Capitol


Today we drove the 16 mile trail through the Vicksburg National Military Park.  The park is beautiful, lined with over 1,300 markers and monuments.  The markers honor the soldiers from both sides of the Civil War and are beautiful.  Some are simple signs and others are ornate marble monuments.

In the back of the park there is a cemetery with over 18,000 soldiers buried in it.  Perhaps the most interesting part of that area is the USS Cairo, the first-ever mined or torpedoed ship to be sunk in U.S. history.  It laid at the bottom of the Yazoo River for 102 years before it was finally raised in three sections.  Its restoration and renovations were completed and the ship was put in place in the national park in 1977.

The USS Cairo

The way the ship is laid out allows viewers to really see a lot of the insides of the ship.  The adjoining museum houses artifacts and personal items from the crew, from scissors to glasses.

Once we finished in the park, we traveled the short distance to the state capitol in Jackson.  We found a great parking place for the RV right across the street from the capitol.

Us with Reps. Haney & Arnold


It was a busy day in the Mississippi capitol.  We were exploring on our own and went to the House chamber into the viewing gallery.  The House had just adjourned, so again we missed seeing the action.  However, several Representatives were still on the floor.  Representative Greg Haney invited us down onto the floor to talk with him and take pictures.  Representative William Tracy Arnold joined us, too.  Rep. Haney is a real estate agent from Gulfport, Mississippi, and Rep. Arnold is the pastor of a church in northern Mississippi.  Both men so generously spent time with us discussing issues that were up for debate in Mississippi, as well as various places we might want to visit on our next trip through Mississippi, along with politics and Rachael's future presidency.  Rep. Haney then took us all over the capitol on a personal tour to see important and historical rooms.  For instance, there is a little cafe underneath the front steps of the capitol. This area used to be the stables, and the structure itself hasn't changed very much over time.  We really appreciated the time they spent with us.  It made the day extra special!

We are on a downhill run now towards home.  Tomorrow is the day!

More pictures in the Photo Gallery!


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Vicksburg, MS - 04/02/2012

Published at 6:24 PM in ,

FIRE!


Today we ventured into Vicksburg, Mississippi.  Vicksburg is a pretty little southern town, full of Civil War history.  The Siege of Vicksburg is considered by many as a turning point in the war.  Grant's initial assaults failed, but after tirelessly attacking the city on the hill, Vicksburg surrendered.  This, along with having taken control of the Mississippi, along with numerous other victories, gave the Union forces the edge against the Confederacy.  There were many sad stories about brother fighting against brother here...

The Ohio Monument

The Vicksburg National Military Park has over 1,300 monuments and markers honoring the veterans that fought on both sides of the battle.  There is a cemetery with over 18,000 burials.

Since it was towards the end of the day, we spent most of our visit in the Visitor's Center.  There was a great movie about the siege.  The displays included commanders' tents and what it would have looked like fighting from the city's hilltops.
Learning about cannons


We did talk with a park ranger about the different types of cannons used in the battles.  He took a lot of time with the kids explaining about the grooves inside the cannon and how that affected the distance and accuracy that the cannon could fire.  Super nice guy.

The heavy rains had knocked down a large tree, so you couldn't drive the 16 mile trail through the park.  Tomorrow we plan on coming back to tour the driving trail and the USS Cairo.  The USS Cairo was the first ship in US history to be sunk by a torpedo or mine.  It should be interesting.

More pictures in the Photo Gallery!

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Dallas, TX - Day 4 - 04/01/2012

Published at 6:22 PM in ,

Uncle Jim, Aunt DeeDee, and us at CCBC


Today we started out by going to church with my aunt and uncle.  Canyon Creek Baptist Church is special to me, not just because they go there.  This was where I got saved in 1996, and I was baptized there, too.  So I was really looking forward to going to church here today.  After an amazing service, we headed to our last lunch with our family.  We sure are going to miss them!

The gifts from the kids...including a roll of duck tape

After lunch, we headed out of town, on our way to Mississippi.  We decided to bypass the northern Louisiana area, opting instead to visit Vicksburg and Jackson before we head home.

A wonderful lunch!

Jessica and the kids

Jessica and me
We loved our time here...sad to go!  But that means we are closer to home!  More pictures in the Photo Gallery!