February 25, 2019

HOW TO FOLLOW THE FOOTSTEPS OF SGT. ALVIN C. YORK IN PALL MALL, TENNESSEE

We just HAD to follow the footsteps of Sgt. Alvin C. York in Pall Mall, Tennessee! We wanted to learn more and pay homage to Sgt. York-one of the most decorated American heroes of WWI.   New generations of Americans became familiar with York through a 1940s biographical Hollywood movie, starring Gary Cooper. Gary Cooper won an Oscar for best actor for his portrayal of Sgt. York. York’s military service in WWI and the movie (made much later) made Alvin York a household name.  For we seniors, Sgt. York’s story has been a part of our growing up years.   So, who was Alvin C. York?     YORK’S BACKGROUND     Alvin C….

February 21, 2019

THE BIGGEST 3,000 Year-Old PETROGLYPHS IN North America: JUDACULLA ROCK IN North Carolina

There are times when we see a sign by the side of the road that leads to an American treasure! Judaculla Rock is just such a find!   We were driving 107 N in Jackson County, North Carolina when we noticed a silver road sign which said, “Judaculla Rock.” We had never heard of Judaculla Rock and were uncertain if the sign actually referred to a rock. Boy, does it ever!   Judaculla Rock is approximately 16 feet long by eleven feet wide and is a soapstone boulder covered with strange drawings that have been studied by researchers worldwide. Quarry tools were found nearby and scientists have speculated that Judaculla Rock…

February 18, 2019

WHITE SANDS NATIONAL MONUMENT: A BUCKET LIST DESTINATION FOR SENIORS

Gypsum sands sparkle during sunset and the views are absolutely amazing!  The dunes of White Sands National Monument begin at the park road and go on like a sea of sand! White Sands National Monument turned out to be a spiritual stop in our travels and should be a true bucket list destination for retirement travel.   Huge dunes of gypsum extend over 275 square miles of desert in New Mexico. White Sands was established as a National Monument in 1933 and is said to be the largest gypsum dune field in the world. The gypsum is from 250 million years ago when the southwestern U.S. was covered by the…

February 14, 2019

TAKE A BACKROADS TRIP: THE PETRIFIED FOREST AND PAINTED DESERT

  If you want to experience other-worldly terrain, take a backroads trip to the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert!   The Petrified Forest National Park’s headquarters are located about 26 miles east of Holbrook, Az along Interstate 40, which parallels the BNSF Railway’s Southern Transcon, the Puerto River, and historic Route 66.   In fact, the Petrified Forest National Park is the only national park site that contains a segment of the Historic Route 66 alignment. The northern portion of the park extends into the Painted Desert.     Teddy Roosevelt created the Petrified Forest National Monument in 1906. It has over 50,000 acres of designated wilderness.     We drove…

February 11, 2019

SAIL AWAY at TALL SHIP FESTIVALS

    Are you a romantic? Do you love pirate tales and swashbuckling movies?  How about Oceanographic Research? Sail away at Tall Ship Festivals, Races, Regattas, Challenges and Celebrations!               Stu and I spent three days exploring Tall Ships in Pensacola, Florida at the Tall Ships Festival.     There are Tall Ship events in North America each year as well as races and celebrations around the globe. One source for finding a Tall Ship Event near you is the Tall Ships Network.  C’mon senior travelers!     In 2019 alone, you can see Tall Ships in such American cities as:        …

February 7, 2019

GARDEN TOUR: THE BELLINGRATH GARDENS

I was so surprised when Stu turned into the driveway of the Bellingrath Gardens! I am a Master Gardener and LOVE gardening. Stu had told me our next stop was a surprise but, I had no idea it would be the 65-acre splendiferous Bellingrath Gardens!   Walter Bellingrath was one of the first Coca Cola bottlers in the southeastern United States. The gardens surrounding his home were opened to the public in 1932 and is the oldest public garden in Alabama. The Gardens are listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks & Heritage and on the National Register of Historic Places.   The gardens were originally used as a fishing camp by…

February 4, 2019

BEAUTY AND THE BEASTLY: INDUSTRIAL SLAVERY AT ARCADIA MILL in MILTON, FLORIDA

We felt as if we were just walking through a nature park at Arcadia Mill in Milton, Florida. We were actually visiting Florida’s first and largest antebellum industrial complex! There is beauty in the Arcadia Mill woods but also the beastly in the Mill’s history. A large part of Arcadia Mill’s history is industrial slavery.   The Arcadia Mill site was a huge complex with various mills, a grist mill, a blackmithshop, a mule-drawn railroad and a sixteen-mile long log flume! The vast complex was built and operated with industrial slavery.   The industrial site began with a sawmill. It grew to have a second sawmill. Later, a textile mill was run…

January 31, 2019

9 BATTLE STARS: THE BATTLESHIP USS ALABAMA

Though it was a sunny day, our minds drifted to the battleship before us having sailed through the fog of war. It is a humbling experience. We felt a certain reverence as we boarded the Battleship USS (BB-60) Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. Senior Travelers will relate since we grew up with stories about WWII from our parents.   The USS Alabama was commissioned in 1942 and served in the Atlantic and Pacific theaters of World War II. Decommissioned in 1947, the battleship was placed in the reserve fleet in Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Washington.  In 1964, Alabama was towed to Mobile Bay and opened as a museum the…

January 24, 2019

WHAT’S HOLDING YOU BACK FROM TRAVELING?

The whole purpose of our blog is to inspire you to get off the couch and travel. Is it working? Stu and I both once held ourselves back from plunging into road adventures. We worried about not knowing what to expect or if we could handle the challenges of travel. Now, neither of us can imagine life without travel!   “THE PURPOSE OF LIFE, AFTER ALL, IS TO LIVE IT, TO TASTE EXPERIENCE TO THE UTMOST, TO REACH OUT EAGERLY AND WITHOUT FEAR FOR NEWER AND RICHER EXPERIENCE.”    -Eleanor Roosevelt   Once you taste the experience of travel, there is no going back. So, what’s holding you back from…

January 10, 2019

BARGAIN TRAVEL: TOP RESTAURANT DISCOUNTS FOR TRAVELING SENIORS IN 2019

We splurge sometimes. I mean, we’re human! And we love food! Our policy is to eat roadfood on our travels. (see our post, “How to Find the Unusual on Your Roadtrip”, https://tinyurl.com/y2cr6wke and see the Roadfood section).   However, when in New Orleans, we are not about to miss gourmet meals in the French Quarter! Or in Tucson! (see our post on delicious eats in Tucson, “Foodies Take Note! Tucson Has it All!” http://thetravelingseniors.com/foodies-take-note/).     We are simple people. Mom and Pop local eats are the very best and we have met owners and servers willing to sit and share town and restaurant history, legends and stories! That experience cannot be beat!  …