Our one year traveling milestone and a great visit to the U.S.S. Lexington!

Roy and I have reached our 1st anniversary mark for full time RVing on the road!!!!!  We were full time living in our RV for several months before we took to the road but having lived on the road for a year is a big milestone for us!

We’ve managed to avoid hot weather for most of the first year which was high on what we feel are benefits from this lifestyle.  When we headed out from Hammond, at the end of April last year, we went up to Minnesota.  Our entire summer there was spent in 60 to 70 degree weather.  We made it back to Louisiana after the heat left and the cool weather had set in.  When we stayed in Florida, Mississippi and Alabama the weather was still cool and we’ve loved every minute of that cool weather.

We thought that even southern Texas would be nice in April and early May.  We never expected  to be welcomed by this first real hot weather in a year, and can’t wait to escape!  The only thing saving us from withering here is the wind that is always present and most days between 20-40 mph.   Last Sunday was 106 and today is 95.   One day last week was really nice with a high of 77 so we went into Corpus Christi that day to do some sightseeing.

We fed the animals and watered the plants early that day, and left for our 90 minute trip to Corpus Christi.  Corpus Christi and San Diego is in an area known around here as the Coastal Bend because it’s where the country bends around the Gulf of Mexico.  Corpus Christi is a nice city that reminded me somewhat of New Orleans.  I even expected to see the Superdome but of course we didn’t!   One thing that was similar but different was that in New Orleans all the oil companies are way out of town in LaPlace and that area.  Here they are right near the downtown area.

The main purpose of today’s trip was to tour the USS Lexington, a naval flight carrier that is now a museum in the water here.  You may remember that the Lexington was docked in New Orleans years ago.  This is its permanent location since it’s been retired.  While it was in New Orleans we were blessed to get a personal tour of it by my cousin David Hutson who was the Lieutenant Commander of the Lexington at that time.  I was so impressed with his position and us being able to see parts of the ship that weren’t on the public tour.    I remembered parts of that tour when we were there on Thursday, and couldn’t help but miss David.  He died a few years ago from myasthenias gravis which is an autoimmune neuromuscular disease and he is greatly missed.

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Every square inch of the eleven decks on the ship is used to display military memorabilia from several wars and engagements, including other ships.  If you were really into it you could spend the entire day touring the ship.  The breeze from the Gulf made it a very comfortable tour.

One of the first things we did was watch the 3D movie about the military’s recent involvement in helping the people of Haiti recover from the earthquake.  Very well done and informative 30 minute movie in 3D.

There are five different self guided tours of various parts of the ship with signs guiding you all along the way.

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The tours are really well thought out and a perfect way to tour it.   Several areas were set up to where when you walked into the area an explanation of the area was given over the speakers in that area.  Manequins were dressed up to represent sailors in all areas of the ship with fake food even on display in the galley.

 

 

The whole tour was fascinating and I learned much more than I thought I would.  It’s so nice to be retired, not in a hurry and have plenty of time to enjoy things!  Touring the ship got my interest peaked to learn more about the events leading to the USS Arizona being sunk at Pearl Harbor.  We came home and watched the Pearl Harbor movie which I wish I had watched before we toured the boat but anyhow it made me want to learn more so I got a book for my Kindle about the Pacific War.

The Lexington is an enormous air craft carrier and is three football fields long.  The flight deck, on top where the aircraft took off and landed,  is said to be big enough to hold 1000 cars!  I think they would have to be compact cars but that’s a big place!  The flight deck currently is a display area for several planes from various eras.  My phone’s battery died before we got to that area so the only pictures I have of the planes on the flight deck are ones I got off the internet.

lex planes on dec k 2 lex planes on deck USS Lexington Tour 2-6-11 (24) lexington planes on deck

The pictures below are from before that happened.  I bought a disposable camera and took pictures of the rest of the tours but it was way too far for this old gal to go back up to take my own pictures of the planes.  Those pictures are sitting in the camera since we didn’t use them all and when they are taken to Walgreen’s I’ll share them with you!

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We saw the crews dental office, surgery room, sick call area, the captains in-dock and out at sea bedrooms, his personal food galley, officers lounging area, crews eating area, the engine room, the bridge (where Roy sat in the Captains chair and acted like he was guiding the ship!), the barber shop, the pilots ready rooms, the anchor room, crews quarters, female crew quarters, the Brig (where I stayed for a while! and Roy refused to enter!) and hundreds of steep steep stairs.

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When you went up a set of stairs you always had to come back down that many and this part did us in!  We managed to not trip or fall, but going from deep in the bottom of the ship all the way to the Bridge at the very top, took several hundred stairs and these old folks were worn out after just a few hours of touring.

I loved going out on the overhangs (I am sure they have a real name but I don’t know it) where you could stand in the breeze looking out over the water.   So peaceful and such a freeing feeling!

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We left having really enjoyed this experience and  all that walking and fresh air left us quite hungry.  I googled eating places before we left and found that Corpus Christi has a Catfish Charlies.  Those of you from the Hammond area know there was kind of a landmark restaurant in Hammond for years known as Catfish Charlies.  It’s now a different name but we decided to see what Corpus Christi’s Catfish Charlies was like.  We both got the seafood platter with sweet tea.  It came with seafood gumbo, coleslaw, bean soup, hush puppies, fried catfish, fried shrimp, fried oysters and french fries all for $13.95 each.  We were hungry enough to be able to finish off our food but with much effort!  Roy stopped about 2/3 way through and said he had to stop for a while or he’d die!

This was the most delicious seafood I’ve had in a long time and quite a bit better than the Hammond Catfish Charlies’ was.  Sorry homefolks!!  They don’t have the same atmosphere being on a small lake with ducks swimming around outside wanting to be fed like the Hammond restaurant does.  We haven’t eaten out since coming to Texas so that could have something to do with how delicious it was but the shrimp were huge, the catfish were plentiful and good sized and every thing on our plate tasted perfect.  If you’re ever in this area I’d highly recommend it.

catfish charlies

Well that’s our one and only sightseeing trip outside of the San Diego/Alice, Texas area.  We’re going to spend some time in San Antonio and Austin when we leave here and can’t wait to see what’s in those areas.  I love the history behind those areas and look forward to learning more and seeing more!

I know this has been a long blog with lots of pictures but there could have been more so be thankful for a dead phone/camera battery!!

One things we’ve found we do like out here is the isolation.  Especially since we like to watch movies with the volume turned up like we did with Pearl Harbor last night.  In RV parks and anywhere there are others around we disturb them on those occasions we turn the sound up but here no one cares!!!  It’s very peaceful here and the animals are very loving so we consider this a nice place to visit but definitely not on my short list of places I’d want to settle down with the extreme heat!

Ya’ll come back now, ya hear!

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