my u.s. tour
Not sure if any of my other entries were received, hope so but if not here is the latest from U.S.A.
Arrived in Nashville, really a great place, went on a tour of the Ryman Auditorium learnt a lot of musical history there, beautiful costumes
worn by such greats as Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash and many more, They have their costumes on display in glass cases,
That night we went to the Grand Ole Opry, there was a terrible electrical storm on the way there and it teemed with rain all night. First we
had a light meal at the shopping centre and then to the theatre. What an evening, I'm not that fussed about Western music but it was a great
show, and sorry when it was over. Thought of Ernie Bridge performing there, after seeing him on the screen at his funeral, Patsy tell Ben that
I had him in my mind the whole of the show.
Next day it was off to Memphis, sorry to leave Nashville, went to the Sun studios where Elvis cut his first record, every wall was covered with his
photos, recording every contract and move that he made.
The next morning we went to Graceland, I was expecting it to be very much in your face, tacky or in bad taste, but none of that. The grounds
were just so beautiful and the house very very nice and tasteful, there was a pool and lounge area at the back of the property and just below
that a little section in the garden of the graves of the Presley family. Got to see his private planes, now they were something, flying would not
be as tiring if you went in his personal plane. Also two lovely horses grazing in a paddock surrounded by whitewashed fences.
Off to Vicksburg the next morning, we drove through the park, 20 miles of trenches, 144 emplaced cannons and a massive marble building
in a circular shape with domed roof that was incomplete so that the sun would shine through on all the inscriptions on the walls, outside
there was a gigantic gold bald headed eagle on the facade of the entry. They put red flower wreaths at the entry of all monuments each day.
It took us more than an hour to drive through the winding road of this very amazing park where so many young soldiers were laid to rest.
From there we went to Natchez where our stay for the night was in Monmouth Manor. I just couldn't describe the gardens, fountains.
walled areas for herb gardens hedges of bright green foliage that had fairy lights entwined through it all and fairy lights all through the
huge trees around the courtyard where we had mint julepts before going inside to the main house for our 5 course meal, silver cutlery,
silver candle sticks and the most wonderful oil paintings on the walls with very heavy two tone drapes trimmed with braid and beads on the
windows, because there were not enough rooms in the Manor they had little clusters of cottages spread over the 16 acres, all with gardens
surrounding them. I stayed in a cottage that was near the duck pond with a lovely fountain in the centre, sat on a white wicker rocking chair
and enjoyed it all while waiting for my cases to come and then get changed for dinner.
This morning we left early so that we could go to Frogmore cotton plantation, it was so hot and humid that it was not as enjoyable as it should
have been, we saw all the procedures of picking, sorting, baling etc. etc., and then went into one of the cabins that the slaves lived in and
many photos showing events that went from the beginning to today.
After that we went to Houmas House. So gracious and Olde Worlde there aren't words to describe it adequately. The house was referred to
as the Sugar Palace because they grew sugar cane there and obviously made a fortune from it. Again Houmas House was surrounded by
the most beautiful gardens, trees that were one thousand years old with Spanish moss draped through the branches and swaying in the breeze
that came off the Mississippi River maybe 100 metres away. I saw the most stunning furniture, mirrors, ornaments, paintings and porcelain,
some of which reminded me of Nan and Grandpa's Wubin home, John you will remember I'm sure and know what I am talking about, if you
try to tell people that they think you are exaggerating but they did have some beautiful things didn't they?
There were bronze statues in the middle of ponds, the water lillies in them would have had leaves and flowers so big I couldn't guess the size
of them. As well there were marble statues and busts all throughout the many walkways covered in flowering creepers, and tubs of flowers.
All the way through from Nashville to Natchez the trees on the road side are a lovely green and so thick it is like a jungle mile after mile, such
pretty countryside. The magnolia is the state emblem for Louisiana and the trees are everywhere, even on the side of the road, in a park we
saw some that would be the size of the Moreton Bays near Beatty Park and the flowers are as big as dinner plates.
Got to Baton Rouge late afternoon and booked into our hotel, very nice and quite central, not far from the Mississippi river.
We had dinner here at the Hilton tonight, and after that we wandered down to the river where we saw th American
Queen paddle steamer, the wharf was ever so nice, garden beds laid out and park benches to sit and watch the boats the breeze is great
because it is ever so humid here, and hot.
Well goodnight and hope all is well at home,
Off to bed now it is going on for 10.00. We leave Baton Rouge in the morning and head for New Orleans