Our 2015 Travel Map -

Our 2015 Travel Map - Complete Travel Map Is At The Bottom Of The Page

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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Texas White House

Lyndon B. Johnson's ranch is located in Stonewall, TX.  It is about 60 miles from Austin.  The folks decided to drive there and see the ranch which is also known as The Texas White House because Johnson spent a great deal of time there while President.  The ranch has an airfield, so it was easy for him to fly home as well as have many visitors.

The home is now part of the National Park Service.  When you arrive, you need to get a driving permit from the visitor's center.  It is free.  Mom is not sure why you really need one.  The folks watched a half hour video on the ranch before they drove through it.

The one thing that the video showed and the folks thought was neat was a dam that Johnson would drive on.  It looked like he was disappearing in the water. The folks were able to take photos of it, but it is more impressive in the video when you see Johnson driving on it.



See how it looks like the road goes into the water?
This is it from the other side.
School house that Johnson attended.
The family cemetery is on site.  Lady Bird is on the right and LBJ is on the left.
 

It is still a working ranch.

This is where the secret service worked.

House where the Secret Service lived. It is close to the President's house.


Wagon that was used to serve Chuck Wagon dinners to guests.
An attempt at a photo of the house.

It was difficult to get a good picture of the house and this lady didn't help.

 
 Photos were not allowed inside the house.  The President's office was quite high tech for its' time period.  He had two secretaries desks along with his desk and several phones.  LBJ had three TVs in the living room of the house.  They were for the news of ABC, CBS and NBC.  He loved the Presidential seal and had it on his recliner and even had it on his bathroom towels.  Phones were all over the house and he even had one on the leg of the dining room table.  His chair at that table had a view of the TV in the living rooms.  He was very big into multi-tasking.  Can you imagine what he would do with the technology we have today?

The kitchen has a pecan pie on the stove. The pie was being made for Mrs. Kennedy who had never had pecan pie.  The Kennedy's were supposed to have dinner there but never made it because JFK was killed that day. The cook had the TV on in the kitchen on and learned of the shooting of JFK while making the pie. 

Visitors are allowed to tour the bedrooms of  LBJ and Lady Bird.  LBJ died in his bedroom at the age of 64. He called the Secret Service for help, but he could not be saved.  He had heart problems.  He died just ten years after Kennedy.

This the view from the house of the river.  It is beautiful!

See the Presidential seal?  It was used for parties.

Presidential plane

Guests were asked to put their names in concrete when they visited the ranch.


 The folks really enjoyed visiting the ranch and highly recommend it.  The tour of the house was just $3 a person and it was really interesting.  Mom wishes pictures were allowed because she really wanted to share them with everyone.  The ranch itself is in a beautiful setting and it is easy to see why the family chose to live there.

A view of the house from across the river.




Joey,
The Greyhound Who Is Your Tour Guide Once Again

Monday, March 2, 2015

Learning About LBJ

As you may remember, the folks are trying to visit all of the Presidential Libraries.  Lyndon B. Johnson's library is in Austin, so they visited it last week.  Mom said it was interesting.  He actually accomplished quite a bit while in office.  One accomplishment was Medicare.  He was very intimidating to people.  He would stand over them and poke at them. He was 6'3.  The folks also visited his ranch and were shown a room where he shut all the doors and wouldn't let the person he was speaking to out until they agreed with him. (We will tell you about the ranch in our next post.)  He loved dogs and his known for his beagles.  They were named Him and Her.  He once lifted one of them by their ears for photographers.  That was not nice, Mr. President.

Here are some photos from the museum:






Life like statue of LBJ that told stories.








Replica of LBJ's Oval Office








Him and Her

LBJ and one of his daughters.  The name was not listed under the photo.

Lady Bird's Office.  Her real name was Claudia Alta Taylor.  She was given the name Lady Bird as an infant by her nurse maid and it stuck.

Lady Bird went on her own campaign trail when LBJ ran for re-election.




Life-sized statue of LBJ.
Mom said she finds visiting the museums interesting because you learn about the Presidents as people and not just as politicians.  They become more human.

Joey,
The Greyhound Who Thinks There Is Too Much Traffic In Austin

Sunday, March 1, 2015

We Are Still In Texas

We are supposed to be in Arizona in the sunshine, but where are we?  We are near Dallas. We arrived in Dallas on Thursday and since then we have encountered, snow, ice, cold and now rain.  This is not the vacation we had planned.

The view from the RV Friday morning.
Okay, so what happened?  Well, our plan was to visit Livingston, TX for a few days and take care of business.  Dad needed to update his driver license for driving the RV.  In Texas, you have to have a Class B license if your RV is over 26,0001 pounds.  Ours is not when it is empty, but when it is full it is.  Dad wanted to make sure he was legal, plus we are hoping to get an even bigger RV, but we will tell you about that later.  We arrived in Livingston and Dad took his written test and then he had to schedule a driving test.  They will not let you schedule it until you pass your written test.  Texas has a waiting list for driving tests.  Dad was able to schedule his test for two weeks later.  That meant we had to cancel the Good Sam's Rally in AZ.  The folks drove from license office to license office trying to get an earlier appointment.  The offices do not answer the phone, so that is what you have to do.  Unfortunately, you have to wait in line just to ask a question at the offices. The folks waited in line for 2.5 hours at one office.  Mom felt it was hopeless.  She found a number for customer service and the website said the best time to call was between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m.  Mom started calling at 7 a.m.  She finally was put on hold at 7:40 a.m. and was able to speak to an operator at 8 a.m.  She was told there was an appointment available on February 23rd in Austin.  We took that appointment.  Since Dad was pretty sick with a cold, we kept putting off leaving Livingston.  We ended up leaving on the 22nd.  The weather in Austin was cold and ice was predicted.  The folks were nervous that the appointment would be canceled.  We followed Dad to the license office in the Jeep because it was too cold to stay at the campground without the RV.  We arrived an hour early and the test started 15 minutes late.  Dad passed!!!  We figured he would except we had heard he might have to parallel park.  Who parallel parks a 40' RV?  All appointments after Dad's were canceled, so we lucked out.  We were told most appointments are three to four weeks out and that will only get worse due to more budget cuts. 

The 23rd was Mom's birthday.  She hit the big 5-0.  It wasn't exciting because everyone was pretty worried about the driving test.  She did end up getting two birthday dinners out of Dad.
 
Steak dinner at Texas Land and Cattle

Chips and Salsa at Trudy's in Austin

Steak fajita chimi

Blackened Red Fish
 The folks really liked Trudy's.  The menu had a lot of different things.

Scout sleeping...yes, she is sleeping.  I think the flash made her open her eys.

The folks did do a few fun things in Austin.  We will tell you about that next time and then explain to you why we are near Dallas and not in Arizona. 

Joey,
The Greyhound Who Is Not Enjoying The Texas Weather

Where Have We Been Since April 29, 2012