Cottage on the Knoll at Cedarcroft Farm B&B

Sandra & Bill Wayne's blog for the Cottage on the Knoll at Cedarcroft Farm. We'll post thoughts about the B&B, what's going on around here, and discounts for last-minute cancellations.

Monday, October 09, 2006

A Diamond in the hills

No, we didn't find one, but we sure had fun trying. This was at Arkansas' Crater of Diamonds State Park. Embarrassing pictures to come.

Other sights of note - Thousands of FEMA trailers at the Hope, AR, airport. It's true, they're just setting there.
- Lots of mountains
- 2 caves
- Finally had chicken fried steak; Sandra tried deep-fried corn on the cob.

Staying at a Comfort Inn (free stay). Sure a world of difference between the typical Holiday Inn Express and this one - HIE is, in general, clearly superior.

Tomorrow - Branson, Springfield & HOME!

Homeward bound

On our way home. Yesterday was some difficult driving - because it was hard to stay awake. We did visit Big Thicket Preserve visitor center, where the Ranger acted like he had better things to do than talk to visitors. Had a good lunch at a little town south of Zavalla (Colmesneil) at Texas Star restaurant. Bypassed Shreveport and ended up at Hope. Supper at Western Sizzlin. Will find a CF Steak today, for sure, as we go thru the mountains - I know a good place in Russellville.

Big thing for today - digging for diamonds.


Sunday, October 08, 2006

Party is over

Yesterday was a long but enjoyable day. We took a little tour of spots where I used to hunt (now occupied by housing developments of various sorts), then visited the 2 remainng casinos in Lake Charles. Isle of Capri, the 4th of that chain we've visited, is nicer than KC, but not as nice as Boonville. L'Auberge du Lac (locals call it the "barge") is a gambling palace reminiscent of Vegas. We lost $5 each between the two.

Went to the LCHS memorial; the school as it was was combined with another school and changed its mascot in 83. Fancy memorial and lots of memories. It's in a park where I played as a3rd & 4th grader.

Stopped at a Kroger to get some adult beverage & cajun sausage. They hve the widest imaginable selection of can sizes here, everything from 7 oz to 24 oz. We settled on the 10 oz size that fits better in our cooler. Then, it was on the the foootball party. That petered out early as LSU didn't play well and was losing. Got lots of pictures, though.

Main party was out in the clubhouse for a condo where one classmate lives. Lots more pictures, and even a group picture. Got in after 11 and in bed around midnight.

Today, it's off to the Big Thicket, various areas of Texas, on past Shreveport, and we "Hope" an early stop at Bill Clinton's old home town. Perhaps a picture for some of our Democratic friends.


Saturday, October 07, 2006

Party time

We went to the first party yesterday evening - a long way from where we're staying. Over 50 people there (clssmates & spouses), not bad for 45 years. Took about 50 pictures.

We drove around quite a bit first, looking at Rita damage and recovery. The town has GROWN. I'm sure we'll find some areas that aren't doing better, and one of the casinos (Harrah's) is completely gone.

Today's plans - drive out to the areawhere I used to hunt armadillos and water moccasins, return past an Isle of Capri casino, see a new casino, clean up a bit, and off to the memorial service, lunch and the LSU football party. Then the evening party. Whew!

Tomorrow a small change in plans. We're stayingin Hope AR rather than Texarkana. Will replan some routes and see if I can print off at the "business center" here.


Friday, October 06, 2006

Day 3, to Lake Charles

In a nice HIE in Lake Charles. Resting up before the evening festivities; we'll likely drive around some en route. Looks like we have to stop at Wal-Mart or such, because when Sandra started to get dressed, the slacks she brought didn't fit. For good reason - they were mine. I have a spare pair now, and she's wearing Jeans. Ha!

Only 150 miles today, but I'm still tired. Spent 2 hours in St. Martinville and 2 more in Gueydan. St. Martinville is where Longfellow placed his story of Evangeline. It's pretty much a legend, but local entrepreneurs jumped on it and made themselves a tourist attraction. We took pictures of the Evangeline Oak along the Teche, with a spare shot of the plaque there, in French, for our Acadienne friend in Nova Scotia. Then we went to the state historic site looking for good pictures. All the Parish schools were touring today, so they'd brought some living history interpreters. Got to talking with one between groups, and in passing he said he knew some people in Warrensburg, at the University. I asked "who?" and he, mentioned the name of Mary Ellen Rowe - who, of course, we've known for years! Small world.

We went on to Gueydan, where we had lunch, visited the newspaper editor and the museum, drove out to a duck camp so Sandra could see what one looked like (wow!) and stopped by my great-grandfather's grave. When we stopped at the museum, people there knew his name.

Now, it's off to the reunion.


Thursday, October 05, 2006

Day 2 - Texarkana to Breaux Bridge

Today we left Texarkana and went to Shreveport. On the way out of Texarkana, we visited their Scott Joplin mural (he was born there). Here's the picture.

At Shreveport, we visited a great Southern lady, Janie Lipscomb, who's on one of our innkeeper email groups. Had a fun visit, pictures after her approval. Then went to the Norton Gallery, a really outstanding art gallery, especially with Remingtons & Russells - and lots of additional art. More Russell small bronzes than we'd seen anyplace else.

On to Natchitoches (can you pronounce that?), an old Red River town with brick-streets downtown and 32 B&Bs. The local dish is meat pie, which we tried (good).

On to Mamou - Cajun music capital. Town is a bit over 3000 and in decline. Visited with a restaurant owner (Cajun, of course), had a beer, and talked about what we've seen done by other towns to get themselves going. Wished him luck.

Drove down to Eunice and Crowley, picked up I-10 past Lafayette to Breaux Bridge, where we're at a Holiday Inn Express and ate at a Cajun Kitchen (Sandra had a crawfish sandwich, I had hot sausage).

Tomorrow it's drive down Bayou Teche to St. Martinsville & the Evangeline Oak, thenon to New Iberia, Gueydan (where my Missouri Reb grt-grandpa lived) and finally to Lake Charles for the start of the reunion parties.


On the road again

From Holiday Inn Express, Texarkana. Left 10 AM Wedensday for my HS reunion in Lake Charles. Drove 480 miles, mostly on US-71, all the way here. Very scenic in many areas of Arkansas, as it's really mountainous and forested.

The HIE had a cable outage - no TV, no internet until this AM. Not happy. Breakfast was good, though.

Gas in Bentonville area was 2.06; it's $1.99 here, same as Warrensburg.

Will visit Janie from Fairfield Gardens & the Norton Gallery in Shreveport, then down to Nachitoches, Mamou, Opelousas and along the Teche to Breaux Bridge.

Pictures as needed - the first will be a Scott Joplin mural in Texarkana.