Texas Air and Space Museum!

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It was amazing to crawl through a tunnel to get to the front of the plane and man the gun!

Today was a special treat! At the Texas Air and Space Museum was a PBJ-11 Marine (version of the B-25 Mitchell) that was flown in from California and would be in Amarillo for only three days. The event was commemorating the 75th Anniversary of Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle’s historic raid over Japan on April 18, 1942 in a B-25 Mitchell.

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It was incredibly impressive because we were allowed to climb around inside the plane and talk with people that had worked on its restoration. All the wiring has been replaced along with many, many different plane parts.

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In the center of the plane I was able to see how the guns maneuvered!

I was allowed to sit on the seats with some of the machine guns. It seems like it would be very difficult to hit anything with these guns! I was also allowed to climb through a fairly tight tunnel to get to the front of the plane and man one of the guns. It was great to listen to the people that flew in the plane from California to Amarillo. This was a very impressive tourist discovery!

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This helicopter was used as part of a mash unit and is part of the Texas Air and Space Museum.

 

Birthday Cake!

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Unbelievably wonderful birthday cake!

It is April, so it is my birthday month and I was able to celebrate with a wonderful cake while in Amarillo, Texas.

 

The Rocky Road cake from Ruffled Cup was incredibly wonderful to enjoy!

 

Final Four!

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I loved being at the location of the college basketball championship games!

I have always enjoyed watching college basketball. One of the fun discoveries of being in Phoenix, Arizona was that the Final Four was held there this year. It was fun timing. The Friday before the first two games there were open practices to watch all four teams (South Carolina, Oregon, Gonzaga, and North Carolina).

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It was fun to be in the midst of so much excitement for college basketball and see the fans that were supporting their favorite team. There were also many people like me, not a fan of a specific team, but wanting to enjoy the Final Four experience.

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This was as close as I have ever been to the Final Four, so I had to buy a commemorative t-shirt. It was very fun. I looked into buying an actual ticket for the games, but they were over $1,000 per ticket. Oh well, maybe next year I can get a ticket for the Final Four in San Antonio.

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Lake Pleasant

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A gorgeous day to enjoy a cruise!

I had a fun day. I joined an outing with our RV park and went to Lake Pleasant and we rode a Cruise boat around the lake. It has been cold and rainy for a number of days, so it was a wonderful day to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather. The high temperature was 72 degrees; quite amazing for January 29th!

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From the top of the boat, it was breezy and there were beautiful views!

Right on the water it was quite breezy and the wind gusts were cold. However, we initially sat downstairs within a glass area so we were toasty warm. As the day warmed up, we went up to the top of the boat and enjoyed the open air. We went around a desert island on the north side of the lake. I was amazed with the size of some of the boats in the marina and on the lake. It was a very fun time!

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We rode around this island.

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Oak Creek Canyon

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I love the sound of the water flowing over the rocks in Oak Creek Canyon!

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For my last side trip in Arizona, I went up to Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon. It is such a beautiful area of the country and it has been years since I have visited. Although the red rocks are gorgeous, I especially enjoy Oak Creek Canyon. I spent most of the day enjoying the peace and quiet of the canyon. It was nice to hear the water pouring over the rocks. I found a picnic area that was deserted and enjoyed a sandwich, listening the water, seeing the leaves changing, and relaxing in the quiet sounds of nature. It was beautiful and I did not want to leave!

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I decided to drive through Cottonwood and I remembered there was a La Fonda Café nearby. I love the Mexican food here and the owner’s father’s La Fonda restaurant in Flagstaff!

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Churchill Downs!

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I was very excited to visit the most famous horse track in America!

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The famous twin spires of Churchill Downs!

After I finished giving my lectures I quickly changed into jeans, grabbed a taxi and went to Churchill Downs. I have watched the Kentucky Derby on TV for years. I was so excited to see such a famous horse track. I was able to join the last tour and learned about the history of the track and facilities. I really enjoyed seeing the twin tours of Churchill Downs and learning about some of the famous horses that won the Kentucky Derby.

 

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The paddock area was beautiful.

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This starting gate is so famous!

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I especially enjoyed seeing the paddock area, the track, the grandstands, and watching two horse races. It was so much fun to walk all around Churchill Downs. The gift shop sold hats that are so popular for the Kentucky Derby.

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Here is the famous finish line of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs!

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The Kentucky Derby is famous for all the hats people wear.

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There are many famous horses revered at Churchill Downs.

Bourbon Trail

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This was a very smooth bourbon that I thoroughly enjoyed!

I arrived in Louisville, Kentucky and thoroughly enjoyed learning about the city. I am staying the Brown Hotel and have enjoyed seeing this classic, historic hotel and their emphasis on horses and history. It has been maintained very nicely and highly rated. I like all the horse pictures throughout the hotel. It is especially popular when the Kentucky Derby is held.

 

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The Brown Hotel was a fantastic, historic hotel filled with history at every turn.

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It was also fun to learn about bourbon made in Kentucky. I was surprised to learn that one-third of all bourbon sold in the US is made in the Louisville area. Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark and other well-known spirits are prominent here. For dinner I ate in a restaurant and, after talking with the bartender, order a bourbon (Johnny Drum Private Stock) that is from a small distillery and basically not available outside of the Louisville area. It was very smooth and I really enjoyed it. The bartender told me about a store near my hotel where it is available for purchase and I bought a bottle to take home with me.

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I will be teaching health outcomes lectures and I was excited to know that my lectures will be given in the Secretariat room. Secretariat still has the fastest time to win the Kentucky Derby at nearby Churchill Downs of any horse ever to win the Derby.

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I walked to the downtown area and came to the Ohio River and could see Indiana across the river. I walked down to Whiskey Row.

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I learned that the Louisville Slugger baseball bat is made here in town. Kentucky Fried Chicken is also based in Louisville.