Today was a travel day. And not just any travel day. Today we  are going to be in four different states. Louisiana –> Mississippi –> Alabama –> Florida.

travel day.

We had a bit a late start though. We HAD to find a Taco Bell so we could try their new Pacific Shrimp tacos. Great success! And Dan had to put our spare tire on. I guess somewhere along the way, we got a bald spot on one of our tires thanks to our sucky brake controller. That spare is ugggggggggly. We really need to upgrade that piece soon. And get that bald tire fixed too.

spare tire.

Before we knew it, we left Louisiana a.k.a “The worst roads in the US… yes even worse than in Los Angeles” and crossed over to Mississippi, the self-proclaimed birthplace of America’s music. Really? So I wiki’d it and found that it just might be the birthplace after all. I found out that Mississippi is where the Blues, Rock ’n Roll and Country music were born. From blues legends Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters and B.B. King to the King of Rock ’n Roll, Elvis Presley, to the father of country music, Jimmie Rodgers. But I think it should be called “Birthplace of America’s Music and Oprah!” Sounds much better to me. And I also found out that Mississippi is ranked worst in the country for picking up their roadside litter. I didn’t notice any litter off of the highway but I did notice people pulled over randomly off of the freeway. At first I thought there were lots of  broken down cars in this state but then I saw a dude dressed from head to toe in camouflage. Hmmmm. I think we will just drive right on thru, Mississippi. Nice seeing ya!

mississippi state line.

The kids did great in the car. Ava is content watching her little DVD player. And Mila is actually handling the car rides in the daytime a lot better. Maybe it has something to do with her advances (deliberate grabbing and sitting) combined with the slew of toys she can now interact with while in her car seat.  So after a bunch of miles under our belt, it was time to visit state #3 of the day. Alabama, the beautiful.

alabama state line.

We decided to make Mobile, Alabama as our stop of the day. The Battleship Memorial Park to be exact. It’s actually our third day this week doing World War II stuff but I couldn’t find anything else on the way… so war stuff it is.

uss alabama.

The warship here is the USS Alabama. Duh! But did you know how awesome this thing is? The USS Alabama saw 37 months of active duty during World War II, earning nine Battle Stars. The “Mighty A” as she came to be known, safely carried her crew throughout the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean campaigns, and NEVER suffered any casualties or significant damage due to enemy fire.

uss alabama.

As soon as we got on the ship, Dan pretended to shoot down enemy planes… with his purse man-bag in tow.

dan with gun and his 'purse'.

Then we were able to go onto the ship and were greeted by Captain Ava. Welcome aboard!!

welcome aboard.

You get to explore all the rooms of the USS Alabama on your own. Most of the rooms have props that allow you to get a better sense of how things looked during the war.

officer stateroom.

There were tons of memorabilia there too. Like this tattered 48 state American Flag.

48 star flag.

They had a huge hanger filled with old planes and helicopters too. The damage suffered at the hands of Hurricane Katrina were pretty devastating but they did a great job with repairing these antiques.

hurricane damage.

There were lots of ooh’s and ahh’s from Dan. He could probably tell you something awesome about this plane but since today is my post day, all you are going to get is this… Look at this plane. The wings fold up!

more planes.

But I did read the plaque about this guy. It’s an A-12. And it is literally faster than a speeding bullet. This sucker can fly 3800 feet per second.


The Battleship Memorial Park also houses a submarine. The USS Drum is the oldest American submarine on display in the world.


You get to walk through all the rooms of this thing too. But it’s even better for the kids because nothing is roped off. I’m not sure if that means you can climb up on things but we did. Here are the bunk beds, or as Ava calls them, up-and-down beds.

submarine bunks.

And here are Mila and I squeezing through the tiny doors of the sub.

little doors.

And inspecting the engine rooms.

engine room.

Check this out! A replica of one of the first submarines ever made.

replica old school submarine.

And tanks galore.


Bye USS Alabama.

our airstream in front of a battleship.

Thanks for kicking ass during the war!


Then it was off to find a place to eat some dinner. Driving through one of the tree-lined main streets in Mobile, we got to see beautiful home after beautiful home. Reminding me of some of the houses we saw in New Orleans’ Garden District but with a small town feel. It also feels like we are going to see Forrest Gump’s house any second too. I need to figure out where that movie was filmed.

mobile homes.

We actually found parking a block and a half from the popular Dauphin Street and began our search for dinner.

downtown mobile.

We ended up at Heroes Sports Bar & Grille. The food is soooo good here. Dan ordered a burger and I ordered a pulled pork sandwich. Sooo good. Give it a try if you are in town. There was also a little old lady that sat next to us. She asked us which church we belong to. I told her that we were not from Mobile but were only passing through. She must of thought we were homeless or something because after dinner, she stopped by our table, wished us luck and tried to slip me $2. Oh boy. Maybe we should have showered today! Hehe.


Ava has been complaining of having “tired legs” when we walk around town. But if you ask her if she can run, she always says yes. Not sure what that is about. But this is how she gets a lift these days. On Dada’s shoulders. On the way back to the Airstream, Ava started to stare at a closed down restaurant. She told us all about how there is a party going on in there… with lots of people and kids…

walking around mobile.

…but when we looked in the restaurant, there wasn’t a person in sight. OUR LITTLE GHOST HUNTER IS BACK!! Yeah!!!!

ghost party in here.

The kids were then put into their pajamas as we hit the road again. Next stop Florida! This is the state line picture. Trust me. I worked hard to get this black picture. Hehe. It’s my best one yet 😉

florida state line.

the end,



Debbie · March 14, 2010 at 5:50 am

Enjoying you guys journey…looks like you are all having a great time.

Freely Living Life · March 15, 2010 at 7:23 am

LOL @ “up and down beds”. Too cute!

Rich Luhr · March 15, 2010 at 9:43 am

Hey Dan, get rid of that crappy brake controller! A Prodigy will cost $100 and it’s easy to wire in. And take a photo of that “bald spot” for me. It might be a broken belt instead, and it would be good to know for sure. I’ve totally lost faith in ST (Special Trailer) designated tires and would recommend you move to another type if you start having routine belt breakages like we did.

dan · March 15, 2010 at 8:48 pm

I know Rich, I am getting a new one next time we come across a decent RV store. As far as the tire goes, here is the pic.

Let me know what you think of it. I would be interested in knowing if it was a belt failure or not.

Rich Luhr · March 16, 2010 at 6:32 am

Hi Dan and Marlene,

Well, as we suspected, you have a severe belt failure. Note the bulges in the tread fore and aft of the worn spot. The tire is trash — don’t even keep it as a spare.

A steel belt in the tire has broken, causing the tire to stop being round. The broken belt creates a soft spot where the tread has separated internally (you can often feel it with your finger) which wears extremely quickly. The wear you see here probably happened in only a few hundred miles. If you hadn’t caught it, the tire would have blown, causing expensive damage to the trailer.

Now, the bad news: Since you have Goodyear Marathon ST’s on the trailer, get in the habit of checking all four tires at every fuel stop. Tread separation happens without prior warning and the wear occurs very quickly. Now that one has gone bad, I would not be surprised to see others start to go as well. High speed, heat, and other forms of stress build up cumulatively and invisibly in these tires, so whatever caused this one to fail may also be affecting the others. Look for smaller “bald spots” or strange bulges on the tread like this one. Get rid of any tires that show those conditions.

We had half a dozen belt failures in various brands of Special Trailer-designated tires, over a two year period, before we finally switched to an LT (Light Truck) type tire. I’d recommend investigating a better tire to replace these as well, since you travel a lot of miles. — RL

Rich Luhr · March 16, 2010 at 7:04 am

On second review: Shadows in the photo make it hard for me to be sure I’m seeing bulges. Check the tire yourself and verify. I still have trouble believing it could have been the brake controller — the brakes would have be locked on for quite a while to wear that much tread off in just one spot! You’d see a lot of smoke.

dan · March 16, 2010 at 7:46 am

I think I agree with you that it is probably the tires. There have been some tires locking up but only at very slow speeds and would have effected other tires as well. I have been inspecting all the other tires everytime I stop and have not seen anything to that extreme. I had suspected that all along after talking to you about it last time.

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