Good Times in Memphis

Trip Start Apr 02, 2008
Trip End Jun 28, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Tennessee
Saturday, April 19, 2008

We had a great experience in Memphis.  No, we did not go to Graceland, but we went to places that would further our children's US history experience.  After staying the night at yet another Wal-Mart Friday night in Arkansas, we arrived in Memphis Saturday morning. 
Our first stop was the National Civil Rights Museum .  The museum contains a ton of information and was very interesting for TJ and me.  It was a little overwhelming for the kids.  It is a path through the history of equal rights and is mostly pictures, written narration and quotes.  It took a lot of reading and we spent much of our time reading to the kids.  As adults, we would have used the headphones, but we needed to be focused on the kids.  They were able to participate in a few exhibits like the Rosa Parks experience on the bus and some of the freedom rides.  They also understood who Martin Luther King was and that he was killed for his stand.  It was a somber experience for me to see all the injustices and struggles experienced by African Americans.  I think the kids got a good picture of the struggle although it will be a long time before they really understand the big picture of civil rights and the process African Americans have had to go through to be accepted and given equal rights in our country. 
We spent the night in an RV park.  RV parks that have longer term tenants have a culture of their own.  You immediately meet people who tell you their stories and want to know all about yours.  They are quite friendly genuinely nice. 
There are certain times in life one remembers when time stands still and all is as it should be at that moment.  We experience that as a family Saturday evening when we took a walk in the park down to the Mississippi river.  We all climbed a magnificent tree that had branches just made for climbing.  The kids were able to climb about 40 feet in the air.  We walked in the park, the sun was setting, the kids rolled down the grassy hill, ....all was as it should be, a memory was made.
Sunday morning brought us to Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church , an African American church of about three thousand or more.  Susan and I thoroughly enjoyed the worship time.  There wasn't any children's programming during the service so the kids stayed with us like all the other children.  We worshiped God, it was a great service, the children were very good for a 2 service which is quite different from what they are used to in our 1 hour service at Abundant Life Church where the services are kept short in order to facilitate the multiple services on Saturday night and Sunday morning.  It was a great cultural experience for the children.
Memphis will be fondly remembered by the Johnson family as filled with great experiences.  On Sunday afternoon our last great experience we owe to David and Debbie Stockwell who told us about Mud Island .  Mud Island is located downtown Memphis on the river.  It's a mud and silt island that first appeared in 1900 and permanently remained since 1913.  The city made a park out of the island which is absolutely fabulous.  The island is home to an outdoor amphitheater, Mississippi River museum, boat docks and our favorite, the river walk.  The river walk is a concrete topographical replica of the Mississippi River with water flowing through it.  Every 30" or large step equals one mile. The kids waded and play in the water. The Mississippi ends in a replica of the Gulf of Mexico which the children played and got all wet.  Thanks David and Debbie for letting us know about this spot, it was a winner.
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annlpowell on

Loving the pod!
Thanks so much for keeping us informed of your travels. This is such a great experience for your family. What a blessing!!

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