Four Points Bulletin

Travels north, east, south, and west of our Oceanside home base.

Something I noticed about our Southern trip, something that I have never in my life experienced before while traveling, was how surprised people were that we were going to the south, that this was our final destination. It started before our trip, people would question where we were going. If I said with a huge …

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We have completed our southern circuit, returning to Houston to fly home. When I hear ‘Houston’, the first thing I think of is the famous words, “Houston, we’ve had a problem” (often erroneously quoted). Since we are already here, visiting the Houston Space Center became part of our itinerary, our last activity before escaping this …

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Oakland Plantation is one of two plantations that make up the Cane River Creole National Historical Park. Located thirteen miles from each other, we focused on the larger of the two, where seventeen original buildings remain. The original owner of Oakland Plantation received a Spanish land grant in 1785. Descendants of slaves forced to work …

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Natchitoches (pronounced nack-a-tish) is Louisiana’s oldest city, the oldest settlement in the land acquired by the Lousiana Purchase. Established in 1714, there are over 200 structures in the city’s historic district, on both sides of the Cane River, listed on the National Registrar of Historic Places. Ornate wrought iron benches line the banks of the …

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Garvan Woodland Gardens is the botanical garden of the University of Arkansas, a gift from a local philanthropist who hand selected every specimen planted here over a period of 40 years. The 210 acre garden sits on a woodland peninsula, almost completely enveloped by the Ouachita River. The towering pines provide shade to those exploring …

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Hot Springs National Park is difficult to explain. It is a National Park but is completely accessible. According to the rangers on site, it is the oldest National Park, developed in 1832, before the National Park system was established. Superior Bathhouse is the only brewery in the world whose primary ingredient is thermal water. It …

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A trip to the south wouldn’t be complete without a paddlewheel boat ride down the Mississippi River. The Mississippi is second longest river in North America; it takes a drop of water that joined the river at the beginning, in Minnesota, three months to pour out into the Gulf of Mexico. The Mississippi is also …

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Elvis Presley purchased Graceland for $102,000, 22 years after he was born in a two room home his dad built. Elvis loved his family and shared his wealth with them, inviting his parents and grandmother to live at Graceland with him. It is still a family home, owned by his daughter, who stays at the …

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The Peabody Memphis opened in 1925. In the 1930s, the general manager thought it would be humorous to put five live mallard ducks in the hotel fountain. In 1940, a bellman, Edward Pembroke, a previous circus animal trainer, offered to care for and train the ducks. Soon after he became Duckmaster. He was Duckmaster for …

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Our southern trip wasn’t meant to be an Elvis Presley pilgrimage, but it is certainly morphing into one. Knowing we are going to Graceland in a few days we started our homage to Elvis in the city where he was born, Tupelo, MS. (Tupelo is pronounced by emphasizing the first syllable.) Elvis’ father borrowed $180 …

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Tupelo Buffalo Park is a converted 175 acre cattle ranch. The original owners’ collection of buffalo grew so much it became the biggest herd east of the Mississippi River. What has now become the Tupelo Buffalo Park and Zoo (the largest zoo in the state of Mississippi), they have an interesting collection of exotic animals …

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Vicksburg, Mississippi is home to the world’s most iconic soft drink, Coca-Cola. Joseph Biedenharn bottled his first coke here, at the Biedenharn Candy Company, in 1894. The candy company has been converted into a museum where visitors can see the equipment used to create the beloved soda, a timeline of the history of the company, …

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The Myrtles is a 1796 National Historic Registrar plantation home, an hour south of Natchez, Mississippi. According to, what used to be a reputable source, National Geographic, it is also one of America’s most haunted homes. The numerous people murdered here are known to still roam the property and home, a woman’s profile can be …

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Our first seconds in the French Quarter began at the Mississippi River, where 25% of the country’s fish species live. Within minutes, we were welcomed with a street band playing in front of Cafe De Monde (where the line for beignets always extends into the sidewalk). We had to duck inside shops and restaurants periodically …

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Vermilionville is a living history museum in Lafayette aimed to “increase appreciation for the history, culture, and natural resources of the Native Americans, Acadians, Creoles, and peoples of African descent in the Attakapas region through the end of the 1800s.” The docents are the real deal. The quilter has been working here for nine years, …

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