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For scuba diving pictures click here.

I have also visited the pyramids at Mexico City, the towns of Taxco, Toluca, San Louis Potosi, Monterey, Neuvo Laredo, Piedras Negras, & other places in Mexico.
Scuba diving: In Acapulco Bay I dove at the site of a sunken Spanish Galleon & on the other side of the bay I dove at the site of a German destroyer that was sunk there during WWII.  What an experience!  In 1967, after Gene & I got together, we dove at other various sites in the area.


CALIFORNIA - 1970 - San Francisco, went to Knotsberry Farm, Chinatown, took boat tour around Alcatraz Island.  Los Angeles, Disneyland.
ARIZONA - 1970 - Tombstone, Tuson


vicksburg1.jpg (12837 bytes)VICKSBURG, MISSISSIPPI -  When Gene and I went to Mississippi in March of 1989 we rolled into Vicksburg around midnight and checked into a motel at the edge of Vicksburg National Military Park.  As tired as we were, though,we were also very hungry and did not want to go to sleep until we got something to eat.  Fortunatelly there was a small 24 hour restaurant nearby (who perhaps should remain anonymous since they are a well-known chain throughout the United States especially in the south).  We sat at a booth and were barely able to stay awake while waiting for our food.  Suddenly I thought I saw something dart out from the wall, run across the table and disappear under a small, metal ashtray in the center.  Thinking that maybe I had hallucinated from fatigue I asked Gene, "Did something just run under that ashtray?"  Gene wasn't sure either so he cautiously lifted the edge of the ashtray.  Yep, it was a cockroach all right!   The "rebel roach" immediately initiated "evasive maneuvers" and Gene kept slamming that ashtray down all over the table as the roach darted about but missed him every time!  He finally "retreated" over the edge of the table and successfully escaped from the "attacking yankees."  The "cockroach commotion" must have presented a rather comical appearance as another customer who was sitting at the counter nearly fell off his chair laughing!
    The next day we visited Vicksburg National Military Park where my gr. gr. grandfather, Pvt. Brad Dicus, served during the Civil War.  At "The Dock" we enjoyed delicious southern food including blackened fish & fried pickles.  As we were pulling into the small parking lot behind the Vicksburg Visitor Center another car pulled in simultaneously from the opposite side and we almost collided.  It turned out they were from Florissant (St. Louis).   Everywhere we go we seem to "run into" somebody from Missouri!


Baltimore_1.JPG (11657 bytes)BALTIMORE, MD. - When Gene & I went to Baltimore, Maryland in 1991 we visited Ft. McHenry & also Patterson Park where my 4th great grandfather, Andrew Stuart Dickey, faced down the British during the War of 1812.  We rode a subway train to Washington, D.C. where we took a congressional tour of the White House.   We had a couple of unexpected adventures there.  When entering the White House everyone had to go through a routine security check.  Gene had so much change & junk in his pockets that he "beeped" the security machine & was quickly pulled aside & frisked by Secret Service agents to be sure he was not carrying a weapon.  As we were exiting the White House we & other tourists walked directly into the middle of a noisy demonstration protesting the president of El Salvadore.  Police, security guards & reporters were swarming everywhere & the street was quickly blockaded.  After 15 minutes or so a motorcade drove up & entered the White House grounds.   It was the president of El Salvadore arriving to visit President Bush!
    We also toured the Carroll mansion which was the home of Charles Carroll one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.  We also toured the historic ship "Constellation" built in the 1700's & also a submarine.
    While in Baltimore we stayed at the KOA campground there.  Every morning at dawn we were awakened by a very happy & enthusiastic mocking bird who enjoyed singing loudly & jumping up & down on everyones TV antennas!  He seemed to especially favor our camper & the ones near it.riverrat.jpg (7306 bytes)
    Gene & I visited the docks in Baltimore to admire all of the luxury boats & yachts.  We eventually wandered well away from the main tourist area & when we became hungry for lunch the only close restaurant was a fancy yacht club.  We weren't exactly dressed appropriately for such a place but figured the worst they could do was tell us to leave in which case we would have to walk for another hour or more to find a different restaurant.  So we apprehensively opened the door & went in.   The place was full of people, most of them wearing expensive suits and designer clothes.  You should have seen everyone's eyebrows go up when we walked in wearing "casual" shorts, tennis shoes & matching "Huzzah River Rat" tee shirts! (with a picture of a big, ugly rat standing in an overturned canoe on it)  But the waitress was polite  & seated us by a window near the entrance.  We ate our lunch & then wandered on with our sightseeing!


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December 31, 1991 - Gene & I went to the Elks Lodge in Potosi for a New Years Eve celebration.  The place was packed! Everyone whooped & hollered, stomped & danced until the floor & ceiling shook!  For awhile we feaered the building might collapse.   Some people even danced on their table and chairs!  Two guys nearly got into a fight near our table & another man was sitting in the dining room area (of all places!) with his head in a trash can waiting to be sick.

A few seconds to midnight the countdown began & we rang in the New Year with our noise makers & streamers as everyone yelled "HAPPY NEW YEAR!!"   We partied awhile longer, then bottles of Cold Duck champaigne were distributed to the tables & we had a NewYears toast.

On the way home Gene & I blew the car horn & yelled "HAPPY NEW YEAR!" out the windows at our neighbors house as we turned on our road & did the same to our other neighbors across the street as we turned in our driveway.  Then we tooted our noisemakers from the car all the way into the house!

We then turned on the Christmas lights & TV & proceeded to raid the refrigerator & laughed at Sandy & Missey scampering & scattering Christmas wrapping paper all over the living room floor.

We also turned the scanner on & listened to police activities which included:  a pick-up truck upside down in a pond, a fight in front of Ma & Pa's Restaurant, someone wandering downthe middle of one of the streets in Potosi & a Code 16 (immediate medical attention) at the Potosi Maximum Security Correctional Center.   We and the kids settled down & went to sleep about 2:00 or 2:30 a.m.

New Years day the kids scampered some more through the Christmas paper, we started putting away decorations & Gene cooked up some of his delicious good luck black eyed peas.


ouachita.jpg (17565 bytes)LAFAYETTE, LOUISANA - In May, 1992 Gene and I took a trip to Lafayette, Louisiana and our route went right through Ouachita Parish where my Henderson ancestors lived in 1821.  Of course we just had to stop at Monroe so I could poke around through the courthouse records for a few hours! We stopped briefly at Bosco to observe some very cute rare dwarf cats before proceeding on to Alexandria. While there we learned there was a Henderson family cemetery near the campground we were staying at. While visiting this cemetery I was bitten on the top of my foot by a fire ant. Now I know how they got their name....it burned like fire! It also left a red, itchy bump on my foot for more than a year.
    While in Lafayette we toured the Atchafalaya swamp which coincidentally happened to be at the town of Henderson! We also enjoyed an airboat tour of Fosse Point Swamp, saw a lot of alligators and even an alligator nest.  We toured the Konriko Rice Mill, the Tobasco Factory at Avery Island, danced to Cajun music at Prejean's and at Belizaire's Restaurant we even got up enough nerve to sample fried alligator! (Yep, tastes like chicken!) We had a marvelous trip!
    Unfortunately the joy of our trip was quickly lost after we came home. We had boarded our dog, Sandy, and our cat, Missey, while we traveled. We had had them both for nine years. We called every few days to check on them and were always told everything was all right. But during our trip Missey had become ill and two days after our return she died. We have no living children and she was like a baby to us. We still miss her and think of her.


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In June 1992 we took a brief trip to Gulfport-Biloxi, Mississippi.  We took Sandy with us - this was her first trip & she loved it!  South of Hattiesburg we stopped at a campground near a military base.  When I took her for a walk she wanted to jump into the open army jeeps!  At Gulfport we took her for a walk on the beach & she got to wade in the ocean.


ARKANSAS - In June 1993 for our wedding anniversary we enjoyed a trip to Hot Springs, Arkansas.  After eating a delicious southern supper at "Mother Shuckers" we then went to a bath house & had a bath in mineral water from the hot springs followed by a relaxing massage.  We then went to Crater of Diamonds State Park & scratched for diamonds at the diamond mine.   Didn't find any diamonds but did find a jasper & some crystal quartz.



The Carroll Clan - Esther & Gene & their "kids" Sandy, Candy & Brandy - are the recipients of a Missouri Camper award presented by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Division of Parks, Recreation & Historic Sites.  To qualify for an award an individual, family or group must camp at five different Missouri state parks within a calendar year.  During 1993 the Carroll clan camped at Babler, Meramec, Onondaga Cave, Johnson's Shut-Ins & Washington.  During some of the camp-outs they had a few adventures.  At Meramec & Washington parks they had a couple of close encounters with deer & at Onondaga on the Meramec River there was a flash flood & they had to hurriedly evacuate the campground.


"ALOHA!  In June (1994) Potosi residents Esther & Gene Carroll celebrated their Silver(25th) Wedding Anniversary with a romantic honeymoon trip to the beautiful Hawaiian Islands.  They stuffed themselves with Hawaiian food, sucked up a variety of delicious tropical beverages & shopped till they dropped.

On Oahu they had tons of fun at the Polynesian Cultural Center when they got to dance on stage with the Tongans & Tahitians.  At the Paradise Cove luau they participated in Hawaiian spear throwing & Esther dared to get a Polynesian tattoo.  They jumped waves at Waikiki Beach & at the Don Ho show they got to meet & speak with Don Ho personally & Esther got a kiss from him.  Mr . Ho spoke to them of Branson, Missouri.  They briefly visited the Honolulu Zoo before jetting of to the Big Island.

On the Big Island of Hawaii they enjoyed an awesome helicopter tour over Kilauea Volcano.   They visited Volcanoes National Park, walked through a lava tube & made a symbolic offering to Pele, the volcano Goddess.  They relaxed & swam on Waikoloa Beach & also enjoyed diving 107 feet deep in the Atlantis submarine.  After touring beutiful Hulihee Palace they had lunch at a tiny restaurant nerby.  On the wall of the restaurant was a map of the United States featuring "towns that really exist".  In southeast Missouri was featured none other than the town of "TIFF" right here in Washington County!
Esther & Gene had a fabulous trip, met many nice people & made some new friends.   Everywhere they went people made them feel special.   They said "Mahalo" (thank you) Oahu & Hawaii for making their Silver Anniversary one they will always remember!"

For more Hawaiian vacation pictures click here.

On the way back from Hawaii during the last two hours of our flight the plane encountered severe air turbulance & it shook & rattled so hard that we thought the plane was going to come apart.  Every once in awhile it felt like the plane would suddenly drop several hundred feet.  It was very unnerving.  Even the well experienced flight attendants were praying!  This horror continued for 2 solid hours until we landed at Lambert in St. Louis.  After that experience I swore I would never fly again!   If I can't get there by driving or by boat, I won't go!


NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - In the spring of 1995 we had a very nice trip to New Orleans.  We boarded our dog Sandy at the kennel as she was permanently lame & old & it was just too difficult for her to travel.   But we took our cats, Candy & Brandy, with us.  This was their first out-of-state trip & they did just fine!

In N'awlins, while we went sightseeing, we boarded them at a nearby veterinary clinic as we did not trust the dilapidated air conditioner in the camper - if it konked out we did not want the kitties to bake before we returned.  We'd drop them off at the clinic in the morning & pick them up in the afternoon.  This worked very well except that they hated the place so much & protested so adamantly that we dubbed them the "Hissers from Hell!"  Evidently, while boarded, they didn't eat, drink, or potty the entire day as when we got them back to the camper they spent the first hour doing nothing but eating, drinking, & pottying.  After that they were back to normal behavior - scampering, playing, watching out the window, trying to steal our dinner, etc.

We always enjoy the swamp tours & this time we toured a swamp that was frequented by the pirate, Jean Lafitte.  Observed lots of live alligators - two of them were named Elvis & Priscilla.  Elvis would jump right up out of the water when offered a chicken leg!  They also enjoyed being fed marshmallows.

After surviving the swamp tour we dared to take the voodoo tour.   Visited the tomb of the famous voodoo queen, Marie Laveau.  I even marked an (imaginary) "X" on it as it is supposed to bring good luck.  We also visited a voodoo temple & met a real voodoo priestess.  She & her pet python were very nice - didn't hex anybody or anything.  But, just to be on the safe side, everyone in the tour group, including us, made a monetary donation to the voodoo god of their choice!

We ended the trip with a riverboat cruise to the site of the "Battle of New Orleans".  We were considering staying longer, but finally decided to go on home, & just in time, too.  It was cloudy the day we left & soon after the area was hit with heavy rain & disasterous flooding that made national TV!  Maybe that "X" really did bring us luck after all!

We got some real great video tape of the cats playing in the camper but there is just one problem with it.  We think Sandy figured out that we took them with us on the trip & is jealous because every time we have watched that vacation video she has spitefully peed in the floor!


bahamas.jpg (12710 bytes)CHRISTMAS CRUISE - Local residents Gene & Esther Carroll celebrated the Christmas Holidays 1996 with a cruise to the Tropical Bahamas.  They sailed aboard the Megaliner Funship Fantasy visiting Freeport, Grand Bahama Island & Nassau, New Providence Island.  They had a great time shopping, site seeing, shopping, listening to Rock & Calypso music, shopping, dancing the Macarena, shopping, playing casino slots & roulette & shopping.  Esther got part of her hair bead braided, & of course did more shopping.  They attended a frog racing contest, & a hairy chest contest.  They sucked up a lot of Pina Coladas, Bahama Mamas, Rum Swizzles, Rum Punch, rum this & rum that.  On Christmas Eve they visited Blue Lagoon Island where the pirate buccaneers used to frequent, shared their lunch with the sea gulls, played with the dolphins, & swam in the lagoon.  On the cruise they met a lot of really nice people including someone from Sullivan, Missouri & someone else from Van Buren, Missouri!  It really is a small world! (This was the best Christmas we've ever had!!!)


cubacats.jpg (9429 bytes)KEY WEST CHRISTMAS - 1997 - The Carroll family is back from kickin' back under the palm trees in Key West, Florida.  Gene & Esther & their cats Candy & Brandy  celebrated Christmas by visiting the Southernmost Christmas Tree at the Southernmost Point in the U.S.A. (Gene & Candy & Brandy in picture at right - cats are in cages under Gene's arm)They also relaxed on the beach with the pelicans & sea gulls. (Candy & Brandy became "scaredy cats" when a flock of pigeons wandered up close to their cages & curiously peered in at them.)
   Esther & Gene chowed down on Conch Fritters & Key Lime Pie & had a couple of snorts at the famous Hog's Breath Saloon (where hogs breath is better than no breath at all) & at Sloppy Joe's Bar.   They toured the Ernest Hemingway estate & petted & played with some of the many six-toed resident cats there.  They visited the Aquarium & saw a lot of unusual things at the Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum.  On display at the Mel Fisher Treasure Museum was a large box of silver coins minted in Potosi, Bolivia.   This is the mining town that Potosi, Missouri is named after.  These coins were on the spanish Galleon Atocha when it sank off the Dry Tortugas in 1622 & were salvaged by Mel Fisher in 1985.
    The Carrolls also visited the Old Historic Civil War Fort, Ft. Zachary Taylor.  (During the Civil War Key West was the only city in the U.S. that had to go north to fight for the south!)  While Esther & Gene were sightseeing Candy & Brandy were sometimes babysat at a Key West Veterinary Clinic.  When the Doctor noticed that their address was Potosi, Missouri he commented that he had read about the Civil War Battle there!  After visiting friends in Kissimee, Florida & a brief stop at the Kennedy Space Center the Carroll Clan returned home.

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Christmas Cruise

For more about our cruise to Jamaica, Hell, & Cozumel

click here

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Sure is a hell of a place!



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