A Travellerspoint blog

RC Cola and Moon Pie 10 miler

18 June 2016

semi-overcast 85 °F

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Bell Buckle, Tennessee hosts an RC Cola and Moon Pie Festival every year and part of those celebrations is a 10 miler. Lucky for us we had cloud cover for much of the route over A LOT of rolling hills. But the finish was spot on with popsicles and moon pies among the usual bananas and water. The town is small with only 500 people but has an adorable main strip with several antique shops.
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Posted by ErinDriver 12:38 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Hillbilly Half Marathon, Leiper's Fork, Tennessee

4 June 2016

rain 80 °F

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It seemed only natural to do the hillbilly half marathon while living in Tennessee and I convinced my friend Staci to do it with me! I have to say it was one of the most scenic and beautiful runs I have ever done. It was through the rolling hills just outside of Nashville which is home to the famous and rich as well as hill billies. After the rest we went to the bakery in town called Sugar and the person we presume to be the owner was telling us that Tim McGraw and a house nearby, Carrie Underwood is building a house and Justin Timberlake bought a huge chunk of land right behind their shop.
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Sadly we were about the only runners dressed up as hillbillies but I guess some thought us very brave to run in denim. Most of the water stops had some pretty interesting costumes though.
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Not until I was at mile 12 did I notice the wording on the water bags warning me to drink at my own risk!!!
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The finish had some excellent cookies, peaches and photo opportunities with General Lee!
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Posted by ErinDriver 11:40 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Oakland Cemetary

30 May 2016

sunny 80 °F

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The day when I have to say goodbye to my beautiful white porch has come and with reluctance I go in to eat breakfast. I am cheered immediately when I see the eggs again at breakfast. Today was the most filling breakfast with cake like blueberry pancakes.
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The drive back to Atlanta is a smooth one on this Memorial Day and it seems fitting that our last stop on the GWTW trail is the Oakland Cemetery. It sometimes seems more like a garden with 8,000 people buried in it than a cemetery. It also seems odd to get photos of the grave markers with the skyline in the background.
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We wonder among the headstones for awhile before finding the visitors center and then wonder even longer trying to find Margaret Mitchells headstone. Ironically enough we missed it because we were looking at the three plots with the Rice name on right next to hers. It is not very substantial and the main name is Marsh for her husband John Marsh.
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Because of our huge breakfast we weren’t hungry so I dropped mom off at her hotel and headed out of Atlanta hoping to avoid the afternoon holiday traffic.
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Posted by ErinDriver 13:32 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Largest Antique Mall in World

29 May 2016

sunny 80 °F

The initial thought today was that after breakfast we would be hanging around the porch or pool relaxing. We thought this all through the Greek yogurt trifle, yummy eggs and biscuits and gravy that was served.
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But on departure from the dining room I asked the two men that worked there what to do on a Sunday here and he mentioned the world’s largest antique mall, Ian Henderson’s that is only a couple towns over. So we scoured the place for hours looking for treasures. It was HUGE with tons of cool stuff if only we had a moving van!
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The guys had also mentioned the southern buffet they like to eat at in Social Circle after antique shopping. It’s called the Blue Willow Inn and at 1500 it was still packed to the gills. For $22 you got all the Southern comfort food you could handle.
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Tired but not beaten we dragged our way through the Antiques and Stuff in Covington before driving back to the Twelve Oaks for a restful last evening.

Posted by ErinDriver 18:06 Archived in USA Comments (0)

The home of Gone With the Wind

28 May 2016

sunny 80 °F

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What a packed full day we had today. From bright and early walking around the grounds of twelve oaks and checking out the neighbors. I am in love with the house next door which incidentally is on the market for 1.475 million :)
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Breakfast was tasty with a cup full of eggs mixed with havarti cheese and chives followed by stuffed French toast and a sausage. This would fortify us for a long day of touring which started with an approximately 50 minute drive to Jonesboro for the Road to Tara Museum. Jonesboro claims to be the home of Gone with the Wind because Margaret Mitchell would spend her summers here and many of the characters and events in the book were based off people she knew and their life events.
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The Road to Tara Museum is beautifully displayed and my favorite of the three we have visited. It starts with a brief portion about the battle of Jonesboro which happened all throughout the town.
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The GWTW portion has reproductions of many of the costumes and the actual pantalets worn by Vivien Leigh.
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They display for the different languages the book came in was also the most well put together.
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These are theater seats from the Loew's theater that showed the premier of the movie. It has since burnt down. I do wonder why the seats look slightly different at each museum we go to.
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They also have a decent display showing spoofs on the movie that have come out.
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The women that work at the Visitors center/museum also sold us on a tour of Jonesboro with GWTW focus.
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At 1300, after a snickers bar for lunch, we boarded this bus for the 1 hour, 15 minute tour. For the most part we observed from the bus window while the announcer told stories related to Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind and how many of her stories and characters came about. Jonesboro is where her grandfather lived and it is believed he is the inspiration for Pa, their house for Tara and his stories her information on the Civil War. She comments that she grew up listening to Civil War stories but didn’t realize the south didn’t win until she was ten. We do get to disembark at the Confederate Cemetery where there are 1000 mostly unmarked graves. The cannonballs on top of the arch were actually used in the battle.
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We also got out at the old jail which houses many town artifacts now including old ledgers.
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After this tour was completed we hightailed it to Stately Oaks Plantation, built in 1839, it was likely one of the inspirations for Tara.
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There was no picture taking allowed inside but tour guide did a marvelous job pointing out all kinds of trinkets from the time period. She was also dressed in period costume including seven layers of undergarments. Many things were explained to include the courting candle, salt, sugar, tear collector, hair collector, pickle container, celery container, bug catcher and how the kids were identified in photos. Boys and girls were both clothed in dresses to make it easier for potty training so sex was identified by how the hair was combed. Girls had their hair parted in the middle and boys on the side. They house also has a well set up one room school house, well house, outhouse, tenent room and cook kitchen.
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Tired and hungry we headed back to Covington just in time for the nibbling hour at Twelve Oaks. My favorite thing is sitting on their porch with cheese, crackers and wine.

It was only an appetizer so we walked to town for dinner at the Mystic Grill, famous on the show the Vampire Diaries. I have never watched it but the hamburger and beer was excellent and we were stuffed. But not too full for more ice cream from Scoops before our ghost tour.
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Covington Ghost Tours was different than any I have ever been on, and I do love a ghost tour. In this day and age there is actually an app called ghost hunting app and it is to tell you when you are in the presence of excess energy as well as randomly list words. Between the group the hope is to string together something of meaning. For 2 hours we walked around town with a story at nearly every building. Sadly no spirits, orbs, ghosts or goblins were seen despite a walk through the cemetery in the dark. Although according to our app we may have been in the presence of Abigail, Jack, cupcakes or a doctor. Here is one of the photos we were to inspect when we got home for orbs, objects or people. Do you see anything?
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At the visitors center there is a sign for Mystic Falls, Virginia which is the town that Covington plays in the Vampire Diaries.
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Posted by ErinDriver 17:47 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Gone with the Wind Tour

27 May 2016

sunny

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Last night Mom flew in from Pennsylvania and I drove from Tennessee to meet at the Best Western by the airport. For some reason we spent the night in a handicapped room which even had its own doorbell. We did some planning and then settled in to get some sleep before hitting the Gone with the Wind Trail in the morning.
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After a typical Best Western breakfast we drove about 30 minutes to Marietta, Georgia and the Scarlett on the Square, Gone with the Wind Museum. The building was constructed around 1875 and is a former cotton warehouse and carriage stable. The museum is actually a privately owned collection of Dr. Christopher Sullivan from Akron, Ohio. The small museum is full of memorabilia in all languages, even Russian and Chinese. Even though the book has been in print for 70 years it still sells 250,000 copies a year. There are many representations of the book in all languages here.
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The spotlight though is on the Bengaline Gown. It is the original honeymoon gown worn by Vivien Leigh in the movie. The dress was in this ecru shade so it would appear white on the Technicolor film reels.
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After making our way through the gift shop we returned to midtown Atlanta for lunch at Mary Mac’s Tea House. It is a fabulous institution for southern cooking and one of the only places in the world that I wrote down my order. I enjoyed the shrimp and cheese grits with sweet potato casserole and macaroni and cheese while mom got chicken pot pie. As first timers to the restaurant we also got a sample of the pot likker which was excellent. I topped it off with some strawberry shortcake to keep my energy up for our next museum.
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Not far from the restaurant is the Margaret Mitchell House. It was previously an apartment building which she dubbed “the dump”. It was abandoned for 10 years before the Benz Company paid for the renovations. In exchange they wanted to use it during the Olympics. However it was damaged by an arsonist and they were not able to have it in working order by the games. The company still paid for the renovations and never asked for anything else in exchange. Here they have a guided tour through the small apartment and you can see where she wrote most of Gone with the Wind. She had broken her ankle and back then that meant you had to stay home for a few months. So to keep busy she started a novel. She never thought it was any good and couldn’t believe how huge it became. There are displays here on the opening night in Atlanta where 30,000 people gathered to try to see the stars as they entered.
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After this we headed 30 more minutes east to Covington, Georgia and the site of our bed and breakfast, twelve Oaks. It is a massive antebellum manor and little did I know our room was up two flights of stairs. It is adorable though with a TV and DVD player for watching Gone with the Wind.
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The B&B has a nibbling hour with free wine, cheese and crackers and we passed a wonderful hour on the white rocking chairs on the porch. The main square is only 0.3 miles away so we walked in to town to Your Pie for pizza. It is a chipotle for pizza and it seemed kind of silly to get only cheese pizza but it was still delicious. Conveniently there is an ice cream place called Scoops two doors down and we packed on another pound before walking back to the B&B.
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Posted by ErinDriver 18:49 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Grand Ole Opry Military Appreciation Night

24 May 2016

sunny 73 °F

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Probably one of the best performances I have had the pleasure of enjoying was at the Grand Ole Opry tonight. For Memorial Day the Opry was celebrating the military. The performers all had patriotic songs to include the Gatlin Brothers, Mark Wills, Oak Ridge Boys, Charlie Daniels Band and Trace Adkins. It was brought to a beautiful close with Lee Greenwood's song God Bless the USA.
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But the true stars of the show were the MusiCorps Wounded Warrior Band. A double amputee who is normally the drum player was filling in as the singer and really crushed it!! Mark Wills and Trace Adkins came out to complete the last song with them and the whole place was on their feet. It was quite an emotional show and we realized just how much country music supports the military!

Posted by ErinDriver 21:24 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Curt's Birthday on the Bourbon Trail

1 May 2016

sunny

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By Sunday, Curt’s Birthday, he wasn't feeling well so got up only long enough to have this picture taken with his breakfast.
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He went back to sleep and I went on a photography shoot of the llamas and Maple Hill Manor.
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Luckily he was back on the horse for our tour of the Makers Mark Distillery. It is a more popular tour it seems and we were lucky to arrive early. It’s kind of out in the middle of nowhere and we were on one way roads for some of the way it seemed.
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Incredibly, Curt went to get some coffee and when I turned around I hear him saying to this man “ Hey, didn’t you run in Antarctica?”. We actually ran in to a couple that was on the Antarctica tour at the same time in 2012!! Small world.
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We have now been to three of the distilleries on the bourbon trail and each tour has some different element. In this one you got to dip your finger in a vat of yeast and water!
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The gift shop was also crazy because the Pharoah Horse that one the Triple crown had a bottle come out and collectors were lined up to get their bottle. We still made time for Curt to hand dip our bottle before we made our way out of there.
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Posted by ErinDriver 08:18 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Bardstown, Kentucky

29-30 April 2016

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Maple Hill Manor is an adorable B&B tucked in to the countryside about thirty minutes away from Bardstown, Kentucky. The area is also known as one of the most beautiful small towns in America and was our home base for Curt’s birthday weekend.
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We originally intended to be on the motorcycles but the Mother Nature took a swift kick to our plans. So Friday we drove the 2 hours, 45 minutes to the manor and turned around and left again. In the run up before Derby week in Kentucky there is always something going on. For Bardstown that is cocktail week. The owner of the Maple Hill Manor also owned another B&B in town called the Bourbon Manor and there were having a tasting of 1792 bourbon and tapas at their bar called the bunghole.
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It was a small group but a nice casual atmosphere with tasty snacks, an amazing goodie bag and a amazing cocktail called the peach mint julep. We also got to meet several locals and another couple that we would see several other times throughout the weekend. We left the bar rather early because the Maple Hill Manor promised desserts were provided from 6-9. It was a berry pie to rival my favorite Village Inn!!!
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Saturday of course started with breakfast called “between the sheets”. It was seasoned scrambled eggs in a puff pastry with sausage, potato, fruit and a waffle.
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We set off completely full to the Heaven Hill Distillery. The gift shop is really neat because in the center it looks like someone created half a huge barrel you could climb in. We later find out that is the tasting room. Heaven Hill is the longest family run distillery and we were taken over to their rick house (warehouse).
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There are millions of gallons of bourbon all perfectly balanced in the warehouse. They mention that the bourbon that is aged for a longer period will be partially empty due to evaporation. They call this portion of the bourbon the angels share.
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They now make their bourbon in Louisville and store in Bardstown. This is because years ago there was a fire. They had no place to make their bourbon so the other distilleries like Makers Mark and Jim Beam actually let them use their facilities. After the tasting and a bourbon ball we moved on to eating again.
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Lunch was at the Talbot Tavern, a building that has been there since I think 1792. I got the hot brown and Curt the chicken fried steak with dessert of berry cobbler for me and bread pudding for Curt. Our original intention with the trip was to get as many distilleries from the bourbon trail completed however the cocktail week threw us for a loop.
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We walked around the down town shops a bit before moving to our next drinks:)
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Last night we had heard there was a cocktail tasting from 2-4 and for $25 you got to sample 15 drinks. In the fall Bardstown has a bourbon festival and this competition was to see which cocktail would be featured as the drink during that festival. Everyone got a “bunghole” (the stopper in the bourbon barrel) which was used to vote for your favorite drink. The drinks were not so small and by the end we were best friends with the couple from Pennsylvania we had seen around town.
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Curt’s friend from the Army, Steve and his wife, Saskia live not far away and met us in town for dinner. We hit the Talbot Tavern again, first for another drink and then for dinner. We had a great time catching up and enjoying the live music. By the end of the night we could barely shovel down the pecan pie the Maple Hill Manor had out for us.
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Posted by ErinDriver 08:07 Archived in USA Comments (0)

The Grand Old Opry

16 April 2016

sunny

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Curt and I had our ninth anniversary this week so we decided to celebrate with an overnight stay at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville and a visit to the Grand Old Opry. The resort is huge with its own ponds, fountains, waterfalls and garden inside. It is so beautiful that everyone wants to stay here and at check in the line was longer than a roller coaster at Disney World. We may have missed the show if we waited in line so we went to the thai place down the road instead. After filling up on pad thai and changing in their bathroom we headed back to the hotel.
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The whole point in staying there was to walk to and from the Opry. We had plenty of time to get our obligatory photos with the guitars out front. At that time of day the sun was low and shining right in our faces which explains why it may appear that we just at something sour.
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The show was two hours broken in to 30 minute segments. Between each one we got to hear plenty of commercials about Dollar General, Humana, Cracker Barrel and the Johnny Cash museum. But it was a great experience to sit on those comfy bench seats and catch a performance where country music was made famous.
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Vince Gill was the main headline and he did a song for the recently passed away Merle Haggard.

Posted by ErinDriver 09:00 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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