Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Sweet Kentucky to end of the road in Clearwater, Florida, 6/6 - 6/13/2014

June 6th, Friday.  We've been on the road since May 5th.  The trip is sort of moving down toward home.  Today we drove to Frankfort, KY to see the state capitol.  Quite different due to all the marble.  Just a stunning building that I enjoyed so much.

Frankfort, KY - State Capitol

Carved marble - such detail and workmanship

Beautiful skylight in House of Representatives chamber

Went to the candy store that created the bourbon ball. Got a free sample, but decided it wasn't good enough to pay $1 per ball. Some prices are just crazy. I was going to buy two and the lady said, oh we want to give you a sample, so we ate sample and left. Some of these handmade chocolate prices are crazy.

Fun day in Frankfort. Went to Farmer's Market, had a good lunch with a mint julep, then for a 2:00 p.m tour of a brewery.

These dogs were the cutest

While in KY one must drink a mint julep

Brewery Tour at West 6th

Drove around historic area and took some photos of beautiful homes, so many different types of architecture.  I was amazed at how well kept so many historic homes were.  I could have taken hundreds of pictures.  These homes almost brought me to tears.

I love this mansion


The windows - one oval, one square, one with a little rounded top

Mini castle

This is the nice working man's size - maybe accountant, store owner -- modest

County courthouse

A great Main Street, USA.  Flower baskets and American flags on the street light poles

Lastly, had to go on a bourbon distillery tour since we are deep in bourbon country.  We went to Town Branch.  Interesting processes, enjoyed all the samples we had today and there are distinct differences between their different products.  The bourbon we tasted was good, but certainly not in our price range.  Too bad they didn't have a direct from distillery discount.

Huge oak vat

Copper still imported from Scotland

Pretty good stuff

Last day in Kentucky, a state that we enjoyed.  We went back to Frankfort and saw the Old State Capitol which served state from 1830 - 1910.  Building is faced in polished Kentucky River marble limestone quarried near Frankfort.  Architecture is the Greek Revival style, thus no windows.  To me this was just so plain, so I'm glad they built their newer statehouse.

The Old State Capitol

Drove to Buffalo Trace Distillery to look around at the facility.  The business dates back to 1792 and the property is a National Historic Landmark.  They claim to be old oldest distillery in Kentucky.  We could smell bourbon when we walked the property, a sweet smell that made us a little thirsty.

Stacked barrels with sweet smell

Lastly we went to the Yuko-En on the Elkhorn, the Japanese friendship.  It is a new garden, partially sponsored by donations from Toyota who has a factory in the area.  This garden has a long, long way to go to become special, but is off to a decent start.

Next off to Nashville which was a pretty and easy drive.  When we arrived we went to the Lane Motor Museum that houses the largest collection of European cars in the U.S..  Went in and I started taking photos and using control took 159 photos.  This museum was beyond amazing and we both loved it.  So many tiny, adorable cars.  Some beauties too.  It was just such a fun time seeing all those cars.  I'll just have to pick a few to share here.

So, so cute

Looks like a mini space ship

Which way do we go, which way do we go?

After the museum, it started pouring down  rain so we just checked into our room. Later we walked up to a close restaurant, El Sombrero and had a good Mexican food dinner.  On our walk we saw this lawn mower in the car wash and it cracked us up.

He drove his lawnmower to the car wash

Up, breakfast and headed to Belle Meade plantation. It started to rain and we decided a plantation tour wouldn't be fun in the rain. Drove downtown to Tennessee State Capitol and toured the complex and capitol. First impression was that it was very dark. Neither of us were impressed with the building. We toured and 1st and 2nd floors and headed out.

Built 1845-1859
Greek Revival

That is some thick wood

So much detail on this door panel

Andrew Jackson

Spiral staircase in library

close up of staircase

Gloomy, rainy day

pink marble w/gray stripes
picture doesn't show the pink too well

This looks like Star Wars to me

Beautiful Southern Magnolia

We stopped in for a quick visit at the Tennessee State Military Museum.  They had wonderful displays and it was very interesting.  A huge section of Victory and War Bond posters.

Vietnam War Memorial

Drove to have lunch at a popular restaurant, Loveless Cafe, that has been there since 1951.  Has been featured on many Food Network and other TV shows.  They are famous for their  biscuits. Had an OK meal for a higher than normal, tourist price.  I have to stop falling for these gimmicky places.  On the way there we saw a UPS truck - double trailer on its side.  No one injured but this truck accident held up traffic for 5 hours and driving around the town was a total mess.

Headed back to town and drove around to see Bicentennial Park, went down by the river which didn't have neat stuff which river fronts usually have and that surprised me.  Saw Hard Rock Cafe, lots of the huge country music venues. Saw some fun things in Nashville, but both John and I agree that this just isn't our town.  Funny how some places grab you and others just don't.

Off to Alabama and closer to home.  Tired and to bed early because we have to get up early, get our oil changed and see the Alabama capitol.  The outside was spectacular.  Took several pictures of a huge, huge, huge tree I loved.  I wonder how old that tree is.  Inside was redone in 1975, and they missed out on many details.  Did enjoy the outside and the area around the capitol has some of the largest buildings I've ever seen.  They are not tall, but seem to take up an entire city block. 

1851, Alabama's 5th state capitol, Greek Revival

Confederate Memorial Monument, 1898

Huge tree, note large statutes on right and left, they look so small

Off to Tallahassee, stopped for a tasty Mexican lunch. Hot tub, a drink and to bed early so we can get to Clearwater tomorrow, yeah.

Up early, ate and pretty much just drove home.  It was good to see Robert and be home.  Visited and caught up, unpacked with Robert's help.  John is now napping and I'm going to try to finish up this blog.

We talked about what was the best, our favorite, place, meal, activity and it basically was all fun.  We stayed healthy which was so important and I commend John for trying to eat what he should.  There were lots of temptations but he usually made the healthy choice.

I think the most surprising to both of us is that we really liked New York City.  I was feeling a little nervous and intimidated about it and we both came away with an appreciation of a great city.  I'd love to return some day and see more.  I don't think you could every see it all.

I loved seeing so many beautiful and different churches.  The old architecture, stained glass, care and love that went into some of the churches we saw -- both grand and simple, is a beautiful part of the history of our country.  Many of these churches are being lost now because of the cost of upkeep which is horrendous and shrinking congregations.

And my precious capitol buildings that I love so much.  I'm very patriotic and got chills when I visited most capitols.  Again, the history of our country and especially interesting when tied in with the American Revolution, with our country's beginning to the Civil War and our country being torn apart.  We were in the heart of both North and South and the capitols were affected.  Many interesting stories.

So glad we made this huge trip to see the Eastern part of America.  The grand lady, our Statute of Liberty, to the bourbon distilleries in Kentucky and Tennessee, we do live in a great country and I feel privileged to have seen these places in person.  A trip of a lifetime and one I will never forget.

We drove 5,600 miles, thank you John, who was our chauffeur for 99.9999% of the trip, for our safe trip through so many crazy places.  We visited 15 states, Washington, DC and saw 8 state capitol buildings.  A trip we will always remember with fondness.  It was rich is our country's history and we feel very lucky to have been able to make that trip.