Home Away From Home

Ruby Falls and Rock City at Lookout Mountain

Wow – what a day, we probably did the most fun thing we’ve done on our entire trip.

The day started off as usual and we were our usual slow selves. In fact it was almost 11:00 before we left the coach and then I had to go back to get water, then go back to get the GPS, then we had to stop at the office to buy the tickets for the day and then we had to go back to the coach to get money and put the rear jack down. Getting a picture of our morning?

The Falls
The Falls
When we finally left we headed to Ruby Falls first. I don’t know what I expected but I know that I didn’t think I’d be going down 200 feet in an elevator. Located on Lookout Mountain, in Chattanooga, Ruby Falls is a large sparkling waterfall located deep inside one of the most significant mountains in the Southeastern United States. In fact Lookout Mountain itself is in three states: Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama. “The approach to the waterfall is almost as awe inspiring as the waterfall itself. This subterranean trail contains a plethora of beautiful rock formations. Countless stalactites and stalagmites which took millions of years in the making appear in unusual and impressive forms throughout the tour. Ruby Falls is one of the deepest commercial caves in the country.” That pretty much describes our visit to Ruby Falls. Unfortunately we have seen one too many caves/caverns so the actual cavern was not as awesome to us but the waterfall was well worth the walk. It is 145 feet tall and located just below the peak of Lookout Mountain. Amazingly we were 1,120 feet below Lookout Mountain – that was incredible and then to think I had to ride on the elevator back up. Only later did Jerry ask me if I had my eyes closed during the elevator rides. Well, yeah, so missed seeing the rock walls through the glass door. Oh well, I was just glad when the doors opened! For someone who has a fear of riding in elevators, has a fear of heights and is just a bit claustrophobic, this trip has been eye-opening. Yes, I still have those fears!

Standing beneath 1000 pound balanced rock
Standing beneath 1000 pound balanced rock
After seeing Ruby Falls we took the winding road to Rock City. I remember seeing signs advertising Rocky City when we took a trip to Oklahoma oh so many years ago. I noticed going into Chattanooga yesterday that those barn tops are still displaying the same signs. To say that Rock City is amazing is totally understated as it is just incredible. It was 1:30 when we got there and we were hungry so we ended up going in the grill just at the entrance. How we wished we had waited and eaten at the Big Rock Grill at the top, patio dining with an unbeatable view. After lunch we began the winding trail through the garden with over 400 native plant species. The rhododendron were in bloom everywhere and were beautiful. We wound though tight places, one name Fat Man’s Squeeze and it was indeed that. I walked across the swinging bridge! Yep, I went across and Jerry took pictures of it. In fact we took more pictures today than we’ve taken the entire trip. We made it all the way to the top and were able to look out and see seven states. The sign said we were only 50 miles from the Great Smokies in North Carolina. I had earlier told a lady we were about 15 hours from home. Oh well – 10 maybe. Standing on Lover’s Leap was a bit unnerving for me so I stayed out there long enough for a quick picture and that was it. We continued to wind through the amazing gardens and rock high paths and ended up on the Enchanted Trail where each step was a diorama of various fairy tales ending with a huge display that centered around a Mother Goose room that included many scenes from nursery rhymes. Again, it was just stunning and very difficult for me to describe. Although I was not excited about going because apparently my memory is bad or we didn’t go see Rock City years ago I am so glad we went and I would recommend it to anyone who is going to be anywhere near Chattanooga.

Our final destination was the Incline. We started at the top and went down so were not aware of how steep the ride was. Coming back it was really obvious that it was a 72.6% grade incline. After the ride up and down we went up to the Observation Deck where six states could be seen. They didn’t mention which states they were though. I think we would have enjoyed the Incline more if we had started at the bottom and if it hadn’t been the last attraction of the day. By the time we had descended 1100 feet below Lookout Mountain and seen the incredible views from atop Lookout Mountain the Incline was a bit anticlimactic!

We finally got back in a little after 5:30. I immediately washed the morning dishes (can’t believe I left dirty dished in the sink) and then started a load of laundry. Then I sat down with a glass of wine and some pistachios. We warmed up spaghetti for a light dinner then took a brief walk around the campground. Rain has been threatening and the temperature has dropped significantly so our walk was short. In for the night!

Home Away From Home

Athens, Alabama to Rossville, Georgia

After a great night’s rest I got up about 6:30. I’m surprised that I slept so well after taking such a long nap yesterday but I must have been more tired than I thought. A rather uneventful morning getting everything ready to leave for Chattanooga. The ride thus far has been very calm – I started to say smooth but the highways have not been smooth! Somewhere along the line we pass over into Eastern Standard Time but we’re 46 miles from Rossville, Ga and it hasn’t happened yet. Although we’re touring Chattanooga we’re actually at a park in Rossville, Ga… Others have said it’s a nice park. Hope so and hope it has decent W-fi. US Cellular continues to be a problem so I’m more determined to look into Verizon when we get home or before our next long trip.

Holiday Travel Park of Chattanooga
Holiday Travel Park of Chattanooga
We got into Rossville a little after 1:00, missed the entrance to the campground, Holiday Travel Park of Chattanooga (Yes, the Holiday Park of Chattanooga is in Roswell, Georgia) so had to make a square turn, not a U-turn but several right turns. Checking in went quickly and we went to out assigned site, 117. Jerry got the outside, W,E,S hooked up and I leveled the rig and he realized that stepping out of the door would be a problem as there was a huge puddle of water right there. We walked to the office and asked to be reassigned so they moved us to 118. We got set up again and then ate a sandwich. Since the time change it’s an hour later so dinner is not that far away so tried not to eat too much. After lunch Jerry still was not satisfied about us being level so we spent a good while playing with the jacks. Finally about 3:30 he went to take the car off of the dolly and then wanted to ride somewhere. It’s so late I’m not sure we have enough time to go anywhere, at least anywhere I know about!

By the time I got outside Jerry was talking to the neighbors who interestingly enough are from Durham – my comment “oh, home”. We enjoyed chatting with them. They too will be here until Sunday. Today they had gone to a small town nearby that sells all of the unclaimed luggage from the airlines. They bought a small suitcase for $20. Sounds like it could be interesting. We visited for a while and then Jerry and I went to Walmart to get groceries. We had ribs on the grill for dinner tonight along with stewed potatoes, broccoli and sliced cucumbers in vinegar. Boy, were they good. After dinner we took a walk around the campground. It seems to be a nice place although they obviously have had a great deal of rain.

Worked on the blog tonight but know there’s a lot more to do to catch up. I ended up putting in the entries for Big Stone Gap but I’m sure they need some editing. Mary Ann called and we chatted for a while and then Trent called. A good evening.

Home Away From Home

Lake Horn, Mississippi to Athens, Alabama

We slept until after 7:00, got up had coffee, showered, secured everything and were on the road at 9:21 traveling US-72 to US-31, 173 miles to Athens, Alabama our stop for the night. It was a pretty day in Lake Horn at 59 degrees and breezy but got cloudy as we traveled. Before we left Jerry chatted with the next door neighbor while I finished getting dressed. He and his wife are from Michigan. They spend the winter in Destin and then return to their home in Michigan for the summer with a stop in Lake Horn to visit with their son. He suggested Lake Mackinac for our summer trip. I had actually looked that up the other night. Might be a possibility.

Late April is a pretty time to be traveling in the south. Everything is so lush and green with a few sprinkles of color here and there as flowers are beginning to bloom.

We took a brief detour as both GPS’s sent us on a wild goose chase. Thankfully it was brief and we were soon back on Hwy 72 headed to Athens. Two brief breaks for Jerry and a chance to check the tires on the car. Unfortunately for us we’ll still be on Central Standard Time tonight. Ready to get back into our time zone!

img_0856We arrived at North Gate RV Travel Park about 1:45 and by 2:20 we were set up and eating lunch. Interestingly enough the guy who checked me in told me he had never heard of a Canyon Star before and then we realized that we are parking right next to one. Funny. This is a very small campground, seems to be very quiet, graveled sites, apparently good Wi-Fi and a great place for an overnight travel stopover.

We don’t have cable but we have no obstructions so our Dish connected easily. Maybe we can watch the news tonight and catch up our local news. After lunch we watched Fox News for a while to get caught up on the riots in Baltimore then took a brief walk around the campground. We don’t want to take the car off of the dolly so we’re pretty much here for the afternoon. Clouds are gathering and there’s an 80% chance of rain so I guess we’re in for the day. Reading, napping, eating – what a life.

Home Away From Home

Last Day in Memphis

Our last day in Memphis and I really think I could grow to love this city, at least what I know of it. I don’t know what the population is but it seems to be a fairly large city with a lot of smaller towns connected to it. Traffic is not a problem and it’s easy to get around. I think Jerry could get around now without the aid of the GPS.

I slept until after 7:00 and Jerry slept a little longer. After our morning rituals we got dressed and were on the road to Graceland before 10:00. It was a rather cool and dreary day so I tried to dress accordingly since I didn’t know how much we would be outside. We paid the $10 to get into the parking lot and then paid our $36 each for the platinum ticket. That got us into everything except the airplanes and as I heard one lady say “I’ve seen an airplane”.

We had about 45 minutes before the tour for the mansion started so we wandered around the complex. We went into one of the several gift shops and I saw a book of piano songs that I planned to buy later. There are a lot of t-shirts, sweatshirts, pajama bottoms, etc. with Elvis written on it. I thought we’d pass on those.

We lined up for the tour bus, had our picture taken in front of the Graceland sign, got on the bus and got our iPads and headphones for our audio tour. I was surprised when we arrived at the mansion. Although it is very pretty it is not nearly as large as I would have thought. It’s definitely an early 70’s house with olive green and harvest gold! Some walls and one ceiling had olive green carpet! Never seen that before but I guess it provides good acoustics. From what I had heard I truly expected the house to be a bit ostentatious but it wasn’t. Of course he did have a 15 foot sofa especially made for one particular room. The second floor was considered his personal space and was not opened to the public.

Interesting Furniture!
Interesting Furniture!

Though I had heard of his generosity I had never realized what a great philanthropist he was. There were any number of charities to which he had contributed not to mention the many personal gifts he had given. I also didn’t realized that he had a twin brother, Jessie who preceded him in birth and died as he was being born. While Vernon, his father, was distraught on the porch the doctor yelled there’s another one and it was Elvis. He was born in very small house in Tupelo, Mississippi but his family moved to Nashville when he was a young lad.

Didn't get a picture of the front but the backyard was beautiful.
Didn’t get a picture of the front but the backyard was beautiful.

After a tour of the house and the grounds we boarded another bus to go to the Archive Building. I would have liked to take some pictures of the front of the house but was not given the opportunity plus it was so cool and windy that it didn’t inspire me to ask about it.

After the brief archive tour and a 15 minute movie clip we were bused back to the complex. We walked through the car museum – wow, he had a lot of cars and amazingly they still have them. After that we were pretty hungry so we went to one of the cafes and had a delicious burger and fries. While Jerry was ordering our lunch I went over to the gift shop to buy the piano book and ended up getting that and two CD’s, one a gospel selection
Afterward we wandered around for a bit and then went on to the car. We talked about going back downtown but just decided to call it a day. We stopped by a Starbucks to get a cup of coffee and quite frankly to use their Internet. I am having trouble updating everything. US Cellular is not my friend.

As we came into the campground we stopped by the office to find out where the best place to get on the Internet was since our Wi-Fi at the coach is slim to none. They said they had just spent $5000 on upgrading. That’s a shame. Would hate to see what they had before. They rebooted it and it is a bit better – I guess.

We came on to the coach and spent the afternoon doing nothing, just resting I guess before our 200 mile trip to Athens, Alabama tomorrow.

Had a late dinner, salmon and then rushed out to get the car on the dolly before dark. As usual, this was our nicest afternoon and evening to be outside and we were inside cleaning the kitchen and trying to prepare for leaving in the morning. Jerry emptied the gray tank and his bathroom black tank so even if it is raining he won’t have to be outside too long. I’m hoping we don’t have another rainy day for him to drive in. My earlier calculations said that Athens is about 206 miles away but the GPS says it’s only 176. Only 30 miles different but when you’re getting close to the destination that seems to be a lot!


Home Away From Home

Sunday in Memphis

Today was a very slow day. We were planning to attend church at the Full Gospel Tabernacle with Bishop Al Greene and their service didn’t start until 11:30 so we had a very slow morning. Jerry had trouble sleeping last night because he was coughing so after being up for a while he went back to the bedroom and took a little nap. I spent the morning working on the computer. He came out and asked if was time to get ready for church. I had no idea. I will be glad when we get back on EST because I stay confused about time. Apparently he is too because we got ready and left for the church which is only about 15 minutes from the campground and it was only 10:40.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESWhen we got there there were some people taking pictures in front of the sign so we walked over and asked them to take a picture of the two of us. They did and then we all walked in. We could tell that something was going on in the sanctuary but were told to go on in so we did. Apparently it was Sunday School. That lasted about 30 minutes and then people began to file in for church. We moved and sat in the middle so we could hear and see better. Hearing was not a problem though because it was very loud. It was a typical black church with a lot of shouting, repetitious singing of songs for the most part I didn’t know. It was nice though. The pianist was a guy from Nashville, Johnny Henderson and boy could he play! All of the musicians were outstanding. They had a baptism of two young boys. Finally about 12:30 Bishop Greene came out and sang and quoted scripture for a while. Then they took up the collection. I had never seen it done like that before. Each person got up and took their gifts to the altar. Actually that is scriptural. After that a number of people, mostly guests I would assume left and then Bishop Greene preached a brief sermon. He talked about gossiping. We finally left about 1:45 – a whole lot of preaching going on! So glad we were able to visit the church and hear Bishop Greene. His life is a real testimony and Folks, we went to church today and heard the Word of God preached!

We came back to the motor home for lunch and to decide what to do for the afternoon. The weather wasn’t good, cloudy and dreary, and most things that we wanted to visit closed at either 4:00 or 5:00 so we didn’t have much choice. Since we were out of the travel forms for the Travel Log that I keep for specifics of each trip we went to Office Depot and Jerry got 50 copies. That makes 100! I guess he’s really planning on us traveling a lot! Then we rode over to Adams Street where we’d been told there were several Victorian homes. I think there were about four – they were pretty but due to the late hour we couldn’t visit any of them. Then we rode down to see the Bass Pro Shop Pyramid and try to take some pictures of it. I’m not very good at that. We did find out that it is opening on Wednesday, two days after we leave. Guess we’ll just have to come back! We rode on over to Tom Sawyer Campground in Arkansas to see what that looked like. Actually it wasn’t that impressive. I guess that’s because we live on the Pamlico River. Not many days when you can visit Mississippi, Tennessee and Arkansas all in the matter of an hour!

On the way back Jerry tried to help me get a picture of the Welcome to Mississippi sign. Again, I’m not very good plus the camera stalls between each picture.

We came back to the campground and sat outside for a while but it was just too cool so we came in. Tried to FaceTime with the kids but that wasn’t successful. Trent and family were out for dinner and David and Eli had such a poor connection we couldn’t visit.

After dinner I spent some time organizing all of the brochures we have accumulated through our travels. I had bought some manila envelopes at Office Depot so now everything is sorted and filed. I’ll probably never be able to find anything!

It’s only a bit after 8:00 but we’re both sleepy.

Home Away From Home

Ambling Through Downtown Memphis

Woke up about 6:30 after a good night’s sleep. It was raining when we went to bed but I could just barely hear it, just enough to put me to sleep. For the most part going to sleep hasn’t been a problem on this trip. I usually turn on a podcast and fall asleep listening to it.

The Ducks at the Peabody Hotel
The Ducks at the Peabody Hotel
Knowing we had a lot planned today we got ready and left a little after 10:00, unusual for us! We went to the Visitors Center first and actually got very little information. They do not have a trolley tour here and the bus hop-on just goes to various places with no information. The bus tours last anywhere from 2 to 6 hours and I knew we didn’t want to do those so we found out that there was a lot of parking downtown so we headed there. I especially wanted to see the ducks at Peabody Hotel plus I just wanted to see the hotel. Indeed it is beautiful, well worth the effort to get there! According to one of the waiters the crowd today was a little small but I thought there were right many people there. The ducks came off the elevator and went right straight to the center where the pool is. They will stay there until 5:00 when they will return upstairs. Amazing. We looked at some of the shops and I found a pair of jeans I liked. They were $170. Guess what – I didn’t get them. I did get a t-shirt with the ducks on it.

Sign in the Blues City Cafe
Sign in the Blues City Cafe
After that we wandered around not really knowing where we were going. I wanted to go to Beale Street so I used my phone GPS to find it. We recognized it immediately when we got there. As the day wore on the street got busier and busier. I’ve never been to New Orleans but I think it must be something like Beale Street except a notch or two higher. After walking around a bit we decided to have some ribs. After all Memphis is famous for its ribs. We ate at Blues City Café. I got a half rack with red potatoes, slaw and baked beans and Jerry got the same thing except he also got fried catfish. It was good and I didn’t even get my hands messy!

The Memphis Waterfront
The Memphis Waterfront
Our next stop was the waterfront, the mighty Mississippi. We saw a huge “steamboat” and then a couple of smaller ones. I think the smaller ones were what I had thought about taking a dinner cruise on. We also saw the Bass Pro Shop Pyramid which is scheduled to open Monday. Hopefully we can get back down there to see it as it is amazing.

Look who we ran into on Beale Street
Look who we ran into on Beale Street
We finally found our way back to the car and decided to go to the Rock n Soul Museum. Actually we were very close to it when we were on Beale Street as it is on the corner of Beale and 2nd. We found some free parking and walked to the museum. We spent a couple of hours in there and it was fascinating. It began with the start of soul music and went on including the hillbilly music. There was an emphasis in the beginning on the sharecroppers and the difficult plight they endured. It really is almost unimaginable. It was another audio tour so after watching a brief film we were able to tour at our own pace. Initially there weren’t many people there but it began to get more crowded as the day went on.  As I listened to the music through my headphones I had to be careful not to sing out loud but I’m sure I was harmonizing some of the time. Glad no one knew me!

When we got back out on Beale Street it was really rocking. I expect Saturday night will be even more riotous.

We were both pretty tired by then. I only had two more things on my “to see” list today, Sun Studio and the Pink Palace. Jerry was not interested in going to Sun Studio since we had already seen a recording studio in Nashville plus we had seen a lot of duplicate information at the museum today and the Pink Palace closed at 5:00. Since it was already 4:00 we decided to call it a day.

We stopped by Best Buy and bought an adapter so I could transfer the pics from the camera to the laptop and Jerry finally found a lens cover. After a brief stop at Krogers we came on back to the campground. Jerry got the chairs out and we went outside but I couldn’t stay as it was so windy. I came in and got a load of clothes going. By the time they finished I got another load going and went outside to join Jerry. We went on a brief walk around the campground. This is probably one of the nicest campgrounds we’ve stayed in. It’s quiet and the sites are cement and level. There seems to be some full timers here as a number of people have quite a set up plus they have pretty big grills, not camping grills. If it had decent Wi-Fi I’d give it a 10 but the Wi-Fi is pretty bad.

After our walk we came in, finished washing, drying and folding the clothes and then vacuuming after a Kleenex exploded in the washer! What a mess.

It’s been nice having a quiet evening and tomorrow should be fairly easy. We’re going to the Full Gospel Church and it doesn’t start until 11:30 so we’ll have a slow morning.

Not quite 9:00 and I’m turning in!

Home Away From Home

On the Way to Memphis

Got up this morning about 7:00 and after my coffee I got my shower. For some reason I thought it was 6:30 when we got up – Jerry told me it was when we looked at the clock – must have fallen back to sleep. We got busy and finally left Nashville about 9:15. Before leaving we stopped by the campground office so I could verify that we had joined Jellystone Park and then ran by Camping World to pick up a couple more placemats. Both of us misunderstood what the GPS was saying and ending up going the wrong way. We finally got turned around and headed toward Memphis. Morning traffic in Nashville was terrible and I know Jerry was relieved to get that behind him. He really does a good job.

I had set both GPS’s for the Memphis campground which is actually in Mississippi but then changed mine to find Hurricane Mills, home of Loretta Lynn. The GPS couldn’t find it. Actually now I don’t think it’s an actual town. We followed the signs and got there easily arriving about 11:00. The road to the actual tour and homes is very winding and we were concerned that we might not have anywhere to turn around. I felt that they must have a pretty big parking lot and was holding on to that thought! They did. Whew!

We walked around the gift shops and then got tickets for the tour. Our first stop was a replication of her home in Butcher Holler which is located in West Virginia. Her brother still lives in that home. Loretta’s mom and daddy had six children, Loretta being the oldest girl so she helped her mom with the other children quite a bit. Their dad worked in the coal mines from 6:00 pm to 6:00 am and then farmed. Loretta said he slept about three hours a night.

Next we went into a replica of the coal mine where her daddy worked. Because he had one of the more dangerous jobs in the mine he was paid $1.50 a day! I had heard the tour guide say he had worked in a coal mine so I asked him where he worked. Harlan County, Kentucky! We discovered that he was probably the guy who sold us our tickets last year when we visited and the same guy who came to get us when we had been in too long. Small world. He said our guide only worked there on week-ends now as he had a full time job, didn’t mention school.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESOur next stop was the home they lived in until it got too big for them. It is definitely a 70’s decorated house and she loved green! In addition she liked to collect things and there are A LOT of doodads around. Pictures covered many of the walls. Loretta’s two oldest children died, one was riding a horse through a stream and somehow fell off and was knocked unconscious and drowned.

When the house got too big for them Loretta and Doo filled up the pool behind the house and built a smaller home and she still lives there now. I was surprised that she would live that close to all of the visitors. She still performs some, about 80 nights a year.

Then we took a tour of her museum. Someone must have had a lot of forethought because it was filled with gowns, plaques, signed pictures and other memorabilia. Jerry found a poster advertising her singing at Ayden Grifton High School which is not far from our home and I found a certificate signed by then Attorney General Rufus Edmonson naming her an honorary attorney general of North Carolina.

We also got to go through one of old tour buses. Interesting and nice but I do like my slides.

Leaving Loretta Lynn's
Leaving Loretta Lynn’s

On back to our “bus” where we had some lunch and then hit the road by 1:30. We drove about 7 miles to the Pilot Station where Jerry slowly filled up the tank and checked the tires. We pulled out of the station at 2:00. Skies are overcast looking like rain – of course! Roads in Tennessee are intermittently good and horrible, a lot of bouncing around at times. At least we’re not squeaking right now.

About 100 miles from Memphis it began to rain and rained the rest of the way and it seemed to take forever. I learned something else today. If we plan to stop and tour anything on the way we’ll cut our miles for the day. Today was a long day especially for Jerry. We got to Yogi Bear Jellystone Memphis just a bit after 5:00. Just as I was setting up the jacks Donna Freng called so Jerry actually did all of the setting up himself.

I pulled out left overs, meatloaf, pork chops, peas and I fixed some mac and cheese so we had an easy dinner. I fought staying up and finally about 8:00 got ready for bed and was sound asleep by 10.

Home Away From Home

Music in Downtown Nashville

    We do travel together!
We do travel together!
What a great night of sleep!  I only had cramps once and slept for about nine hour which is a record for me.  We got up, had our coffee and breakfast and left a little after 10:00 for the trolley ride at the train depot.  Our driver, Zach usually drives a trolley but his was getting some work done so we rode a red bus instead.  Actually that was better as it was quieter and we could hear him more clearly.  We had decided to take the entire tour and then start over and get off where we wanted to.  We got to see a lot of the city that way and quickly realized that we couldn’t see nearly what we wanted to.  It did point out the AT&T building which is commonly known as Bat Man since it looks like that.  We also had a very brief stop at the Court House for a photo opt.  Jerry and I finally got a picture taken of us together.

RCA Studio B
RCA Studio B
We got off at the Country Music Hall of Fame.  Our ticket included a tour of the RCA Studio B where many of the singers had gotten their start.  Chet Adkins was apparently the man in charge and he had many singers including Elvis Presley.  Elvis’ grand piano was there and we actually went in the recording studio where he recorded “Are You Lonesome Tonight” in the middle of the night.   That was when he liked to work.

After a brief bus ride back to the Country Music Hall of Fame we started that tour.  Interestingly enough you had to ride an elevator up to the second floor where the tour began.  A girl right in front of me said she couldn’t ride elevators and asked if there was an alternate entrance.  They sent her to the stairs and I went right along.  About the time we got to the stairs I realized that we didn’t have our audio so I had to turn around and go back to the ticket office to get them.  When I got back to the stairs the girl and her husband were waiting for me.  Lucky for me because we might never have found the beginning as we had entered at the exit.  I finally found Jerry and we started the tour.  It was really interesting, so much in fact that I may start listening to country music!  It lasted most of the afternoon and after going through the Hall of Fame we went to find the trolley.

I had realized after we initially got off of the trolley that I had lost my sunglasses.  I knew they could only be one of two places, either on the bus or where we had stopped to take pictures.  I went in the depot and asked about the bus and was told that it would be about 20 minutes before it came in.  We decided to wait and I’m glad we did.  Just a few minutes before the bus arrived the clerk from inside came out to tell us he was on the way and had my glasses!  I tipped him $5!

Heavy traffic going back but we were back at the campground a little after 5:00.  Jerry had planned to put the car on the dolly but there wasn’t enough room so he’ll have to do it tomorrow.  I came in and got started on dinner – meatloaf, peas, potato salad and warmed up cabbage.

After dinner we took a walk around the campground and finally got a picture of Jerry with Yogi.  While there we had a brief visit with a couple from Washington who were getting a pic with Yogi also.  They are full-timers and are on their way to Asheville and then on to Raleigh to see their daughter who lives in Cary.  They were asking us about camping at the fairgrounds as there are few campgrounds in the Raleigh area.  She was from South Africa. We only talked briefly but it was interesting.  We are meeting such interesting people on this trip and amazingly enough several full-timing couples.


Home Away From Home

The Hermitage, Home of President Andrew Jackson

Got up early, real early as I started waking up about 4:00 with cramps in my legs and feet probably from walking so much yesterday in new shoes.  Got out of bed and walked around, back in, slept until 5:00, got up and danced around some more.  Woke up a little after 6:00 but didn’t get up.  Jerry had slept on the sofa last night and I didn’t want to wake him up so I stayed in bed until about 6:30.  I quietly went to the kitchen trying to get some coffee but he was already awake.  What a morning in maybe 400 square feet!

We spent the morning trying to decide what to do.  We found out that the shuttle that comes to the campground comes between 8:30 and 9:00 and then again at 1:00.  Well, the 8:30 was out of the picture since it was already 8:15.  We did a bit more research and realized that the shuttle was just that, a shuttle – it took you there but there was no trolley tour involved.  Jerry called the trolley number but only got a recording as they don’t open until 10:00 so we decided to go on to the Hermitage, the home of President Andrew Jackson this morning.

President Jackson's Tom
President Jackson’s Tomb

The Hermitage tour is a very well oiled machine and I liked the way things worked.  We got the general admission tour plus the carriage ride.  When we went in we were given audio equipment with headphones and a map.  When we approached different places on the tour we could enter the number corresponding to the map and get an explanation of the feature.  That is the first time that we’ve seen something like that and it is quite effective.  The house is grand and the grounds are beautiful very unlike what they were like when President Jackson lived there although there was a beautiful English garden then.  Overall, very impressive.  One could easily spend an entire day there.  At the end of the tour we went back to the museum and watched a video.  I was hungry and tired and it was dark – yep – went to sleep a couple of times at least.

After the film we went to the museum shop and bought a cookbook of Tennessee recipes. I must think I’m going to cook a lot!  Jerry was feeling a little shaky so he got some M&M’s and some other kind of candy which he shared.  By the time we had eaten the candy and I had gotten a little nap I was ready to go!

On the way back to the campground we stopped at Krogers and bought groceries, came home and fixed lunch then again tried to decide what we were going to do. Since it was already after 2:00 our time was limited.  Jerry tried to call the trolley company again and unfortunately did not get a local number but the main number (which is the only one listed on the webpage).  “Dave” really didn’t know much!  We found out that the ticket was only for 24 hours so it was not wisdom to do the trolley this afternoon so instead we went downtown to the Johnny Cash Museum.

No explanation needed!
No explanation needed!

Luckily enough we found a parking place right down from the museum.  In fact it was such a good spot Jerry worried during the entire tour that the car might be either towed, ticketed, or booted.  I also felt a little uneasy about it.  The tour was really good, got to listen to a lot of his early music plus music by other singers.

Jerry was relieved when we got out though and he could see the car was OK.  It was nearing 5:00 so traffic was already heavy.  Jerry commented that he just couldn’t live in a city and I agree with him. His comment – “this isn’t hell but it’s purgatory” just explained it all.

Since Camping World was pretty close to the campground we went by there so Jerry could get a key duplicated.  Camping World doesn’t do that but they suggested that we go to competitor who was next door and get it done.  We did!  While at Camping World we bought two place mats and I think I have finally found one that will keep our plates from sliding around while we eat.  May have to go back tomorrow and get two more.

Came home and Jerry started preparing dinner.  He’s frying shrimp and cornbread outside.  He’s using the cornmeal that we bought at Cade’s Cove for the cornbread so we’ll see how that goes.

Dinner was delicious!  Mary Ann called just before we started eating so after dinner, dishes and a little TV I called and chatted with her.  It’s now almost 9:00 and I’m headed to bed and hopefully won’t have any cramps tonight!


Home Away From Home

Headed to Nashville

A travel day – we got up about 6:30 but for some reason it takes us a while to get it together. I guess because we don’t have to hurry we don’t. We had our coffee and breakfast, then got dressed and started breaking camp. I walked over to talk with Cheryl to thank her for including us in their dinner plans last night. We said our good-byes and headed out about 9:00. We stopped at Sam’s in Bowling Green for about 30 minutes and then headed on to Nashville. The roads changed significantly when we entered Tennessee, not nearly as good as Kentucky. Traffic was pretty heavy as we neared Nashville so it was after 11:00 before we got to the campground. It’s a Passport campground so we camped a little cheaper this time.

We got some lunch and then I tried to pay a couple of bills, one for Lowe’s for us and one for Mom. I spent nearly an hour trying to get that accomplished. Before we take another extended trip I will definitely look into Verizon. US Cellular just isn’t measuring up.

We finally left to ride into Nashville not really knowing where we were going. We discussed going to the Hermitage but since it was after 3:00 we thought it was too late – well, it wasn’t because it was only a little after 2:00. Time changes are great for confusion.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESWe finally ended up at the Parthenon and wow, it’s impressive. Took several pictures but unfortunately I can’t find where I put the SD card holder so can’t transfer them. After dinner tonight we were already cleaning our cabinets and we’ve only had the coach two months!

We were going to take yet another trip to the grocery store tonight but it got dark and although the GPS said it was only two miles away (a Piggly Wiggly at that) we decided that it was difficult enough to get around in the day so we didn’t need to be wandering around in the dark.

What a day – going to bed!