Tag Archives: small town usa

A Weekend in the Bluegrass

My father recently gifted my sister and I a farm in Springfield, KY. So, the mister and I decided to go up and spend the weekend checking out the area and surrounding towns.

Freewheelin’ Friday

We started out early on Friday and headed north to Kentucky. We stopped in Stanford at the Bluebird Cafe where we ate a great lunch with excellent service. I had a pear salad, ask me about romaine lettuce and hep a. Walt had a ham and cheese with sliced pair (Parisian pear sandwich). From there we made our way to Danville where we stopped at Kroger for snacks and supplies. Then the Liquor Barn next door. I want one of these in my town. Really. It’s just too cool. They have liquor and beer and snacks and liquor and beer and this one even had a bar in the middle. Have a beer while you pick out beer. Does it get better?

We finally made it to the Farm. Holy shit, one lane windy roads, dogs, and deer everywhere. It’s a quiet, dead end road with no traffic and very few neighbors.

Springfield, KY

After a nap and a very short hike, we decided it was dinner time. We debated on whether we should go to Danville or Springfield for dinner. We chose Springfield because it’s closer to our current location. We went to a place called Mordecai’s in downtown Springfield. On Friday they have seafood buffet with shrimp and crab legs and other seafood type stuff. But we aren’t really buffet people, so we ordered off the menu. We started with the Wisconsin cheese curds, fried cheese with a spicy breading. I got the blackened, grilled salmon and the mister got the Kentucky Hot Brown. What in the hell is that? I can hear you asking that right now. Well, it’s white bread (usually toasted), turkey, cheese, mornay sauce (this varies depending on location), more cheese, bacon, and tomato. There are variations with ham added. This version did not have the Mornay sauce which disappointed the mister greatly. He said it was still excellent. The beverage was Country Boy Cougar Bait, brewed in Georgetown, KY. I generally prefer darker beers, but I liked this pretty well. In fact, we bought a six pack to back to Tennessee with us.

 

Sightseeing Saturday

The next morning, we took a much longer hike. We saw a few deer in the distance, but not much else. After cleaning up, we headed to Bardstown, KY for lunch. I loved Bardstown. It reminded me of a European town or maybe something in England. It very much had the feel of a quaint historic village. We had lunch at the Old Talbott Tavern. The historic tavern contains a bed and breakfast, a restaurant, and a bourbon bar. The food was fantastic. I had the brisket sandwich. The mister had the Kentucky Hot Brown. This hot brown had the Mornay sauce, making him a happy man. We did try the Kentucky Ale beer cheese. It was good, but I have had better. I washed mine down with Guinness and the mister had the Tavern Mule – bourbon, ginger beer, and fresh ginger. It was perfect. Did I mention they have a bourbon bar? See the pics!

After lunch we went to the Bourbon Heritage Center, located at the Heavenhill Distillery. If you go to a distillery, note the trees in the area. All of the bark will be black. This is from where the liquid evaporates and coats everything in the area. The museum had a great exhibition, detailing the history of Kentucky bourbon. We did not tour the distillery or do a tasting. We were tired and had enough drink already.

Homeward Bound

Sunday morning, we headed home. On the way home we stopped in Stanford, so I could take some more photos of the courthouse. We finally made it to the interstate and a Waffle House. I got my old standard, the Cheese and Eggs plate and the mister got a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich.

 

If you have seen my Tuesday Trekkin’ blogs, you’ll know that I love to visit small town America. Many of the small towns I visit are virtually empty. It was great to see active small towns worth visiting again. Americana at its best!

 

Tuesday Trekkin’ – 021318 Loudon Tennessee

You may recall that we made a quick stop in Loudon on a previous Tuesday Trekkin’. I decided we should go back during the day and check out the town. We decided to try the back way into town and got a little lost. But it wouldn’t be a Tuesday without a little diversion.

A great lunch

Once we arrived, we had an excellent low key lunch at Annabell’s Emporium. We both had soup and quiche. He had the Italian Wedding Soup. I had the tomato bisque. Both were spot on.

Around Town

After lunch, we made our way around town. We found some interesting empty buildings. It always breaks my heart when I go to these small towns and see so many empty shops and buildings. And these were some pretty cool places that are just begging for love and art.

More Empty Places

After seeing these historic brick buildings, we rounded a corner and saw this place. It is the old Bacon Creamery / Hosiery and later Hutch Manufacturing. But now it is empty and falling apart. I appreciate beauty in decay. However, I wish it were full of people working and building and making.

Tuesday Trekkin’ is fun for us. We see so many new and different things. Places that I did not know existed and would never have found if we didn’t just start wondering around. We will be taking a little break. But hope to be back trekkin’ soon!

Prints are available from all of the Tuesday Trekkin’ blogs here.

Tuesday Trekkin’ Lenoir City

It’s Tuesday! That means it’s time for trekkin’. Last week’s trek was to Lenoir City with a brief drive through downtown Loudon.

After being unable to trek for a couple of weeks, we finally got back on the road. We started out later than usual. We usually get on the road bright and early in the morning. But we had early afternoon appointments, so we had to wait until after that to leave.

Since we were leaving late, we thought we would go somewhere nearby. Lenoir City landed at the top of the list. After our previous attempts at finding a good place to eat, I was feeling a little doubtful that it would ever happen. Today was the day. I found Le Noir Restaurant and thought the menu looked interesting. It’s a Belgian Style Bistro with some southern, comfort dishes added in. They had several Belgian style beers on the shelf. We tried the Abbey Ale from the Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, NY. I had a chorizo burger. OMG! It was awesome! I don’t eat a lot of meat or bread, but this sounded great, so I went for it. Totally worth it! My trekkin’ partner had the Sausage with Red Cabbage and potatoes. It was pretty yummy, too! After eating, we walked around downtown a bit. It was cold as hell, so we weren’t interested in doing too much walking. We stopped in the Ugly Mug Coffee Shop for some hot beverages to warm us a bit. The museum in town was not open on Tuesday, so we couldn’t check it out. So, we decided to head back out. We drove through downtown Loudon. We will definitely head back to Loudon after the holidays.

Do you do a weekly trek? Share your blog below?

Americana in Black and White

There is no Tuesday Trekkin’ this week since I was out of state for work last week. I decided instead to bless you with some black and white versions from previous travels.

All photos are available as prints here.

 

 

Tuesday Trekking – Clinton TN

Our first official Tuesday trek is a nearby small town called Clinton, TN. Historic Clinton is home to a hundred thousand antique shops and fifty hundred churches. No, just kidding. But there are a lot of both there. We scoped out breakfast options before going and there weren’t too many options in the downtown area since all the places did not really open until 11am. We settled on Amelia’s Cafe since it was the only one open early and it did say they had breakfast. So, off to Clinton we went.

Amelia’s Cafe is inside the Cadence Craft and Trade Emporium. They had some cool stuff and very decent prices. Unfortunately, we are broke and have no where to put anything in our house, so we did not buy anything. There was no one at the cafe counter. We walked around for a few minutes and I spotted someone upstairs. I went up and asked if there was anyone working the cafe and if they had breakfast. Turns out the guy who runs the cafe was also helping someone find a part in another universe or possibly just another part of the store. But the guy I found was willing to help us. He told us he could make us bacon and eggs with toast. Perfect.

A few minutes later, he said, “I have bad news about the eggs.”

“Oh?” I asked, Walt was walking around looking at the goodies in the store.

“It seems they’ve all been boiled for making potato salad later,” he said, “but I can make you BLTs?”

“With cheese?” Because all I really want out of life is cheese.

“Of course,” he answered.

One of the best BLT with cheese that I have ever had. The bread was fresh and the tomatoes were perfect. He made me a latte and it was primo. We had to wait for the other guy to reappear before we could pay. But no worries, it was great!

There is a moral to this story. When you travel, whether it is across the world or just down the road, be patient, be open, and ready to compromise.

After Amelia’s we walked around town for a bit so I could take pictures of this great, little picturesque town. We decided to drive around a little and see if there was anything else we might want to investigate. We found the Green McAdoo Cultural Center. This is a museum dedicated to the Clinton 12. The first 12 black students to attend Clinton High School in 1956, after it was desegregated by court order. Look for a blog about this awesome place soon!