Not Everything Is A Motorhome Adventure!
It’s mid-January, chilly, rainy and a typical Atlanta winter, so Jackie and I got itchy to get out. Yes, we have been working in a few bike rides on the ebikes when the weather allows and a few pickleball attempts at the community center to stay active, but a crochet and knitting event called Jackie to Nashville. Actually, it was her sister who called but the event is supposed to be special for anyone into yarn craft hobbies. Didn’t take much convincing, since we really haven’t visited Nashville in a couple of years. But before we head to Nashville, let me recap some fall/winter fun at our place: Thanksgiving was wonderful with the family. Good food and cold weather that made it perfect for a bonfire at night. Then another Raclette party with our brewcrew. We had three grills going, blew a circuit, ran an extension cord to the living room and kept the party going. Pretty silly stuff but fun together. And an ebike ride with John down to Dry County Brewing for a beer and return trip.
Back to the Nashville weekend. It’s not really a bad trip, even with a quick stop in Chattanooga to check in with Alex, but of course the weather had to mess with things just a bit. The temperature kept dropping into the low 30’s and the drizzly light rain soon turned to snowflakes as we approached Monteagle. That is the first big climb you make up and onto the Cumberland Plateau and it seems to make its own weather anyway. So as we wiggled our way along and up the mountain the snow continued to a near whiteout for a bit, even sticking on the trees and ground. Pretty, but kinda sloppy too. Once up and over the ridge it eventually changed back to drizzle and stopped altogether.
So Nashville wasn’t much further ahead and we were soon unloading our bags at Judy and Craig’s and making plans for the weekend. Lots of options, starting with an evening of pickleball at their community center. We are still very much beginners, but it was fun to play a few games together and meet some of their fellow players. Back at their house we chatted rather late into the night with generous pours of Tennessee whiskey. Mmm, maybe just a little too generous, but in the morning we were up and ready for whatever. Jackie and Judy were to head off to The Big Stitch for yarn and classes and Craig had an idea for the two of us: Leiper’s Fork Distillery.
It really wasn’t too far to get to the Natchez Trace (lovely, winding parkway) and then to the town of Leiper’s Fork. We pulled into the distillery, discovered a tour had just started and hooked up with it in the main barn. Mmmm, what a great fragrance. Probably the best earthy, warm smell there is. Great tour leader filled us with the history of whiskey-making in Tennessee and their operation. I keep learning more about “tails”, “heads” and “heart” and how similar the process is to getting a grain mix to boil and ferment for either beer or distilled spirits.
Not sure I mentioned our fall trip to visit with nephews Adam and Chris and a trip to a distillery in Beaufort, SC: Rotten Little Bastard. Another great learning opportunity about the distilling process, with samplings of course. And we just had to stop by a local brewery later that day along the waterway: Shellring Ale Works. I will post a few pics of that trip below.
So, back to our Leiper’s Fork experience. Inside a wonderful restored Tennessee cabin we were treated to three samples of their whiskey with an explanation of how to enjoy the whiskey properly. We started with a white whiskey (the same recipe, just not aged in barrels so it is clear), their Tennessee whiskey and a bourbon. Yep, definitely a strong brew – the bourbon was a 4-year 100 proof sip. A short stop in their gift shop and we were on our way back to the house – oh yeah, pick up some good beef for tacos later tonight. Actually those tacos were more like fajitas with the thin pieces of strip steak that Craig cooked up. Yum. But we weren’t done for the day yet.
We headed into downtown Nashville for some people watching before an 8:30 show at The Listening Room. We got a gander at the “Nash Vegas” crowd along Broadway, complete with crazy party buses and crowds and traffic and then found our way to the venue for singer/songwriters. It turned out to be a great night of music with the songwriters performing some of their songs that were recorded by more notable country music singers. Decent local beer was served and we had some really good fried pickles, too.
Okay then, we must be done, right? Nope. Next morning, after coffee and breakfast, we played a few rounds of pickleball outside on their neighborhood tennis court. I think maybe Jackie and I are getting better, but we do feel like the t-shirt that says “What’s the score? Who’s serve is it? What day is it?” But good fun and exercise. And another short trip out to Tailgate Brewing to finish the day. This spot had a lot of beer on tap and we all ordered a flight. There was a good selection of sours, so my four were variations of apple, peach, raspberry and such. Actually all very good – but maybe not as special as some of our local Kennesaw brews. Craig was determined that we were going to learn the card game Euchre, so we gave it a go. Actually turned out to be pretty fun and a bit familiar to us as a variation of Spades (which we haven’t played since college).
Back home to some chicken tortilla soup from Judy’s Instapot and maybe a little more of that Tennessee whiskey and we were done for the day. Oh, wait, there was the hot tub. Yeah, it’s like 30 something degrees outside and we are doing what? Well, it did feel good as the steam rose around while we bubbled in the box. Quick run for the towels and then we were done for sure.
Yep, it was a great visit. I debated about titling this “A Nashville Quickie” which is what it seemed like. We packed in a lot of fun on a long weekend. Before leaving the final morning we had a fast game of Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza to a rousing bit of laughter and hand slapping. If you know the game, you get it. I am still a bit challenged by it, but it sure is crazy fun.
Soooooo, what’s next? In two weeks we head to Orlando and Port Canaveral to set sail aboard the new NCL Prima cruise ship for a week in the Caribbean. Should be nice warm water, lots of sunshine, amazing food and cold drinks. Yes, we are a bit crazy but this one is to celebrate our milestone 70th birthdays. Hope to post some stories, pictures and videos of the trip. Meantime, be sure to watch some of the videos I recently posted of our adventures of the last two years (adventureswithdougandjackie). Thanks for visiting and spread the word.