Saturday, June 1, 2013

Tennessee - Friends, Food and Music

In our years on the road we have found that meeting and spending time with people is one of the best things about this lifestyle.  We have met many new friends through Escapees but by far we have made more friends with the folks we have met at Betty's than any other place.  This past spring Charles and Sandy Lee arrived at Betty's for a two day stay and ended up being there for three weeks.  Wow, talk about getting caught in Betty's web.  That web seems to extend beyond Betty's as we are the third couple to take them up on their offer to spend a few days at their place in Tennessee.
They live on a small farm and offered us a spot with water and electric where we had a great view of the surrounding hills, the birds and even a few cows.

Sandy, Nanc, Jim and Charles enjoying another Betty's tradition, happy hour.
Nanc and I did a day trip to nearby Lynchburg to tour our favorite distillery, Jack Daniels.  Here we are with a larger than life Jack.  He was 5'2" and the statue is 5'7' tall.  So the legend grows.  Center is the office where Jack worked.  The safe lead to his death when he kicked it and ended up getting an infection that killed him.  Right is where they make the charcoal that they use to filter their famous whiskey.  If you buy a full barrel (for $9,000 to $12,000) you get to write your name on the charcoal house wall, along with a few other benefits.
Top is a display of the whole whiskey making process and the three grains, corn, wheat and barley, used in the recipe.  The background is the spring where they get their famous water and middle is a tree blackened by the distilling process.  The revenuers look for these trees that are darkened by a harmless mold when looking for moonshiners.
Even though Lynchburg is in a "dry" county if you go on a tour it is considered a private party so they can let you have a taste.  Nanc even played checkers with one of the locals.
One of the great meals and pleasant evenings of conversation we shared. 
Charles and Sandy have several birdhouses and many of them had moms on eggs or chicks.  Left are young bluebirds waiting to eat.  We were not sure what the middle one was but she was not happy that we were looking in on her so we called her Angry Bird.  Right is a tree swallow.
Their dog, Bella, is in charge of keeping the cows in line.
We did a day trip to Nashville and Nanc and I toured the Ryman Auditorium, the original home of the Grand Ole Opry.  While we are not big country music fans it was great seeing the stories of all the old timers we grew up listening to.  Left are clothes worn by June Carter and Johnny Cash.  Right are those of Porter Wagner and Dolly Parton.  We are with Minnie Pearl and Roy Acuff.  It was really neat seeing the stories of the old stars and this old building that was originally built as a church.
And if it is Nashville it has to be music.  This is Tooties at 3:00 in the afternoon on a typical Friday.  The place was packed and rockin.
We also hit Legends (where the walls are covered with old album sleeves) and then had dinner at the Listening Room.  As you can tell by the smiles a grand time was had by all.
At dinner we were joined by Charles' and Sandy's daughter, Mackenzie and her fiancee, Chris. It was great getting to meet them and we wish them the very best. There is nothing like having locals as guides when you are exploring a new area.
On Saturday we had breakfast at Marcy Jo's Mealhouse & Bakery.  This is a place we probably would not have stopped at if they had not taken us.
And just look at what we would have missed.  That cinnamon roll was shared by all.
On Saturday evening we went to Arrington Vineyards for more friends, food and Jazz.  The vineyard is owned by Kix Brooks of the group Brooks and Dunn. 
We had a wonderful week with the Lees.  They were great tour guides and host and we so enjoyed their little piece of paradise out in the country.  Spending time sharing stories about our travels and relaxing at our little happy hours was fantastic.  We are looking forward to seeing Charles and Sandy down the road.

1 comment:

Bobbie and Jim said...

It is great to see recent photos of Charles and Sandy. Thanks for the phone call while you were together. Sure miss all of you all.