Monday, December 9, 2013

Tennessee Trip

I’m trying to catch up on my blog so I’m making one big blog of our trip to Tennessee for Thanksgiving.  Again, pour yourself a cup of coffee cause here we go……

Our week long stay in Tennessee outside of Nashville was a very, very pleasant experience.  Sandy and Charles were the epitome of hospitality and graciousness.  We’ve never been pampered so much.

After our 12 hour drive from Abbeville we arrived at 4 p.m. and just rested Sunday night.  But come Monday we were on the run with a week full of activities. 

Please remember to click on photos to enlarge them.


This was Jim’s birthday and so we drove to Nashville proper and drove around to see the beautiful buildings.

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We also saw a couple of odd things.

A Ben & Jerry’s Store (never saw one before)
The mike from Grand Old Opry replicated outside of Dan McGuiness

We were especially taken with the plaster replica of The Parthenon that was built as part of the Tennessee’s 1897 Centennial Exposition.

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Next we visited the famous Ryman Auditorium, otherwise known as the original Grand Old Opry.  It was a “check off” on my Bucket List.

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There was a lot of performers clothing displayed as well…Johnny Cash, June Cash and Minnie Pearl

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We are especially fond of this photo


Next it was time for a late lunch at Dan McGuiness’sDSCN0953

Then it was on to downtown to commence honky tonkin. We first went to The Stage and listened to the band. Oh, yes, the specks on the photos is snow…yes, it snowed on us.

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Then we checked out Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge.  The barmaid was a better singer than the paid band.  We got the band to sing “happy birthday” to Jim.

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It had been a full day so we called it a night.  Ready for day two.


This was distillery visiting day but first we had to have breakfast at Marcy Jo’s Mealhouse, a quirky and unique place with great food. Marcy is the sister-in-law to Joey Martin Feek of Joey and Rory, country music performers. Marcy has a lot of restaurant experience and together they bought this little gem of a place with all homemade goodies.


We were greeted by a wood burning fire
Cutsie place with memorabilia on the walls
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Lots of antiques on the shelves
Jim’s breakfast special of biscuits and gravy, eggs and sausage patties
I had grits, eggs and biscuits
Sandy and Charles French toast, eggs and bacon

After a wonderful breakfast right in front of a wood burning stove we drove on up to Jack Daniels Distillery.  Another item on our Bucket List.  Of course, we took the “tasting” tour.

It was very interesting to see the whole operation from how they burn sugar maple wood to make charcoal that is used to drip the distilled liquor through to get the flavor before storing in charred barrels to mature.  We saw the cave and the water that is used in all Jack Daniels’ products, even took a photo by his statue there.  We saw Jack’s office and the infamous safe that he kicked when he couldn’t remember the combination, which led to an infection in his big toe and eventually his death.

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We couldn’t take photos inside the distillery but we sure enjoyed smelling the mash in the vats, walking through one of the barrelhouses and seeing a bit of the bottling of when someone buys a whole barrel of liquor and the wall of plaque with their names.


Yes, we splurged and bought some stock…Single Barrel which is described as “matured in the highest reaches of our barrelhouse, where the dramatic changes in temperature cause its color and taste to deepen further. We still hand select each barrel for its robust taste and notes of toasted oak, vanilla and caramel.”  Another way to describe it…’s smooooth and yummy!!!!!

Next we traveled a couple of blocks to the town of Lynchburg to buy some souvenirs.

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Really liked this sign outside the store.
The General Store has everything Jack Daniels

This is what is called “the money shot”


As if that wasn’t enough for the day we drove onto Kelso to another distillery called Prichard’s that make rum…yes, rum made in Tennessee, and premium whiskey.  This is a relatively young distillery that was started in 1997. They are known for their flavored runs.  They use the old fashioned pot stills to make their liquor in small batches. It is a very small, choice operation housed in an old high school building.


The old classrooms are now offices with the gym being used as their storeroom with the cafeteria now used as the bottling room….they only bottle seven bottles at a time. Unlike Jack Daniels that confine their tasting amount to a total of one ounce, Pritchard’s is very generous.  They allow you to drink as many of their 12 products as you want…we enjoyed that. Instead of a well manicured sales room, after your tour Prichard’s sells their product to you from a small, common bookshelf.

Our guide was very informative
Storeroom in the gym…see the basketball hoop on the wall?
The offices…quaint right?
Phil Pritchard used his wife’s canning pot to make his first still
This is the second still used
These are the pot stills used today
Here’ the bottling and packaging room
Here’s the bottling machine used for all their products
This is the sales room…love it!
Check out this tee shirt they sell

We bought Prichard’s Sweet Lucy and Sweet Lucifer whiskeys for a future tasting party.


Was a rest day with a trip to the grocery store for last minute Thanksgiving dinner goodies. 


Jim showed Sandy how he makes his dressing.  Then I made an apple pie and prepared what I call Glorified Bean Casserole our daughter created.  Sandy made a delicious cranberry sauce and a sweet potato casserole I loved and got the recipe for afterwards.

Soon the daughters arrived and we all sat down to a wonderful meal together.  It was a real joy to spend a holiday in someone’s home, which we haven’t done in seven years.  (We have spent our holidays eating in our RV or an Escapee RV park clubhouse.) It was very, very nice.  I so enjoyed myself I forgot to take any photographs at all that day. 

Sandy and Charles have a very gentle Doberman that Poncho had a great time racing around their large fenced yard.  One of their daughters brought their Chihuahua and it was very entertaining watching the three of them play together.

I love this photo of Jim with the dogs


and Charles giving treats to the pups



Rest day….music, knitting, movies, leftovers….great.


Time to leave….early like at 4 a.m.  and bless Sandy and Charles’ heart, they got up to say goodbye and gave us gift bag to take with us.  Hosts extraordinaire!!!

Here’s a photo we had taken Thanksgiving day laughing about some obscene joke or something…..


It took 12 hours to get back to Betty’s RV Park in Abbeville, but it was an easy drive without much traffic. 

Well, that’s it folks…a whole week of activities in one long post….thanks for sticking with me through this.  I promise to blog more regularly now that I’m caught up a bit.

Remember, you are loved.


  1. What a great rundown of your time in Nashville. We need to put this on our list!

  2. What a fantastic trip....we do Nashville quite often and went to the Jack Daniels with our grandkids. They were raised in the LDS Church and Ashley about lost her cookies when she smelled the vat. It was so funny and we laugh about it often. What memories you have brought to this old feeble mind of our good trips to Nashville and area. Terrific blog....thanks for the memories.

    1. Glad you enjoyed the post. Yes, those vat fumes are very strong and if you open your mouth when they fan the vat covers you can actually taste the fumes! That's what the tour guide said......

  3. Looks like you had a wonderful time. Sandy and Charles are really great hosts.

  4. Bobbie and Jim
    Glad to see you folks having a good time. Wishing we could check out Betty's one of these days, but back in S. Texas on a gate near Los Angeles.

  5. brought back memories of our visits to Jack Daniels. Did I ever tell you I was a Tennessee Squire at Jack Daniels.
    great post

    1. Yes, I remember you stories about them sending you invitations and literature about the distillery. They said a barrel costs $9,000 to $12,000 now.

  6. what a fun and busy week. . .feels good to catch up doesn't it?

  7. What a wonderful Thanksgiving week you guys had. Always nice to be able to go along on your trips! Nina

  8. What a great Thanksgiving week you guys had. It's nice to be able to go along on your trips. Yep, TN is one state I want to check out someday.

  9. Wow that sounds like you had a great time. The JD distillery is an added must do when we get back to those parts. The dogs looked like they had fun too, doberman is a great dog, unfortunately very bad rap given by Hollywood.
    Happy holidays.

  10. Glad you had a great time with friends for the holiday. Great pics of you two. You look so relaxed and lovin' life. Hugs to you both !

  11. Hi there... as always, fun to follow along and stay connected!

  12. Wow, you described our week perfectly...great pictures! What a wonderful time we had with you, Jim, and Poncho. Looking forward to seeing you soon!

    1. Ahhh, this must be Sandy and Charles commenting here.....yes, we all had a great time together. Again, thank you for your hospitality.


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