Thursday, September 30, 2010

Gatlinburg, TN


Travel day today.  We drove from Louisville, KY to Gatlinburg, TN a distance of a little under 300 miles.  It was a beautiful day from driving, clear and sunny most of the way with temperatures in the upper 60s to lower 70s.

We traveled through the Kentucky Blue grass region around Lexington and into the hills and low mountains that are part of the Appalachian mountains.

We made a stop in Brea, Ky, first at the Kentucky Artesian store on the North edge of Brea, just off the interstate.


They had some really interesting a beautiful items from crafters and artists around the state.  Sorry no pictures from the inside, but I didn’t feel it was right to take pictures of someone else's work that was for sale.  If you are in the area, it is well worth the stop to visit the shop. 

From there we drove into Brea where we passed a middle school with an interesting roof.


And then on into town where we ate lunch at the Boone Tavern.

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This is actually a hotel that was built in 1907 and is part of Brea College.  It is also on the National Register of Historical Buildings.  It is run by the college but the students work there and can be part of their education on hotel management.  The food is wonderful, with their specialty being Spoon Bread.  It is hard to describe in words but is really yummy. You have to try it sometime,   It is served to the tables as a replacement for the basket of rolls served at most restaurants.

From there we continued our journey South toward Tennessee and Gatlinburg.  The countryside is rolling to hilly and beautiful.  Typical of the area the distant hills/mountains are often in a haze and have a blue cast.  Hence the name of Smoky Mountains.


It was in this part of our trip we started to see Kudzu.  IMG_3100

In the southeast US you see this everywhere.  It is a leafy vine that literally overgrows everything.  As you can see from the picture, it will cover full grown trees, power poles, etc.  It is fun to see, but I gather a real menace to land owners.

In Gatlinburg, we met up with Jill and Scott, Katie’s cousin and husband.  We will be traveling together for the next week or so as we travel through North and South Carolina.

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Our motel is very close to downtown Gatlinburg and is along a stream.  We have a balcony with a view of the stream.  Very pretty.


We walked through town a little bit to take in the sights.  We weren’t to sure about the outlet store for jerky.  I guess our thought  is that outlet stores are for things that are out of style or have some small defect.  Would you but jerky from an outlet store?  I am sure it is really good!


Some additional street scenes from Downtown Gatlinburg

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We ate at Lineberger’s Seafood Co.  A nice restaurant with excellent food.


On the menu tonight was Broiled Grouper and Scallops.  Very tasty.

Tomorrow we are taking a leisurely drive to Asheville, NC.  We will be doing part of the Blue Ridge Parkway.  With the weather forecast to be clear and pleasant, it should be a good day for sightseeing.  More tomorrow night from Asheville.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

More Louisville


It has been a couple of days since I did an update.  Not a lot newsworthy has happened since we are visiting friends and mostly catching up on news and events.  However, we have done a few things for the last couple of days that are worth discussing.

Yesterday for dinner we went to an Ethiopian Restaurant called Queen of Sheba.  Really interesting food and we ate in the typical Ethiopian style.  IMAG0083

We are all sitting around a basket and in the basket is a tray with our menu picks.  There are no utensils, but rather a type of bread that comes in rolls (as a rolled up piece of paper).  You un-roll a piece of bread and us it to dip and hold the food.  We had 4 varieties of meat with typical Ethiopian spices.  Most of the items on the menu had ginger and garlic and many included Berber.  Berber is a combination of spices including red chilies.  All dishes come with Kik wot and green salad.  It was very good and a nice adventure.

Today we started with breakfast at Panara Bread, visited Monty’s parents grave site in Cave Hill Cemetery, and then drove across the bridge to Jeffersonville, Indiana.  There is a chocolate shop there called Schimpff’s Confectionery.  It has been run by the same family since 1891.  All of the chocolates are hand made.  What an interesting place.  It is in two storefronts on one of the downtown streets.  The shop has occupied one of the two store fronts since its beginning.  They expanded to the second within the past few years.  It is easy to see why since it is full of old candy molds and advertising memorabilia.

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This is an old machine for making ribbon candy


Here is a soda fountain table from the 1920’s.


And finally a Gillen & Boney’s lighten sign from Lincoln, NE.

On the menu for dinner was home cooked hambergers made by chef Charles.  Yummy. 

Tomorrow we are on the road again. 

Monday, September 27, 2010

Louisville, KY


We had a nice drive from St Charles to Louisville, Ky. today.  The weather was clear and cool all the way.  Traffic was generally light once we got East of St Louis.  I-64 does not have much traffic as compared to I-70 or I-80 (and I suspect other main interstate highways).

On the was over when we stopped for gas we say a car carrier in the distance that had real antique cars and tractors on it.  We both remarked that it would be fun to take a closer look.  Well it turns out we did…..along I-64. 

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I still would like to get a chance to spend time looking, but there are interesting vehicles here.

We also had forgotten about the exposed limestone in Kentucky and Southern Indiana.  Of course it is exposed along roadways because of the digging and blasting that had to be done for the road grade.  But it makes for interesting pictures.


We arrived mid afternoon at Charles and Karen’s place.  They are old friends from way back.  We sat around all afternoon catching up on life and kids.  What a fun time.


On the menu this evening was Naked Pizza.  This is a new Pizza store chain that originated in New Orleans.  Google them and if you see one stop and try out one of their pizzas.

Cheers until tomorrow!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Omaha to St Charles


We officially got underway today with a drive from Omaha to St Charles, MO.  It was a good day for a drive.  Started with cloudy skies but became partly cloudy most of the way.  It turned cloudy again shortly before arriving in St Charles.

Our basic route was to be I-29 to Kansas City and then I-70 across Missouri to St. Charles.  However, at St Joseph, our GPS’s (yes we travel with two…..His and Hers!) said we should take US 36 and US 63.  We had time so decided to follow the electronic recommendation.  What a nice route.  It was 4 lane all the way, with speed limits either 65 or 70.  There was not much traffic and passed towns with interchanges for driving into town if needed.  Much improvement over traffic in the KC area and much lower amounts of traffic than on I-70.  We picked up I-70 at Columbia, MO and had quite a bit of traffic to contend with.

In Chillicothe we took pot luck with a restaurant with an interesting name that was listed in the GPS called the Washington Street Food & Drink Co.  We had a very nice lunch.

We arrived in St Charles late afternoon and after checking into the motel headed to downtown St Charles which has old buildings and brick streets. 

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There is a restaurant called Louis and Clarks that we have eaten at in the past. 


It is connected with the Trailhead Brew Pub.  I had the Trailhead Red Amber which is excellent.  The food is as good as we had remembered.  On the menu for both of us was the Mahi-Mahi with Macadamia Nut butter.


Tomorrow, we do the drive from St Charles to Louisville, KY and some time with our good friends Charles and Karen.

If you have any comments or suggestions for this travel log, please let us know.  Meanwhile, we will add more tomorrow.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Day One - Omaha


Hi all,

We are off, but only drove to Omaha today.  The reason for the stop here was to attend the season opener of the Omaha Symphony Orchestra.  What a wonderful concert.  The main piece they did was the Sibelius Violin Concerto.  The violinist was Midori who is world renown.  She started playing with major symphony orchestras when she was 11.  I don’t know how old she is now, but her playing is excellent.  The Sibelius is a highly technical piece but she makes the violin really sing.  What a joy to hear.

As some of you know, we have been having the front steps on the house replaced.  As we left early this afternoon, they were putting the finishing touches on. 

Steps from Katie

Steps from Monty

We grabbed this pictures on our cell phones as we were headed to the car.  They still had a little bit of sand between the pavers to put in and the mulch and edging to install in the planting areas.  I think it looks pretty good, but will be much better once the plants get in.  That will happen after we get back from this trip.

Well, today's entry pretty short, but it was a short drive, and not a lot of sight seeing.

Tomorrow we drive to St Charles, MO.  It is a river town along the Missouri River.  It’s claim to fame is as the jumping off point for Lewis and Clark.

More tomorrow

Friday, September 24, 2010

On the Road Again

We are off again!

Hello all.  Well we are off again, but this time we are driving the entire trip and staying in the US.

Since my last update from New Zealand a lot has happened.  First we got back from New Zealand in fine shape, although a little tired.  Since getting back we have had a couple of short trips to occupy our time.

In June, we traveled to Eugene Oregon to see our youngest granddaughter, Ruby and participated in her first birthday.  She is such a cutie and is such a happy baby.  She loved her first cake, and even shared with Sabrina.


In July we were off to Indianapolis and the wedding of Adam, the son of our good friends from Louisville.

In August we spent a week in Ashland, helping out Dan and Alaina.  We had the fun of taking Dayna to school and picking her up every afternoon.  She is 5 this year and such fun.  She keeps grandma and grandpa hopping!


So now we are off to points east.  Louisville for a few days with our good friends, then meet up with Jill and Scott and travel parts of North Carolina and South Carolina.  We are really looking forward to the trip.