Monday, May 19, 2014

April Louisiana Road Trip....Day Three

I awoke on Day 3 of the trip way early.  Even before Hubs was up.
The room seemed cold......we had checked the Weather Channel the night before and it said it would get chiller today.

And they weren't lying!
So I hopped(ok, at my age I don't really hop, it's more like a creaking dragged myself)out of bed and peeked out the curtain.

And this is what I saw......

 

Let's take a closer look at that......

WTF?!?

It's mid April about 10 miles from the Alabama border in Tennessee and it's FREAKING SNOWING!!!

Are you kidding me?!?


(The dashboard clock says 9:59am but we passed into the Central Time Zone and didn't change the time so it was really 8:59am)

We nixed the "free breakfast" (which consisted of toast, bananas and OJ)and headed across the parking lot to here instead.....


We had a real sweet waitress Amanda.


We got to chatting, as I am want to do....hey, it's a trait I picked up from my mom!  She's the mom to 3 kids(and not even in her late 20's).  She and her finace are raising them as best they can, both working at Waffle House on opposite shifts.
She's been planning her wedding so we traded ideas and ways to do this on the cheap between bites of breakfast and refills of Hub's coffee mug, since they don't have much spare money each month after supporting their little family.

When we left I wrote her a little note and left her one of those mystery diner generous tips you hear about on Yahoo inside of it and hightailed it outta there.....


Hopefully this will help them in some small way have a great day.
I saw her face from the car as she opened it before we drove off.
It made me smile to think I helped make her shift a little better.
I use to be a waitress.
Those are some hardworking ladies I tell ya!

Well we didn't get far before we stopped again......exactly across the street to the liquor store. lolz

It was only about 10 am......who says it's too early to buy liquor?! ;-)

And Hubs got his picture took with his friend Jack......
I love that Jack is standing on a safe.
If you know anything about the man, you'll find this quite funny.

And after dropping another $100 on TN whiskey(yikes!)we went outside found another new friend.....



A mechanical giant Tennessee Walking Horse.
(Notice I am wearing a fleece coat!  At least it was no longer snowing, it was just sleeting....geez!)




After that we hit the road south to Tullahoma Tennessee....



 and from there down some backwoods country roads to here.....



The George Dickel Whiskey Distillery
While Jack Daniels is the mass produced TN Whiskey maker, Dickel is the handcrafted in small batches TN Whiskey maker.

Their motto is...."If you know Jack, you don't know Dickel."

It's a very bucolic setting....still looks much as it did back in 1870 when George began making his fine whiskey.


This was Hubs main excursion on this trip...even though it was 30 something degrees and snowing out and I wasn't a very happy camper at this point.....so I went with it!

We arrived just as a distillery tour was beginning so we had an hour+ long wait for the next tour....which made me even less of a happy camper. 8-(
We waited for the next tour because the noon-ish tour was an "Extended Tour" meaning it wasn't free like the usual tours but it included a Whiskey Tasting.

So we paid our fee, got a fancy bracelet(Ooooo! jewelry!!).....
 

And we made ourselves comfortable in the back room....nice little waiting room, isn't it?


There were plaques and memorabilia all around the lodge....



A reproduction old car with their logo on it....


It was cold as hell outside and still flurrying here so we needed that fireplace!


They had a short film about George and the history of the distillery running on a loop in the waiting room.  I believe by the time the hour was up I had memorized all the highlights of the company and could recite them verbatim. lol

I got bored and wandering into the ladies room and boy oh boy, this bathroom is a doozy!



Here are some still shots with better lighting....

The sink in a whiskey barrel, complete with whiskey bottle hand soap.

 The loo with overhead water supply and a cooper coil tubing.  The chain that you yank to flush has a miniature oak barrel pull.

After what seemed like forever, the tour finally started.

We began outside at this statue of old George himself....I could have sworn he was shivering too!

Then we took the footbridge over the Cascade Hollow Creek that runs from the spring that is the source of the water used in Dickel Whiskey to the distillery across the street....

We took that little side door with the white sign over in on the right into the distillery.
Sorry, no photos allowed inside the building.

When the tour was over we went into this little building called the "Tasting House".
No photos allowed in that either but I snuck this one.  8-)

Inside this building is the only place in this county in Tennessee where alcohol can be consumed publically. The George Dickel Distillery is located in a totally dry county in Tennessee so they got a special exemption in order to hold tasting tours.

The Dickel gift shop has a special little room in it too, where they have to sell their whiskey by the bottle, since package sales of liquor or also not allowed in this county.
Not surprising since the state of Tennessee passed a Prohibition law 10 years before the 18th Amendment was passed in 1920.
Likewise, Tennessee state laws prohibiting the manufacture of spirits remained in place until 1937, 4 years after the repeal of the 18th Amendment.

These Dickel folks are a little "weird" about this whole drinking whiskey thing.
While we were touring the distillery, the "Whiskey Elves"(yes, I am using the tour guides own words here), went into the locked Tasting House and set up our place settings and samples of whiskeys for us. 
The tour guide had to unlock the door to the house for us and we were all told not to trade settings or offer our samples to anyone else to drink if we didn't want them.  If anyone didn't obey, they'd be escorted off the property.

I found it unusual too that the tour guide sat down with us and got to drink whiskey too!
Wow, that's the job I want....walk around and talk about whiskey distilling and drink whiskey.....and get paid to do that.
Sign me up! lolz

Of course Hubs and I both finished our samples and I smuggled  out the fancy expensive barware we used......




Tennessee liquor laws are about as archaic as Pennsylvania's in some ways. lol

After the tour and tasting I staggered back to the Dickel General Store(which is now the gift shop and waiting room).....


We stopped so I could get a picture of Hubs by the creek....

 
 

Then it was back into the gift shop so Hubs could get him some bottles of his favorite whiskey and I could get a photo of the old post office inside the store....


Though it no longer operates as such it was the only distillery with it's very own official US Post Office.

And then we were off to grab a quick bite to eat on the road and off to our next destination, Lynchburg, TN.

No we weren't there to now do the Jack Daniels tour(too crowded and long lines)but to check out some shops in downtown Lynchburg.
Lynchburg is but a speck on the map.
I believe the entire downtown is 2 blocks long.


We checked out the Moon Pie General Store......


The Moon Pie, subject of Southern lore, was invented in Chattanooga Tennessee but they also have a store down here in Lynchburg.
And guess what they sell in there?

Yep, Moon Pies in many sizes, by the box or single....in a special carton with an RC Cola even. lol

They also sell Moon Pie souvenirs.....

Here I am posing under the Moon Pie logo wearing a tie-dyed Moon Pie t-shirt we bought our daughter.  (She loves tie-dye.)
I also got a couple of shirts for myself.

An "Eat Mo' Pie" shirt....
 

And a Mardi Gras themed Moon Pie shirt complete with a mask and beads....in purple of course!.....


And of course I bought a box of this.....


It's a brand new flavor, salted caramel, that was just released the week before we got there.
Of course, my eBay radar went off, seeing as I could have probably bought a few cases of that flavor and put them on eBay for insane prices, but I held down the urge.
See?  I am getting better! lol


They also have lots of fun stuff and novelties to sell....


Some hot sauce especially for Sonya Ann.....


Some breath freshener for Jane.....


And a pill box for me.....


 
 
Next door they had this sign out front......


Moonshine Whiskey Fudge?


Why, YES please......
Hubs & I each picked out different types.  Now I can't remember what they were....not that it matters, right? lolz

I also bought this somewhere around here......
Sweet Tea Moonshine.

And we walked by this little café but didn't have time to stop in and eat some 'cue.....


We had to get back on the road so we made our dinner date.
When we stopped for gas, I got something to tied me over until then.....


Pretty soon after that, we were passing into Alabama......

And outside of Huntsville, home of the US Space & Rocket Center, we passed this rest area......I wonder when the launch date is?


And about dinner time we rolled into Cullman Alabama.
Which was a good thing because we were suppose to meet up with Linda for dinner.

Ok, that's not Linda but if you read her blog, you should recognize her babies, Thelma and Patsy Kline.
When we drove up Thelma was out in front of the house looking for us so I knew I was in the right place straight away.

After some greeting hugs and putting the girls to bed for the night, we whisked Linda away down the road to Johnny's Barbecue.

Even though this is the first time Linda & I have met, we had talked online for years....about 7 years going back to our days on The Compact group.

And we got to know each other even more intimately at the restaurant.
Ya see, we both had to go very badly, so we hopped over to the ladies room asap.
And here is what greeted us when we opened the door.....



2 seats no waiting.
Except there were no doors, just a divider wall(plus there was a urinal on the wall?!? lol)

I don't think either of us could have held it and gone out and waited for the other one to finish so we just sat down and did our business, laughing the whole time about it.

Hey, we are both women of a certain age.
Stuff like this doesn't phase us after what we've been through in life, ya know?  ;-)

And of course for your viewing pleasure I took a picture of the bathroom décor.....



So we got back to the table and finally ordered dinner  and commenced to gab.
The waitress brought this with our drinks......


A plate of white bread to go with our barbecue.
They also have this on the table....
a roll of paper towels instead of napkins.
Oh, you KNEW it was going to be good 'cue.....

We got to laughing and talking so much that I plum forgot to take a picture of the food! lolz

But you can see we ate it all from this photo that Hubs took of Linda and me.
Note that most of the white bread is still on the table.....


Linda also presented me with a whole bag of goodies....Alabama goodies no less.
I got some photos once we got into the hotel in Louisiana....


Snack foods made in Alabama...Golden Flake brand, BAMA Mayonnaise and some Jam homemade by Linda....
 She didn't forget Hubs either as the bag had 3 bottles/cans of Alabama microbrews--Monkeynaut, Truck Stop Honey and Good People Pale Ale.  Hubs especially liked the Truck Stop Honey(of course he did....lol).


And half a dozen of her famous Beauregard sweet potatoes.


Linda said this one looked like a slug....lolz.....I though more of a walrus with the whisker.....


And the girls also contributed to the bag of goodies.....

.....with 8 fresh eggs.

This all was so unexpected and such a nice surprise.
Thanks Linda!

And thanks for having dinner with us and finally letting me meet you.


We left Cullman behind and drove further South into Alabama before stopping for the night in Tuscaloosa.

What a jam packed day.  I slept like a log that night.

Next up, Day Four and we finally make it to Louisiana.

Sluggy

9 comments:

  1. I loved your waitress story. When we came to AL to vacation at the beach, we went to the same Waffle House 3 mornings in a row and got the same waitress each day. She was great and we left her generous tips each day. When we got home, I wrote Waffle House a letter in the hopes that she would get a bonus or a raise or something. When we moved here, we went to the beach to see if she was still there and she was. She even remembered us.

    So cool that you got to meet another blogger! Not so cool about that bathroom at Johnny's Barbecue though. No doors? Really?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, no doors. It was a tad uncomfortable but luckily I don't have a shy bladder. lolz

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  2. Hahaha, yes I am white trash! And I love that you left your waitress a wonderful tip. You are wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oh gee.....thanks but I only have rare moments of wonderful. lol

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  3. Oh ! next time you go I want to go too and see the whisky!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That would be whiskey with an E and yes, come on over and we'll go!

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  4. Whoa...almost missed my gift - thank you sluggy! Will it make my breath smell like pine needles...maple syrup? Right now it smells like garlic (not even kidding!) so anything will be an improvement lol!!

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    Replies
    1. I love the tag line on the package, "Succumb to the Magic" lolz

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  5. I felt like I was right there with you all! So much fun and now I am hungry for BBQ and Trailer Trash hot sauce.

    Now that we are planning to move, a mover ad was on the bottom of you page. I clicked through, so when you get your big check, know I contributed!

    ReplyDelete

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