On The Road Again...

Trip Start Apr 05, 2013
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Tennessee
Monday, July 15, 2013

I was up early and out the door by 7:00 am.  What had originally started as a summer vacation including Sandy and Kevin turned out to be me solo.  Sandy is such a good Grandmother, she didn't want Kevin to miss his last Pony League team games and the start of his League Tournament.  So, they are staying home while I hit the road.  I think I can cut about two days off the trip in potty stops alone!!!  (LOL!)  

I was heading Southwest.  This trip will include Louisville, Nashville, Greenevile (TN), Virginia and Washington D.C. I will hit 12 Presidential gravesites and one I added a few weeks ago.  Say what?  Did we have another President die?  No, but since I was in Virginia and in the same cemetery as two U.S. Presidents, I thought I might add the President of the Confederate States of America, Jefferson Davis.  If nothing else it will placate my late Grandmother (God rest her soul!) who was from the South (right on the Kentucky-Tennessee border) and not 100% convinced the South lost the war...I think she thought they were just taking a break!    

Anyway, headed through Indy and south toward Louisville.  Anyone know what the beautiful purple flowers all along the roadside are?  They went on for miles and miles.  Very nice.  Stopped about an hour outside of Louisville in Seymour, Indiana for gas and food...without Sandy, I could also do one other thing, stop at White Castle.  She hates them...as their ad says, "I crave them."  

Back on the road and first headed in Louisville to the Louisville Slugger Bat Factory.  $10 gets you a tour of the factory.  I had been through it some 30 years ago with Bryan, and was looking forward to the same experience with Kevin.  We'll definitely bring him back here.  Great tour only takes a half an hour.  Great museum.  Been making bats for more than 100 for baseball players.   Good stop.

Then I headed to the grave of Zachary Taylor.  He was our 12 President (1849-1850) and the second President to die in office.  He died shortly after eating some cherries and iced milk at a 4th of July celebration at the Washington Monument (under construction).  Some historians speculated that he had been poisoned by pro-slavery people, and his body was actually exhumed where it was determined that while he had arsenic in his body, it was not more than normal.  

Taylor was a 40 year military man who was probably more proud of his military career than his Presidency.  He was a military hero, not unlike Grant, or Eisenhower.  He fought in the War of 1812 and many Indian wars.  You can tell his military pride by his burial.  The cemetery is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen.  It's a National Cemetery, one where all the graves are three-feet marble slabs in perfect rows making perfect angles across the entire cemetery.  An impressive site, indeed.  The only difference is Taylor's grave.  The Commonwealth of Kentucky placed a 50-foot monument near his grave with a life-size statue of Taylor at the top...sort of looking over his troops.  Very cool.  Nearby are the larger, above-ground graves of Taylor and his wife, Margaret.  This cemetery moved me.  I spoke to a worker for a minute, who happened to originally be from Mahomet, IL, and he told me the cemetery is closed now (no longer accepting bodies for burial), except for spouses who are buried on top of their loved one.  

As I say, this cemetery moved me.  Made me grateful for all the young men and women who have fought for our country, some paying the supreme sacrifice.  I didn't want to listen to the radio as I head out of town, I just wanted to be alone with my thoughts for a while.  

I was soon headed further south to Nashville.  I made a stop to pick up some beer.  Say what?  Well a buddy of mine asked me to bring some beer back from Kentucky.  Beer that you apparently can only buy in Kentucky.  It's called Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale, and it's aged in oak bourbon barrels.  Interesting concept.  Anyway, got some for him and a 4-pack for me.  Steep...$10 a four-pack.  Stuff better be good!

I made it to Nashville and checked into the Holiday Inn Express in Nashville just off I-40 and Route 41.  I knew I was fine when I checked in, told the guy my name and he said, "There's my Mr. Platinum!"  Sure enough, five minutes later I was heading into a King Suite...King bed, sofa, chair, fridge, microwave kitchenette.  Very nice.  

Called a friend who works in Murfreesboro, but she and her husband were heading out on vacation to Vermont and New Hampshire tomorrow, so she didn't have time for dinner.  I relaxed a while then asked Tony at the front desk for local dinner options.  He sent me six miles away to a Jaz'z Bar and Grill.  Some of the best New Orleans cooking I've had outside of The Big Easy.  Even sells his Jambalaya on the Food Network.  

Headed back and prepared for tomorrow...looking forward to it.  Andrew Jackson and James K. Polk.  

Take care my friends and family!


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