The Land Between The Lakes of Kentucky. We finally found a campground that could take us for more than a week (just in case that darned part continued to take it's time getting here!). At least here, there were places to drive around and see, as well as nice weather to enjoy!
Like I've shared, if you have to be "stuck" some place, Kentucky is a great place to have it happen! I'm actually writing this today, because it's the first time we've gotten rain since we've been here...so, we changed our plans and are staying inside! ;-)
One of the first things we did when we arrived here was to take a drive into the town of Paducah and visit the National Quilt Museum. We had read about it, and having some close friends who are quilters, we have become very appreciative of the art. In our travels, we have been to all types and sizes of museums, and have learned to keep an open mind. The size of the town, nor the brochure isn't always a true indicator of the true quality of the museum. It is always wonderful when you discover a "true gem"...and this one was that. The beauty and quality of these quilts were truly jaw-dropping. To be able to get up close and see the detailed stitching without them being behind a case was also special. Each displayed with good lighting and descriptions of the artist, details of the quilt and it's "history". There were hundreds on display to enjoy. What a treasure this place was!
One of the things we love to do when traveling is find local music...and so far this summer, we haven't had that pleasure, and I've really missed it. Usually it's been in the south, and we haven't spent much time there this year, so when I saw an ad for The Kentucky Opry, I looked into it! They had a performance playing the first weekend we were here of "100 Greatest Country Songs of All Time". Sounded perfect, so I got us tickets!
Wow, what a night! Such fun! Clay Campbell is the main singer, along with a great band (one is his son), two additional men, two women, a guest violinist and a couple of his young students who "clogged". They were all great. It was a two-hour show (with very comfortable seats, I might add!) and had us toe-tapping and hand-clapping all the while! So glad we went!
We took the scenic drive around The Land Between The Lakes one day. The lakes here are HUGE! Lots of boats and marinas...hardly anyone out on the water though (even on weekends!). Sure seems a shame...We got a chuckle along the way I have to share...about half way through the drive is a "Bison & Elk Prairie" that you pay $5 per car to enter. We thought, "what the heck, why not?" So we went in. We, along with about six or eight other cars, all driving about five miles an hour, driving along this loop, all craning our necks, looking for the bison or elk...nothing. The ONLY thing we spot are about a half dozen wild turkeys! So, we leave there and go on down the road. Now, we end the "scenic drive" of Kentucky and crossover to Tennessee and are just about to turn around when Jack spots a sign saying "Bison Reserve". We chuckle...but then, just beyond the sign, he spots a whole herd of them! No fee, no drive, they are just there, all along the fence! We drive over to them and laugh...I joke and say "well, now we know what happened to the Kentucky bison, they wondered over to Tennessee!"
On our way back, we stopped at Lake Barkley for lunch at a cute little cafe called Buzzard Rock. I have to admit that we chose it for the name, but we were glad that we did, because the food was great too!
Speaking of food, I got to try a "regional" dish the other day. I love doing that! This one is called The Kentucky Hot Brown. I had heard of it before, but never had the opportunity to try it. The waitress said that it's really only from this area of Kentucky, as it originated from Louisville. It's basically "leftovers":Bread (toasted), covered with turkey, smothered with a very rich creamy, cheesy sauce, topped with tomato slices and two strips of bacon and then browned/broiled on top. Very Rich!! I couldn't eat it all, and it turned out to be to rich for my system, but it was good!
Patti's 1880's Settlement in Grand Rivers (about 15 min. from our cg) had signs all along the roads, brochures in every establishment and Ads in every booklet. The Restaurant even suggested making "reservations". It certainly created a "must see" factor. We saved it for our least busy day, thinking it would take us most of the day to see all of the "settlement"...what ever that was...
Well, when we got there, the parking lot was pretty busy, and a bus had unloaded it's guests and was standing by. Lots of people were walking around...but it took us a bit to figure out what it was we were actually looking at? A town with a hotel? Some ordinary shops (that all seemed closed)? So, we went into the hotel to see if there was a map of sorts to find this "settlement". Turned out that they use the term Settlement: "for their unbelievable menu." ...to continue: "Our atmosphere is magical, filled with history, taking you back in time to a slower paced, relaxed setting. Our beautiful gardens and unique gift shops, situated behind the restaurant, all have a story of their own on how they found their way to be a part of what we call Patti's 1880s Settlement." Well, that said, we walked through to the other side and wandered about..."their Settlement". Many of the buildings closed, but cute on the outsides. Nice gardens, Koi pond, Waterwheel, etc. but nothing like advertised. The restaurant seemed nice, big, pretty, but the menu was a bit to heavy for lunch we thought, so we passed it up. Nothing else in town was open, so we left.
Since we had the rest of the day "open", Jack had discovered a bookstore downtown Paducah when he was having the truck serviced called Books-A-Million and suggested we go back there so I could check it out. Well, you don't have to ask me twice! Big mistake, big, big mistake...two bags of books later and I sheepishly thanked him for taking me to the store and promised not to spend anymore $$ for awhile! ;-)
Well, we finally leave Kentucky on Monday and start our trek west. It's been a great visit, but we are ready to roll once again!
...on the road, Marie