So it’s been two weeks since I’ve found time to sit down and work on the ol’ Diatribe but it’s been a busy time for our particular branch of the Dooley family tree. We’ve travelled to Tennessee then to Kentucky and back to western Colorado for some adult adventures. The transition back to real life was a little bumpy for The Boy, and the rude awakening of returning to work for me was not exactly embraced. Irregardless, now cometh the latest and greatest edition of the Diatribe!
When you are on a rather compressed schedule due to some pesky requirement that The Boy attends school, and have to travel long distances, you find yourself making arrangements to fly. It wasn’t a horrid process, we were close to on-time, and I only got my booty squeezed twice going through security.
Why the fanny touching you may ask? I have no idea! There was something that was around my right cheek that made a big red box appear on my full body scan image as I made my way through Denver’s security lines. Sooooo, they pressed and squeezed my delicate biscuits before finally being satisfied that there was nothing nefarious attached to my buns. Oddly enough, the exact same thing happened as we flew out of Nashville. I thought of doing a Captain Morgan pose that time around but a deep seated fear of “enhanced screening” kept that little thought in check.
I digress…So, how was Kentucky? It was beautiful. The scenery was fantastic, but I wish we could have been there a few weeks later. The trees were just starting to change, and would have been amazing to see in their full colors. Bowling Green seemed like a nice enough city. The factory where every Corvette made is there, and the sheer number of ‘vettes making their pilgrimage to their birthplace was very cool to see (even if Chevy isn’t your thing).
We stopped in at the Louisville Slugger factory and museum since we were in the neighborhood. Now, I’m not the biggest baseball fan in the world but it was a great tour! The building just seemed to be steeped in American history! The tour guides did a nice job of explaining everything that was needed to turn out a single baseball bat these days. The machinery, and handcrafted attention to detail was interesting. Yes, I came home with my miniature souvenir bat, and anything else that wasn’t bolted to the floor.
We had such a nice time in Louisville (or Lou-uh-ville, or Lou-uh-vull however you say it)that it caused a potentially major disaster in the trip! We missed the time slot that I had RSVP’d for and waited six long, impatient, and thirsty years for. Yeah, we missed our Maker’s Mark Whisky Ambassador tour. A palpable wave of dread began to settle over my silly little rental VW Tiguan. I’ve missed my tour, my Ambassador greeting, my bottle dipping, my tastings….
But just when all seemed hopeless, and the tears welled up in my puppy dog eyes the Muffin sprung into action while I continued to fly down the interstate. With swift and decisive action she leapt onto her phone (in a single bound of course) and began chain calling the little distillery in Loretto until a real person answered the phone. She explained our situation and accepted no songs and zero dances from the man who did agree to reschedule us for the next morning. I dabbed away the sadness, thanked my delicate flower, and got to planning the rest of our day.
As we debated how to fill the remainder of a Saturday we drove past the entrance to the Jim Beam Distillery. I cast a doubtful eye across the two lane road but decided to give it a try. What a beautiful facility! The historic buildings and grounds were immaculate! The guided tours of the Distillery itself were sold out so we did the walking tour and a tasting. We had a grand time and will return so we can tour the rest of the facility! (Not a bad photo for an amateur with his iPhone, huh.)
The next day dawned crisp, cool, and full of promise for the Dooley’s. We made it out of the hotel in plenty of time, there was only one bathroom emergency to contend with, and traffic on the comically narrow Kentucky backroads was blessedly light. Like the Phoenix rising from the ashes, our Tiguan crested the hill triumphantly over the hallowed ground that is Maker’s Mark right on time.
Oh America…the smell. I wish there was some kind of room freshener (heck, I’d even settle for a candle) that smelled like the air at the Distillery. There was just a hint of fermenting mash in the air, and it was WONDERFUL! The sour mash does taste less than pleasant, so I found, but I loved that smell.
The Ambassador experience was more than I had hoped for. Maker’s Mark was a gracious host, the Distillery is filled with a rich history of Americana, and they genuinely seemed glad we came. I’m already making plans to order my next barrel so the six years of impatient waiting can begin all over again.
Next stop: Nashville, Tennessee!
Let me start by addressing Music Row. Ummm, it’s nasty down there. If you’ve spent time on the Vegas Strip then you know the smell I’m about to try and describe. Music Row smells of stale beer, cigars, exhaust, urine, and despair. Maybe if the wind is just right out of the south you can pick up a hint of broken dreams. It was cool to see…once.
We also visited the other Antique Archeology store. I’m always surprised by what can be pulled off by clever use of camera angles. If you watch American Pickers you’d think the Nashville store is huge! It must take up the majority of the Marathon Automobile building you see it in. It looks to be in a seedy part of town. Wrong. It’s a pretty small store in a very large building. The area probably used to be pretty rough but has gone through a huge revitalization and is fairly upscale. It was cool, nonetheless, and we bought a few antiques to pack back home with us.
Well you know how the return flight went (with all the groping). We were home for a day and then the Muffin and I were off to Harley-Davidson Riding Academy for four days. Did I see that right?! The Muffin and Dooley without the Boo Bear and the Boy?! Yes, that’s right America. An adult trip. We ate at adult restaurants, we drank adult beverages, we had adult conversations, and we rode Harleys! Secretly I missed the heck out of those two, but I don’t want them to find out. It’d just go straight to their heads.
So, that’s how our mini-vacations went. We had a blast, took the bumps in the road we were dealt in stride, and can’t wait to return to the area. I’m pretty sure the mark of a good vacation is when no one wants to leave and we plan our glorious return before the cabin door on the Airbus close.
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