Howdie folks, ready for another trip down memory lane? My memory lane that is. I know that I am taking a really long time showing you my vacation pics, but I do want to mix it up a bit with more recent stuff too. But I promise that this reminiscing of mine will be over soon. But first things first the first installment of my travelling the Southern US story started in Atlanta and ended with us staring into the sunrise at Tybee island. From there, in the second part of our trip, I took you to beautiful Charleston, up into the Smokey Mountains and back to Atlanta to admire the fishies.
Why the round trip to Atlanta? Well this is why:
I visited the DIY bloggers conference Haven. A dream come true!
Keynote speaker Ana White. As lovely in person as she is on her blog. What an amazing and inspiring woman!
For years I read all about the blogging conferences on my favorite blogs, I saw the excited tweets as people were gearing up to attend a bloggy meetup, I saw the fun ‘after’ pictures of long distance blogging friends meeting In Real Life for the first time, and I was jaelous. Yep, the green eyed monster got to me. I so wanted to go to one of those conferences. But the ones that really interested me were an ocean away and far far out of my reach.
Marian aka Miss Mustard Seed teaching us the wonders of milk paint
Until this year. Haven was held at the first days of August, smack in the middle of my summer holiday. It was held in Atlanta, smack in the middle of the Southern US that was high on our destination wish-list. So I made a little suggestion to my Love “how about we do the Southern music tour this year?” and “what would you say if I was to go to this blogging conference?”. And my Love being the awesome guy that he is, said why not, I think you will love it. So I went for it.
Me among one awesome group of DIY Diva’s!
It was scary, it was fun, I learned a lot. I came back inspired, energized and all fired up. And I can in all honesty say that I think women with power tools rock.
Brittany aka Pretty Handy Girl and Sandra aks Sawdust Girl rocking at the “let’s case it” workshop
Haven was a little over two days long and I spent them all at the hotel where the conference was being held, while the man explored Atlanta on his own.
And then we hit the road again.
Nashville was the first destination on route, but we made a little stop on the way.
Way back in the middle of nowhere can the distillery of Jack Daniels be found. And since my man is loving whiskey (sing that song) we paid old Jack a visit.
I must say I have never drank a drop of whiskey in my life, nor am I likely to ever do that, but I loved the tour. The distillery is at the exact same spot where Jack started it way back when. Lots of old structures are still up and sometimes still in use. All the mass production aspects of the distillery (like the main bottling plant) are off site and what remains is the heart of the distillery that is the same as it always was.
I won’t go into details but those stacks of wood are burned into charcoal and then the raw whiskey drips through that to get extra flavor.
Burning wood in a woody area is always a risk so they always had their own fire station.
Cool he, those old trucks.
Jack Daniels inc. prides itself in using all new oak barrels for each new batch of whiskey, so they have quite a few old, used barrels to go around. They make them into all kinds of cool things.
Who needs an Adirondirack (hmm I do….) if you can have a Jack Daniels original on your porch?
And I think the birdies living in these spirited houses must be especially happy.
Of course my whiskey loving man, loves himself a good motorcycle too. So he was particularly fond of this little Jack Daniels memorabilia:
The little town of Lynchburg is only a walk away. It is of course quite touristy, but it definitely has some old Americano charm to it too.
I ate my first bite of smoked pulled pork there and it was a meal to remember.
And then it was on the road again. To Nashville this time.
Nashville city of music. City of country. City of night live.
We did have a ball here. And even though neither one of us is into country music, it sure is a different thing all together to hear it live, in a bar, with a beer (for the man) and a cider (for me) in your hand in the heart of country music central Nashville.
Oh and the next pics are blurry and out of focus but I had to show you because I think they are hilarious. I obviously was not aware of these being taken. I was way too busy being confused.
Nashville is also the city of cowboy boots. We found this huge store where they had every boot imaginable and I thought it might be fun to buy myself a pair of boots. So I found a pair I liked, a bit country but not too much so I could get away with wearing them back home too. Then I found out that you could buy THREE pairs for the price of one. So I looked for another pair and so did the man. He didn’t find any he liked, so I looked for a third pair. And then got totally confused and couldn’t make up my mind. I didn’t need three pairs….. and which ones did I like best……. I had to pay the most expensive ones….. of course I liked the most expensive ones the best……. even if I got three pairs for the price of one, it still was a lot of money…….. and even divided by three every pair was still more expensive than I ever pay for shoes.
In the end I put them all back and bought none.
But those pictures still make me laugh: Songbird totally stressing out over cowboy boots in Nashville.
So that was Nashville.
On the road again……….
Thanks to a last minute tip we made a stop in Franklin Tennessee. Town of the antique shopping malls.
Oh how I loved this town, and how I would have loved to spend way more time here.
This is how I imagined antique boots to be. Full of glorious stuff that I all wanted to take home.
Franklin is a lovely little town. Full of historic houses, antique malls, a busy little town center and some of the friendliest folks we met.
Just outside of Franklin is Leipers Fork. Just a few stores big, but with the most charming supermarket/cafe and a wonderful “French” inspired store called Serenity Maison.
Love at first sight and a must visit if you are ever in the neighborhood.
But we were actually on our way to Memphis.
And decided to make it a bit of an Elvis tour.
So we stopped of at his birthplace first.
Little old two room home his father build. (it actually looks bigger in this picture as it was in reality).
Me and young Elvis, hitting it off.
And then there was Memphis and Beale street.
Another opportunity to hang out, listen to music and make a night of it.
We loved the blues music here. Right up our alley.
So I think I will linger on a bit here. Why don’t you join me, take a drink, let your hair down and let’s rock shall we.
And I will show you the final stretch of our journey next week.
But in the mean time “the blues is alive”.