So last weekend after spending a sunny afternoon at Grand River’s Hunter’s Moon Fall Festival poking around the various stalls and watching the parade, we went out for dinner with Scott and Christa. Walking into the ‘Pizza by the Pound‘ restaurant in Paducah we stopped to chat to a couple who were also walking in. I assumed Scott knew them and within a few minutes we were invited to join their friend’s son’s 21st birthday party. We were introduced to others around the table and they seemed delighted to meet sailors from Australia. After eating their pizza slices, I was curious about a clear sauce they added to their remaining pizza crusts. When I asked what the liquid was I was told “honey”! I’ve eaten some strange things in my life but honey on a pizza is certainly different! Before long the group left to take their birthday celebrations elsewhere, but before they left these complete strangers had generously paid for all our meals!
The next day we heated up leftover pizza for lunch after Wayne finished installing our new MFD in the cockpit. He hasn’t yet installed the radar unit as we’re waiting on a stainless steel plate to be made. Until that’s made we’re ticking off a few jobs from ‘the list’before we think about going south.
Later in the week we took a drive to Nashville for a couple of days; thanks to Rick and Michelle who loaned us their BMW. Once we’d figured out how to start and open the boot of this keyless car, we drove through the scenic Land Between the Lakes where the leaves are turning red and falling from the trees. Nashville is only 200kms away so we arrived at our hotel after lunch. I was excited to stay in a hotel because it was the first time I’d had a long hot bath and slept in a comfortable king sized bed since…? (For the record, we may live ‘the dream’ but our cabin bed is horribly uncomfortable and I think the last time I had a hot soaking bath was when I visited Melbourne two years ago.. sigh…).
Nashville – Music City and the capital of Tennessee – lies along the Cumberland River. We had thought of motoring Blue Heeler down to Nashville, but it would’ve taken two days at least to travel each way, plus we’d been told that the docking had been washed away, though it seemed okay when we had a look at it from above.
Adjacent to the famous Ryman’s Auditorium is Tootsie’s World Famous Orchid Lounge. I’m told that at night this place is so packed that you need to use elbows to move around, so to avoid crushing crowds we went during late afternoon and found a table on the top deck in the sunshine. One drink here, then we went to the Swingin’ Doors bar to listen to a couple of guys playing acoustic guitar. Afterwards we had a bite to eat at the Broadway Brewhouse and Mojo Grille. The main tourist strip, Broadway, is filled with souvenir stores, music and boots for sale.
A back-stage tour of the Ryman Auditorium where the Grand Ole Opry radio show used to broadcast between the 1940s and 1970s is worth the visit. It’s an impressive old theatre and famous for the variety of performers; not just country and western artists but contemporary artists such as Foo Fighters and Sheryl Crowe have performed here, as have many actors such as Nicole Kidman, Bob Hope and Kathryn Hepburn. Houdini and Anna Pavlova also performed back in the day. There are other places for tourists and country music fans to visit in Nashville such as the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Johnny Cash Museum; and for fans of candy, go to Goo-Goos where you can buy a sweet candy cluster.
On the way back to the marina we picked up a few supplies. I’m still on the water wagon so Wayne bought his supply of booze before returning to the marina. Livingstone County, where the marina is located, is a dry county. That is the sale of alcohol is prohibited, while consumption isn’t. Although the locals tell me this will change from November. It’s a reminder of the days of prohibition and there are over 500 counties throughout the U.S. that are dry (some are moist), particularly located in the southern states.
Back aboard, this weekend the temperature will drop to 33degF (around zero Celsius). This is the coldest we’ve experienced so far on our travels. Fortunately in addition to our Webasto heater we also have a 110V plug in heater that came with the boat when we bought it.
With his bottle of Kentucky bourbon and my thick blanket from Mauritius we’ll keep warm and cosy for our final days in Kentucky.