Saturday, July 5, 2014

Tennessee Road Trip {part 1}

Early last Saturday morning, Pete, Drew and I packed up the car and headed out on a summer road trip; but first I left a note on the table for Tyler and Jake. :) I always leave notes on the kitchen table for the boys when I'm running out to do errands, walk the dog, go to the gym... this one made them laugh. In all seriousness, they did know we were leaving but they weren't coming with on this trip. Tyler was going to a wedding and a family vacation with his girlfriend and Jake was staying home to work.


Our first leg of the trip was about a 10 1/2 hour scenic, low-traffic, relaxing drive though Iowa, Missouri and finally stopping in Southern Illinois in Marion. I had done a ton of research ahead of time to find the best spots to stop location wise and also based on hotel reviews. This was a great spot for the night with a bunch of brand new hotels in the area and many restaurants to choose from. It is also walking distance to a beautiful baseball field where the Southern Illinois Miners play.

Drew kept us entertained with his antics. At each stop for some reason he needed to stand on the back wheel (he did this the entire trip), sleeping in the back seat, and riding the luggage cart. :)


For dinner we decided on 17th Street Grill which was walking distance from our hotel.


It was a cute place with a lot of atmosphere. Pete and Drew were very excited about the amount of BBQ they were going to be able to have on this trip and started it off each with a BBQ sandwich and some fried pickles to share. I went with the baked potato stuffed with chopped BBQ pork.

17th Street Grill Food


Sunday morning, we packed up the car and headed south through southern Illinois, Kentucky, and into Tennessee. We went right through Nashville (not stopping on this day but we will be back)


and continued south to Lynchburg, TN. We went through some huge downpours which made for an exciting drive, especially through the mountains. We reached our destination late morning to do a tour of Jack Daniels Distillery.





This area is absolutely beautiful and these pictures really don't do it justice, and the tour was very well done, informative and worth the stop to Lynchburg.

Also, I will probably never forget the amazing smell in the air that was created between the whiskey aging in the fired oak barrels and also the stacked maple ricks that are ignited with whiskey and burn to create charcoal. Mmm.





This is the oldest registered distillery in the United States and is where Jack Daniels crafted the recipe in 1884 and where all Jack Daniel's Whiskey is still made today.


Jack Daniel's Whiskey has always been made from this cave's spring water.


Jack and Pete :)


The safe in Jack's office (the only original building still standing) which he allegedly kicked because he couldn't get it open. He broke his toe and ended up with blood poisoning which eventually killed him.





We couldn't leave with out purchasing a bottle of Jack Daniels


and had it engraved to remember our trip to Tennessee.


After the tour, we walked over to the cute little town area.



We ate lunch at the Barrelhouse BBQ-- I loved the directions on this sign.


Seriously the cutest little restaurant with the very best BBQ we have ever had!



Drew and Pete each ordered the BBQ pork sandwich and I had the 'grilled cheese on crack' which was a grilled cheese with BBQ pork. This was a-mazing!!!


We had such a fun day in Lynchburg and loved taking in the sights, smells and tastes of the area!

We were back in the car that evening and drove to our next stop; about 2 1/2 hours east to Athen, TN where we would spend the night and get ready for our next stop in our Tennessee adventure. {More to come soon.}

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