Dateline: LEXINGTON, Ky.
Three weeks on the road, and I think it's starting to get to me, even with the weeklong pause in Nashville to work and take a break from driving.
Not to say Nashville wasn't a blast. Angela has stayed at my studio in San Franciso a few times, so it was odd to spend time in her stomping grounds and hang with her in a town that wasn't familiar to me. It was also strange to see ceramic pieces that I'd created scattered around her apartment - things I'd made and sent to her and forgotten about over the years. (Okay, that was more flattering and ego-boosting than strange.)
I spent the week working, so there wasn't too much in any one day to report, hence the long silence. There was a lot of chilling out at home, going out to eat, and general catching up with my hostess. We visited the Parthenon (built for the city's centennial celebration in honor of Nashville's nickname, "The Athens of the South"), saw some (free) live music, did some light shopping. Ate amazing ice cream. Met some of the friends I'd heard so much about over the years. Drove around downtown and admired the Batman building. Gained about five pounds (well, at least I probably did - see below picture of fried pickles for part of the reason).
Kentucky isn't the most beautiful state I've been in (Wyoming may very well have won that distinction, with stiff competition from western South Dakota), but there's a soothing pleasing comfort in the rolling hills and estate houses that smack of an older American gentry. I drove into Lexington yesterday evening to visit with my friend Lauren, but was so wiped out and overwhelmed that I needed a night to myself. I kind of need it tonight, too. Today we hit the Bourbon Trail, did a tour of Buffalo Trace distillery, and tastings at Four Roses and Woodford Reserve. The tour was fantastic - they took us through the distillery from corn to final product. We got to taste from the vats as the mash was fermenting in various stages, which was an experience I hadn't expected. Of course I spent too much money, I'm pretending on things that are unique to Kentucky and that I can't get out in NY. Right now I'm busy digesting a Hot Brown dinner (a very Kentucky dish, I am told) and trying to plan my tomorrow, which is as yet unplanned. I think I want one more day by myself before I head to my next and final stop, Reston, VA. I'm tempted to drive out to a couple of the distilleries we didn't get time for, like Maker's Mark, just to get in another tour and do a little more tasting. Mammoth Cave also is tempting, or I might look into what's in western Virginia for exploring. We'll see what the dawn brings. I like seeing what the dawn will bring.
Less than a week left of the Epic Road Trip. I still think this was the best idea I ever had (the move plus the month of travelling).