Sunday, October 2, 2011

Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee

Hello from Knoxville, blog friends!  I'm behind on blogging but really haven't had much to report lately.  Go to work...come home...Go to work...come home.  But life is getting more exciting by the minute.  My folks and I landed safely here in Knoxville last night after leaving East Central, Missouri for a vacation to see some old friends in North Carolina and Virginia.  Traveling with two octogenarians demands a slower pace, but with one shuffling foot in front of the other, we've been had a safe and enjoyable trip. We've done a lot of chatting and oohing and ahhing at the beauty of Tennessee's mountains. Sorry -- No pics, but we haven't made any stops in any of the mountainous parts.

I did take a picture yesterday of a restaurant where my grandparents used to stop 50+ years ago on their fishing treks to Kentucky Lake.  I'll post that photo later when I've taken more this coming week.  The restaurant is in Cairo, IL, which used to be a nice town and a good oasis for travelers at the southern tip of the state.  These days it's quite run down (and can even be dangerous at the wrong time of the night).  The beautiful architectural designs in some of the old brick buildings downtown are the remaining evidence of a once vibrant town. So sad. I always think if I had a million dollars (actually it would take more these days), I would make a big old building like one of those pretty again. Anyway, the name of the restaurant is Shemwells, and they have a legendary barbequed pork that is unequaled for miles around. I asked our waitress if they have many out-of-towners who make a special stop there because they remembered how good it was back in "the olden days."  She said that it happens all the time. They still use the original sauce, and now they also bottle it.  Of course, me being the shopper that I am, I had to buy some to take home, and got a business card so I can mail order for more when I'm ready.

We had eaten a late breakfast, so we got our sandwiches for the road. We drove for a while longer, then stopped at a "C" store for fountain drinks.  Somewhere around Clarksville, TN, we stopped to eat our sandwiches. Nothing to report from there except that it was about noon and we were in our fourth state for the day. The sandwiches were DElish!

Though we didn't stop there, as we drove through Nashville (we don't need no steenking by-pass), we all agreed that it has a beautiful skyline before turning eastward toward Knoxville.  This morning while I have coffee and blog down in the lobby of our hotel, Ma and Pa are upstairs in our room getting ready to come down for breakfast.  It smells good, and I anticipate another good meal before we hit the road to North Carolina.  Oh!  Here they are!  I'll be in touch again soon! 

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