Monday, May 15, 2006

Last leg of the journey

Andrew and I got up and got on the road once again, bound for Birmingham, Alabama. The nice part of this leg was that I didn't have to drive. After dropping off my car in Clarksville, Andrew's car would provide the transportation for the rest of the journey. Which gives me ample time to take more pictures along the trip. It's amazing how much easier it is to take pictures out of a moving car when you're NOT driving at the same time. :)

We headed out and had a stop at Sonic for lunch on our way to historic Lynchburg, Tennessee. What makes it so historic, you ask? Simple... the home of Jack Daniels Tennessee Sippin' Whiskey. Yet another tour of a distillery... after reading my blog you might think that I have an obsession with distilleries, and that surely if you've seen one you must have seen them all. Well, you're probably right on the second count. But they certainly are a sure-fire way to find something to do along your journeys. The tour of Jack Daniels distillery was unique in several accounts: first, it was by far the biggest, they turn out millions of cases a year. Second, it was by far the most obviously contrived and organized tour I went on... almost like an ad pitch more than anything else. And finally, the tour guide was both the worst, yet most entertaining tour guide on any of the tours I went on. He was unmistakably Tennessee, including every spiel he gave the tour group starting like, "Friends... this is the Jack Daniels distillery"... "Friends, how do you drink your Jack Daniels?" Personally, I think he had some Jack Daniels for breakfast that morning. A trained monkey could have provided the information about as well as he did, though he was definitely an entertaining fellow... until you asked him a question that you'd think a man giving a tour would know, but if it wasn't in his script he was clueless. Oh well, I guess that's one place you can't beat the small distilleries.

In any event, after that we were essentially on the road back to Birmingham with a stop at Huntsville, Alabama, also known as Rocket City USA. We visited the US Space & Rocket Center (also home of NASA's Space Camp). This included both the museum of the history of space flight, and everything surrounding that, as well as what I affectionately call the "Rocket Graveyard" where they have about a dozen old rockets from the early US space launches. We wandered around and visited everything, but not too much else I have to say about that I guess.

We got back on the road and made it down to Birmingham. Our original intent was to grab some dinner and head over to an outdoor shopping mall where the Birmingham Symphony was having an outdoor concert. But alas, we arrived to find out that the outdoor concert was cancelled due to inclement weather. I guess they thought it would rain, or they figured nobody would show up because it was sooooo chilly (I think it was about 65 or so... whatever people). So instead of that we headed over to the dollar theater. Every show $1, if you don't mind watching movies that were released 3-months ago. Enjoy a movie for $1, and have $6 small popcorn. :) OK, not quite like that, but they have to be making money some way, I guess. We watched The Pink Panther starring Steve Martin. I had originally wanted to see this movie when it came out but never got the chance, so what a deal. In this case, I'm glad I only paid $1 and not the $9 or so it would be back home. It was well worth $1, but I'm not sure how much more than that. It was a funny movie, but not so great. But of course, everyone else has probably seen it, so why do I even need to tell you that?

By then it was after 11pm and time to sleep. One last full day of Birmingham before I head home.

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