Pikes Peak

Pikes Peak

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Man-cation 2012

Dear family,

I must say that our latest adventure has been my favourite so far. It was short and sweet, covered in lush green grass, filled with postcard moments of cliche small town America. It was great. It also happened to be the perfect weekend excursion for a couple of blokes - lucky me!!!

It started with Zac's first flight. He was surprisingly well behaved. He slept during takeoff and was so interested in the lady sitting beside of me that I don't even think he noticed the landing in Nashville. Ah Nashville! The home of American country music. The small town that had grown into a city but still maintained its small town feel. Both Tristan and I were much bigger fans of the city than we thought we would be. There was live music in every bar, neon lights on every shop, and people in boots everywhere!!!! It sounds a bit cringeworthy, but it was so much fun, you couldn't help but walk around with a smile on your face. After dinner at Margarettaville, and a Jake Sparrow looking pirate making me a balloon flower and Zac a balloon dog, we wondered the street and enjoyed the boisterous atmosphere. Tristan described it as Bourbon street, New Orleans, without any of the X rated nastiness - I agree. It was great. And I could just imagine Tristan and his boys getting their "yeehaw" on and enjoying a big night out here.

The next day we drove through the picturque countryside to the Jack Daniels distillery. It was so much prettier than I thought. We did a tour where we walked up and down and up and down a couple of hundred steps looking at the process that gives the Tennessee whiskey its distinct taste (running the alcohol through maple charcoal apparently). It was an education. Did you know that Jack is made in a dry county!! You cannot buy or drink Jake where it originates!!! Bizarre The next day was interesting. We drove to Kentucky - and lost another hour - so we didn't get to do everything we wanted to. But we did make Jim Beam and Heaven Hill distilleries. We went on a few more tours - Jim was disappointing, heaven hill had a cool little trolley that we got to go on, but Zac and I couldn't go anywhere near the tasting room coz he was under 21...but another good day absorbing the beauty of the South.

We did another 4 distilleries the next day - Wild Turkey (rustic and a very good tour), FourRoses (mpft), Woodford (might be the most beautiful winery/distillery/brewery EVER - also serves a good lunch!!!) and Maker's Mark (I dipped a bottle in red wax - awesome!!). It was a really fun day. Tristan enjoyed the bourbon, I enjoyed the scenery and Zac enjoyed being out of the car. A successful day all round. And we had completed the Bourbon Trail - Yeah!!! We get a t-shirt for our efforts ;-)

It was all quiet an education: we learnt all bourbons are whiskeys but not all whiskeys are bourbons; that you need to meet 41 federal requirements to qualify as a bourbon (Jack doesn't qualify); that due to the distinct environmental conditions of Kentucky 97% of all bourbon is made in that state, but it doesn't need to be made there to qualify; and Australia is the second highest country to consume bourbon (by quantity not per capita - we beat Canada, Germany and Japan!!).

On the way back to Nashville to come home we went to a Man Vs Food recommended restaurant (not sure if this reference will make sense at home - google it. We've been to several of these restaurants, not for the challenges, and the food to always great!!) Lynn's Paradise Cafe looked like every piece of kitsch paraphernalia had been thrown on the walls, pinned to the roof, had glitter added to it, then a silk flower or two was added for flavour and BAM!! Confetti was showered on it too. It was an incredible sight. And the food was bananas! I had a walnut bread that had been made into French toast, smothered in REAL blackberry jam with a soft meringue on top. Ok I know it sounds bizarre but it was FABULOUS!!! So yummy I am salivating while writing!!

So while going on the Bourbon Trail seems on paper to be a Man-cation - it was great!! I loved it!! Tristan loved it (we have many top shelf bottles of bourbon prove this) and Zac... Well Zac was able to fly without causing an international incident - so that's a win ;-)

A couple more states knocked off our US travel list.

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