Saturday, January 23, 2016

FDR's Walking Sticks

Over the summer I got to visit President Franklin Roosevelt's Georgia home, given the name the Little White House. He built the home in Warm Springs, GA to take advantage of the warm spring water that helped with his polio treatment and it would be the place where the President passed away when he died of a stroke in 1945. The museum that makes up the guest house and the main house has many great FDR artifacts including these wonderful walking sticks which he received from people all across America.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Surprise Corvettes

As you drive through Tennessee...first to Nashville, then Murfreesboro, and ultimately Chattanooga, you are struck by how beautiful the Volunteer State's scenery is as you make your way through the Cumberland Plateau and the southern stretches of the Appalachian Mountains.

The mountain passes are the most picturesque part of the drive and also probably the most dangerous part as semis struggle up the mountain and then descend on the other side like a bat out of hell. There are even some runaway semi lanes full of sand to hopefully stop a truck that has lost its brakes coming down the mountain.

On our last trip over the passes, we came upon an unlikely site of a truck hauling a trailer full of new Corvettes.

And when we passed the trailer, we had a surprise with the vintage car that was hidden underneath.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The White Haze

Winters in the south are just like a really, really long fall that doesn't ever quite get to winter. There are hints that winter might just be around the corner but it just never quite makes it. We didn't have to turn on the heat until December and the air conditioning has been known to be on in March.

Thankfully, we been able to return home to Minnesota/Wisconsin each winter and it hasn't disappointed in giving us a good strong taste of winter and what we were missing. I typically go through a series of emotions from "isn't winter wonderful?" to "SNOW!!!" to "how do people live here?" to when we return home "isn't it nice to be able to wash your car in January?"

During our visit we drove from the Twin Cities to Rochester, MN to visit some friends just after a snowstorm had blown through. This was at the "SNOW!!!" stage of my love of winter and it reminded me how beautifully desolate the Midwest can be and how the early Scandinavian settlers must have felt a little bit at home staring out into the white haze on the ground and in the sky. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Robert Penn Warren's Birthplace

When we drive home from Minnesota/Wisconsin to Atlanta we like to do a larger chunk of the 16-hour drive on the first day so we can get into Atlanta on the second day before rush hour. Plus, it gives us a chance to possibly get something accomplished when we finally get home...other than collapse on the couch. 

We are also pretty strategic about where we stop for our meals and we try to get something we can't easily enjoy in Atlanta. One of those places is Noodles and Company which is a Dean/Flaten favorite. The last one we can go to on our drive is in Nashville, Tennessee and so we typically grab lunch there on the second day of our return drive. 

During our last drive down we got an early start and so we were going to be past Nashville by the time Noodles and Company was even open. This gave us a great excuse to do some sightseeing and a chance to stop and see one of the sites whose freeway signs had been intriguing me every time we drove past: the Robert Penn Warren's Museum.  

Robert Penn Warren, the author of All the King's Men, and the only winner of the Pulitzer Prize for both fiction and poetry, was born in the little town of Guthrie, Kentucky, right on the border with Tennessee. His birthplace home serves as a little museum to the author but we were there bright and early on a Friday and so, unfortunately, the museum wouldn't be open until noon. 

As we stopped to take some photos around the house, we had few cars stop and slow down as if they wondered what on earth we were doing there.

And while being Robert Penn Warren's birthplace is certainly Guthrie's claim to fame, a close second would have to be their giant pink elephant which was in the parking lot of a gas station on the way into town where, as the small sign says, you can get boiled peanuts