Let’s Go to Kentucky

Why, Kentucky, why?

 When my wife and I spend money on ourselves other than for basic needs, it’s pretty much on one thing.  Not cable, not Internet, not sports events, not fancy clothes, not electronics.  What’s left?  Trips.  And what determines where we go?  B&B’s.  Bed and Breakfast’s.

A near cliché phrase is “life is a journey, not a destination”.  And that’s the basic concept of why we go to B&B’s.  Though we love going to Louisville for an easy weekend trip, we knew the Kentucky Derby would be going on, so thanks to some Internet research, my wife found a B&B in a place called Burnside, KY. 

The only reason I recognized the name of the town was because I knew that sideburns derived from General Ambrose Burnside, a Scottish-American who had some of the worst sideburns in the history of the world.  And Burnside, KY was named after the man.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ambrose_Burnside

We were asked, “But what’s in Burnside, KY?  What’s there to do or see there?”

Our answer: “The B&B.”  That is THE reason.

I have written before about how some go on vacations or mini-vacations to be busy somewhere surrounded by other people, and the rest of us go off somewhere to be left alone, enjoying the quiet and peace (The Opposite of a Beach Bum).  The whole point of going to a B&B is because there is indeed, for the most part, nothing to do. 

Of course I did a Wikipedia search on Burnside, KY before we left (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burnside,_Kentucky).  I ended up finding out that right outside of Burnside, in Stearns, there is a 3 hour passenger train ride.  So that ending up being our only adventurous activity.

And for only $18 per person, we didn’t have our standards set as high as the Monorail at Epcot Center.  Instead, it reminded me more of the kind of train ride a person would expect that takes them through a zoo.  A cross between trolley bus and a boat designed for the chute ride at a local amusement park.

Halfway through the 16 mile train ride, we were dropped off for a while at an extinct coal mining town.  We sort of hiked and explored the area, in the pouring rain, for a while.  Checked out the hilarious gift shop.  And passed on getting chili dogs at the concession stand.  Like a standard weird dream.

Back at the Bed and Breakfast (http://eaglesviewbnb.com/breakfast.htm), as it continued to pour and flood outside, we took advantage of the cozy Gatlinburg-esque cabin and cable TV, which to us, was a luxury.  Especially while watching House Hunters on HDTV and Dogs 101 on Animal Planet.

Demographically, most B&B connoisseurs are over the age of 50.  We realize that being under the age of 30 means that we must be middle-aged at heart.  Even our honeymoon two years ago was a series of B&B’s from Maine to Connecticut.  But for us, this is the best way we can spend money on ourselves. Because the way we see it, nothing lasts longer than good memories. 

And even though our memories will eventually begin to fade, that’s why we take plenty of pictures.

This picture has been made anatomically correct, made noticeable when examined closely.

A bridge going over the river that the train travelled along side, and that our B&B overlooked.

I'm gonna throw a hissy fit if I don't get one of these...

Gettin' lucky in Kentucky.

I don't care how much this costs, I'm buying it! Nothing could possibly go wrong...

Hey, how did that bird dress shirt I gave to Grandma end up in this gift shop?

The Nashville Flood of 2010

As my wife and I drove back to Nashville from a B&B in Burnside, KY on Sunday afternoon, we began receiving texts and calls from friends warning us to stop wherever we were and stay in a hotel for the night.  All three of the major interstates going through Nashville were closed (I-24, I-40, I-65) and that most exits were shut down as well.  Nashville was undergoing a flood.

So we took the next exit, which was White House, TN, not far from the Kentucky border.  Churches had all cancelled.  School the next day was cancelled.  Houses were being destroyed.  People were drowning.

And we had no way to even get to our own house.  So in our room in the Holiday Inn Express, we watched the local news try to sort out what was going on.  The Opryland Hotel, which was scheduled to have a huge conference this week, not only had to cancel all its festivities, but also send away all his guests.

Thank God, our house went untouched by the flood, though just a few miles away, the town center was underwater.  One of the most memorable events we watched was when the local news covered the flood from their helicopter.  As they were filming the parking lot of the Opry Mills mall, which for all practical purposes had became a lake, the cameraman spotted a minivan with two people on top of it.

The water was up to the top of the windows.  They appeared to be a middle-aged Korean couple.  The husband was standing up, waving a red shirt up at the helicopter as his wife remained lying down, appearing to be exhausted from trying to remain on top of the minivan all night in the pouring rain.

About a quarter of a mile away, there were two men driving a motorboat.  As everyone watching from home had hoped, eventually the men in the boat rescued the stranded couple.

When we first saw the man on the van, he was wearing no pants- just his underwear and a shirt.  But by the time the boat got closer, he slipped his pants back on.  My guess is that his rain-soaked pants were keeping him cold, so he just took them off until he realized he was actually being rescued.

Based on their interactions, it appeared the couple didn’t speak much English.  I would love to know the whole story.  That had to be one horrible night for them.

Though we were able to make it back to our house safely on Monday since most roads have reopened, unfortunately, so far around 18 deaths have been confirmed.  And there are countless people who lost their homes and did not have flood insurance, being that Nashville is a low-risk area for floods.

Here is an article telling more about the Nashville Flood of 2010:

http://www.startribune.com/nation/92657684.html?elr=KArksLckD8EQDUoaEyqyP4O:DW3ckUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUUsZ

And one more thing… Now that you’ve read my take on this, why not read my perspective on being a dad?  That’s right- parenting from a dad’s point of view.  I have been documenting my thoughts as a dad since the week we found out my wife was pregnant.  I formally invite you now to read my “dad blog” by clicking on the link below:

dad from day one