Wednesday, 6 August 2014

The Annual Chaplin Family Road Trip - Day 1 & 2

We've just finished our 3rd Annual USA road trip and boy did we have a good time.

This year our road trip was extra special because we had Grannie & Grandad (Mr C's parents) join us so on Saturday 12th July with 2 cars packed to the brim we set off for our annual road trip adventure to cover 10 US states, 2,500 miles over 15 days.

Day 1 - Chicago, IL to Louisville, Kentucky 12th July

At promptly 7.30am we left behind the comforts of our home to enjoy life on the road, our first stop today a mere 310 miles away - Louisville, Kentucky. 

After driving through torrential rain coming through and out of Chicago, we finally hit better driving conditions in Indiana where we stopped for our usual annual road trip breakfast stop at the one and only Denny's. 

We arrived in Louisville, Kentucky late afternoon, in time for the girls to have a swim before dinner, which they enjoy, Grannie and I took them in. Friends were also traveling down this part of the country enroute to Nashville and had too stopped in Louisville, so we met up with them for dinner at an amazing eatery called Hammerheads - best BBQ ever I can't recommend it - loved the duck tacos.

Day 2 - Louisville, KY to Nashville, Tennessee

The next day Grannie, Grandad and Mr C took a morning walk around Louisville before breakfast, and before we took to the road.

Kentucky is well known and famous for it's horses and Bourbon, although the girls are more interested in horses, we were more interested in the Kentucky Bourbon Trail (even though none of us drink Bourbon) - many many famous bourbon brands are born out of the Kentucky blue grass hills, Jim Beam, Maker's Mark & Woodford Reserve to name a few.

Kentucky takes pride in the fact that, 95% of this corn-based, caramel colored sipping icon is distilled, aged and bottled right here in the state’s Bourbon Country - it's big business indeed.

As we had a long drive to Tennessee ahead of us, we didn't have time to do the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, we will do this another time, so we picked one distillery to try and that was the iconic Jim Beam, while we waited for it to open, we took ourselves off to a quaint little town named as America's most beautiful small town in America. It was very beautiful, but as it was a Sunday very little was open.

At noon we ventured back to Jim Beam and had a great time looking around the distillery, learning about the history of Jim Beam, seeing how the barrels were made and stored and of course sampling a little of their finest Bourbon.


Although we aren't big Bourbon fans at all, we were still keen to try a few, maybe to see what we were indeed missing and I have to say, although none of us were too keen on the straight bourbon, we all did enjoy the flavored Bourbons, and they was a lot to choose from, honey, maple, cinnamon, cherry etc,  we all loved the Jim Beam Fire - flavored with cinnamon it was delish and a purchase of this was made.

After our visit to this fine distillery was over, we drove a further 152 miles to Nashville, Tennessee to stay the spectacular Gaylord Opryland Hotel, this is a premier hotel, under one spectacular glass atrium roof, which is a climate-controlled, there was an indoor river, the place had 9 acres of amazing indoor gardens, cascading waterfalls, lots of restuarants, shops, pools etc, it was truly wonderful, we could have easily spent a day just exploring the place.

In the evening we explored Nashville, home of America's Country music, had a lovely dinner where they served beer out of mason jars, very country. 

We had a great evening out, we didn't see any bands that night as the bars were strictly over 21 after 6pm, but we did enjoy having a good look around Nashville at night.

More Nashville adventures to come.

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