After we cross the Florida state line, we went less than a mile before stopping at a place we have heard a lot about, but never stopped.
The Flora-Bama Bar is on the Florida/Alabama state line. Actually, in Alabama, the property the bar sits on used to be in Florida. That was until 1962 when Florida gave Alabama a 2 mile stretch of beach along the border.
Multiple levels, live music, inside and outside seating, the Flora-Bama is a must stop tourist attraction. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate. Cold, wet and windy. Despite that we did have a good time as we met our friends and fellow Custer, SD residents Merrell and Vicki there.
|Bad hair day? Windy? Both?!?!
Our stop for the night was a Cracker Barrel in Pensacola. It has been quite a while since we have stayed at one, nice and quiet.
The next day we were off to our next destination and our last visit with friends on our Great Winter Adventure. Dadeville Alabama is a small town of just over 3,200, two of which are our friends Guy and Sue who live in the Stillwaters community just outside Dadeville. Guy and Sue have/had been fulltime travelers for many years but recently got off the road. Speaking of which, if someone is looking for a really nice 37' Tiffin Class A, they have one for sale!
The Stillwaters is a gated community on the shores of Lake Martin which boasts over 700 miles of shoreline. Guy and Sue were residents here for over 20 years before going on the road and are now again. They gave us a tour of the area. Really, really beautiful.
Having just emptied out a storage unit, Guy spent a good 30 minutes going through his garage handing me stuff, saying "You need this, and you need that" as he handed me stuff he no longer needed from their RV life. I was like a kid in a candy store! Thanks again Guy!
We only had one night here so we spent it catching up over a great steak supper with the best grits I have ever eaten! Their driveway was just big enough to fit our rig, so we were able to spend the night right there and have a goodbye breakfast with them before hitting the road.
Our next destination was another one that I had been wanting to go for several years. I think Nashville was higher on my list than Barb's, but she indulged me by booking 3 nights at the Nashville KOA. We did not get in until late the first afternoon, so we just chilled and planned out our Nashville day. There is a $10/person shuttle that will take you from the campground to the Country Music Hall of Fame, so we booked the first shuttle of the day and were off!
The main thing I wanted to see there was the live music and walk the strip. Since we were planning on coming into town both days, day one was dedicated to doing just that. Our first stop was Kid Rock's place. I went to the bar, ordered two Coor Lights and gave her a $20. She came back with my two beers and $2. Back home I would have received $12-$14 in change, but apparently not in Nashville. Being the big tipper, I am I told the bartender to keep the $2 and walked bewilderedly back to Barb with the 2 beers.
The music was good, but too loud, so after finishing our beers we headed over to Ole Red across the street where the music was more to our noise level. We ordered some nacho's and two more beers (only $8 here) and enjoyed both the music and nachos.
From there, we walked about 15 minutes to the Ole Smokey Distillery where Barb picked up a t-shirt and I, a sign for our gazebo.
We spent the rest of our afternoon at the Luke Bryant bar on the second level. A guy by the name of Clay Bitter was playing there and we really enjoyed his music. A great afternoon, but way more than we wanted to spend.
The next morning, we were reviewing our options for the day. Country Musci HOF, Johnny Cash Museum, and other attractions. I was still run down from this dang cough though, so we decided to just hang out and take it easy. Instead, we did laundry (Barb), cleaned the camper (Barb), cut my hair (Barb) and worked on the blog (me).
After an hour or so drive the next morning, we arrived at Mammoth Cave National Park (24th NP) just in time for our tour.
You take a bus ride from the Visitors Center to the cave entrance. Of all the cave tours we have done across the country, I think this one would rank near the lowest as far as enjoyment. There were 25 in our group and with much of the tour being narrow passages, it was more like a conga line with you just staring at the person in front of you. Luckily, Barb was in front of me, so I had that going for me. Not a lot of interesting cave features until you get to the last 5 minutes where they have quite a few very cool formations.
It is really hard to get good pictures in a cave. Afterall, the lighting is not the best. I did manage to get a few that were blogworthy. To be honest, most of the tour was rather boring, but the last 5 minutes was worth the wait.
From there it was up to Frankfort Kentucky to visit Buffalo Trace Distillery again as well as a couple more tours at other distilleries. For those of you who are into bourbons and whiskeys, you know that Buffalo Trace is like THE distiller in the area. They offer a variety of products, several of which are nearly impossible to find on the open market. These are Blanton's, Weller, Eagle Rare and E.H. Taylor.
Whoever designed the marketing strategy for Buffalo Trace is a genius. As they offer one of these 4 for sale in their gift shop every day, randomly rotating them. What other company do you know where hundreds of people line up outside 3 hours before they open, waiting, having no idea what they are going to buy?
Here's the kicker, once you buy one of a variety, you cannot buy it again for 90 days. So, some people are in line for hours not knowing if they can even buy anything. We had bought Blanton's and Weller on our way through in December, so we were only eligible to buy Taylor and Eagle Rare. In line we went not knowing if we could even buy anything. We arrived at 7:30 each day and were probably 50th in line. By 9:00 there were hundreds of people in line. Your first clue of what is being offered is usually when one of the employees comes out at about 8:45 and spills the beans.
There are several Facebook groups dedicated to predicting what they will offer the next day. The first day we were there the odds-on favorite for our first day there was E.H. Taylor.