The Adventures of Bob & Kathy Present ---- Summer 2010
We had a very busy but enjoyable summer with Mike and his family. There is so much history in middle Tennessee and so many things to do. We spent an afternoon enjoying the driving tour of the Battle of Spring Hill, fought November 29, 1864, as part of the Franklin-Nashville Campaign of the American Civil War. We also visited the home of James K. Polk, eleventh President of the United States.
We spent a day driving a portion of the Natchez Trace Parkway, a 444-mile drive through exceptional scenery and 10,000 years of North American history. It extends from Natchez, MS to Nashville, TN. Used by American Indians, settlers, and future presidents, the Old Trace played an important role in American history. Farmers and boatmen from the Ohio River regions of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Kentucky floated supplies down to ports in Natchez and New Orleans at the beginning of the 1800s. Meriwether Lewis, of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, was traveling through in 1809, when he died under mysterious circumstances at a small cabin in Tennessee. Andrew Jackson traveled on the Trace with his troops during the War of 1812. We started near Columbia, TN and meandered just across the Tennessee River in Alabama. The scenery is beautiful and there are numerous historical and informational markers and sites along the route.
We took granddaughters Abby & Shelby on a field trip to Tuscumbia, AL to visit Ivy Green, the birthplace of Helen Keller. Our hostess was very informative and obviously used to working with school children as she pointed out specific items to the girls. They were particularly interested in the Braille books and the famous well where Helen first learned to finger spell. While in Tuscumbia we had a delicious Italian lunch at Franks and toured the Tuscumbia Depot, home of the first railway west of the Alleghenies.
We were able to attend the Kentucky 300 Indy Car Race Labor Day weekend in Sparta, KY where we saw Helio Castroneves win. It was our first night Indy Car Race, the weather was perfect and we really enjoyed it.
We spent Labor Day driving the Battle of Franklin tour, fought on November 30, 1864, at Franklin, Tennessee, as part of the Franklin-Nashville Campaign of the American Civil War. It marked the end of the Army of Tennessee as a quality fighting force for the Confederate States Army. We started at the Carter House, located at the center of the Union position where the house and outbuildings still show hundreds of bullet holes. We ended at the Carnton Plantation and McGavock Confederate Cemetery, where 1,481 Southern soldiers killed in the battle are buried. It is hard to believe so much damage and bloodshed could occur in such a short time period.
We left Tennessee September 15 to return to Indiana, where we plan to spend several weeks visiting friends and family.
July 2010—We spent an afternoon in downtown Nashville, where we visited the Tennessee State Museum, filled with a lot of history and a very southern approach to the Civil War. We visited the State Capitol, a beautiful TN and IN limestone building set on a hill with a lovely view of the city, including Bicentennial Park and the Farmer’s Market, both damaged by the May floods. We arrived in time to enjoy an informative tour by Cory, including a stop in the Governor’s reception area. We attended a Nashville Sounds baseball game, complete with fireworks. The sounds won easily and the fireworks were awesome.
Kathy’s sister and nephew, Ruthie & Ross were able to spend several days with us over July 4 and we had a great time. We spent a day at the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere, situated on a 200-acre former plantation. The property still maintains the original historic plantation house, called Grassmere as well as other plantation buildings and gardens. We enjoyed a tour of the home, the wide variety of zoo animals, and a special July 4 picnic on the grounds. We spent July 4 in downtown Nashville, enjoying the Let Freedom Sing celebration. We wandered through various shops and displays downtown, people watching, and fabulous fireworks over the Columbia River. Bob, Kathy and Ruthie spent a day visiting the Nashville Parthenon. Originally built for Tennessee's 1897 Centennial Exposition, this full-size replica of the original Parthenon in Athens serves as a monument to what is considered the pinnacle of classical architecture. The re-creation of the 42-foot statue Athena is the focus of the Parthenon. The plaster replicas of the Parthenon Marble Statues found in the Naos are direct casts of the original sculptures which adorned the pediments of the Athenian Parthenon, dating back to 438 B.C. The originals of these powerful fragments are housed in the British Museum in London. The Parthenon also serves as the city’s art museum. The focus of the Parthenon's permanent collection is a group of 63 paintings by 19th and 20th century American artists donated by James M. Cowan. Additional gallery spaces provide a venue for a variety of temporary shows and exhibits. We also enjoyed the Country Music Museum and Hall of Fame. We drove by the back of the Grand Ole Opry but it is still closed for renovations due to the severe May floods. We stopped at Cooter’s Place, filled with the TV series “Dukes of Hazzard” memorabilia. Since son Mike grew up with the Dukes, it was fun to recall the memories, get his picture in the five replica cars and talk with the clerk about Ben Jones (aka Cooter) and other cast members.
We took grandson Patrick and his cousin Tyler to the US Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL for a day. We enjoyed the Star Wars traveling exhibit, filled with various hands-on exhibits as well as costumes and props from the Star Wars movies. The boys enjoyed the G-force and Space Shot rides and we all enjoyed the various indoor and outdoor exhibits.