Fort Negley Nashville Tenn

Fort Negley Nashville Tenn
Nashville Skyline from Fort Negley in Tennessee

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Union Station Hotel, Nashville, TN

ANOTHER beautiful, historic and simply amazing hotel that we saw for a bit on our Nashville trip was the Union Station Hotel.

This place was just ridiculously perfect.

Here are a few photos.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Hermitage Hotel- Nashville TN

We stopped by the Hermitage Hotel in Nashville briefly while we were on a walk.  I know Presidents and celebrities have stayed here for years, and we just wanted to stick our heads in for a second to check out the lobby!

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Goo Goo Shop and Dessert Bar- Nashville TN

The Goo Goo Shop and Dessert Bar in Nashville is right in the popular area of downtown Nashville, right off of Broadway, next to the Johnny Cash Museum.

Everyone said we had to go here and it was worth a stop.  They do have a nice dessert bar and Goo Goo Cluster merch.

This was a nice place to stop for a treat after a while of walking around town.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Fort Negley- Nashville, TN

We spent a couple of hours at Fort Negley just outside of downtown Nashville on our recent road trip. 

I won't get too much into the history of the Fort, but it is a very significant Civil War site.  When the Confederates pulled out of the area during the war, the Union moved in pretty quickly and set up defenses, including this fort.

Over the next 150 or so years, the Fort has been neglected, restored, etc., etc.

The site has some very interesting history, in addition to it's use during the Civil War.  During Reconstruction, the site was a meeting place for the KKK.  In the 1930s, the WPA made efforts to restore it.  It seems that only over the last decade and a half have realistic efforts been made to restore, preserve, and interpret the Fort.

I am almost embarrassed to admit that we were here back in 2010 to see a minor league baseball game at the now abandoned Herschel Greer Stadium.  At that time, we really enjoyed visiting minor league ballparks, and our interest American history and the Civil War wasn't what it is now.  Anyway, here is what I wrote about that park in 2010.  I have included a photo of the abandoned and vandalized ballpark now, taken from Fort Negley right beside it.

There is a very peaceful mile or so walking trail you can take around Fort Negley.  We noticed several walkers and cyclists enjoying the paths.  We also noticed that there are some farm critters here (they are fenced in).

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Random Photos around Nashville Tennessee

Nashville is a town that I feel like I know well.  Even during my high school days, we would take trips to the area.  It was only a 2 hour drive from Owensboro, and it was just a nice, easy place to get to for some fun.

I remember spending a lot of time downtown, on and near Broadway.  It had been some time since I had visited Broadway though; in fact, I think it has been 6 or 7 years since I last went downtown.  We probably find ourselves in or around Nashville at least once a year, but we just hadn't bothered with this area for some time.

AND, there is good reason.  This area attracts a younger, more festive crowd.  It attracts a crowd that enjoys...  well, lots of bars.

I'm not criticizing, but drinking and going to lots of different bars is not my thing.  Still, on this trip we wanted to check out a cool new hotel near Broadway.  We spent most of several days in the area and we had a lot of fun.

Even though we aren't "bar people" we had a lot of fun in this area.  The vibe is friendly and festive, and it is happenin'!

Its funny, I did hang out here one night as part of a pretty tame bachelor party in my college days.  I told some friends and co-workers about our trip to Nashville, and I had several people bring up being part of a bachelor/bachelorette party here.  I think just about everyone has gone here before a wedding.

So, we ended up spending an extended weekend in Nashville.  We found some very nice places to eat, some good coffee shops, and we ended up actually having a very relaxing trip!

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Grissom Memorial at Spring Mill State Park in Indiana

I wanted to mention the spectacular Gus Grissom Memorial inside of Spring Mill State Park near Mitchell Indiana.  NASA astronaut Gus Grissom was from the area.  He was an extremely accomplished and valuable contributor to the space program early on.  Sadly, he died in a fire during an Apollo-1 pre-launch test in 1967.

This small but packed little museum dedicated to Grissom tells about his space career, and displays several personal relics of Grissom's.  His early report cards are here (his grades were not great).  There is also a nice film about his career.

An amazing item displayed here (and something that should skyrocket this memorial to the top of your bucket list) is the Gemini 3 Spacecraft (nicknamed the Molly Brown)!  This is a priceless piece of space history and this state park in Indiana is very lucky to have it displayed.

In fact, when you think about the fact that this park has caves, hiking trails, a GREAT pioneer village, a cool inn, AND a Holy Grail caliber piece of space history, I think that makes this one of the nicest parks around!

Again, for us our visit to the Spring Mill State Park was kind of a side trip while visiting the nearby cave.  This is simply an amazing state park, and it needs to be more than a half day side trip.  We will be back soon, as we didn't get to take this great place in the way it deserves.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Spring Mill Inn at Spring Mill State Park in Indiana

While we explored Spring Mill State Park, we saw that there was an old Inn on the property!  We had to check this out!

The Spring Mill Inn was built in 1939.  It has a nice old look, but it still seems very well maintained. 

We noticed a cozy lobby area, and a nice lodge restaurant.  There is a gift shop too.

Being that we did not stay here and only peaked in briefly I don't have a lot to say about it, but I think a nice weekend trip here will be happening in my near future!

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Spring Mill State Park in Indiana

We were thinking about swinging by Spring Mill State Park on our daytrip to Bluespring Caverns.  There were some other things we toyed with seeing, but after the endorsement this park got from the guys at Bluespring Caverns, we knew we had to stop by!

We paid the $9 out of state car entrance fee and got on our way.  We had packed a nice picnic lunch, so we quickly found a secluded area to stop and enjoy our lunches.

Several geese came around us as we enjoyed our lunch!  There were adults and babies, and though some of the adults seemed annoyed and slightly aggressive towards each other, they did not bother us at all.  We enjoyed having them around.

After lunch, we drove on over towards the pioneer village at the park.  There were a lot of people hanging our near the entrance area.  Obviously several groups were there simply enjoying the nice day, and a small creek.

We walked on through the village.  As you come upon the buildings here, you realize that they have really done something special.  I love visiting any pioneer type village, fort, etc. where reinactors do demonstrations and dress in period clothes.  Here, you can tell that the buildings have been restored and maintained with a caring hand.  My photos can't explain it, but this is a very unique place.

The mill is the center piece to the village, with many early 1800s style buildings surrounding it.

You could walk in and see demonstrations, or read about the buildings. 

The old town is very casual and inviting though.  We noticed many people just kind of hanging out.  The village has a lot of space, and it is so well maintained.  This is simply a pretty place to spend time.

Spring Mill State Park got on my radar because of the caves on the property, but we ended up spending so much time doing other things here, that we decided to leave the caves for another day.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Bluespring Caverns- Bedford Indiana

We ended up completing the Indiana Cave Trail recently by stopping by to visit Bluespring Caverns in Bedford Indiana.

We really enjoyed seeing all of the caves on the Trail.  All of them were fun and unique and I honestly can't say that one was more interesting than the others.  PLUS, we each got a cool trail t-shirt when we finished!

So, we arrived early in the morning (around 9 am, when the place opens) for our visit to Bluespring Caverns.  The first tour did not go out until 9:40, so this gave us some time to talk to the staff, check out the gift shop, etc.  There were a couple of young fellows running things.  The one who sold us our ticket was extremely chatty, and you could tell that he really loved caving.  We had a nice conversation covering Floyd Collins, other caves in Indiana, etc.

At around 9:40, our guide rounded us up and started our tour.

I am very fascinated by how show caves handle tours, and how their gift shop/visitor centers relate directly to the cave.  I know this sounds like a weird statement, but I have seen cave entrances literally inside of the visitor centers.

At Bluespring, you leave the visitor center and go into a fenced in back area, where the tour path goes underneath the building you were just inside!  After a very short downhill walk, you are brought to the main cave entrance.

 Our tour guide Dylan brought us into the cave, gave us a few moments to let our eyes adjust, then he took us down a few more steps to the boat area.

From there our small morning group of about 10 people got onto a boat and Dylan launched us off for a pleasant boat tour of the cave!

Dylan gave stats on the water going through the cave, and he told stories about his adventures in Bluespring Caverns.  He also told some witty jokes.

At one point, he encouraged us to touch the ceiling of the cave.  After that, he told us that our fingers were sticky because of the bat poop.  He then told us that he was joking, and bats can't get in that area.

He did point out formations that looked like other stuff.  He did a cool demonstration holding up a light to a thin formation, showing that light can go through it.  He did do a cave standard demonstration of total darkness, BUT he incorporated a discussion of "cave thunder".  Our guide hit the boat seat with the padded flotation device provided in the seats.  He did warn us, and advised covering ears if we were sensitive.  This made a very loud bang sound that you could hear as it traveled through the cave, fading after many seconds.  He did a couple of hits with the lights on, and then he did one in total darkness which was an interesting thing to experience.

Dylan told us that they get many groups of school kids, scouts, and bikers who visit the cave.

After our wonderful tour, we did continue talking to Dylan and the other staff person running the gift shop.  They seem to have a lot of fun in their cave, and explore it leisurely when they can.  They told us of a canoe being flipped.  This happened when they were enjoying the cave after hours- no tour groups were involved.  They were able to scoop the water out and float back to the cave entrance.  They did tell us no tourists had ever fallen out of a boat.

I did pick up my usual souvenirs at the gift shop- a patch, postcards, a pin.  They did not have a hiking stick medallion.  Though there were some interesting items in the gift shop, it was not as well stocked as others.

After our boat ride in the cave, we did take a moment to walk the short trail (its about half a mile) on the property.  It circles a sinkhole!

This is a very unique cave to stop and visit with a friendly crew running the place.  PLUS, there are some other cool parks to explore in the area!  The staff at Bluespring STRONGLY encouraged us to visit Spring Mill State Park while we were here!  We did...  more on that later.