My younger sister and I took a road trip recently to attend a concert and these are just pictures from the road of my beautiful state that I love: Kentucky. We headed west to the Appalachia from Louisville. We stopped in Winchester at the local Waffle House where it was apparent that mohawks were not common… given the stares I got. Our waitress was not pleased to see us for some odd reason and had the lovely attitude of a sour and rotten apple. We smiled through it and she eventually warmed up a bit.
Back on the road, we came upon a convoy of Army vehicles. The soldiers were waving and giving thumbs up to drivers passing them by. They were so enjoying their Hollywood parade on I-64. My sister got into starstruck thumbs up daze and tried to make sure each soldier got a thumbs up from her. Two thirds through the convoy, she proved a theory correct: when you are driving, whatever you look at your car will veer that way. Sure enough, she nearly collided with the convoy. She was a able to counter the wheel just in time. That was so entertaining that I spent the next 10 minutes giving news updates: “Two women enthralled by the soldiers collided with the convoy. One soldier said that he had told one of the women to stop trying to give him mouth to mouth as he could breathe just fine without her assistance.”
Our tour went on into the Western Alleghany Plateau and came to the point where Ashland, Kentucky; Huntington, West Virginia; and Ironton, Ohio meet. I was awed by the oil pipes burning in the sky… the look of an Olympic torches on steroids. We crossed into West Virginia and stopped at David Harris Riverfront Park and looked over the Big Sandy to see Ohio.
We headed back over the bridge to find our hotel room which was in the Appalachian sprawl of Ashland. We were intrigued by the 4X4 trucks sporting trailers with ATV’s and sirens on top screeching. The only thing I could figure is they were volunteer rescuers of some poor souls hiking and getting in a pickle in these mountains. Later in the evening, we would find a whole slew of rabble rousers partying into the wee hours with their ATV’s strapped down on trailers behind their trucks.
After we freshened up, we headed into Ashland downtown district to find some dinner before the concert. We were disheartened that they do not use their waterfront as a backdrop to some great night life… but then again, being in Appalachia, their end of the Ohio River is used for coal, oil, and the like. It was really dirty.
We were not interested in one of the chain restaurants for dinner. We wanted to find a small business to patronize. I spied one that seemed to be the only one, so we went to Bella Fonte. It was a nice little Italian eatery. My sister had the colorful ravioli and I had the manicotti florentine with mushrooms… so delicious! They gave us cheesy breadsticks with a delicious marinara; usually I hate that stuff, but this was yummy. The staff was so friendly and provided great service.
My sister and I talk a lot so we were there until the last moment before the concert. Fortunately, we were right behind the Paramount Theater. We ran across the street in the rain and tried the first door. Backstage! No one said a word to us until my sister asked them how to get to the lobby… sadly we were asked to leave. So close to having a face to face with the musicians!
After the concert we went back to the hotel, where I was fast asleep once laying down on that perfectly firm mattress. I need one of those at home; it may cure my recent insomnia. The next morning we lingered; we debated if we should just keep driving. The thought of going back home to face our kids and the mundane monotony of everyday life was depressing. At one point we got off the Highway and spoke of the reality that we could take the State Highway US 60 all the way back to Louisville. We stayed on US 60 for a bit until we met the interstate again.
Somewhere along the way, we stopped at Cracker Barrel and had some lunch. It is such a comforting place. The waitress was very friendly and ended up telling about her escapade with her two youngin’s at the Old Navy store. Seems while she was checking out, her two kids started stripping the mannequins.
I am really thankful for my twin sister who watched my three younger kids for the weekend and my younger sister for bringing me along to be her VOR; voice of reason. It was a much needed break from the hum drum and to kick off Ramadan.