On the Road for a Bit #1

One State, Two State, Red State, Blue State

I’m on the road for a couple of weeks again. I’ve put 1,600 miles on the clock since Saturday. The plan is to take Mississippi and Alabama off the list of non-visited States. That will leave me with only Texas and North Dakota.

But before that…

I hadn’t seen my good friend Peter Ackling in 27+ years. He’d looked after me during a down period back in my London days. Peter put me up for a few weeks in his Slough home and fed me bovril and toast.

We got together at the Route 66 Diner in Springfield, Mass. Do not make this one of your destination dining venues.

We both agreed from the onset that we looked fabulous and hadn’t aged a bit. That may have been a minor fib, but our friendship hadn’t changed. We will be catching up again soon. I’m coming to Texas !

Founded in 1636 as the northern most settlement of the Connecticut Colony, Springfield is drenched in History. Whatever.

However, the Dr. Seuss Museum and Sculpture Garden is in Springfield. I happened on it by accident as I was leaving the town. It is one of the most colorful, vibrant, and fun museums I’ve visited. Its part of a square that includes the History Museum, amongst others. But I didn’t have time for the adult stuff. Stacey and I had a wedding in Nyack.

Stacey and I looked fabulous.

You could tell it was an Italian wedding, not Irish, as there was an abundance of food and a shortage of drunks. The highlight for me was when the DJ played that song Mamma Corleone is dragged out for in The Godfather. I’m guessing it’s their Danny Boy.

Sunday, I took off and drove ten hours through to Blacksburg, Virginia – Home of Virginia Tech. Hokie, the school’s mascot looks like a turkey fucked a Ninja Mutant Turtle. Who designs these things?

I found the only open breakfast spot Bollo at 8AM the next morning and grabbed a mediocre coffee and a very good brioche-chive-cheese roll. It looked like somebody had a field day kicking in shop windows on Draper Street recently.

So – four hours drive and back to Knoxville. Hannah is now my must visited friend during the pandemic. I’d never actually visited the downtown during daylight, so we took a walk about. The lion’s share of shopping options is centered in and around Market Square.

Coffee and Chocolate served the best biscotti I’ve ever had and are the premiere chocolatiers in town.

Union Avenue Bookstore is a personality filled seller with a decent book selection but an excellent variety of gifts. I bought stuff.

It’s worth taking a stroll down the grafitti and mural alley. This was as close as I got to Dollywood.

Hannah as always went above and beyond with her hospitality. She treated me to Knoxville’s finest restaurant. Lonesome Dove describes its menu as Western Bistro. This very impressive establishment is in the renovated Old City section of Knoxville, a quirky cross section of converted 19th century buildings.

Was there ever any doubt?

Lonesome Dove (also my favorite book) is a high end, multi-level venue, with brown brick walls and antler lamp shades that gives off both a chic and welcoming atmosphere.

The menu is the best dining experience I’ve had in a couple of years. My favorite dishes were the rabbit and rattlesnake sausage and the elk sliders. The rabbit enchiladas were plentiful and delicious. All dishes came with a spiced kick. Be a little adventurous. Go hungry. None of our five courses missed a step.

And Hannah bought me a Lonesome Dove mug. Many thanks friend. Many thanks indeed.

Hannah and I looked fabulous.

I’m heading to Memphis.

3 thoughts on “On the Road for a Bit #1

  1. You and Peter are looking good!

    Need to get Max and the four of us together somewhere someday!

    From: Tooleing Around America Reply-To: Tooleing Around America Date: Wednesday, 20 October 2021 at 11:36 am To: Andrew Marmara Subject: [New post] On the Road for a Bit #1

    Tooleing around posted: ” One State, Two State, Red State, Blue State I’m on the road for a couple of weeks again. I’ve put 1,600 miles on the clock since Saturday. The plan is to take Mississippi and Alabama off the list of non-visited States. That will leave me with only T”

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