Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Day Four - Out in the Country

Sunset at the Franklin Drive-In

Cottontown to Santa Fe

Click here for a map of today's trip from White House/Cottontown to Santa Fe.

We drove from the country on one side of Nashville to the other to return to Santa Fe, TN where Kay grew up and where her father and mother lived until they died in 1986 and 2001 respectively.

On the way we stopped in the booming town of Leiper's Fork, which was once known as Hillsboro until a town closer to Nashville took the same name, turning Hillsboro into Old Hillsboro. Several years ago, the Old Hillsboro city fathers decided that having "old" in the community's name wasn't good for business, so they renamed the town Leiper's Fork after a nearby creek. Since I last passed through in 2001, the town's supermarket has expanded to become a restaurant and several fussy shops and galleries have opened nearby, although none but the grocery/restaurant was open when he passed through today.
Kay and I at Puckett's Grocery (photo by Kallie)
Microbrew beer in a Mason jar

We ate lunch at Puckett's Restaurant/Bi-Rite Grocery, and headed on down the road to Santa Fe to visit the town cemetery and see the homestead, the school and other attractions. Kallie drove about 30 miles of the 70 mile trip. Not much has changed in Santa Fe. What there is of downtown (four churches, a store/gas station and a post office) has been preserved by a bypass taking the truck traffic off Santa Fe Pike. Before this, more than one too-fast-moving truck left the road and crashed into a building. The cemetery was well-maintained and the school was abuzz with the sounds of summer session. The new owners of the homestead put a railing around the front porch and a "For Sale By Owner" sign in front of the property.

Old train station near Santa Fe (the road now occupies the railroad bed).

Santa Fe countryside

The old Gidcomb homestead in Santa Fe

Santa Fe Methodist Church

After our quick tour of downtown we headed up the hill to nearby Water Valley, where Kay's cousin has purchased her deceased parents' house and is remodeling it. The workers were busy on the transformation. We also saw the Water Valley Community Center, which before consolidation was the town school. Kay's dad helped build the school and served as the principal before he switched to the chemical industry. We also saw a pet llama, but sadly, didn't get a picture.
Kay's grandfather lived alone in this little house more than 50 years ago.

We had the most fun in Water Valley skipping stones in a creek. Our intent was just to get our feet wet, but there were a lot of small stones and a lot of flat water so we went to work. I taught stone-skipping techniques taught to me by my father to Kallie, her friend Erin (who's traveling with us) and Kallie's cousin Drew (a near natural given that he's a star Little League baseball pitcher). I had to work with Drew to convert him from his natural overhand throwing motion to the sidearm toss needed for successful skipping. Kallie threw backhand, but did OK. Erin made the best progress and looks forward to showing her father her new skill. She made at least two stones skip five times each.

Elegant pose

The trip back to White House/Cottontown was marked only by slogging through Nashville rush hour traffic (complete with an overturned tractor trailer that caused traffic to be routed off I-24 East). I also played and sang Eurythmics on the CD player, to Kallie's great consternation. Again, Queen followed as a peace offering.

In about 30 minutes we head out to the Franklin Drive-In for the double feature - Kung Fu Panda and Indiana Jones 4. You can't beat life on vacation. More pictures from the day have been posted at www.photoblog.com/dadlak

Waiting for the show to start

Drive-In Report - We arrived just before 8 p.m. (Kallie drove at dusk, a new experience for her) and waited about 30 minutes for the sun to set and the movie to start. We tuned our car radio to 91.5 FM for the audio, though we could still see the posts where the speakers used to hang. Surprisingly, there were no previews and no exhortations to visit the concession stand, which closed about 30 minutes after the movie started. I'm not sure how the theatre makes its money, given that they only charge $12 per car, which includes a voucher for a free medium popcorn.

This was far from my favorite animated movie--probably would have helped to be a fan of live action kung fu movies. Give me a charming, story-driven movie like "Toy Story" or "Finding Nemo" any day over a manic, action-packed offering like this one. I was happy that there turned out to be no second feature. Apparently that's on weekends only. My folding chair wasn't too comfortable and I was actually a little cold, even though I put on long pants. By the end of the night, I think I enjoyed the sunset more than I enjoyed the movie.

On To Day Five

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