Day 7

Today is a day with serious and light-hearted trips, we get up at a reasonably normal time, have breakfast, put some more laundry in the dryer, and finally head for the Lorraine Motel. This motel features Martin Luther King Jr. shot down, and it has now been converted into the Civil Rights Museum. A truly very impressive museum where the oppression of the African-American inhabitants from the slavery period to the present day is excellently explained. We spend more than two hours here, absorbing all the information that is given. After that, the plan is to go to Sun Studios. Elvis recorded his very first single here. We eat a quick sandwich at Domino’s before and then go to the building where the studio is located. We are overwhelmed by the busloads of people inside (and outside), and take a quick look inside, but are also soon done here and on our way again. To a supermarket to buy dinner, and then on to our little palace a stone’s throw from Graceland. The intensity of the trip is starting to become noticeable for Bernard and Ria, and they stay comfortably in the apartment, but Bene and Margreet decide to take an Uber to the Peabody hotel, where the Peabody Ducks will go again at 5 o’clock in the afternoon to their loft on the roof of the hotel, which is quite a spectacle every day that we would like to see. See there the light-hearted part of the day ;-). We are in time for the walk from the fountain to the elevator, but too late for a good spot, nevertheless we still see enough of the whole thing. Another Uber home, where a delicious meal awaits us. And then do nothing tonight, and report to Graceland in time for the Ultimate VIP tour we booked.

The video of the day:

U2 – Pride (In the Name of Love)
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Day 6

After a somewhat restless night, there is a truck next to the hotel rooms, and it starts warming up very early, we have breakfast and then get in to drive towards Tupelo. A ride of one and a half hours that Ria takes smoothly. In principle, the Elvis experience officially begins in Tupelo, because he himself actually started there, or rather was born there. The birth house is still completely intact in exactly the same place, and various things have been added over the course of time. A museum, of course a gift shop, and also a chapel. And on a hill behind the house the statue “Becoming”, a thirteen year old Elvis with guitar, with behind it an Elvis at the top of his fame, impressive. You can also visit the birth house, but since it is a two-room house, that is done quickly. Then strolled through the museum and then on the way to Memphis. There we have a complete house with three bedrooms, garage, full kitchen and living room at our disposal for the next two days, it is also a stone’s throw from Graceland. We settle in, and then Bene and Margreet set off for Oxford, MS, and Bernard and Ria stay at the house, preparing a delicious meal for the two of them that is put together at a Walmart along the way, as well as breakfast for tomorrow and the day after tomorrow . That trip to Oxford is for the Double Decker Arts Festival there, where Ashley McBryde, a favorite of both Bene and Margreet, will perform. It’s a fantastic performance, and we’re also very impressed with the performance before it, a group of three girls who call themselves Chapel Hart, search them up on youtube, especially their special version of Jolene. All in all, we are back in Memphis at midnight, and now we go to sleep. Tomorrow a number of new trips await us.

Video of the day:

Ashley McBryde – Lights On in the Kitchen
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Day 5

We get up again around 8 o’clock, have breakfast, and prepare ourselves, and the apartment where we spent two fantastic days, for our departure. We leave at half past nine, with destination the Storytellers Hideaway Farm, or The House Johnny Cash Called Home. He lived the last 33 years of his life on this farm, which is about 54 miles west of Nashville. Once there we turn out to be the only visitors, and after we have paid the entrance fee, we are left all alone in his house. Much has remained in the same condition, and we can, for example, sit in his favorite chair without any problems. We enjoy a lot, and take plenty of pictures. After a while we leave the house and, on the advice of the woman who sold us the tickets, walk to a shed further on, and more surprises await us there. First of all Mark Alan Cash, a nephew of Johnny (son of Johnny’s younger brother Tommy) is present in that shed, who tells us all about the artifacts present there, but also treats us to a private concert. He sings three songs by his uncle, a song by his father, who was also a musician, and one by himself, about his uncle, the song is called Uncle Johnny. But in addition, part of the house of Colonel Parker, yes, the manager of Elvis Presley has been rebuilt in that barn, the office part where Tom Parker has Elvis sign his contract. And even better, there is a beautiful Cadillac of Elvis (with ELVIS on the license plate of course), and Bernard is as happy as a child when it turns out that he can just sit in that Cadillac. It takes a lot of effort, for several reasons, to move on, but in the end you have to. We set off for today’s next destination, the Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL. This is a location affiliated with NASA where people are trained, but also a number of rockets are set up. including lifelike copies of the Saturn V and Saturn I, and there is an interesting exhibition about the US Space program as a whole. When we leave this museum we decide to drive an hour further west so that we are already on our way tomorrow. We decide to take a hotel in Muscle Shoals, AL, and we eat at Rick’s Barbecue about 400 meters away. Now typing this blog, and then going to bed on time.

Video of the day, this is the song of Johnny’s younger brother Tommy that Tommy’s son Mark Alan sings for us. With this version of Johnny the circle is full again.

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Day 4

The jet lag is already becoming bearable, we just wake up at 8.00 am. Around 9 am we had breakfast in the sun on our patio. Such a luxury. An hour later we got in the car and headed for downtown Nashville. The first challenge is finding a parking space. Every parking we come across has the principle “scan and pay” which means that you scan a QR code with your phone and pay with your phone. Great system but only suitable for US and Canadian phone numbers. Eventually we find a parking space where you can still pay the old-fashioned way at a machine. Then we walked a bit and strolled around the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. We already saw that there was also a stop for the Hop-On-Hop-Off bus at our parking space. We unanimously decided that this was a good idea, bought tickets and were able to see the highlights of the city in almost two hours. After a late lunch at the Hard Rock cafĂ©, we looked up the car again and drove back to the apartment to enjoy the sun for a while. Bernard’s great wish is to go bowling here, because if you say bowling you say America. We find a bowling center with 32 lanes about a fifteen minute drive from our apartment. We reserve a lane for two hours and have the greatest fun with the people next to us on the court. On the left a family, and on the right four friends who bowl together every week, and look professional, but nevertheless welcome us warmly. That’s a good thing, because the results are nothing to write home about, but they won’t take this experience away from us anymore. We then drive quietly back to the apartment and discuss the plans for tomorrow.

The video of the day:

Creed Fisher – Nashvil,e
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Day 3

We stretch the night until eight o’clock in the morning, and then all four of us are more than wide awake. After the morning routines we set off. The first plan is to have breakfast nearby and then visit the Jack Daniel’s Hardwarestore, their gift shop. But the only option mentioned in the motel’s big book turns out to be a gas station annex shop where we score a coffee, but nothing else. We leave the Hardwarestore the Hardwarestore and decide to start the journey to Nashville, and if we see a breakfast spot on the way, we stop. That eventually becomes something at a gas station, but with more options than the one in Lynchburg. Then the last kilometers to Nashville and there we first drive to Cooter’s Place. Cooter was the mechanic for the Dukes of Hazzard in the series, and he has taken over the cars from the series and now puts them on display. In addition, there is, of course, I would almost say, a lot for sale around the series, and you can take a picture with all the cars. A fun, entertaining outing. Next to Cooter’s is the Friends of Willie Nelson shop, where there is also a lot for sale. So we spend a lot of time there, and then we go and get the tickets for tonight’s show at the Grand Ole Opry. When we have them we go to a Walmart and do some shopping. We will stay in an apartment for the next two nights and will therefore cook for ourselves. We arrive at the apartment around half past two and are warmly welcomed. We decide to do nothing more until the show, which starts at seven, and stay on the patio with a book, a newspaper, or a tablet to start typing this part of the report. We eat a delicious homemade meal and then get ready for an evening of Country, well, and that’s it. A grandiose show of 7 country artists, ranging in age from almost 83 to 21. But each and every one passionate about Country music.

The video of the day:

Dukes of Hazzard
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Day 2

After a great night that we could stretch to seven hours, we packed the car for the first time after a good breakfast and set off for Chattanooga. Here we first viewed the famous Chattanooga Choo Choo, and then we drove up Lookout Mountain. Here you can view various things, and we had bet on Rock City. This is a garden where you can walk around, with a view from above over seven different States. However, when we get there, the entrance fee turns out to be $26.95 p.p. and that is too much for the hour and a half that we have planned there. So we get back in the car and drive to the next stop, Lynchburg, TN. Here we check in at the Lynchburg Country Inn and then drive to the Jack Daniel’s Distillery for the Angel’s Share Tour. We had booked the tour at 4:15 pm, but because we earn an hour on the way, we go from Eastern Time to Central Time, we are also on time at Jack Daniel’s and the receptionist indicates that we can also join half an hour earlier. So we do, and that gives us a fantastic tour guide. She is very informative, very funny and very quick-witted. After walking for an hour and a half along the various parts of the distilling process guided by her information, we finally end up in the tasting, with five delicious whiskies. Since sister Ria doesn’t drink a drop, she is renamed Baby Angel by the guide, and when she hears that she will have been married to brother-in-law Bernard for 45 years next month, she elicits a round of applause from the entire group. After the tour we look for a restaurant and eventually end up at the Bluegill Grill, which turns out to be a fantastic restaurant on the water with great food.

The video of the day:

Eric Church – Jack Daniel’s
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Day 1

After a quiet breakfast we walk to Bremen airport at half past seven. What a relief compared to, for example, Schiphol. We are therefore through security in 5 minutes. And checking in doesn’t take much more time either. Then wait for the flight to depart. Exactly on time. Arriving at Schiphol, we have to go through passport control, which takes us fifteen minutes, and then wait for the departure to Atlanta. After a good flight, with a few times some turbulence, we arrive 45 minutes earlier than planned. Then we spend about two hours at Border Control and pick up the rental car, but then we can also go to our first apartment around six o’clock. At least, an apartment was booked, but when we arrived there the owner opened the door and looked at us in surprise. He had stopped renting for some time. So here we are, without a place to sleep. Fortunately, there are a number of hotel chains around the corner, so we book a hotel room at Holiday Inn Express. We eat across the street at the Outback. And now it is ten past ten in the evening, which means that it is ten past four in the Netherlands. Tomorrow is the
first real day of vacation,

The video of the day is:

Paul Simon – Homeless
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The Route

The route is now broadly known, so there is another Roadmap file.

[gview file=” EN 2023.pdf”]

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We’re going international

Keeping in mind all foreign friends and colleagues who have recently joined us, we are now going to offer this site in multiple languages. On the right side you will see a flag, if you click on it the message will be displayed in the language associated with that flag.

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We’re going on a trip again.

Very early this year, but we’re really going.
Where are you going, you ask ? The Deep South of the USA, Nashville, Memphis, New Orleans, Atlanta and everything in between.

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