Archives for posts with tag: Tennessee

Patty wanted to see my favorite antebellum plantation in Nashville. And, because I’m memory challenged more this year than ever, I could only remember what it looked like from the road and that it started with a “B” so after driving all over Nashville to find the wrong one, we finally got to Belle Meade. Of course, they don’t put the GPS address on their brochures so we got lost amongst the synagogues and huge beautiful Buckhead-looking houses bt we did arrive.

We were able to walk around the grounds with Montana before the docent guided tour which did a world of good for us all. Days packed to the eyeballs in the truck meant we all bolted out of the truck like caged animals! Montana was so glad to smell grass and trees again (or the animals in them) that she didn’t take her nose from the ground until we made her go back into the truck!

Our first self-guided tour was at the original cabin built by John Harding in 1807. He and his wife started the legacy which became a world-famous horse breeding stable siring such famous horses as Secretariat, Seattle Slue and so many others that we can’t remember.



This single couple created an empire from their strategically placed facilities where they carved out a cabin and a variety of services like blacksmith shop, gristmill, cotton gin and other services for the Chickasaw Trail which eventually became the Natchez Trace.

The John Harding’s eventually built the original plantation house.


Patty and Montana in front of the Plantation house. No pictures could be taken on the inside of the house so you’ll have to go visit it yourself. It’s worth the trip.


Montana at Belle Meade!IMG_4831BelleMeadeBkBack of Belle Meade Plantation house (as expanded by later generations). Belle Meade was managed by four generations of Harding’s. The final Harding died just a few months after his famous grandfather throwing the 5400 acre estate in serious financial difficulties. IMG_4832CoachHseA very small portion of the enormous coach house still full of sleighs, buggies and other related  memorabilia of the family and period.IMG_4839DollHseThe Victorian Dollhouse for the kids. I thought it very small in comparison. The children certainly didn’t rank as high as the company who visited who often received diamond earrings and stick pins as gifts at major celebrations. All children were in one small room off the major suite. IMG_4851.DairyJPGDairy house in same style as the main house.IMG_4852SlaveCabinThe most remarkable stories came from this slave cabin where, after the Civil War, key now freed slaves became the highest paid and valued employees of this huge enterprise called a plantation. Bob Green came to Belle Meade as a child whose knack for working with the horses was recognized and he not only lived with his family in the original cabin with his family but outlived all the Hardin’s. He was so loyal to his employers that, when financial difficulties meant selling off assets, he handed over his favorite saddle horse to be sold. It was bought for him for $25.00.What a lesson in history this one place it. I have only seen two other plantations worthy of this praise and they are in Vicksburg, Mississippi.

Tomorrow, we’re off to see the wizard!

Happy Trails!


As those of you who have followed me for the last four trips out west know, I get easily cracked out on caffeine and, sometimes, I do it intentionally to go longer distances although I normally avoid it. Yesterday, I started my three-day trek to Tennessee through the back roads of  Vermont starting in Burlington (near the Canadian border) with a cup of real java. The 30 MPH meandering roads through beautiful towns and countryside were wonders for this Alice to behold. I clicked away knowing my trusty camera battery was fully charged.

Just as I got to some of the most amazing residential architecture from the late 1800’s I’ve ever seen, my camera DIED! NO! NOT NOW! But all my screaming and ranting did absolutely nothing to resuscitate the recalcitrant battery. So, I’ll try to describe what I saw and give you website addresses for the most amazing cities.

But first, let me bring you down from the Border crossing where it all started! And this time, the US Border Police didn’t ask me where my horse was! LOL Or did I forget to tell you that part? Here’s the short of it just in case I forgot to share it.

I drove across the Canadian Border to meet Mirjana and drove back across into US the same day without any comments out of the ordinary. The next day as Mirjana and I pulled up to the Canadian Border Police, he asked the usual questions about how we know each other, why we’re crossing and he sees I have Montana’s “passport” and asks, “Where’s the horse?” Mirjana and I start laughing hysterically at the insanity of the question as he looks back at the pop-up which clearly doesn’t have enough room for a horse much less lil’ old forty pound Montana! I ask through my hysteria, “Horse?” “Yes. It’s marked right here on the form that you have a dog and a horse!”

I digress, but it was funny!

I crossed the Canadian Border on Tuesday via 133 from Montreal which becomes SR 7 on the US side and pulled into Burlington (or close to it) and stayed at the Motel 6 a couple of nights to acclimate to the US. I remembered the first time Mom  traveled outside the US, she said she wanted to kiss the ground. And, although I had a wonderful time with my host and hostesses, I felt the same way. I was ready for the next phase of my healing heart tour. And, what better way to heal a heart than back roads?

I left Burlington yesterday morning around 9:30 and headed south on SR 7 and immediately found pictures everywhere!

I needed to mail a letter at the post office and this was a building across the street from it in Winooski, Vermont. It’s a tiny, charming town steeped in history.

the strip where Post Office is located in Winooski

I say “tiny” because I was in the next small town of Burlington, VT with the turn of a corner!

Burlington, VT

Look at the lacy cornice at the top of the building.

Just south of Burlington, I got onto SR 22A where I really was in for a treat. Vergennes, VT is beautiful and it’s also Vermont’s oldest town ( You don’t want to go more than 30 MPH because you’ll miss many beautiful buildings and houses. The most interesting part to me was the delicate lacy wood work of the cornices around the roofs of the houses.

On the way to Cornwall from Vergennes down SR 22A


Clouds on mountain!

Old barns, of course!

Milk cow country for all that cheese they make in this area! It ain’t just made in Wisconsin! And, boy oh boy, you sure can smell the other by products from all those cows it’s worth the price!

Cornwall, VT

But, between towns, views…lots and lots of views.

is it a house or a barn…or both?

Talk about a “fixer upper”! They were asking $80,000 for something in THIS shape but in the middle of nowhere!

Singlewide with a view!

This town south of Vergennes in Addison County  was all white and crisp like a new white starched shirt.

the name escapes me…this is when the camera stopped working!

This town was just a little too perfect for me! Maybe that’s why I can’t remember the name!

Then the camera stopped working about the time I got onto SR 7; Bennington, VT was gorgeous.

As I was anxious to get lunch and charge the camera battery, I was looking for a place to stop. As I turned the corner in the road, there it was: Chauncey’s of Arlington.

Chauncey’s of Arlington, Arlington, VT

This is out back of the restaurant where Owner and Chef, Stanley Holton, cuts the grass.

And…there was even an old barn!

But, to really top off the amazing home cooked horseradish cheese hamburger and carrot cake like my mama used to make is the fact the owner’s mother, Lucille Holton, is quite the town celebrity. She posed for Norman Rockwell as he painted “The Babysitter!”

Sorry the quality of my picture is so bad but I just couldn’t get a good shot of it without a lot of glare. But, there she is holding the painting!

The waitress, Debbie Whitman, and I became fast friends and hugged as I left. You just won’t meet strangers in this establishment!

Now that my stomach was full and so was the battery for my camera, we could take off again! But first, I needed to go two driveways down to The Cheese House to pick up some local dark amber Vermont Maple syrup! Yum!

The Cheese House, Arlington, VT

And back to seeing beautiful houses and interesting engineering.

What the heck is that thing, anyway?

Massachusetts town on SR7

Mountain views that are just stunning!


Hudson River

New York mountain views

Virginia pastoral views

and…last but not least…Tennessee mountain views!


I’m here for a couple of days to recover from the 20 hour straight-thru drive and 4 hours of it was the first  150 miles of the journey!

Happy Trails!