The Berkshires

I had a wonderful visit last week with a charming woman whom is about to start her first blog. Best of luck on this journey Sara. It warms my heart when I meet someone who sees blogging as an avenue for creating. I’d of lost my mind without having an outlet like this to talk about the strange stuff we encounter.

So onto the strange stuff, while enjoying the Berkshires last week many of our guests were also guests to the area. I thought this was a place for vacation and relaxation. Time and time again we interacted with area visitors who were just too busy. Too busy to ask a question so instead they assumed, too busy to read and too busy think before they spoke. I don’t know where this comes from, in a place like the Berkshires you would think life slows down, that everything relaxes. We certainly felt at ease having help from Vincent, a co-worker. I even had time to go for a swim in the pool. Instead of spending our usual Sunday off there we departed early for New York. Making a trip to see family.

From the postcard beautiful drive there I’m sure that some outdoor fun would have been found.

Artsy Fartsy

Some of the sleepiest little towns can be the most colorful. I took these shots of one of murals around downtown Wilmington, OH. The town didn’t have much going on but it was a cute place to take a stroll

I also just had to post up this bookstore. I know all the librarians out there will eat this up.

If I Had a Million Dollars

Let’s say you’re a country music singer, you make it big and have all the money you could want. Now let’s say that you grew up in a little farm town where you knew all your neighbors and all the businesses were locally owned. So now that you’ve traveled the world, seen a thing or two and want to settle down a bit, raise your family. Might I suggest putting down stakes in Franklin, TN? You would find the best of all you want and all you need there. Today Franklin seems like a Suburb of Nashville but that is only because of geography has nothing to do with the actually city itself. It is just another small town in the south but with a fabulous tax base! So the food and shopping are just amazing. Being located so close to Nashville many from the country music industry live there, just far enough away but only in mindset. Downtown Nashville is a quick 25 minutes away.

I’ve never really been to a place like Franklin before; it just feels like a small town. The streets are quiet and shady, little houses down winding lanes. But if you wanna live in one of those cute little houses be prepared to drop a mint. The food was amazing, creative and quality restaurants can survive when there is a population to support them. I’m not certain that I’ve ever seen so many home interior boutiques in one neighborhood. It reminded me a bit of 7th street in St. Paul but Franklin is much higher end.

During our two day event we saw almost only families with small children. I’m really just speaking about Downtown Franklin, once you go to the north end it’s more like a suburb with all the chains you find in similar areas. They have been able to maintain the unique and comfortable quality of the original and historic Franklin. It’s just unfortunate that we weren’t able to spend more time there.

While running an errand after work we did drive into part of Nashville, past all the mansions. It’s a crazy site and they look lonely; I think this is how Franklin became what it is. A place to be at home without having to create a village behind locked gates.

A Night with Tupelo

I’m not sure that I’ll be able to focus this week while we’re in Ashland, KY and Beckley, WV, because next week we have some very special plans. Oh yeah I’m keeping them a secret.

Please take a peek at our travel calendar, I’ve updated all the stops from now until the end of September. You can see moving up to Maine and back down.

Post of the week:

The Black Belt

One thing I usually try to find out from our event host is what locals call their area.  This is very useful in the South, it seems like there is a unique moniker for each new place.  This gives me some street cred when doing interviews for local TV stations.  We just left what was referred to as the Black Belt in Alabama, specifically the town of Selma.  I was a little taken aback that this civil rights history making area uses this identifier.  Roots run deep here and we met many visitors who were from all over the country coming back here to trace family lineage.  The local library has a huge genealogy department and a staffer there to aid with research.

Image - Wikimedia Commons

On the same block with that library is also a stunning City Hall but once you leave those buildings you are again on another dying Main Street.  Empty storefronts, buildings in all sorts of repair and disrepair are what great you after crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge.  This town serves as a stop of pilgrimage for so many and there are many in the community who want to keep the history alive. Recently an Arts Council has been started, the area museums and community leaders have joined together to develop a tourism base. They are trying to create a way for someone visiting the area for any reason access to the wonderful attractions.

I hope that together they can create something wonderful to visit.