The Eiffel Tower, Paris

I have always enjoyed travel! Yesterday we saw the Eiffel Tower in Paris! Tennessee that is!! LOL! Hopefully, one day, I will see the REAL one!! Paris is a small town in the northwest just south of the Kentucky state line. Backing up a little, Bruce Johnson, Hailey’s other grandpa, took a motorcycle trip up to the Land Between the Lakes, a federal park that is shared by Kentucky and Tennessee. He brought back a brochure of a restaurant he had stopped at, and friends Bill and Gail Gage, who had lived in that area, endorsed it as a must visit place. Cheryl wanted to visit and of course Paul and I jumped at the chance to take a day trip! So the six of us made the actual destination for the day Patti’s restaurant in Kentucky. Nate thought it was a little far to go for lunch, but it was more than just lunch! On the way we stopped in Erin, a small Irish town where we saw Accents by Bonnie, a florist store, with lots of GREAT things to admire, at one end and Paul’s Pizza Palace at the other end of the street!
The colors along the way were again gorgeous! We did have lunch at Patti’s, and it was a great experience. They were already decorated to the hilt with Christmas decorations, each of the 8 dining rooms a different theme. Both Paul and I had the 1 inch porkchops…we could have had a 2-incher, but wanted room for dessert…and shared a Boo Boo pie for dessert! It was on the way back when I saw we would be going through Paris, I told them we had to stop to see the Eiffel Tower…. They all thought I was joking, as Gail, growing up in the area, had never seen it. But I do my homework, and I pride myself in finding the unusual (like the Gopher Museum!). So, sure enough, we did find it and everyone will now remember that we actually have the Eiffel Tower here in TN!

Last weekend we joined in the fun at Franklin Pumpkin festival. Karyn has all the great pics on her site. I do believe if you look, you would be able to find a festival every weekend here in TN. It is great fun! That evening we joined the over 55 on a hay ride…..I think it was the first one I have been on!! Paul remembers a couple growing up.


Good friends of ours were traveling through on Hwy. 40, so we arranged to meet them in Lebanon, east of Nashville, northeast of us. Since we were not meeting them until late afternoon, we decided to go earlier and do some exploring. I found Cedars of Lebanon State Park in the area. While driving through, we came across a five-mile Hidden Springs Trail. We had a picnic lunch first, then took the challenge. There were several cave openings along the trail.
Paul was tempted to go under this cave but decided it would hurt if it fell on him! It was beautiful, with the changing colors, multiple types of trees and just being out in nature. We are enjoying this state soooo much!!

As a side note, in our research of TN state parks, it seems like most of them that have camping have room for the 40 foot RV’s as well as cabins to rent, lodges, and olympic-sized swimming pools! Secondly, the beauty of the parks here in TN. They are pretty much resorts! While out on the Trace, we stopped by David Crockett State Park and it was the same. And not crowded (although school is back in session, so it may make a difference in the summer.) The RV is now repaired and moved to a storage area closer to home.

More time on the Trace

After returning home for a couple of appointments, we returned again to the Trace. This time, we attended the Hohenwald Octoberfest, and craft show at the Meriweather Lewis site. The Octoberfest was a little disappointing, but the craft show and the 8 miles of highway garage sales was fun! Paul even got a set of antique books by David Copperfield for a great price. We also did a little exploring south of the camp site, taking a picnic lunch and a couple of short hikes.
It has been beautiful, temperatures in the 70’s, no rain, fall colors (although pictures do not give justice to them!……what more could you ask for?

We enjoyed more great fellowship with other campers, and after a few days had planned to take the motorhome out….but, alas, like our prior experience, when I tried to plan a trip, something hinders. This time our batteries were dead and we could not start it. But after getting new batteries, it still did not start, so we need to get the professionals out :(. So for now, I guess we will wait until after the holidays to go on any extended trips, continuing our day trips.

Off to the Natchez Trace

After working basically everyday for the past three weeks cleaning and painting, we got home and crashed. In order to truly relax (at home you always find something to do!) we spent a week at Thousand Trails on the Trace. It is literally our second home. There is definitely a touch of fall in the air, and along the Trace, the colors are coming, and leaves are falling. Last time we were there, we parked beside a couple that were REALLY friendly….so every night we visited with them, along with four other couples camped in surrounding spaces. When we returned this time, they were all still there, so it was fun to get re-aquainted. All are true Tennesseeans…. one couple from Mississippi…..and I tell you, it was a kick. We enjoyed every minute spent with them, most of it spent laughing. It is hard to explain how down to earth, sincere, accepting and friendly they all are. Southern hospitality is not a myth, it is just the way of life! I just hope the influx of others moving to the area does not change what it is today! Before we came home, we all (democrats and republicans) watched the VP debate on TV in front of a campfire…no, no heated discussion afterwards.

On Friday, we came home so we could attend the Spring Hill Ham Festival on Saturday, have Hailey spend her first overnight alone with Oma and Opa (yes, she was an angel and got to go to her first Ham Festival! Paul thought we wore Hailey out before she wore us out!) and attend a fundraiser, Willy Nelson concert in Liepers Fork (on the Trace) Saturday night! Busy, fun weekend.

Our plan is to return to the Trace on Friday, after a week of catching up at home, for Octoberfest at Hohenwald next weekend.


On Sept. 4 at 3:30 AM, Paul’s dad, Jake, passed away. He was 95 years young, and we were hoping to celebrate his 100th birthday. His wit and humor will be missed. We talked about all of the technology that has come into the world since he was born. Truly amazing to consider! It seems deaths come in threes, and he was the third in a string we knew of; and births come along about the same time. Ilse Merritt replaced him on this earth on Oct. 1. Congratulations to parents David and Anna, along with grandparents, Dan and Susan!
It seems like funerals and weddings are reunion times…. and this was no different. We had a good time with family while in CA, catching up with everyone! We spent three weeks there, getting Jake’s house ready for sale and listing it. It is sad to realize we will probably never be in the house again, but the memories of good times will always remain!