Accommodations, Attractions, DESTINATIONS, Restaurants & Bars, Road Trips, Shopping, TRAVEL, United States

Nashville to Fairborn

Deb pulls into her hometown.
Deb pulls into her hometown.


Driving past the exit for The Hermitage was hard.  Before I left Dallas, I knew the first few days of our trip weren’t about tourist attractions, but I particularly love to visit presidential destinations.  I couldn’t help but have regrets as we passed the exit for President Andrew Jackson’s home.  Oh well, onward and northward.  It wasn’t going to be my last regret of the day.  We were passing through Kentucky and for some reason, every time I go to Kentucky I’m just passing through.  Note to self – go to Kentucky!

On Down the Road

Because we changed time zones, we lost an hour before we’d even had lunch.  It was a shorter drive, so we didn’t make as many potty stops or driver changes.  We rolled into Dayton around two and were in sore need of sustenance.  We found a Chili’s and tucked into some nachos and margaritas.  I kept trying to think of something clever to say about two Dallas dames having nachos and margaritas in Dayton, but mostly I just missed the original Chili’s at Greenville and Meadow.  Do you remember when the whole menu fit on a half sheet of paper and focused on hamburgers? I do!

An Adequate Accomodation
An Adequate Accomodation

The next thing we did was get lost.  You’ve heard that you can’t go home again?  Well, Deb was home, but she didn’t know her way around.  We did eventually find the Ramada and it was adequate, but nothing to waste blog-space over.

Deb’s Home Twon

Fairborn is an interesting town.  There’s a huge airbase there, so parts of Fairborn are booming. Deb was amazed.  One of the roads she usually took to get from one place to another has been completely taken over by the base.  However, the Fairborn she grew up in isn’t there anymore.  Oh, it’s there in the form of a shuttered downtown and an empty movie theater, but the town she knew doesn’t exist.

Our first job was to find a florist.  With Dayton right around the corner, all the local florist Deb knew had closed down.  The only one left in the small town was Hollon Flowers – but what a florist.  If you EVER need to order flowers in the Dayton area PLEASE call them.

The shop was charming.  For many years, she’d had another shop out from town in a suburban setting, but had recently moved in town.  The shop is behind her very pretty Victorian home, just around the corner from a downtown that is striving very hard to come back. (Travel note – Fairborn is full of lovely Victorians!) The shop has more than flowers.  I saw many cute gift items and longed to linger in her garden, but we had things to do.

When we told her what we needed, she was dismayed.  Expecting a truck in the morning, she’d cleaned out her flower inventory of any iffy items, but we needed our arrangement before the truck would get there. She took us back into the refrigerator to see what she had.  We found some pretty purple roses and some white snapdragons.  That inspired her and she found some lovely spider mums and reached for some dark purple flowers to fill in the blanks.  She sent us on our way and told us we’d have something pretty the next morning.  She kept her promise, too.

Memory Lane

Who lives here now?
Who lives here now?

Then Deb made sure she remembered how to get to the cemetery and where her parent’s headstone was.  That out of the way, she wanted to travel down memory lane.  It was a bittersweet drive through her small town.  The new owners weren’t keeping up her old homes the way she wished they would.  The high school was a nursing home.  Nothing was quite what she wanted it to be.

After a while, we had to end the tour.  Deb had contacted an old friend and we were having dinner with her in Yellow Spring.  I can’t wait to tell you about the charming little town and the great restaurant we found there, but you’ll have to wait until next week!

Accommodations, DESTINATIONS, Road Trips, TRAVEL, United States

A Homerun at Homewood Suites


Getting Away from Home

Before I leave the house, I always give my dog a treat. My bags were by the door and a text informed me Deb was on her way. I leaned down to give Precious her treat, but something was wrong. I brushed her shaggy bangs away from her great big Shih Tzu eyes and those sweet eyes were almost glued shut. I immediately shifted into doggie-mommy mode.  Of course, Deb rang the doorbell just then, but she’s a doggie-mommy too. She told me to take care of Precious while she loaded up the car, but I hated to think of leaving when my doggie was having a problem.

This is the Worst Possible Time for a Vacation!

My concern for my puppy reminded me of the way my husband used to feel about traveling.  For a while, he was day-trading.  No matter where we went or why, he’d say the trip had been planned at the worst possible time.  It used to infuriate me, but now it’s a family joke.

I’ve discovered he was right.  No matter when you plan to travel, a million things seem to make it the wrong time, but that doesn’t mean you should stay home.  Still, the cards seemed stacked against me.  I was at a critical point in re-writing my WIP (work in progress for my non-writing friends).  My elderly mother was battling a broken arm.  Deb’s son had double-booked the weekend and had to stay behind. Now my puppy had a problem, too.

Were Deb and I nuts to be taking off?  Maybe so, but after I fussed over Precious’ eyes, hubby told me to hit the road.  He was the puppy daddy and he’d take care of her.

We Hit the Road

Our first stop was Nashville, but it was a tough drive from Dallas and would turn into a fast food kind of day.  Once the Dallas traffic was behind us, we stopped for breakfast and a driver change at a Mickey D’s in Malta, Texas. Another potty stop and driver switch came along in Benton, Arkansas‘s Big Red Station.  It boasted a McDonald’s and cheap gas, so we topped off all the tanks.

As we zoomed out of Little Rock we barely caught the sign warning us of significant construction delays ahead, but we certainly weren’t able to overlook the delays. We stared at the 193 mile marker for what seemed like hours, but we’d been in Benton at 11:20 and stopped for lunch at a Taco Bell in Brinkley around 1:00, so it hadn’t been as bad as it seemed.

The Memphis Pyramid was a surprise to both of us as we drove into that city, but we didn’t have time to stop.  That means we didn’t see the ducks at the Peabody either.  Come to think of it, I’ve never seen Graceland.  I guess I need to put a weekend in Memphis on my wish list.

At Brownsville, Missouri we stopped for a DQ dip cone and I took over the wheel again.  I was still at the wheel when we arrived at Nashville, just in time for rush hour.  Back when I thought Deb’s son was joining us on this trip, I made non-refundable reservations at a Homewood Suites, so we’d all have a bed.  I’d never stayed at one and I wasn’t sure about the location, but the expedia price had been just right.  I’m sure that Deb and I could have found something cheaper for the two of us, but am I ever glad we had the suite.

Finally, Homewood Suites

We pulled into the Homewood Suites, just in time for hospitality hour.  I was totally exhausted from the drive, so I begged for us to have a little hospitality before we faced dragging our luggage up to the room.  Several hotel chains boast of a hospitality hour, but some are more hospitable than others.  Let me tell you, Homewood Suites are VERY hospitable.

We’d made noises about seeing downtown Nashville or taking in the late night show at the Bluebird Cafe.  We even discussed visiting Gaylord’s Opryland Resort which the Homewood’s shuttle would have delivered us to.  But the truth of the matter was, we were too tired to even contemplate the hotel’s lovely workout room or pool. I can’t tell you how thankful we were for the hospitality hour.

Wednesday night is their Italian night.  There was tortellini with chicken in an alfredo sauce, Caesar Salad, breadsticks and peas with mushrooms.  What’s more it was good.  It wasn’t gourmet, but it was better than a lot of meals I’ve had along the road.  The Pinot Grigio was good, too.  We grabbed a pair of warm chocolate chip cookies and drank our second glass of Pinot in big easy chairs while watching the evening news.  Eventually, I decided I’d regained enough stamina to drag my bags upstairs.

The suite was marvelous.  Hooray for Hilton.  I have become a Homewood Suites fan.  Since we were only there one night, we weren’t able to utilize all the amenities, but there was a real kitchen and a nice-sized den in the front room.  The sofa made into a bed and there were two queens in the other room, with more pillows than we knew what to do with.  The vanity was separate from the bathroom which made getting ready easier.  The decor was warm, inviting and up to date.

What a blessing for weary travelers. The closet was roomy, with plenty of hangers and more pillows, blankets and linens.  We changed into our jammies and hung out on the comfortable sofa and chairs in the den.  We used the free wi-fi to check our social media.  We used our smartphones for cozy chats with our hubbies and read from our Kindles.  My how tech-savvy I’ve become.  I never figured out how to get into my blog, but that was a minor problem.

We went to bed early and slept like logs.  I hoped for waffles for breakfast, but was disappointed.  The breakfast was scrambled eggs and sausage.  Deb said the eggs were fine, but I don’t eat eggs, especially not scrambled eggs, so I made use of the rest of the buffet – like the fruit, yogurt and cereal.  There wasn’t anything in the way of pastries either.  There was white bread, bagels and cinnamon toast, but nothing to make up for the waffles I’d craved.

We were back on the road by eight AM.  Join me next week for our drive to Fairfield, Missouri and stay at Homewood Suites whenever you get the chance.