Thursday, June 18, 2009

Home home home

I have finally (almost) settled in. The house has been unpacked to a manageable level of chaos (the basement is a godsend), and I am full swing back into work on my dissertation. I finished assembling my massive data set today, tomorrow, hours and hours of analysis begins. Thats not what this post is for though, this post is to chronicle the drive across the country.

Getting out of Miami was a bit chaotic, and I was working until almost the last day. I managed to get it all in though. And with some room to spare. Here is the car on the morning of departure.

And here is an apology, I was driving for most of the day on the Monday I left, and more importantly, the drive from Miami to Knoxville, and especially the part from Miami to the Georgia border, is one I have seen many many times, and I just didn't think to take out the camera. So there are no photos until Kentucky.

As mentioned above, the first day of driving took us (Myself and my lovely friend and co-driver Denise and the cat) from Miami all the way to Knoxville. In Knoxville I had a lovely if brief visit with my Aunt and Uncle and Grandmother. They have made some beautiful updates to their yard and it was wonderful to catch up with them.

Tuesday we got a later start due to more visiting, but then it was off to get as close to Wisconsin as possible. However, no cross country drive should be done without some stops for fun and photo ops, and some of these began then. We stopped at the Shadey Grove Meadery in Tennessee. They are lovely people with a lovely product. And to answer a question, I don't belive they are bootleg. I would totally believe they started that way, but they now have their own Interstate sign (they are listed as an attraction) so I think they are legit. I love driving through the rolling mountains of the Appalachians. They are so verdant and green in the summer, but still have the feel of big mountains.

In Kentucky it was time for another stop. We had started seeing signs for the Whiskey trail, so we decided to pull off and see what it was all about. We ended up at Buffalo Trace distillery. They have lovely grounds.

We wandered briefly, I especially liked the "Barrel Crossing" train tracks where they roll barrels to their warehouse for aging.

We managed to push on, across the Ohio River, and all the way to Urbana, Illinois. The following morning we hit the road, headed on a slight detour to New Glarus, Wisconsin. As serious homebrewers, this was a necessary detour. You see, the tiny Swiss town of New Glarus, in addition to being Absolutely Beautiful! also produces one of the best and rarest beers in the United States. And driving nearly that far North anyway, I figured it was worth a small detour to get some. And I was not dissappointed. New Glarus brewing is opening a new facility. Here is a small tour. The adorable old brewery, where they were making their Rasberry Tart Ale as we passed through:

And the new Hilltop Facility, where bottling was in full swing:

And now I leave you with some photos of the beautiful town. Tomorrow, the Great Plains, Mountains, and maybe even a science lesson.

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