Maybe We'll Move to Kentuckessee... or Not...
After overstaying our welcome in states where marijuana is legal, we drove to Hopkinsville, KY. What’s in Hopkinsville? Ain’t shit in Hopkinsville, silly, except a short drive to Fort Campbell (snore). But Hopkinsville does have Dennis Barnes, DonMichael’s very best friend from way back when he was a tiny boy of 17 who had just enlisted. Dennis was a tiny boy of 19, who was 5’10” and 95 lbs. DonMichael swears this is an actual, true fact: That Dennis was the same height then as now but weighed ninety-five pounds. Andie is like, “That’s some bullshit, because no one would let a sickly anorexic kid, knees two times the size of his thighs, into the Army.” But DonMichael still claims it’s true, and that one time, when PVT Barnes snapped to attention, his body fell right through his own asshole. Well, now Dennis is jacked like LL Cool D, so he must have spent a good bit of time in the prison yard. And, when he got out, he forgot to go back to Chicago, and, instead, he stayed right near Fort Campbell, on the border of Kentucky and Tennessee. And there he found Amy, the nicest, most hard-working, cutest girl in Kentuckesee. And they combined their families, Brady-brunch style. One boy named Jaylen and one boy named Daylen. They’d never met, yet their names rhymed! Fate!
We spent a weekend with Dennis and Amy, who not only included us in the seafood boil at their home, but also gave us their bed for the night! Those are gracious hosts. Lauren got to sleep in Daylen’s room, in a sweet-ass hammock. We met their daughter Ryan and her boyfriend Wallace. Wallace and DonMichael are brothers now, triple-helix-bonded for life. According to Dennis, they like the same shitty music (e.g., Logic and Drake). Dennis only likes music that pre-dates Bill Clinton’s administration. We also met Sasha the dog, Sally the dog, and Sammy the cat. Amy rescued Sammy as a newborn, abandoned kitten, with crusted-shut eyes. She bottle-fed her back to health. Sammy is now full-grown, but still little and adorable. She chases strings, she jumps through her kitty tunnel, and she cuts Amy with her teeth, claws, and a knife. That’s right: that ungrateful fleabag snuggles up to Dennis and the boys, but she attacks Amy. Because cats be cray.
We could only make a short stop in Kentucky before heading down to Nashville, TN. We booked our stay at the Grand Ole RV Resort due to its great reviews and, much more so, its surprisingly low rates. It’s owned by one family, and they’re super-nicies. Every night, local musicians play live, and they sell an inexpensive dinner, usually of the casserole variety, but very nice all the same. They accepted all sorts of packages for us, from tiny decals to giant Jeep tube doors. They even helped us buy our brand-new, bright orange 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL, named “Tic Tac.” We bought it because Lauren claimed she needed a/c and a road-worthy chassis on our towed car. But the saga of Paco (our prior Jeep) and Tic Tac will have to wait for another post.
About a week into staying at the Grand Ole RV Resort, Andie started floating the idea of actually living in Kentuckessee because the people are so nice. The very night she floated the idea, she was reminded why civilized people don’t live in the South. We invited a neighbor couple and a neighbor man to have dinner with us. We prepared our tried-and-true Instant Pot pulled pork. The neighbors had arrived when Andie came out to join them, right as Jarvis said, “… and I have a genuine Hitler Youth knife. Genuine.” His eyes were big with how amazed he knew we would be. Then Charles broke in with his favorite Holocaust jokes. Andie, being of the Jewish variety, let out the first syllable of the sentence, “Suck a bag of dicks, hillbillies.” Remembering we have a propane tank and that hillbillies are violent, she choked down all the other syllables and STFU for once in her life. So the Pacific Northwest is still in the lead for where to live post-RV.
In Nashville, we took a Ye Old Trolley Tour. We wanted to take a Ye Old Group Pedal Alcohol Bar Tour, but apparently the Good Idea Fairies of the world don’t think four-year-olds should go on those tours. So we saw a lot of Nashville on our trolley tour, which was very nice, and filled with, you know, country music stuff. Lily loved being on a trolley and eating every food in the cooler we brought along. We’ve never seen Lily eat so much – cucumber slices, three large carrots, one full PB&J, a medium-sized Tupperware of tomatoes and strawberries, an entire chocolate bar, and two cartons of chocolate milk. So it seems clear that, if we want Lily to start eating more than her usual 83 calories per day (of which 80 are from sugar), we have to take her on a trolley tour each day. One of our stops was a Jack Daniels gift shop, which had Jack Daniels full-sized aging barrels, Jack Daniels shirts, Jack Daniels keychains, Jack Daniels shot glasses, stuffed Jack Daniels poop emojis, and Jack Daniels BBQ sauce. The only thing it didn’t have was Jack Daniels. Fortunately, right next door was a bar that sold us wine slushies and another that gave us whiskey tastings. And, right around the corner, Lily found a candy store that made her an on-the-spot s’more with fancy cookies, fancy marshmallows, and a small blow torch. Ooh la la!
We were told that Nashville’s signature food is “hot chicken.” This is fried chicken with, you know, spice. And the most famous place to get it is Hattie B’s. So, on another day, we went to Hattie B’s and got it with medium heat. Yup, that shit was hot. And it was good, and so were the Southern sides. So we recommend Hattie B’s.
We also went to a water park outside Nashville. Lily braved a BIG slide with us. She was scared, eyes big, hands squeezing our hands tight. At the end, she yelled, “Let’s do it again!” So we did. And, as we fell into the pool at the end, the clouds burst open. What’s more fun at a water park? More water! It started raining hard and fast. They shut the rides down. Everyone huddled under awnings and waited. Then we were like, “This is a great opportunity to call it quits after only two hours at the water park!” A win for parents everywhere. Lily had a great time, and she only had God to blame for ending it.
We also bowled in Nashville. A lot. Like, every day, because there’s that “kids bowl free” program in summers. If you have kids, and you are all alive next summer, you should look that up! Andie is well on her way to becoming a professional bowler, which is her next career track. Her score has skyrocketed from 70 to 90. She also has an ongoing bet with DonMichael that, if she ever wins a bowling game against him, they move to Southern California. So far, the odds have not been in her favor. This is not because DonMichael is a good bowler either. DonMichael has a correspondingly shitty score for a man. But a man’s shitty bowling score always out-shits a woman’s shitty bowling score. Andie is maybe not “goin’ back, goin’ back to Cali” any time soon.
After staying over two weeks near Nashville (due to the soon-to-be-described Jeep troubles), we moved north to Hopkinsville, KY. Yes, the same place we had just come from. Dennis and Amy were so nice that we wanted to use their laundry machines and air conditioning for two more weeks. And Lily has latched on to Amy fo’ real. She keeps asking when we’ll see her again, “because you knoooooow how much I love her!” Andie has almost changed her mind again, and wants to live right next door to them. Oh look… a beautiful, shiny, fully-restored, 1940s truck is driving by, and what’s that flying from the bed of the truck? An enormous Confederate flag? Yes. And the Pacific Northwest once again takes the lead.
A little trip fact: We’re halfway through our year on the road, we’ve covered 11,700 by RV and 6,000 by car, and we’ve seen 25 amazing states and 4 shitty ones.