In My (E-Mail) Inbox 3 (Randyjw; October 5, 2016)
The United States of America is a vast land, with a changing topography and individualistic beauty across all of its ranges. From the red desertland of a New Mexico sunset, to the soft hues of a risen sun striking the red clays of Georgia, America presents a tapestry as vivid and cacophonous as the multitudes of its cultures.
From the Hawai’ian Islands, apart from the mainland, to the stretch of the Big Sur coastline drive, the West Coast contains some of the most beautiful scenery in America. Have you ever seen the Sequoia forests? The trees are a majesty to behold! It is here where the land is fertile, producing much of our organic produce and foodstuffs. Almonds, olives, grapes (raisins, wine, etc.) and so much more are coaxed with much care and artisanry by the small-batch growers, who make up the forefront of our proactive laws across our lands in the back-to-nature movements. I don’t think a trip to the U.S. would be complete without a trip spending some good, quality time in California.
The Northwest ranges along our border contain much of our hidden wildlife, deep snows, bubbling brooks, and some of our most glorious national parks.
Western inland includes some of the deserts and the drylands that are Utah, Arizona and New Mexico, with fantastic views of gorges, such as the Grand Canyon, and buttes of red rock, as in Zion National Park and Bryce’s Canyon.
There is the open plains of the Central regions, which make up the heartland of America. Fields of wheat, corn, dairies, livestock and more produce a plethora of food in the basic heart of the “bread basket” of our land. If you appreciate a cyclic approach to life, you will appreciate the country farming life of preserving the national heritage with its pioneering lifestyles involving homesteading and sustenance of the community.
The Central-Southern lands border the ocean, which plays a part of it, but not all of it. Texas has a great basis in its land, though it deals in oil rigs and cattle. Louisiana encompasses both the bay, in its bayou culture, and the interior swamplands of alligators. Its mixed cultures have integrated wholeheartedly into its particular people, and the foods and celebrations of the area showcase this with its crayfish/crawdaddy jumbalayas, beignets, and Mardi Gras parades — none for the faint of heart!
The northeast region encompasses the original settler colonies, where the landing took place. The states here still embody a hardy lot of plucky people, with skills from the Old World, and a freedom quest which can never be quenched. Here are the lands of Paul Revere, the soldiers against the redcoats, the Union Army against the Confederate Army of the south in the Civil War, and the assisters in the “Underground Railroad” aiding enslaved men to reach freedom, all of which was won by these northerners. The lands of these states exhibit perfectly all four of the seasons; they are small, but effective and diverse, with unique pockets of the cultures which came to its shores.
The South is a nod back to the days of manse houses, plantations (with its former sharecropping and slavemaster history), and the new paradigms embracing its former victims into the whole of its society, at times imperfectly. There is the warmth of Florida, and the hospitality and charm of the Georgian manner. Close-knit societies grew around faith and practices, establishing many different religious denominations in its midst. There is a vibrant Carolinas crafting society, a lively bluegrass community stemming from the Appalachias, and a “down-home” atmosphere all-around.
In my email inbox today was the Travelzoo Top 20 picks for the week of October 5, 2016. Here was a great deal for a walking tour of downtown Nashville! The area of Tennessee seems to be experiencing a sudden focus of activity lately, as well! Just the other night I watched a televised segment about the area of Dayton, where the Scopes Monkey Trial took place. The resultant verdicts and trial brought light to what would become a landmark, historical ruling on the teaching of evolution versus creationism in the public education system. If you are interested in seeing a piece of history with regard to replacing religion in the classroom with the theory of evolution, you may wish to explore the actual location of this momentuous event. Located in the Rhea County Courthouse, the second-floor restored courtoom is where the trial of John T. Scopes, a 24-year-old science teacher convicted for advancing Darwinian ideas of evolution in the classroom, took place. Also in the basement of the courthouse, an additional museum with artifacts has been set up to commemorate this event. The address is: 1475 Market Street; Dayton, TN 37321; (423) 775-7801. Monday – Friday: 9am – 5pm. Check before you go. Closed weekends and holidays.
Tennessee Department of Tourist Development:
More fun things to do in Tennessee include:
“Going to Graceland!”, Elvis Presley’s home in Memphis;
A visit to the beautiful, haunting, G-dly Smoky Mountain Range;
Visiting Sun Studio, the recording studio where many famous musicians got their start;
Dollywood! Dolly Parton’s amusement park in Pigeon Forge (I just love Dolly Parton!)
Grand Ole Opry! iconic bastion of country music;
Here’s a link to a site with some more ideas:
Downtown Nashville Walking Tour:
Two People: $19.00 (Regularly $40.00)
Single: $12.00 (Regularly $20.00)
Meet-up in front of the Music City Visitor Center, downtown — and meet other nice folks who like to travel and enjoy the richness found in visiting the sites!
The Travelzoo deal includes discounted pricing on a guided, 90-minute walking tour, departing twice daily from the front of the Music City Visitor Center at 501 Broadway Avenue (at 5th and Broadway); Nashville, TN 37203 at 10:30am and 1:00pm. Reservations and pre-purchase of vouchers, available through tour operator, Really Entertaining Tours, required. Subject to availability and not valid on holidays or holiday weekends. Tips and taxes not included. Limit one purchase per person; gift purchases allowed. 24-hour cancellation policy. Presented by Really Entertaining Tours through Travelzoo.com. Valid through November 30, 2016. Call the tour operator or visit their website:
Hope you enjoy your visit to the United States, in general, and to Tennessee and its environs, in particular!