Friday, May 7, 2010

A Day in Bowling Green

Our 08 Toyota Rav 4 has been making some scraping sounds when the brakes are applied.  I have driven very little since our arrival in Kentucky, but noticed the grinding rear brake when I drove the two miles to the Post Office and back about 10 days ago.
J. is more than capable of doing a 'brake job", but given that Toyota has had numerous recalls and problems with different models, he decided one of their service centers should do the work. The car has only 12,000 miles on it and is still under warranty.

He learned that the nearest Toyota dealership is about an hour away in Bowling Green, KY. With a 10 o'clock appointment, we decided to leave home about 7 a.m. which would put us in Bowling Green with plenty of time to order breakfast at a favorite restaurant, [Cracker Barrel] eat in a leisurely way, [Actually J. always eats very slowly] and locate the dealership in good time. 

We were checked into the service department shortly before 10. The dealership also handles Honda cars.  We decided to troll around the lot looking at new models and also seeing what might be available in used cars.  NOT that we intend trading cars---we've just always had an interest in such things.

By the time the 3rd or 4th salesman had popped out to ask if he could help us, by the time J. had repeated the tale of our vehicle being in for service, the fact that we had bought it in Wyoming, recently moved to Kentucky, etc, etc, etc, I was over it.  We had passed a mall about a block away and while I'm not excited at thought of doing a mall crawl, it seemed like something to pass the time.

We didn't make it to the mall. Across the side street we found a bookstore and I headed determinedly in, leaving J. little choice but to follow.

A quick glance at the display tables and shelves reminded me again that we have moved to the "Bible Belt" south.  There was a huge inventory of "Christian fiction," devotional books, self-help books with a spiritual slant, as well as the usual aisles of young adults' books, childrens' books, mysteries and such.   There was also a large sale table with books on crafting, building, decorating, gardening.
I was on a mission for a new bird book. Surprisingly I didn't find one.

I did find the first in a new series by Susan Wittig Albert, whose China Bayles mysteries I have enjoyed.
J. found a book on renovating basements into usable living space ,and a historical novel of the prohibition years in neighboring Virginia.
We trudged back across the road, expecting we would retreive our car with its repaired brakes and be on our way.
I found a comfortable chair in the customers waiting area and was quickly transported to an English country village via my new book.  I had reached the moment where [of course] a body is discovered when J. appeared to say that the mechanic had found a defective part in the steering linkeage which needed replacement [also under warranty] and that a loaner vehicle, a late model Toyota pickup had been rolled around to the side door and was at our disposal.

J. has been wanting to tour the nearby Corvette Museum, so we headed across town to find it.
I was sure that I had brought my camera, but a hasty search of our car hadn't turned it up.  We do have a photo from the museum.

We didn't buy a collector's Corvette!  As visitors come to the end of the tour, they are asked to pose against a green felt wall while two photos are taken.
Emerging  from the museum area into the gift shop, one finds a young man earnestly working at a computer.  The basic photos are brought up, and you're given the option of purchasing two photos. We chose to be inserted into a vintage model for the print. [Maybe because we're getting to be vintage models ourselves!]

From the Corvette Museum we drove to the Railroad Museum. [We had been told to expect a 4 hour wait while the car was repaired.]
A very personable volunteer tour guide took us through the restored L&N cars which are on their own permanent sidings created specifically for the purpose. The museum itself is housed in the old L&N terminal. [Louisville and Nashville]
I expect that from now on whenever I read of train travel whether in fiction or history, my mental images will be influenced by the two hours we spent in this interesting place.

In lieu of photos, here are links to the museums.
My camera?  Oh yes, when we returned home in early evening [after stopping again at Cracker Barrel] I was entranced by the peonies and iris which had more fully opened during the warm day and wanted more flower photos.  I began rummaging for the camera in any of the places which have become somewhat usual in our still disorganized house.  The camera didn't turn up and my frustration grew by the moment.
With a sort of desparate intuition I pawed once more through my large shoulder bag.  The camera, tucked in just before I floundered out to the car at 7 a.m. had been with me all through the day.
It is happenings such as this which cause me to insist that "I don't do mornings!"


  1. Snap - I do things like that ("mislaying" my camera). Sounds like you found plenty to keep you occupied whilst the car was in the garage anyway. Are you getting the "lay of the land" yet? I love the name of the township! On our way back on my birthday trip, we passed through a village called "New Invention" which sounds most odd, especially for England! I wonder what the story behind that is?

  2. This turned into an interesting, if unplanned, day out by the sound of it. I've come across Susan Wittig Albert when I've been in the US but her books are hard to find over, must try Amazon as her books would be good summer afternoon reading.

  3. I've read all the books in the series you wrote of, and enjoyed them very much. They really are "cozy" mysteries, the characters, especially animals, are so endearing.

    Even with the car repairs thrown in, it sounds like yet another wonderful day in Kentucky!

  4. Wikipedia has this to say about the origin of Bowling Green as a place name:
    "The origin of the name Bowling Green has not been attributed to any single source by historians. Some say at the first county commissioners' meeting in early 1798, the pioneers decided that the new town would be "called and known" by the name of Bolin Green." This name was after the Bowling Green in New York City, where patriots had pulled down a statue of King George III and used the lead to make bullets during the American Revolution. Others say the Virginian settlers may have been honoring Bowling Green, Virginia. Still others say, Robert Moore kept a "ball alley game" on his residence which guests called bowling on the green.[4] Early records indicate that the city name was also spelled Bowlingreen and Bolin Green."

    BB. Right now we have an excuse for misplacing things--the move, a house in transition. The scary thing is that these incidents are becoming more common. J. goes into a daily rage over something he can't find--usually he accuses me of "moving it"--and I'm not always sure I didn't.
    Rowan: I don't know what I'd do without Amazon and Alibris. Many of the listed Alibris books are in the UK, so I have confined my purchases to US sources. SWA's China Bayles series features a sleuth who is an herbalist.
    MTVA: I'm glad to see the affirmation for the "Cottage Tales" books--I'll be on-line to buy the rest of the series. Reading time is scarce right now with so much to do in the garden, but there will be rainy day moments.
    We are loving Kentucky--it seems very right for us.

  5. My little camera also has a habit of hiding in the bottom of my bag. You are not alone!

    Thank you for an interesting post. Getting to know a new area is an exciting time. Good to hear that you found a bookshop in Bowling Green.

  6. Looks like you are having some fantastic days out ...not sure how as you are doing so much at home too.I am so enjoying following your journey and I understand the frustration when things get misplaced...not sure how you are coping except for the fact you LOVE where you are xx

  7. Loved your story Sharon. I AM a morning person and am exactly like that at the other end of the day.

    I'm going to try finding those books you've enjoyed at the library.