I will never look at Jack Daniel’s whiskey the same again. It has always been something that I never really cared about because I am not a drinker. I never understood the hype about the stuff. “What’s the big deal?” Whiskey is whiskey!
Well… I spent the better part of the day with members of the Nashville Photography Meetup Group on a private tour of the Jack Daniels Distillery. Myself and twelve other photographers met up in Lynchburg at the distillery for some photography fun and fabulous history! I had no idea how fabulous it was going to be! History has always interested me, and when you pair up history with a ton of people who are passionate… sparks will fire!
When we first arrived at the distillery, I have to admit that I had doubts! When thirteen photographers walked into the welcome center with backpacks full of photography gear, we were almost escorted out by security. Well… maybe that is exaggerating just a bit, but they were very quick to tell us that they would very kindly provide us with lockers for our camera gear. Talk about steam rolling out of our ears! I almost blew a gasket! I was told when I made a reservation for our tour that we would be allowed to carry our cameras everywhere except for one single place where photos were not allowed to be taken.
The lady behind the visitor’s center counter didn’t know what to do! She was very apologetic, and immediately called someone in charge. After speaking to Randall Fanning on the phone for a couple of minutes, she handed me the phone so that he could also very nicely tell me where the lockers are located. At this point I am livid!
So with my head hung down and my tail tucked between my legs, I walked back over to my group and very hesitantly told them that we would not be allowed to take our cameras with us! I was bracing myself to get my butt chewed out because some of the members of the group had driven there from the other side of the state for this tour that I set up for them. But no sooner than the words came out of my mouth did the little lady from behind the counter come back over and told me that they were going to make things right! And they did!
We ended up on a private tour of the grounds, and we were allowed to take our cameras. There were a few places inside the buildings that we were not allowed to shoot because of Homeland Security rules… but that’s okay! The grounds outside had so much character and history that we could have been just as happy not even entering those buildings. But the most impressive element, to me, was the cave spring water which flows year round at a constant temperature of 56 degrees, virtually iron free and is naturally filtered by the limestone that surrounds it. If you haven’t figured it out by now… I have this thing about water!
This history of Jack Daniel himself is very interesting. If you haven’t ever visited the distillery, I strongly suggest doing so! Thank you so much to Mr. Randall Fanning with Jack Daniel’s Distillery for making things right for us and allowing us to keep our gear while touring your grounds. I’m sorry for the misunderstanding, but I’m here to tell you that your hospitality and graciousness will forever be remembered!
All of the staff at the distillery is spectacular, and their love for the history of Jack Daniel is overwhelming. Our guide was amazing and I can’t begin to give him justice. He made our time on the distillery grounds worth every minute!
After leaving the distillery, we all headed over to Miss Mary Bobo’s for lunch! I have always heard great things about this place, but had never had the opportunity to visit until this trip. Again… this history is amazing! This boarding house is fabulous and BEAUTIFUL! We were served fried chicken, pot roast and carrots, carrot salad, cabbage casserole, peas, fried okra, corn, candied apples, and rolls. I don’t even know where to start about how good the food was! But the service is just as spectacular!
We were seated into a private dining room around a large table and served family style. Our hostess stayed with us the entire time and kept us laughing and talking about Lynchburg history! When we ran out of a dish of food, the kitchen would bring us another! The food never stopped coming, and we were full before we even got our plates fixed! After eating the main course, we were served coffee and fudge pie. I don’t know how I managed to finish that piece of pie… but I did.
I am already planning my next trip to Miss Mary Bobo’s Boarding House. My friend is coming to visit me from Florida this Easter, and I am crossing my fingers that I will be able to get us a reservation. If you get the chance to eat at the boarding house, TAKE IT! You will not regret it!
And if you are wondering about the caption written on the picture of us all sitting around the table… let me explain. So we’re all sitting around the table chatting among ourselves, devouring our food, soaking up the history, and feeling like we need a crane to get out of there. When all of a sudden, then guy at the end of the table picks up his belongings and leaves the room. It wasn’t until then that I realized that he wasn’t even part of our group. I felt so bad that I didn’t talk to him and make him feel more welcome to sit with us. I honestly thought he was with one of our members. Oh well… live and learn.
Hey stranger guy… if you ever happen to make it to this blog and read this, I’M SORRY! I’m sorry I didn’t realize you were alone and from now on I will definitely be more aware of who is around me and do my best to make them feel welcome.
Have you ever visited the distillery or the boarding house? If so… I’d love to hear from you! And for crying out loud… register for my blog updates! SUBSCRIBE – SUBSCRIBE – SUBSCRIBE!