Posted by: Judy | October 19, 2022

My Kentucky Adventure

A dear brother in Christ took me to the airport, just after 3 am, for a 5:20 am flight. Texted my pickup friend that I was in my seat and the flight was scheduled on time. I don’t ever remembering having to move people on the plane to balance it for takeoff. I moved from the front to the back. I didn’t really care where I sat. The flight attendant apologized and gave me a whole can of orange juice. Any time! LOL!

Arrived in Austin, TX, and called my friend. She picked me up and we stopped for road trip shopping. We spent the night in her home, with her delightful family. It was a good transition point, leaving everything the behind and living in the moment.

Before 9 am, we were on the road east, to our LOTR gathering, talking all the way. We stopped as needed. Somewhere after Houston but before Alabama, Louisiana or Mississippi, we noticed a semi stopped in the left lane of the freeway. We eased over and slowed. A car pulling a trailer was on its side. Several men were working to help the people in the car and setting out flares and directing cars through the right lane. We agreed we had nothing to offer and would be better out of the way. Prayed for the family and those helping. We were also one of the last cars to make it past. A semi was a car or two behind us, and it was too big to make it through the space left. We drove for 10-15 minutes before we saw an emergency vehicle headed in the other direction. We stopped, for the night, on the edge of Mobile, a Hampton Inn, a lovely place, with a free breakfast. Getting out of the car, we heard gun shots. We looked at each other and said, “Sounds like home.” LOL!

On our way again by 9 am, with the thought of missing rush hour traffic. It worked. More stops and constant chatter. We arrived in Dawsonville and stayed at a Super 8. We agreed never again. We met another LOTR friend for dinner at Olive Garden. Delicious. It’s been five years, for me. What a joy to connect with these friends.

Picked up our GA friend around 8 am and drove to an apple orchard to pick up some hand pies for me and apples for them. More driving and stopping as needed, headed north and west, through Tennessee to Kentucky. By around 4 pm, we arrived in the Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill. Our room was on the second floor, though I kept calling it the first floor, the hazard of writing Regency romance. We ferried baggage up the 20 stairs, steep stairs, over about 2 hours. We went to dinner at the Old Owl Tavern, in Harrodsburg. We’d been 5 years before. My TX friend and I weren’t really hungry and wanted the hamburger from the kids’ menu, but no. The waitress suggested we order the regular burger and split it. Perfect! Delicious and just right.

Hot chocolate from the K-cup coffeemaker was a perfect way to end every evening and a delicious addition to the morning. Registration didn’t start until noon, so we took it easy. At noon, we wandered down to registration and spent part of the afternoon there, greeting people as they arrived. I walked to the barn, with my TX, GA, and PA friends, for dinner and a program, introducing the theme of Arda through the Ages. Fun. Laughter. While most of the attendees went to The Pony (a room we ‘take over’ during our gatherings), I went to bed. The fresh air and walking wore me out.

First full day of the gathering, and I walked to breakfast at the other end of the village. I sat with someone I didn’t know. This event was different for me. I made an effort to talk to people I didn’t know. At the buffet, I plated bacon, spiced apples, biscuits and gravy, what I’ll eat every morning for the whole event. I look forward to this, every event. Went back to the room and laid down for a short rest before a workshop and fell asleep. Woke up in time to walk to the Gift Shop and buy a sandwich for lunch and go to a discussion on the Rings of Power. Back to the room to rest, and then it was time to dress for dinner. My TX friend let me borrow costumes to wear, including a lovely, warm, lined cloak. TX, PA, and I walked to dinner, while GA drove. It’s about a half-mile walk. Dinner and a show and lots of laughter and a walk home and to bed.

Breakfast with a couple I didn’t know and a walk back to my room. A nap. A walk to buy lunch and a presentation about the Tolkien archive at Marquette University. A look at the wares offered at the even Trading Post. Amazingly gifted people, leather work, homemade soap, shirts, t-shirts, jewelry, CDs, and more. A nap and ready for dinner. A walk, delicious meal, fun show, and walk home.

The last day started with breakfast with the same couple. I’m sorry I didn’t catch their names. I did okay with single names but more than that were tougher. Next time. Helped set up the Party Field. Took a break and picked up lunch at the Gift Shop. More helping out at the Party Field. One of the people teased the gentleman I helped with hanging lanterns that his language wasn’t what they expected. He looked at me and said, “I’m trying to behave.” I replied, “You’re very thoughtful. Thank you.” Maybe I reminded him of his mother. Lots of laughing. A nap and dressed for dinner. Had to drive as it was well over a mile of up and down dirt road to the Far West Lot. They have a barn for boarding horses, so you could bring your horse and ride the trails. One final delicious dinner, Hobbit dancing, and more fun and laughter. Another successful event comes to a close.

But we hate saying goodbye, so most of us have breakfast together at the Trustee’s Table. We, TX, GA, and I, were back on the road around 9 am. Back through Tennessee and spending the night in Dawsonville. We had dinner at Miller’s Ale House. We stayed at a Quality Inn or a Comforter Inn; one was one night and the other was the other night, and I don’t remember which. Doesn’t matter. They were both lovely, with free breakfast. I learned to make a waffle. LOL!

The next morning, TX and I were on our way back. We stopped in Louisiana, and then on to TX. We talked and laughed and laughed and talked. Spent the night in TX, and then taking back to the Austin airport. Zipped through security, easy-peasy. Uneventful flight home. A dear friend picked me up and stayed to visit for a little while.

Thank you to the young man going and the gentleman returning, who helped me by lifting my carry-on suitcase from the overhead bin.

I was blessed with seeing some spectacular fall colors and a deer. The scenery was beautiful. The weather was gorgeous. We had nights as close as 38, requiring the heater, and days as high as 72. Loved it! My sleeping and eating patterns are healthier.

Admitting I’m awkward has made life easier. Fitting in is no longer a concern. It helps me be less aware of myself and more aware of others. Funnily enough, the admission makes others feel more comfortable.

My friends are awesome people. I’m so grateful God placed them in my life.

I’m so grateful God helped me find this LOTR group that gathers every few years. It’s a joy.

If you’re interested in the Shaker Village, here’s their website:

This is the West Family Dwelling. Our room is on the other side on the second floor.


  1. Great blog

    • Thanks.

  2. Please read my post

  3. Sounds like you had a wonderful trip Judy!πŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œ

    • It was. πŸ™‚

  4. What a lovely trip. Thank you for sharing your adventures with us.

    • πŸ™‚ ❀

  5. I feel like I’ve just gone on my first LOTR outing! What fun! Thank you for sharing your journey with fun detail.

    • You’re most welcome. πŸ™‚

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