Sunday, July 10, 2016

Georgetown Fair Queen Pageant Contestant Tea and Orientation with Queen Sierra

The Georgetown Fair Queen Pageant officially kicked off the summer with a contestant tea with current queen Miss Georgetown Fair 2015 Sierra Dicken. The queen's tea serves as the official welcome and contestant orientation, and things get going right away with practice starting up this week.

Queen Sierra talked a little about her year as Miss Georgetown Fair and we can't wait to see who she crowns at the pageant in August. But before then we'll be tagging along with the contestants as they attend practice and make appearances in the community leading up to the pageant. Queen Sierra has left her mark on the Miss Georgetown tradition, earning her spot as a finalist at the state pageant and keeping her parents hopping with an appearance schedule that rivals most state queens.

We're expecting to have a lot of fun this summer, so look for our cameras when you see the Georgetown Fair Queen Pageant contestants and be sure to stop and say hi when you see Josh and Joe Travels!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Loretta Lynn Ranch and Plantation Home Hurricane Mills Tennessee

Loretta Lynn's ranch in Hurricane Mills has a lot going on, from the dirt track to the museum to the post office, there are people everywhere, but the biggest attraction at the ranch is Loretta Lynn's plantation home. Loretta, Mooney and the Lynn family moved to Hurricane Mills in the 1960's and lived in the plantation house for more than 20 years. Our tour guide told us Loretta moved into another house nearby on the ranch in the 1980's, and now the plantation house is open for tours.

Seeing the Lynn family home in person is really something special, and even though no pictures are allowed inside the house during the tour, its hard not to feel like Loretta isn't personally welcoming you into her home. We've watched videos of Loretta and her kids talk about their time in the plantation home, and its pretty neat that Loretta has kept everything in place just so her curious fans can come and take a look. And yes, it's special to see the actual kitchen where some of the Crisco commercials were filmed, and it's touching to see all the family portraits above the fireplace. We wished the tour had been a bit longer and we were super curious to see a little upstairs given all the ghost stories, but just seeing the first floor was really special.

The plantation home and property is filled with Civil War history, and Loretta herself has given interviews talking openly about the spirits she and her family feel might still be on the ranch. The Anderson family cemetery is nearby, and there are stories of spirits and ghosts that seem to move between the cemetery and the house. If this kind of thing peaks your interest, look around for video of ghost hunter television shows that have visited the house.

We really enjoyed our visit to Loretta Lynn's ranch, and we hope our pictures convince you to make the trip from Nashville out to Hurricane Mills. For our tour of the plantation home we bought tickets at the mill and boarded a shuttle van that took us up the drive to the house. We can tell you how beautiful it is at the ranch, and how pretty the old plantation home is up on the hill, but if you want to see inside, you'll have to go there yourself just like Josh and Joe Travels!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Loretta Lynn Ranch and Museum Hurricane Mills Tennessee

We love the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, and Joe grew up listening to classic country music with his family, so it comes as no surprise that a visit to the Loretta Lynn Ranch at Hurricane Mills, Tennessee, has been on our list for a long time. We had a great time visiting the ranch and museum, and we'll tell you more about our tour of the plantation home in another post.

We can tell you a few things right away: First, it's pretty cool, especially if you love Loretta Lynn and are a country music fan. Second, there is a lot of history out in Hurricane Mills, so even if you don't love country music, there is a good chance something about this place will interest you. Third, this place is truly beautiful, set along a creek in the Tennessee hills way out in the country, so you should enjoy a visit even if country music makes your ears burn and history puts you to sleep.

There is a lot to see and do at the ranch. There are campgrounds for RVs and even some cabins. There is a motocross track, an enormous swimming pool, and Loretta even gives concerts right on the ranch. You'll probably be most interested in the plantation home and the museum. We got tickets to see both for less than we expected, and we suggest bringing twenty or thirty dollars a person in cash to make things easy when you visit. We arrived mid-morning and managed to get a parking spot near the museum. Around the mill it is a reasonably small area but we still did a lot of walking, so bring comfortable shoes.

In the Loretta Lynn Museum is a ton of cool stuff. They don't allow pictures in the museum so you'll have to take our word for it, but we promise that inside Loretta has put on display some of the most iconic pieces from her life and career in country music. We walked inside her original tour bus, said to have traveled three million miles. And Loretta even parks her current bus right outside just so you can take pictures. We saw her stage costumes, family wedding photos, her medal of freedom, and autographed books from several presidents. And there is a lot more, so if you've seen the movie and listened to a few records, we think you'll agree how cool it is to see this stuff in person. What struck us most is how Loretta Lynn has put her entire life on display for her fans.

We had a great time at the Loretta Lynn Ranch in Hurricane Mills, and you'll see pictures of the house in another post. We hope you'll make the hour trip from Nashville to see the ranch yourself and tour the museum, and we hope you'll sing along just like Josh and Joe Travels.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Georgetown Fair Queen 2016 Princess Luncheon with Queen Sierra

With the Georgetown Fair Queen Pageant kicking things off on July 10th with the contestant tea, we couldn't help but be reminded of the the queen's annual princess luncheon which is one of the queen's favorite events. Queen Sierra hosted lunch with her princess friends at the Georgetown Fairgrounds, reading a story, dancing, eating cupcakes and visiting with future Georgetown Fair Queens all afternoon.

Miss Georgetown Fair is one of the most active fair queens in all of Illinois, thanks to outstanding directors Jill Pope and Karen Thornsbrough, plus one of the best fair boards anywhere. The Georgetown Fair Queen makes appearances and is active in her community not just during fair week but during the entire year, and the queen's princess luncheon has become one of the most anticipated events in the county. As the official photographers of the Georgetown Fair Queen we are thrilled to be able to share pictures of the queen's year of service right here.

Think you've got what it takes to be the next Georgetown Fair Queen? The first step is attending the queen's tea coming up on July 10th which is an informational meeting with contestants, and a chance to hear about the job firsthand from Queen Sierra. Visit the Georgetown Fair Queen website, look for directors Karen and Jill on facebook, or contact us if you need help getting in touch. With the queen's tea right around the corner we hope you are practicing your queen wave, and be ready to smile for the camera when you see Josh and Joe Travels!

Monday, June 20, 2016

The Tropic Cinema in Downtown Key West Florida

The Tropic Cinema has got to be one of the most iconic spots in downtown Key West, and if you check out much local Key West art you are likely to see the Tropic and the iconic Marilyn Monroe statue pop up quite a bit. The Tropic is right in the heart of downtown on Eaton just off Duval. Even if you aren't headed to a show, look for the people taking pictures with the life-size Marilyn Monroe statue out front. The Tropic might look historic, but it is actually a retro designed cinema that went in around 2004 and is actually in an old factory space. The Tropic is the perfect place to chill on a hot day and they tend to show a pretty good variety of films. On your next visit to Key West consider taking in a show at the Tropic, and be sure to wave if you see Josh and Joe Travels!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Georgetown Fair Queen Contestant Tea coming up on July 10

Summer is here and that means its almost time for the Georgetown Fair Queen Pageant, and things kick off this year with the Georgetown Fair Queen Contestant Tea to be held on July 10th at the Georgetown fairgrounds. The contestant tea is the annual kickoff for the search to find the next Georgetown Fair Queen, and it is a chance for contestants to get all the info about the pageant from directors Karen Thornsbrough and Jill Pope. Contestants will hear firsthand from Miss Georgetown Fair 2015 Sierra Dicken about her year of service and her trip to the state pageant where she finished as a finalist.

Miss Georgetown Fair spends the week at the fair in August making appearances with her court, and she goes on to compete at the Illinois state county fair queen pageant held in January. Miss Georgetown is active in her community making appearances all year long, and since we are the official photographers of the Georgetown Fair Queen, you'll see lots of pictures right here at Josh and Joe Travels.

Think you've got what it takes to do Queen Sierra's job? Look for the Georgetown Fair Queen Pageant on Facebook and get in touch with directors Karen and Jill. Or get in touch with us and we'll connect you with the directors. We've been working with Karen and Jill for years, so we can tell you that the lucky winner will spend the next year with two of the hardest working directors in Illinois.

This summer is sure to be lots of fun, but it can fly by before you know it, so be sure to check back often to see what the Georgetown Fair Queen is up to as we head toward August and the Georgetown Fair Queen Pageant. Count on seeing pictures here first at Josh and Joe Travels!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Blue Heaven and Bahama Village in Key West

Blue Heaven is one of the most popular places to eat in Key West, and Bahama Village is one of the coolest and most historic places on the island. People love Blue Heaven for the jerk chicken and fresh seafood dinners, and they also serve a great breakfast.

Blue Heaven is all outdoor seating, so keep this in mind depending when you visit. During the cooler months just about any time of day is a great time to be outdoors at a place like Blue Heaven, but in warmer months you might like breakfast when it is still reasonably cool, or waiting until after dark for what Blue Heaven calls "dinner under the stars." If there is rain in the forecast, though, this place might be best saved for another day.

We enjoyed our recent breakfast at Blue Heaven. We got there around 8:30am and didn't have to wait for a table, but the place filled up quick while we were eating. We saw a few big parties having a great time, so if you are in town with a small group keep this place in mind for breakfast or brunch. Our blueberry pancakes were tasty, and they even offer real maple syrup for a little extra. If you really love Blue Heaven they have a pretty big gift shop so you can take home something for your friends.

Parking in Bahama Village can be hard to come by so we walked a few blocks from the parking lot at the downtown fire station which took about 10 minutes, and after breakfast we hit a few of our favorite art galleries on Duval to make the most of what we paid to park. If you have a bicycle your totally in business - just be sure to lock up your bike securely anytime you leave it.

If you've already been to Blue Heaven for breakfast we also like Two Friends on Front Street which has similar patio dining and puts you in a great spot to start your day on Duval or even around the historic seaport district. So the next time you are in town be sure to visit Blue Heaven and check out Bahama Village, and be sure to stop and say hi if you see Josh and Joe Travels!