Kentucky Vacation, Day 4: Trains and Automobiles

June 6, 2008

(But no planes.)

It was Saturday, our last full day in Kentucky, and it was time to do some of the special interest sightseeing:  the National Corvette Museum for Trevor and the Historic Railpark for Skeeter. 

We went to the National Corvette Museum first.  Now, in case you’re wondering why a Corvette museum is located in Bowling Green, KY, of all places, it’s because there is only one General Motors plant that manufactures Corvettes and it is located in — you guessed it — Bowling Green. 

As we pulled into the museum and drove to the parking area, we couldn’t help but notice the eight or so signs that warned “SAFETY FIRST — NO BURNOUTS.”   Noodle commented, “You think they’re serious about the no burnouts thing?” 

It was a Corvette owners’ drive-in weekend, and there were plenty of Corvettes outside the museum to gawk at.  Here’s Trevor posing with one.  I don’t know if you can see the license plate, but it reads OHSOHOT:

 Inside, there were a wide variety of Corvettes to see.  From the first model ever made (1953 Corvette) to the 1 millionth made, to the Corvette featured in Car & Driver magazine (still dirty) to a Sheriff’s “crimefighter corvette,” there were cars everywhere.  There was also a good deal of information about the evolution of how the car was made and so on.  I breezed through most of it, but I did determine that the 1953 Corvette was my favorite:

On our way out of the museum, we stopped by the information desk where a very informative lady told us all about Duncan Hines.  A Bowling Green native, Mr. Hines worked as a traveling salesman.  As a result, hew knew a lot about where travelers could get a good meal.  He started making a list for his friends of restaurants that he recommended.  That became so popular, it was published in book form, and eventually it got to the point that restaurants would hang up signs saying, “Recommended by Duncan Hines.”  He is known as the first modern food critic.  Noodle and I found this fascinating and, if we had another day left in our vacation, we would have gone to see the exhibit at the Kentucky Museum.  Alas, we just didn’t have the time.

After leaving the museum, we stopped for lunch at Sonic (blackberry iced tea — YUM!) and headed to the Historic Railpark. 

The Historic Railpark is a small-ish museum housed in a no longer used train depot.  There were a few displays to look at and some video presentations as well.  I think the most interesting thing that I learned was that Bisquick was invented for use on railroad cars.  The kids were extremely bored and started to act up a bit, so I took them down to the gift shop until the second half of our museum tour was to begin.

The second half consisted of a tour through three railroad cars and a caboose.  First was the dining car, then a Pullman sleeper car, then a presidential car.  The presidential car is the only way I would have wanted to travel… the others were just too cramped and stuffy.  When our guide told us that we’d probably seen photographs of Presidential candidates on the back of railroad cars like that one, it was all Trevor needed for a photo op:

You can read more nitty-gritty details about the railroad cars we saw here.

That night we stayed at the hotel, concentrating on getting packed up so we could leave after breakfast.  Day 5 was 14 hours of travel back home, and we got here just before midnight.

It was a great vacation but way too short!  And I miss having Noodle around.  😦

One comment

  1. Glad to read about your trip to Bowling Green! We actually do have planes here, too, at the Aviation Heritage Park (www.aviationheritagepark.com). One plane is already on display at the outdoor park, a Phantom 550 that was flown by one of our residents in the Vietnam War. A F9F-5 Panther is also being restored for display. Stop by Basil Griffin Park on Three Springs Road, right off I-65 exit #22, the next time you are passing through or visiting the Duncan Hines exhibit!

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