04 September 2017

8/21-22/2017 - Downtown, Dining, and Driving

In downtown, we parked near the restaurant and took a walk along the riverside park before dinner. There was a wide boat ramp sloping down to the Ohio River. On one side was a big splash pad for kids and a train bridge crossing over the river. As we watched, a very long train crossed over it. Didn't get to see the end before we left.
On the other side was green space. People picnicked under tall shade trees and a nice walkway meandered along the riverfront with signs recapping local history.

There were statues of John James Audubon (bird artist) and a few birds, such as osprey and pelican (my fave bird).

A current day "bird man" showed off his three white cockatoos. He answered questions about them and even let folks hold them. The birds were yakking away, although I could not hear what they were saying from where we were. (Reminded me of Spooky, Mike's sister's cockatoo. That bird had a huge human vocabulary. Sorry to say he passed away some time ago.)

OK, off to dinner. We turned around and headed back up the hill toward the business area. Dark clouds loomed.
Ron had researched the restaurants in downtown Henderson and chose Commonwealth Kitchen and Bar. He made advanced reservations, which was a good thing, because it was packed. We got a nice window table. It was 5-star in our opinion.

Dixie had the chipotle black bean burger with jalapeƱo, corn, and guac. I had a huge salad with candied pecans, feta, and blackened shrimp. The guys both ordered polenta ravioli with sage infused tomato sauce. Sounds like a strange combo, but the ravs were the hit of the night.That would have been my first choice after a taste of Mike's. But everything was soooooo yum!  

Then there were the "adult" beverages. Dix and I shared a bottle of Alamos malbec--mellow and tasty. Mike drank refreshing ice tea due to a little dehydration. But Ron was in his element. He is a bourbon connoisseur (a Maker's Mark ambassador) and this is bourbon country. Tim was our waiter and an expert bourbon-ite. He was way gracious to show off his stock which included 75 bourbons.

Ron was up for the challenge as a seasoned taste tester. He started with Angel's Envy suggested by Tim. Then Tim invited us to the back bar to view the various bourbons on hand. When it came down to it, Ron couldn't pass on his favorite Maker's Mark Cask Strength for the next round.

Then Tim brought a complimentary taste of Rhetoric 23. Next he offered a taste of Old Ripy, but found he was out of that. Not to disappoint, he brought Ron just a swallow of a very expensive Willett Pot Still Bourbon (pix below). Ron was thoroughly impressed by this exceptional Southern hospitality.
We loved the highball glassware, too. Hard to tell in this photo but it was a regular glass from bottom to rim. The rim, however, was at a pitched angle. You drank from the high side. Very cool. We need some of these!
We shared dessert. It was basically 4 mini cannoli, but they named it desert egg rolls. That size was just right as we were totally stuffed before we even ordered this last course.
On the menu it suggested you could buy a "round" for the restaurant staff for $15, if you felt they did a great job. We decided to do that and added an extra $5 just for Tim. That's how much we loved the place and especially Tim.

After dinner we had planned to walk around downtown, but it had started raining and lightning during our desert. So we hopped in the car to head home. Traffic had finally died down a bit and it was a quick cruise back to the hotel. All were stuffed and tired, so headed to our respective rooms.

We met about 8:30am for breakfast, packed the car, and started for home. We worried a bit about traffic, but it was smooth sailing all the way except for the construction area.

Some interesting things we saw on the road home:
- a Sinclair gas station with a Dino, the dinosaur statue looking onto the highway (haven't seen that brand in a millennium!)
- a motorcycle with side car (but the lady friend was riding behind her man, while the side car went empty...maybe luggage in there!!)
-  and a long section of wind turbine tower being transported in a way we had not seen before. Hard to describe but nothing supporting the section underneath, just hanging from equipment at front and back. Sorry you cannot see the whole rig, but hopefully you get the idea.

To pass the time we listened to tunes on Sirius. Fave channels were "classic vinyl" (our era with Joe Cocker, Jackson Brown, Moody Blues, Steely Dan, Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, Dire Straits, etc.) and "deep tracks" (other than the top songs on hit albums). Picture four near oldie but goldie folks singing along to Teenage Wasteland while traveling down the highway.

We hit home about 4:30p on Tues. Bella met us at the door, as usual. Yay! What a fabulous short but sweet trip. Thanks, R&D for all the planning and transportation. Don't think we would have done it without you. xx00xx

Parting shot. See that darkest spot in upper middle of this photo? That's where we were.

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If you have visited any of these places, we would love to hear your comments. Or send us recommendations of places we should not miss.