Today the road has brought me to Versailles, KY.
Memorial Day Weekend had arrived and I was long overdue to answer the call of the road. Truth be told, this weekend was a bit of a treat for me as I had recently been promoted into a senior level position so I didn’t waste a beat in booking a room at Montgomery Inn Bed & Breakfast.
This was one of my longer outings, and would require 2 days of driving. Eight hours of driving on day 1 brought me to Mt Vernon, IL where I stopped for the night at a Holiday Inn. After several hours of rest, I was ready for some dinner so I walked the few hundred feet to Showdown Steakhouse & Saloon.
For a rarity, I was starving. (What can I say? An apple and a bit of beef jerky wasn’t enough fuel to see me through the day.) I ordered the 10 oz ribeye with some sauteed mushrooms and onions along with a salad and enjoyed one of the tenderest steaks I’ve ever sunk my teeth into along with some of the fluffiest rolls I’ve ever tasted with a smidgen of cinnamon butter.
The weariness of an 8 hour drive combined with a relaxing meal finally caused fatigue to catch up with me and I called it a night at 9pm where a full night of sleep re-energized me for another day of driving.
Sometimes even the interstate can take you to a pretty neat place. Part of my 2nd day drive went through Indiana and for years I’ve semi-joked about how travel grinds to a halt due to about five interstates merging there. But this route was almost a subtle entry and it took me through the Hoosier National Forest where I just got to enjoy some of God’s splendor as I zipped down the lone interstate.
I rolled into town a tick past 1pm. I had paid $25 to check in early so I wandered into the house and met the innkeeper, Pam, and her trusty labradoodle, Sadie. Pam gave me the codes to use Hulu and Netflix and sent me to my room, the Cottage Suite.
This inn is a bit different than any I’ve visited. None of the rooms are in the house proper. Connected to the house is a long trailer shaped like a railroad car (it was once an open walkway) and all of the rooms plus the dining room are contained in the structure. My room was located in the caboose where I had a little porch where I could enjoy the perfect spring weather.
When I originally booked the room, it was called the Oriental and had an Eastern flavor. It had a little remodeling done and now had a more homey atmosphere with sky blue walls, some comfy chairs, a king-sized bed with luxury sheets, a writing desk, and a jetted tub. Truthfully, it felt more like a first class apartment.
I puttered around for a few hours before I headed to one of Montgomery Inn’s recommended restaurants for my dinner.
That restaurant was Ricardo’s Grill & Pub, a modernized and elegant sports bar. The pub was packed to the rafters, but service was still incredibly quick and efficient. I enjoyed a Build Your Own Burger (vegetables, pepper jack, bacon, and grilled onions) while I read a classic mystery from Ellery Queen.
With a good dinner digesting, I made my way over to Woodford Theatre where I had made arrangements to review their production of The Music Man.
The theatre has an awfully good location as it shares space in a community center, but has its own auditorium which is very well suited for theatrical productions. It also packs an impressive amount of talent as I enjoyed a very very good show which you can read about here.
After the show, I returned to the inn, still feeling well juiced due to having lost an hour crossing into the Eastern Time Zone. So I enjoyed a little Law & Order on my smart TV while cobbling my play review together. Around 11pm, I sunk under the sheets to enjoy a lengthy and comfortable sleep.
At 8:30am, I headed to the Club Car to have some breakfast. The room has the look and feel of a dining car and I felt like I was on the Orient Express as I sat down to enjoy a bit of breakfast and conversation with Pam. She had whipped up homemade cornbread along with a breakfast scramble of sausage, two poached eggs, and fried potatoes. A little pepper and hot sauce enhanced the already fine meal and I enjoyed a leisurely breakfast before returning to the Cottage Suite.
Normally, I plan a lot of activities, but I didn’t do so this time around. Two days of driving just found me wanting to relax. For myself, I took a long soak in my jacuzzi bath and then spent my day reading, walking, and trying to get caught up on Cobra Kai. I will say that outside of Woodford Theatre, there are also a few museums and historical houses in town. There are many horse related activities as this is derby country. The towns of Frankfort and Lexington are also nearby if you’d like to hunt up some other activities.
But I enjoyed a sweet day of doing virtually nothing before heading over to Shelbyville where I enjoyed a service at Church of the Annunciation and then it was time for dinner.
KFC’s founder, Col. Sanders and his wife, Claudia, lived in Shelbyville and had quite a compound. Mrs. Sanders opened her own restaurant on the property, Claudia Sanders’ Dinner House, which is still in operation today. Mrs. Sanders had her own secret recipe for fried chicken and I was looking forward to putting that to the taste test.
The restaurant is located in what seems like a small auditorium on the far end of the property. You walk into a entry hall which contains a gift shop before being sent down a long hallway to the dining room. The room does feel like the dining room of a house with a large fireplace at one end of the room with a picture of the Colonel hanging above it.
I ordered the two piece chicken dinner which came with authentic mashed potatoes with milk gravy and a second vegetable of choice (I picked baked apples) along with some fluffy rolls shaped like muffins. The potatoes were light and whipped. The baked apples were blended with cinnamon. And the chicken was tasty and juicy. Some have said her recipe for fried chicken is better than Col. Sanders. I think it’s more of an apples and oranges thing, but I liked it and thought it more than measured up to the Colonel’s recipe.
With dinner taken care of, I returned to the inn to rest up for the night before the next day’s travels.
I awoke to a rainy, gray, and chilly morning. I once again made my way to the Club Car where I was greeted by Pam and the exuberant Sadie. Today’s repast consisted of homemade waffles with an apple/walnut compote and sausage patties. I enjoyed some more conversation with Pam (and played a little fetch with Sadie) before bidding the duo adieu and hitting the road.
And so ends another chapter of the road. If you’re looking for a quaint getaway in some beautiful country, try a stay at Montgomery Inn. It’s literally a home away from home.
Until the next time. . .happy travels.