Whenever people mention day trips from Huntsville I make sure to bring up Bell Buckle, Tennessee. I’m always surprised at the number of people that have never heard of it. It’s only an hour and a half away and meanders through some really pretty country. Horse farms and the like.
Do not Bring…
Before you get too excited about a new destination, let’s talk about who you should not bring to Bell Buckle.
They feel the need to place their grubby fingers on everything and generally just make a nuisance of themselves.
Navigating the strollers through the aisles of antiques was quite troublesome. She barely redeemed herself by pronouncing the words ‘Bell Buckle’ as ‘Bingle Bell’ and thus redeeming herself with her cuteness.
The Drive In
But now for those of you without toddlers, back to Bell Buckle. It’s a pretty little town surrounded by Victorian houses and shops – perfect for a lazy afternoon.
The town has a railroad that greets you as you drive into town. And by ‘greets you’ I mean you’ll probably have to wait on a train either on your way in or out. Seems like one of the shop’s proprietors told me it comes through ten times a day. We were there from ten to two and it rumbled through four times.
My Favorite Part of Bell Buckle
My favorite shop is Phillips General Store. If I had to describe Phillips, and Bell Buckle actually, I’d show you the picture at left.
Why? You ask… It’s eclectic, quirky and filled with Moon Pies.
Seriously! These people love their Moon Pies and RC Cola’s. They even have a festival for them, which isn’t really saying much, since Bell Buckle has a festival every time you turn around. Personally, I’m not a big Moon Pie girl but I do like a cold RC Cola.
If you only stop at one place when you’re in Bell Buckle, then it simply MUST be Phillips General Store. If you can’t find something amazing, just turn around and keep looking. It’s there. Personally I love looking through their collection of letters. Phillips always has nice big baskets of old letters, just waiting for people to go through.
One of my favorite finds at Phillips came from this collection of letters.Ten years ago I bought a big batch of WWII letters that were really entertaining. They were from a young wife to her husband in which she spent the majority of time complaining about her mother in law. Poor man – having to fight on two fronts!
If you aren’t into old letters I’m sure you can find something at Phillips General Store.
- Pillows with cats playing the parts of major figures from literature.
- Awesome old canisters
- Boocoodles of fun decorations for any season, regardless of the season it is now.
Side note: Spellcheck and I are in a disagreement over the spelling of ‘boocoodles.’ As it is my blog I win that little argument.
The Bell Buckle Cafe is a great place to eat. I’ve been there several times and never had a bad experience. On the weekends they have live music in the cafe. Think Andy Griffith and friends picking on the guitar not Smoke on the Water.
Which, by the way, my nine year old heard for the first time a few weeks ago and now thinks is the most awesomest (his phrase) song ever. Not to be all Facebooky and share exactly what I had for lunch at The Blue Bird but….
Here’s what I had for lunch (you can see my Facebooky book at left):
- Fried okra
- twice baked potatoes
And my oh my, was it good![spacer size=”0″]
Now, of course, normally I would NEVER get dessert.
*Cue crickets chirping*
But since I knew I needed to blog about it…..
I got this amazing fudge cake (I know, I’m a real trooper)
It tasted like brownie batter. Hot, gooey, delicious brownie batter
The servers had a unique way to carry all the glasses of tea and lemonade. It made me nervous. I’m glad I wasn’t carrying eight glasses at a time.
After we walked around a little more we slipped around the corner to Bluebird Ice Cream.
Having already had fudge cake I declined but decided to get some for the vexation that was this baby. Did she deserve this?
The less said the better. The more said about Bingle Bell…Er, I mean Bell Buckle though most definitely the better!
How Did I get to Bell?
So you may be wondering how I discovered the town of Bell Buckle. It all began in the eighties…Once upon a time, (aka the 80’s) I had to watch my brothers play basketball. There is a prep school called the Webb School and get this – their mascot is ‘The Webb Feet.”
Seriously! There’s a big ole painting of Chuck Taylors with a gnarly toe sticking out on their gym wall! If you think, my memory is failing me (and I certainly did) I googled it.