A Tale of Three 'Villes - Cookeville

After our goodbyes to Kira and Joe, John and I headed to Cookeville to see his conducting teacher/mentor from his undergrad days, Dan Allcott. Dan's always been so supportive of John, and me - even though he was never my actual teacher - so we love to visit him and his family.

As we drove along I-40 we saw a sign for Del Monaco Winery just 5 miles from the Cookeville exit, and we decided to pull off.

They had a nice tasting room, beautiful property, and friendly staff. Dan told us that the winery is THE place to have a wedding, if you live in Cookeville, and if you click here to see their pictures, you'll understand why.

We tasted several of their wines and you can read about them here. A lot of them were too sweet for my taste, but the chardonnay pretty nice. A lot of them would be good to drink while sitting out on their patio.

Their tasting room overlooks the production part of the building.

After some tasting and buying a bottle for our Knoxville hosts, we went on to Cookeville to hang out with the Capron-Allcotts.

Dan and his wife Susan made us a fabulous dinner of grilled pizzas and salad, and then we played with the family's new dog, Sandy.

Their son, Carter, posed some of his action figures for John to photograph.

Dan still imparts life lessons to John when we visit. This time we learned two important things, though I'm sure John can tell us more:
1) When pouring beer in a glass, you want it to have some foam because its more fragrant.
2) If the glass is warm, pour slowly. If the glass is properly chilled, you have to pour aggressively to get the right amount of foam.

The next few photos take a little explaining. The gist of the story is that Dan went to IU for grad school, and while there, his wife really fell in love with the Bloomington children's museum, Wonderlab.

John puts the dress frame-thing on Jacque (short for Jacqueline), their daughter.

After they moved to TN, Susan felt Cookeville should have something similar and so she started her own version of it: the Kiwanis Cookeville Children's Museum. This year they had a fundraiser called the Mad Hatter's Ball, where the Allcott's bought that dress frame-thing (can someone tell me the real name of it?) that John is putting on Jacque in the picture above.

As part of the fundraiser they also asked local artists to create a fancy hat for the auction. John is modeling the one they took home.

We were so grateful to the Capron-Allcotts for hosting us. It's always nice to visit them and to see the local changes around TTU and Cookeville.

Next up: John's-professor-reunion part 2 in Knoxville.

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