“We traveled south to the state of Kentucky to celebrate America’s birthday in style. Bbq, fireworks, American V8 muscle, and a cabin deep in the woods were the ingredients for a 4th of July our family will never forget”
Most of our 4th of July family celebrations have consisted of grilling steaks, burning some sparklers with the kids, followed by bed time. So this time we set out to do something special, something everyone would cherish, but most of all — something with American flair.
Hoping to check a few boxes off our travel and car-nerd bucket lists, we chose to head south on Interstate-65 to Kentucky — home to American landmarks like the Louisville Slugger and Makers Mark Whiskey. Although the only landmark I was interested in, was one much more exciting. The Bowling Green GM Assembly Plant, home to America’s sports car, the poor man’s Ferrari — the Chevy Corvette.
We had chosen our destination, now it was time to find a place to stay, and because we set out to make this a truly memorable trip we knew a hotel room just wouldn’t cut it. We quickly deployed our Airbnb app and found the perfect place, a barn-apartment (yes, such thing exists) on a 225 acre lot just fifteen miles outside of Bowling Green.
- Destination – Check
- Place to stay – Check
- Attractions – Check
- Transportation – ???
As the trip started taking shape, transportation was the last piece of the puzzle yet to be figured out, and because of our American theme, my Honda Civic and Missi’s VW Beetle just wouldn’t fit the bill. So…
Chevrolet came to the rescue and offered us a brand new (2,000 miles old) 2015 Silverado LT Z71 Crew Cab! Sure it would’ve been great to drive a hot Corvette to celebrate America’s birthday, but this was a family trip, and the Silverado set out to play protagonist of our weekend story.
First, let’s travel back in time to establish the the legacy of the American pick up truck. Chevrolet was the first company to roll out a fully factory assembled pick-up truck in 1930, as all trucks were sold as chassis only prior to that, giving patrons a chance to fit their own cargo containers in the rear. By the 1950’s the pick-up truck had become an icon of the American working class, but surprisingly so, the pick-up made its way into the middle class, where owners bought them for their convenience, reliability and overall functionality to haul people and cargo.
It was our first time in Kentucky and we didn’t really know what to expect, specially in a city/town like Bowling Green, as we weren’t sure if there was much more to it than the GM plant, but everything turned out perfect.
Our Airbnb host was an extremely nice and caring lady that not only welcomed us with lots of farm fresh goodies, but even took time to show us around the massive property in a golf-cart — which the kids were dying to drive. The barn-apartment was exactly that, a real farm barn with room for animals below, and a country-rustic apartment with a loft, balcony, and even a suspension bridge that shuttled you over a creek and deep into the woods. It was incredible!
After spending almost all of Friday at the grounds, everything looked to be lining up for a sweet weekend. Except for the weather…
4th of July
Being on Central time but our internal clocks still on Eastern time meant we woke up just a tad ahead of schedule, but we used our time wisely and enjoyed a tasty breakfast in the balcony overlooking the trees and wildlife.
My son Ryan and I left the girls behind as they chose to enjoy the peaceful country, so we could do something a bit more — thrilling.
Travel along I-65 and you’ll see signs to the National Corvette Museum everywhere, but just in case you miss them, follow the caravans of Corvette owners driving their beloved Vette’s. You can’t get lost.
We spent some time taking photos at the General Motors Assembly plant where every single Corvette in the entire world has been built (except for the 1953 first-gen). We had the chance to see some impressive Z06 test cars, and even drive on a Corvette test track, both Ryan and I were like kids in a candy store.
After checking out the assembly plant we drove next door to the National Corvette Museum, checked out the amazing displays, and even had lunch at the Corvette Cafe. And by the way, their grilled cheese sandwich is delicious!
My very first car was a Silverado, a gorgeous dark blue 4WD-Z71 LT extended cab cleverly named — Blue. But things have changed radically for the Silverado since then, it’s now much more refined and grown up, the interior is more sophisticated, the ride is like that of a sedan than a work truck.
Get on the highway and you will quickly realize that you have to watch the speedo, as with its firm suspension and quiet cabin you can quickly crack 90-mph or more. Imagine explaining to the Police that you were speeding because your truck is just too quite and comfortable. LOL
Using the never-ending storms throughout our stay as an excuse, I had the chance to put the Silverado’s off-roading capabilities, which just like my old truck — didn’t disappoint. But this Silverado deploys all-new technology that I’ve never used before. One of those cool new gadgets is Hill Descent Control.
Luckily, I found a big hill to show how it works 🙂
I was pleased to see features like: storage compartments under the rear bench, which were perfect for throwing the kids’s muddy shoes after the farm, power sliding rear window which kids think is the coolest thing ever, plenty of USB charging plugs, and even a household 120-volt plug. Although collectively our most favorite feature is the 4G LTE Hot-Spot, not only did this allow Missi to knock out a few work things on her laptop, but the kids connected their iPads and enjoyed a few games and movies! (Yes, they live a rough life)
More importantly, the Silverado has become a more convenient and family friendly truck, which succeeds at bridging the gap between work truck and family vehicle.
Overall, our trip was incredible. We played in our 225-acre playground until exhaustion, we witnessed incredible fireworks atop Cherry Hall at Western Kentucky University, we witnessed grown and baby wild turkeys, and we did all of that on the truck that helped shape modern America. We originally set out to enjoy a cool 4th of July trip, but without realizing it, we did so much more. We grabbed everything that is amazing and cool about America, pieced it together, and made it happen. Mission Accomplished.
2015 Chevy Silverado 1500 Z71 4wd LT Crew
Base Price: $26,105 (Base Model 2wd)
Price as tested: $51,805
Click here to check out this awesome Airbnb property.
(Disclosure: We did not receive any discount or hospitality on behalf of the property host or Airbnb)
Jim Leo saysJuly 17, 2015 at 1:03 am
Great article! Makes me want to buy a truck!
Jerry Perez saysJuly 22, 2015 at 11:11 am
haha. Keep your Volvo. Thanks Jim!