Sorry about the delay in posting...we've both been affected by the season's "flu du jour" or whatever it is that's going around. It's been a long battle...
When we left French Lick, I stopped at the entry arches for the West Baden Springs for a photo op... showing the way I dressed for the entire excursion. When I was done there, we headed to a jewelry store in a nearby town to get a watch battery replaced, and headed south for our son's place.
At the West Baden Springs entry arches...
Enroute, we stopped at a small town called Tell City, IN.
I had visited there previously, back in the mid '90's, on business. Yes folks, the name is unusual...but not as unusual as its name before it was changed - a long time ago. That name was Helvetia (pronounced Hel-vay-sha.) You can do a lot to botch that name up...imagine being told to "go to Hel-vetia." Cursing, but with a civil tongue. It was hard to pronounce, and there was a large German/Swiss population. Thus the name was changed, to honor the Swiss marksman and liberator named "William Tell." I noted a news article which states that the high school football team is named the "Marksmen."
Notice the artist's rendition of William Tell?
Love the artistic license of Tell's blousy tunic...and black tights! (Perhaps reminiscent of the movie "Robin Hood - men in tights"?)
This name furor somewhat reminds me of the tempest in a teapot over the former name of the Ravens stadium in Baltimore. A company named "Psi-net" (pronunciation: "Sigh-net") bought the initial naming rights back in about 1999, and for a while it was called "Psi-net Stadium." But you can imagine how quickly that deteriorated.
Probably half (if not more) references to it were "PissyNet Stadium. Sometimes they even got away with it "on the air." And people started joking about it. Each time, it snowballed, and brought even more jokes. The company allegedly "corrected" the media regarding proper pronunciation of its name. so that part of the problem eventually disappeared.
However, the issue developed a life of its own, for a while.
Psi-net went bankrupt, and gave up its naming rights in 2002. Needless to say, Psi-net's name is no longer on the stadium - I don't know (and don't really care) if they even survived the bankruptcy. And "Pissy-net Stadium" is fortunately now called something else, much more benign and much less controversial.
I couldn't resist taking a pic of the following artwork found enroute, which brings back pleasant memories...of me as a kid, traveling by train with my mother, who was always wearing skirts, hose and heels. Nowadays, being in a wheelchair, she always wears pants, and at times I''m the one in skirts (though not often at the nursing home.) Definitely a role reversal....and I'd say, a change for the better on my part.
After my practical experience as an androgynous person out and about "in one of the states of maximum confusion about us" I can say there were no overt issues or comments regarding my presentation. Nor stares or double takes. For me, this toleration is what allows Mandy to be "out and about" without wearing dresses or skirts. The few folks who knew me and my true gender had no issues with me, or with the fact that in the French Lick Springs Resort I used the family restroom - which they now provide. (Though for our day in the West Baden Springs Resort, I used the men's room sparingly (like once), didn't run into any guys crass enough to make an issue out of my presence, and had no problems.) Generally, those who didn't know the back story, seemed to pretty much accept me as a female.
It was also amazing that even when the hotel desk and Casino checked my ID, they universally treated me as a woman and frequently used female forms of address (well, except on the phone the couple of times I had to call the desk...that's undoubtedly the weak spot in my presentation. And one that right now, I can't do anything to cure.) After all the bad press on "us - as in LGTBQ and Trans" lately, in no way did I expect to be treated that well. Especially while visiting the state which initiated the "anti" movement. Was it their company diversity training ruling the employees, or were they still being politically correct? Will that continue now that we have our new President? Only time will tell.
So, I admit, I expected the worst, and it didn't happen. I was not traveling alone, which is/was a big help. Nor was I frequenting dives deep in the city, during late evening hours. (French Lick is in halfway between nowhere and nowhere else.) Obviously in your travels, YMMV. And please don't assume that I am implying "androgynous presentation" is appropriate, or will even work, for anyone but me. That's a personal decision we all must make, individually.
However, I certainly hope this is a positive sign for us as part of the larger group, despite those periodic awful rumbling noises emanating from deep within the bowels of Washington DC and various state capitals.
On to The Volunteer State...you football fans know I mean Tennessee!
And due to the weather (continued cloudy, rain, yuck) and colds/illness on just about everyone's part, it was a shorter-than-usual stay, focused on remaining indoors and out of the weather. Both of us came down with whatever was going around...the kids already had it.
But we enjoyed our time there as much as we could...one 16-month-old little girl made that possible. She's beginning the process of talking...she always knows what she's saying...but we can't always decipher it. However, she's at the stage where she copies what she hears. A wee little parrot, as it were. We were watching TV one evening, and a character on the show shouted " Oh, God!" A few seconds later, we all heard a very clear and strong "Oh, God!" from our little princess.
Don't even think about uttering any swear words...the kids told us that "you'll hear them back a few seconds later..."
Despite our various maladies, we had a good time, and hated to leave. But it was time to get home. So we bade farewell and set off into cloudy skies. On the trip home, we saw more sun the next two days than we saw the entire trip to that point - about 4 hours.
And now that we're back, the rain has ceased on the Delmarva and things are looking a bit better...as are our maladies. Another successful trip...