Second time’s the charm for tour

Published 10:50 pm Friday, March 23, 2012

A tour group from Braddyville, Iowa had a second opportunity to get a “taste of Troy” on Friday and they said, like love, Troy is better the second time around. And, if the third time is the charm, it just might be more than they can take.

Neihart Tours and Travel makes an annual pilgrimage to the South and Janet Neihart, who owns and operates the touring company with her husband, Monroe, and Junior Neihart, said that a year ago, they just happened to need a place to stop for dinner on their way to Florida.

“Sisters Restaurant was recommended and it was fabulous,” she said. “So, when we were coming through Troy this time, we decided to try another restaurant that was recommend. We ate lunch as Julia’s and I ate until I couldn’t eat anymore.”

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After trying the country cooking at both restaurants, Neihart said that it’s a tossup as to which is better.

“Next time that we’re through here, we’re going to stay two nights so we can eat at both places,” Neihart said, laughing.

Neihart Tours and Travel has been scheduling tours for 22 years and most of those who travel with the touring company are from the Midwest.

“But we’ve had people from Canada, Ireland and England,” Neihart said. “We do several extended tours each year to all parts of the country. We go to the New England states, the Southwest, the West Coast and, of course, the South.”

Recent trips to the South have included tours of a dairy where more than 200 cows were milked, a peach orchard and an olive grove.

“On this trip, we toured Chattanooga and went to the Cherry Blossom Festival in Macon, Georgia and it was incredible,” Neihart said. “We thought we had died and gone to heaven.”

The group spent three days on the sandy, white beaches of Destin and will visit the Ave Maria Grotto and Nashville before returning to Iowa.

Neihart said the group enjoyed “dinner” at Julia’s and the tours of the Pioneer Museum of Alabama and the Johnson Center for the Arts.

“We all enjoy visiting places that might not be considered major tourist attractions,” she said. “We’ve had a great time and everyone has been so nice and hospitable. We look forward to coming back. Shelia Jackson and Catherine Jordan from the Troy Tourism Department were outstanding hostesses. We appreciate all of those who made our visit to Troy so enjoyable.”

Jackson, Troy director of tourism, said that anytime tour groups choose Troy as a stopover or as a destination, it is an opportunity to showcase what all Troy has to offer.

“The Pioneer Museum of Alabama and the Johnson Center for the Arts are destinations for tourists and we appreciate the efforts of their staffs to make these people feel welcome,” Jackson said. “We especially appreciate the Neiharts for again including Troy on their itinerary. We invite them back and hope to see them again soon.”