zaterdag 7 december 2013

Dec 5: Nashville, TN

it was allready warm outside, like they said, but also raining, like they also said. We dressed for summer, I didnt have an umbrella so I grabbed my lightest coat to put over my head for the rain.
We were a bit (or very) stupid and didnt plan the day very well. Janet gave me an adress of a cool shop but it wasnt downtown and we didnt think about that.
We're not in California anymore!

downtown Nashville in the rain

Parked at the library (found some hysterical stories online, but most parkhouses were 10$ per day, not bad at all I think)
 and when we walked out we noticed the warmth was gone (yes, just like that, within one hour) and it was a bit chilly so I put my jacket on. We just started walking around and found a funny candy shop that sold Green River soda and Creedence fridge magnets. I also tried red liquorice but, neh.
Bought two umbrellas and walked to Broadway, on 2nd.
"Starbucks, we need your umbrella"

2nd Avenue

Last time we were in Nashville, about 5 yrs ago, I saw many many supercool cowgirl boots and I more or less waited 5 years for this day, the return to Nashville to buy me some superboots you dont see at home.
I'm gonna spare you all the details, but at the end of the day we saw about 2,000,000 pairs of boots and I didnt like one of them so that was a big dissapointement.
I also planned to buy a cool cowgirl shirt but that was the same story.
While looking around in the touristic boots shops on Broadway and not finding anything, I had in the back of my mind that I might had better chances in the vintage shop Janet told me about.

Broadway in the rain, #1

Walking around on Broadway we looked inside bars were singers were playing for very small audience (thursday 11am is not the best moment to play in a bar in downtown Nashville I guess)
Then I heard really cool music... we looked and saw this awesome band, with a girl playing stand up bass, playing for a totally empty bar!

Robert wasnt sure first, but I wanted to go in and said "we're in Nashville, we have to see a good band, and they are playing and there's nobody there!"
In the end that was maybe the best thing that happened all day. We stayed quite a while and they were awesome. we even bought their cd!

picture by Robert

awesome picture by Robert!!!

More people came in later, watched one song, put some money in the jar tip and left again.
At a certain moment, a total drunk staggered in (remember it was 11am) sat down and drank his own bottle. Robert said "we're going to witness a drunk getting kicked out of a bar in 3, 2, 1..." before he was finished talking, the bartender came up and asked the guy to leave. I think we stayed at least 30 minutes, and only left because we had more plans for the day.

We reached the end of Broadway and I had an idea. 12 years ago when I was here alone, I bought a piggy bank bus at the Greyhound station, and I thought that would be a cool thing to buy for my nephew Ben. I remembered it wasnt that far and talked Robert into walking to it.
We didnt find it, so we asked, and they told us the old one was gone and there was a new one a bit further. That was a sign to turn around to Broadway, but we didnt :-D
It was quite a (cold, boring) walk and then we saw the new building in the distance.
we walked up and Robert took a picture of the Greyhound sign, and a security guard walked out.
ofcourse, picture taken by Robert :-D (sssst!)

"you cant take pictures of the Greyhound sign"
(yes, he really said that)
uh, ok, are you kidding? No he wasn't.
"you cant take pictures inside or outside and you cant take pictures of the bus"
Yeezzz, you bully!!!!
we walked in, I looked around and saw a foodcorner and went there to look at the souvenirs they sold. No luck, so I turned around and saw that Robert was stopped by two big security guards. he was talking to him and I assumed he was about to get permission of taking some pics inside, as he is always the one that gets things done, but no, not this time!
Too bad, there was a real cool new bus standing outside that still had "Nashville" on the front.
One of the guards asked me "how did you pass me??"
I dont know, but please note that I'm a John Fogerty fan that goes to a lot of concerts and has a way to deal with security :-D
We didnt wanna cause a riot so I just told about the piggy bank bus. He was friendly and told me to ask about it at the snack counter I just went to, maybe they had one in the back.
So I went back and the girl was very friendly but she said they we're all gone.
This ment we NOW had to go and goodbye. Only passengers in the Greyhound station. (is that new?)
So in the end, we were kicked out of a Greyhound Station hahahahahaha!!!
I was totally out of mood then but can laugh about it now.

Back in the rain and cold and wind, to Broadway, and we passed the Country Music Hall of Fame so time for a bathroom break :-D
We walked around a bit and checked their souvenirs (allready saw the museum twice) We were both by FAR the youngest visitors, it looked like a nursing home was dropped there.

Now we tried to find 12th Ave S where the vintage shop was and a organic supermarket.
It was cold and raining and the map was unclear and we were tired and you know how things go.
First we passed Mercy Lounge (cool music venue) and then a slow freight train in front of us blowing his horn nonstop.
It was complicated to find 12th ave South and to make a long story short: we walked up a bit to see how far it was but it was clear it was way to far to walk (silly europeans we are)
Also I tripped over a metal pin (glad I didnt step IN to it) that tore up my boot so wet sock from then on.

We walked back towards downtown and found the cool organic shop "the Turnip Truck" with lots of interesting snacks, and also a warm buffet, with extreme good looking food, southern and all other kinds, so we decided to eat there. (they had a corner with tables) I scooped a lot of food on my plate, for half of it I wasnt sure what it was. It looks like... but they call it... well, it's healthy anyway! Every bite was delicious. That was one of the highlights of the day :-D
I have a slight idea what I'm eating....

But, before we took our warm meal and sat down, we were walking around in the shop and I wasnt feeling well at all (also severe case of PMS!) and not only because we were frozen and wet.(also some personal stuff) At a certain moment I said to Robert "I feel like I'm going to scream between now and 5 minutes". Well, I didnt start to scream, but exploded in a big crying breakdown. It was all a bit too much.
Nice! Lets have an emotinal breakdown in a supermarket in Nashville!!
Somehow I was able to get myself together again, and after eating that delicious (and warm) meal (and organic reeses as desert :-) I felt a whole lot better, but still not extremely happy.
Got a big coffee to go and we went back into the cold.

Back to downtown!
Walking around in Nashville we were suprised about how many churches there are.They dont call it "Bible belt" for nothing ofcourse. Some of them were modern, but there were some very pretty old ones too.
Just as we passed the traintracks, we heard a honking freight train approach. Do I have to mention that everytime? YES, because honking American trains are AWESOME and make me feel good :-)
AT&T building aka"Batman", and Broadway

By the time we reached "lower" Broadway again, it was getting dark and all the lit neonlights were a pretty sight. We walked around a bit more, I remembered I forgot to take my wintercoat out of the car so we went there and I could finally dress up warm. there was going to be a Predators (icehockey) game, and there were some fans on the loose already. We wondered if they would get drunk, anoying and agressive like soccer fans do at home, but we never found out (maybe for the better) - note: 2nd time we were in Nashville we visited a Predators game together with our Canadian friends Brian and John. It was the first and still only sportsgame I ever attended!-

two very wellbehaved fans :-) "hey guys, can I take your picture, I'm from Europe!"


We walked around a bit, bought some souvenirs, looked at more boots, went to the Johnny Cash museum and got out without going really inside, yes, it was that kind of a day. My umbrella felt apart, rain started pouring like crazy, cold and wet feet, we decided it was enough, went back to the car and see if the vintage shop Janet told about was still opened.
Ofcourse it wasnt!

Back to our motel. We didnt know what to do and decided to check out Opryland hotel. It didnt sound like anything we would like, but we didnt know anything else to do right now in Nashville that made sense. Tried to arrange a meeting with friends that didnt work, yeah, it was that kind of a day....
According to our car it was only 38°F,  what is about  3° C. That was a drop of more than 30°F/ almost 20° C IN ONE DAY. Later, people at home said it was on the news!
It wasnt far from our hotel and while driving there we saw a big mall, and I thought, well, if Opryland is really bad, maybe I can talk Robert into going there, and eat something.

Well, I guess you can tell how thinks worked out. We didnt have a clue what we were doing because we never planned this untill very last moment. We were totally lost, and when we finaly ended up somewhere, we saw a sign that said "self parking: $20"
No. Just NO.
We didnt feel like this was worth a 20 dollar parkingspot, so we cursed a lot and tried to find out.
Then I asked Robert about the mall, that was "right here!" and he gave in (thanks honey) but we got lost and got stuck somewhere on a dark road parked half in someones driveway, and the GPS didnt work. Yay, Nashville.

Finally back on the road, we took a different route, and passed... a huge Kroger supermarket! we had to get snacks for the long trek to Missouri tomorrow, so we went in. aahh! Now that was fun too, silly us :-) we bought all kinds of stuff and again a big tray of water, thought about having a pizza at the neighbouring Pizza Hut, but went back to the motel cos I was sure I saw Pizza Hut there too.
Well, yeah, I did see Pizza Hut! It was situated in the same parkingspot as Taco Blergh, and we drove around the block twice and still didnt find it, so we parked and went inside TB.... to find out, that there was a Pizza Hut Express. What is that?! well, some sorry excuse for a pizza "restaurant", and in this case, inside the worst fastfood chain ever, if you ask me. The girl was friendly enough, though, very patience with us silly Europeans, explaining how things worked (not, as they almost closed and had almost nothing left) and she liked my hat :-)
I decided that I would have some chocolates or carrots or ricecrackers for dinner, and Robert ended up with a cheeze pizza, that had the size of a (round) stamp.
So far for "everything is big in America" !!

Back at the hotel, we got a message from our friend more or less saying "hey you can visit me at work, I'm at the Opryland hotel... I can work out parking for you".


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