Monday. My aunt was up early to get ready for class, and I was not far behind her. I didn’t really have a tight schedule to keep to, but this was my only day to get to and explore Nashville before my return flight tomorrow. I loaded everything up, checking and rechecking that I had everything, and then I hit the road. I got about 5 miles out of Huntsville when the drizzling began. It alternated between actual rain and a sort of mistiness the entire length of my northward trek. I arrived at my hotel a little before noon.
Greg P at the front desk could not possibly have been any more helpful, even if he did keep asking me (at least three times) whether I had a car with me, and how long I’d be here. (Yes, and less than 24 hours.) Marked up hotel-provided map in hand, I had the hotel’s signature warm cookie for lunch, and headed out into the afternoon’s explorations.
Let me just reiterate what you might have missed from yesterday’s note, or any other statement to this effect in the past: I am not really a “city” girl. “Indoorsy” though I am, I like scenery more than architecture. Plus, I can get lost easier than anyone you ever, ever met.
So I got out of the hotel, and promptly ended up heading East rather than North, before righting myself and eventually stumbling into Bicentennial Park. Which at least was where I was trying to go at the time.
After I strolled the park in the drizzle, I headed up past the Capitol, through the War Memorial, and down into town to the Ryman Auditorium. I continued down to Music Row and then over to the Riverfront. It started raining harder, so I did the thing I just NEVER do: signed up for a city tour. What the heck, a narrated tour in the comfort of a dry vehicle will give me my bearings at least, right? A place is better when you know what you’re seeing…
While I waited for my pickup, I popped in for an ice cream (I’d been craving ice cream for 2 days, and figured I could certainly splurge on this one day if I wanted), and responded to an unexpected personal email on my blackberry. An old friend (“old” referring to the status of the friendship and not the age of the friend) was sending me good wishes, and I popped back a reply letting them know I was off having an adventure in Nashville.
Which meant that I no sooner got on the bus tour, but the phone rang. My friend, calling in disbelief. Necessitating that I get off the bus at the next stop, so that I could hear my caller, and so that all the rest of the tour could hear something other than me.
Why disbelief on my friend’s part, you wonder? Well, since this friend had, until about a month ago, lived spitting distance from Nashville, they were a little shocked and surprised that I was in town on my own, and instantly felt bad for not being there to show me around. Which was of course not my intention… I had known all along that I wouldn’t see them; there was never any thought otherwise. We weren’t all that close back in the day, and we’re not in touch anymore to speak of. And then since I booked the trip I heard they had moved, as I said… so that pretty much clinched it, you know? There was no way we would have seen each other, and less than no reason for them to feel bad about it. But they did, and I’m sorry for that, but we chatted for a few minutes, and that was nice. And while we talked, I meandered the city of Nashville again, so that by the time we hung up – having caught up a bit and promised to get together next time they’re in town, which is probably never going to happen but it’s a nice thought anyway – I was far from where the bus tour had left me, and ready to go warm up and dry off for a while.
So I did. And talked to my sister. And my sweet girls. And my parents. And a friend or two.
A little later I had dinner. They gave me free cake. The sugar/caffeine rush kept me up all night.
Awesome, awesome day.