“Woke up in Nashville alone in a hotel room.” Sounds like it could be a line in a country western song, but it wasn’t. It was the second day of my road trip.
Excitedly, I dressed, ate, and checked out of the hotel. I turned too soon on the way to ‘Music City’ downtown and found myself passing a beautiful old historic cemetery. I’m drawn to cemeteries, always have been, and this one was so huge it beckoned to me like ice cream to a cone.
It was the Mount Olivet Cemetery and it was packed with beautiful, historic monuments. I wandered reading the headstones and taking pictures for about an hour. There are historic markers that tell about the people buried there that served our country and the state of Tennessee.
When I finished the cemetery, I easily found my way downtown, parked, and of course something had to happen. I locked my keys in the front seat. I had my purse and phone, so it wasn’t a problem to call AAA. I just had to wait about twenty minutes for the ‘rescuer’ to arrive. After the keys were out, I begin my walk down Broadway and to visit the ‘Honky Tonks.’
Although it was only about 11:00 A.M. music blared out from open doors inviting people to come into their darken interior. The bars were beautiful. Most had long wood bars, round tables, and a stage close to the door, which allowed the music to be heard from the sidewalk. Some allowed kids to come in and some had age limits. The bands took requests and interacted with the customers. Jokes were passed back and forth and music played. It was entertaining watching the camaraderie of the band members.
At The Second Hand Fiddle, I found a table within talking distance of the band. The main singer of the band had a gravely voice which was just right for singing country music. He played the guitar, joked, and told stories about himself. When he was asking for request, I only knew three country singers that I could recall the names; George Straight, Johnny Cash, and Dolly Parton. I never listen to country music unless I happen to stop on The Country Music Channel and couldn’t tell you names or song titles. I yelled out, “Johnny Cash” and they played, Folsom Prison. A song I recognized and enjoyed!
Before I left that bar, I drew on all my courage to go ask if they wouldn’t mind taking their picture with me for a road trip memory. It was fun. They drew me on the stage and said if I really wanted to make a memory, I could sing with them. Heck NO! I was happy enough with a picture with the singer’s arm around my shoulders.
I wandered around Nashville and took a walk over the Cumberland River. I talked to a few people on the pedestrian bridge. Felt very stupid when I asked a couple who played in the football arena. For some reason, I had forgotten where I was and when they said, “The Tennessee Titans.” I had to laugh, although I do remember when they were the ‘Houston Oilers.’ The stadium was impressive right there beside the river.
I stopped for an ice cream cone at Mike’s Ice Cream and Coffee Bar.
Delicious! I had lunch at the Rock Bottom Brewery and ate outside on the patio, so I could people watch. I had the cutest young waiter, named Chris. He told me about moving to Nashville to become a singer/actor and had a minor walk on role for a television show, but I can’t remember which one. I was trying to take a picture of a girl dressed all in pink on a pink scooter to show my friend, Sally, when he offered to take it for me. He jumped over the outside patio fence, ran across the street and asked her to pose. She did. He made my lunch memorable and I had someone to laugh with.
I left Nashville about 4:30 and headed toward my next destination for an overnight stop on the way to Indiana. Along the way, I saw a sign that boasted, “Oldest soda fountain in a drug store.” It was in the tiny town of Crossroads, which had a main street and a few neighborhood streets off of it. Inside the store were two cute girls making the most delicious banana split I have ever seen. Take into account, I already had an ice cream cone earlier. I was only the only customer at the fountain and I said, “That looks scrumptious!” They laughed and said that they were sharing it. I requested a picture of them holding their creation.
Turns out the drug store soda fountain was bought from another drug store and moved into the current drug store in the ’80’s, but they still held the title since it was an original soda fountain. They still had the syrups and carbonated water that were mixed to make the soft drink. One of the cuties behind the fountain suggested the chocolate malt, so that’s what I had. Yes, that was ice cream number two for the day!
I made one more stop in Bowling Green, Kentucky before heading to Shepardsville for the night at the Country Inn and Suites. It was dark by the time I arrived and I could only see silhouettes of the mountains that were to come. The bed was comfortable and I crawled in and took my IPad and begin my notes, so I could track my trip.
Tracking the trip and sharing my notes on Facebook was one of the best things that I did because by the end of my road trip all the towns and states were running together. Thank you all my friends for encouraging me along the way.
It was a wonderfully full day of challenges of going it alone, but I felt so wonderful about not feeling conspicuous traveling by myself. I talked, laughed, and navigated a strange city and survived.