– on the Shelby Pedestrian Bridge facing the city…….
Wow. My trip has come to an end in Tennessee. It has been an adventure as always and I’m overwhelmed with great memories and tons of photos, too many to put in this blog (well, some you just shouldn’t witness!).
I always like to do a mix of everything, a little historic, a little fun, meet the locals wherever I go for the best places to eat and hear their stories. Everybody has a story.
Just some of the places I visited: The Grand Ole Opry, Gaylord Opryland Resort (all decked out for Christmas) Belle Meade Plantation, The Hermitage (home of President Andrew Jackson). Downtown I meandered around The Ryman Auditorium, Capitol Hill, Country Music Hall of Fame and all the stores, restaurants and honky tonk bars on Broadway.
Fuelled up on Starbucks (hey, I like the eggnog latte, don’t judge!) my journey also has taken me to Franklin TN – where I visited Carnton Plantation, Lotz House, Civil War sites, historic downtown Franklin with all the lovely, eclectic mix of stores on Main St and much more!
Saturday night in Nashville, we had a ‘tornado alert’. I heard the sirens wailing and thought to myself, ‘wonder what that is!?’ Luckily I remembered from a past trip to Alabama what that noise was! (Yes, I’m a city girl) The hotel evacuation plan was to head to the ballroom. So, I threw some jeans on, grabbed my bag, some water and headed down there. I was kindly greeted by people sitting on the floor in bath robes, kids in swimsuits, and some locals with 6 packs of beer (for hydration purposes of course!). We were in the ballroom for about an hour, the tornado came and went, and we were all unscathed. Some people then headed to the hotel bar, others went out on the rainy town, and others to bed.
The ‘confinement’ in the ballroom was a good way to get to know people! Speaking of people that left impressions on me, I met a wonderful woman on my first day – Ms Cynthia G. An ‘aunty type’ lady in a holiday sweater with southern warmth and hospitality like none other. Some people just touch you in such unexpected ways when you don’t even know it, and this was her. Ms Cynthia told me that I was ‘her Christmas blessing come early’….but what she doesn’t know, is that she was mine. Stay strong Ms Cynthia, you are a survivor in many ways. Thank you for sharing your very personal story, and giving me a dose of motherly advice that was much needed (tears included!)
Also Miss Jeonnay S – the concierge with heart and soul! You are going places girl…keep that passion and channel it into the things we talked about! You will do great things, you just don’t know it yet.
Mr Jim S – a tour guide at one of the plantations, who added his own touch on the tour. His grandfatherly charm and warmth with story telling, made me feel like I was a wide eyed 10 year old again. The fact that Jim told us he is on that ‘tube thingy’ (yes, You Tube) and that his young grandson thinks he is famous now…..just made my heart melt.
To the many people that crossed my path: hotel staff, travelers, backpackers, families all decked out in festive holiday sweaters on road trips, drunken cowboys on Broadway, old time buskers, store keepers, tour guides, the hipsters of east Nashville, the artisans, and the baristas who made my tea or eggnog lattes every morning.