In case you’re wondering, yes, I did in fact make it to Tennessee. I really took my time getting down here. I got on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Waynesboro, VA, and took it down to just before Roanoke. It added a substantial amount of travel time, but wow, it was worth it.
I forget that I live close to some very scenic views. On one of the overlooks, a woman came up to me and we started chatting. At one point she nodded at my license plate and mentioned how I must be so used to this view, being from Virginia, whereas she, from Nebreska, had never seen this view before. It stuck with me because even though I am from Virginia, I feel very separated from the really beautiful parts of the state. This was the first time I had ever been on this parkway, and we as a family never really needed to go to this part of the state when we were growing up, so we just never saw this. I do love where I grew up, and there are really great areas, but it doesn’t compare to these mountains and views.
One other piece of the drive that was very enjoyable was my music selection. As a last minute decision, I grabbed about 15 CDs to bring with me, some full albums and some mix tapes. Listening to those tapes made me think of the days before Spotify, when I would spend loads of time perfecting the “Car Jams 3” killer cd that I could sing/scream along to on the way to school or practice or a friend’s house. The worst part was when I’d be getting ready to burn the CD on my computer, and I’d get an error message telling me I had too many songs. Which artist then gets the chopping block?? It can’t be Beyonce, but it also can’t be Fun. and Coldplay doesn’t really fit the theme of this playlist but they’re a classic… those were tense days… But I really did enjoy listening to some good throwbacks on the way down. I started with the Beach Boys, then some Eric Clapton and Beatles (thanks Kristine), then eventually getting to modern music somewhere around Knoxville. I also learned I’m actually a very good singer, but only if the volume is up on the way.
A final note about related to the drive. I got to the West’s house, and as we were chit chatting initially, Mr asked me “so what road did you take here?” I kind of mumbled oh you know, 66 to 81 then 40 I think? Two observations here. First: is this a generational thing? I feel like any time I talk to someone’s parents or older relatives they always ask about the route I took to get there (“Did you take 95 or Telegraph all the way down?”). I cannot say I’ve ever been compelled to ask my friends how they got from one destination to another, but maybe that just means I take less of an interest in their journey. And second: I noticed, and I’ve noticed this before, that I really don’t have to know the different roads running through VA or TN or anywhere for that matter. I just have to plug it into my GPS and at some point the little blue arrow will indicate that I need to turn in 900 in 750 in 400 feet onto this ramp. It makes me a little nervous- scratch that, very nervous- about the development of my practical skills when it comes to driving. As someone who is already heavily directionally challenged, I believe that I need to use every oppotunity to develop a stronger sense of my orientation and surroundings, and using a GPS completely negates those opportunities.
That being said, I am trying. I did navigate myself from Crossville to Nashville today with just a paper map (!), and I was very proud of myself. Until somewhere in the back of my head, I heard my father’s voice “you know Catherine, once upon a time we could only use paper maps…” and I then I remembered that reading a map is not that exciting. Baby steps.
Anyways, onto Nashville…
Overall, it was a really fun day trip. I started out by bookmarking a few travel guides, whatever I thought looked interesting, and decided to meander from there. My favorite find of the day was the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum, located just a few blocks up from Broadway. It had a lot of old instruments or other signature items from various musicians (you know, as a museum would), mixed in with a few interactive exhibits and a whole section dedicated to the history of the Grammy’s. That was my favorite part. I liked that this museum was focused on “musician” rather than “star.” I felt like I actually learned some of the big producers and recorders behind the more iconic names like Elvis and Johnny Cash. An appreciation for those behind the scenes, which I thought was pretty neat.
After the museum I bopped around Broadway a little longer, before eventually heading over to the BiCentennial and Centennial Parks. By the time I got to the former, the sun had finally come out. I liked Centennial Park because it was bigger and you could drive through it, but I really liked the BiCentennial Park. I really like looking at memorials and monuments, and there were some really good ones here. There was also an amphitheater that directly overlooked the State Capitol. Definitely a place I would go back to, and I was 100% regretting not bringing my lunch with me to picnic there.
So enjoy this lovely photo of myself in the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum. I apologize for the lack of selfie stick selfies- those are on the way. Hope everyone had a happy 4th! TTFN
Oh yeah, in case anyone was wondering about the heading, I felt very cool yesterday when I “went back in time” because of the time change to CT in Tennessee. My GPS kept saying “arriving at 6:28” but it was already 7:15 and my phone never adjusted, so I really felt like I was beating the system. Teeheehee…