A note of warning, before I jump into the fifth part of our month long road-trip: Because our trip was so extensive, eventful and wonderful at the same time, I decided to split my blog into several installments. The first part recapitulated our initial car-troubles whereas the second part told the wonderful story about excessive amounts of food, part 3: Texas and the finally, part 4: a recap of all the emotions you can possibly feel in a short period of time
A and I were finally heading back up North to spend the last few days of our road-trip with A’s family and friends in Pennsylvania. But unless you really don’t mind your butt being asleep, I wouldn’t suggest driving all the way from Texas to Pennsylvania without a break. And where better to take a break than in music town?
A and I were dreading this day, mainly because this was going to be our longest driving day yet. The ride seemed never-ending, the second we got into the car, mostly due to Texas’ “go big or go home” attitude. Apparently, unless your ranch is not a million miles long, you might as well not have one. And so we drove and drove and drove seeing nothing but ranches, one after another. No towns or amusement parks or anything else slightly interesting one could concentrate on while driving.
We must have driven about 10 hours without a stop, other than bathroom breaks and fuel stops. By 4.30 pm we were exhausted and Hangry as can be. And yes, that’s Hangry with a capital H. So instead of driving another 3 hours to Nashville, we stopped in Memphis for some Memphis BBQ. So I know A’s “this is so good, I am angry”-face. He will make a lot of mhmmmm noises and just generally will stuff his face while looking angry.
However, his “oh my, I wish I could bathe in this food”-face was a new one to me. If A could have, and I would have let him, he would have eaten at the Central BBQ in Memphis for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the next three weeks. I don’t think I have ever watched a single person down so much BBQ in less than 25 minutes. Before I could have even taken any pictures A already hogged up everything. A doesn’t usually write reviews but he basically forced me to write a wonderful review for this place and yes, it was deliciously awesome. So if you’re in the area, come and look them up, they are great.
After a well deserved break, we slowly walked back towards the car and both A and I did not want to get into it. Not for a million bucks, that’s how sick we were off our road-trip already. But A had a huge surprise planned for me in Nashville and he was super excited for me to see it, so off we were.
Before we left Memphis (and I promise I come back for you Memphis, another time!), A had put “Hermitage” into the GPS. A said, while the GPS routed us, that he couldn’t wait for my face, when I got to see the Hermitage and happily he smiled to himself. We followed the directions to the Hermitage and before we knew it, there we saw the skyline of Nashville. As night fell and we saw exit after exit pass, our GPS kept us on track and slowly, ever so slowly because of traffic, we passed Nashville.
I would look at A puzzling, but he shrugged his shoulders as he followed the GPS’ directions. Every now and then I would tell A that we were almost out of gas, but he waved his hand and said “we’re almost there, only a few more minutes, I’m not going to stop now”. I would then frown at him and stare out the other window, hoping that we soon would be out of the car.
We had passed Nashville about 15 miles ago and the roads were getting darker and grimmer and remember that we did not have any light on the left driver’s side. So I was anxiously staring at the GPS… 3 miles to go… 2 miles to go… 1 mile to go and the further we went, the less I felt like we were going the right way. A usually books hotels in the city center so we could walk around without having to take the car. Knowing that and having had passed Nashville at least 15 miles ago, I began to wonder.
Now, at this point A was tired and exhausted, so I guess tixhausted, which is not a good combo. When he is tixhausted he is least talkative (apart from being asleep) and the least inclined to take any advice.With a quiet mousy voice, I asked him, if he was sure that we went the right way and he gave me a stern look. WHY ON EARTH would I ask THAT question?
At a stop light, he took the GPS out of my hand and looked at it long and hard, as if the GPS had all the answers. He then pulled off the side and googled the Hermitage. And he was lucky. This is what he found.
Now, this is what the homepage read: “This state-of-the-art, 1.1 million dollar exhibit brings the rich story of Andrew Jackson’s meteoric rise from his humble beginnings to his presidency through bold visuals and a series of interactive displays.” Now, I don’t know about you, but I am pretty sure you didn’t plan on staying the night in a museum…
Now, the Hermitage Hotel on the other hand, THAT IS where you want to spend the night!
After a string of curse words, some refueling and another 30 minutes of driving the opposite direction, we finally made it to the Hermitage Hotel! The hotel is a beauty inside and out, a five star hotel with turn down service and slippers and bathrobes and king-size beds and the place you want to never leave. Not even to see the city, because nothing quite compares to the hotel, so why would you want to leave?
A and I loved the hermitage hotel, it was so relaxing and so comforting and exactly what we needed after a very long driving day. Were we super underdressed? Oh yeah, absolutely, we were lucky they didn’t kick us out the second we stepped in but then again, don’t expect me to look like the Queen after a day of driving. We did have plans of walking around Nashville and enjoying the city, but how could we, this hotel was too gorgeous to leave. Bathtub and shower and watching TV while you do both, come on!
The next morning we walked around in Nashville, enjoying the music, the musicians and statues that looked like musicians. We walked into every store that was open along the strip and let me tell you at 9.30 in the morning, it’s not that many stores.
I think Nashville made A think a lot about his own music career and how much he loved to sing but it also reminded him of having to practice rigorously day and night. That of course made him appreciate the city of music much more than I ever could imagine, after all I was just there for the pictures and candy (and I did have both, plentiful!).
We stopped in for lunch, of course with drinks! After all we didn’t have to drive anywhere that day, so we might as well enjoy ourselves, right? So we had a pink and a green drink and if I would remember what was in, I would tell you but all I remember was a musician singing every song I could have possibly wished for and me enjoying my company. And yes, that is A trying to take a pic of the drinks while I am taking a pic of him…
Later that day we went out again. You can’t fully appreciate Nashville if you haven’t seen it by night, much like Vegas. Although less desert-y and far less casinos, much more music but the equal amount of “oh wow, that’s happening”.
But quite honestly, most of the time we spend in the hotel, because for the first time in history I stayed in a 5-star hotel and it was everything I could have ever wished for and if I could afford it, I would stay in a 5-star hotel every night for the rest of my life. But since that’s not going to happen, both A and I took full advantage of Nashville from the comfort of our hotel room. And yes, that meant a whole lot of doing nothing!
Sadly, we had only one day in Nashville and were heading further North the next day, but Nashville will always carry a special place in our hearts. Also because we came to do so much and yet, all we did was buy and eat candy, watch TV and listen to one (although awesome) musician. So next time, we are definitely staying longer, also so I can pretend to be the Queen of England living in the Hermitage Hotel…