Well, I didn't end up doing any mobile posts today, we were on the move a lot and I didn't get the chance. In exchange for my lack of micro-blogging I will do a proper post now, with some pictures.
To start off with, here are some pictures proving that I'm actually moving through these fine United States:
Today marks my first time (that I'm aware of) in the fine state of Tennessee. We didn't let ourselves sleep in too late this morning, and got going fairly early. As soon as we'd had some breakfast and checked-out we got on the road. Before leaving Louisville though I got this fantastic picture. Corey can determine if this should go on Failblog or not:
Anyway, as me made our way through Kentucky towards Tennessee we noticed something interesting. A fairly brief way into the drive the GPS was telling us that we would be arriving around 11:05, which was surprising given that our watches were all ready about 10:00, and we were expecting a longer drive. Then we got on the main stretch of the interstate, and the GPS said we were to continue straight for 120 miles. Given that we had 120 miles to cover, and the GPS was expecting us to be there in slightly more than an hour we felt that the posted limit of 70 mph was going to be prohibitively restrictive. It didn't take us long to realize that Nashville is in a different time zone and that we were about to roll the clocks back an hour, but it did make for an amusingly puzzling couple of minutes.
We got to Nashville around 11:00... local time, and were greeted with a very picturesque skyline:
That's not the greatest view of the skyline, but it's hard to take a good shot through the window of a Mini Cooper that's moving at 120... ahem, excuse me, 70 miles per hour.
We made our way to Chappy's on Church, a restaurant with a very well regarded Sunday Brunch that Gray wanted to try out. It was a big restaurant with lots of tables, but they decided to tuck us into our own private little room... presumably because we're all so hideously ugly:
What was really incredible was that each of these little rooms had a name, and ours was Bacchus, and was themed accordingly. I don't know if someone warned them we were coming, or if that's just an amazing coincidence, but either way it's a good thing it was so early. Surrounding Graydyn with images of his god can be disastrous. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dionysus)
What a meal! The restaurant is Creole themed, and they started us off with a turtle soup, which is not something any of us had tried. That was really delicious, and was followed up by a really nice salad. I had a crab salad main, with Jay and Susan trying a couple different fish dishes, and Gray grabbing the Eggs Rockefeller. Follow that up with a lovely slice of cake and I was throughly defeated. Oh, and they kept the champagne flowing the whole time. Whew, what a way to start the day!
Despite being barely capable of movement or speech after the enormous meal, we made our way to a local park at a waitress' suggestion and wandered around there for awhile. Of course, if there's one thing you can't miss while in Nashville it's the Parthenon! Yeah, that's right, you heard me:
Yes, the good people of Nashville have constructed a replica of the Parthenon in the middle of a park. You might be wondering why. I ask you - why not?
After a bit of Parthenoning (yup, new word) we decided to make our way to the hotel and check in. I got my Netbook hooked up to the WiFi and checked WikiTravel for some advice on where to go next. One of their suggestions grabbed me as a way to see something iconic and do something useful at the same time. I'd completely forgotten to grab the cable for hooking my camera up to my computer, and this new one doesn't have a built-in XD card reader. That meant that I'd be unable to get any of my pictures off my camera. Also, I'd been finding the touch pad on this computer somewhat irritating, and wanted a proper mouse for it. So I was searching for a mall, and found that there's one built around a landmark only slightly less well-known that the Nashville Parthenon - The Grand Ole Opry. We went out to the mall, I got a card reader so that I could upload some photos, and a little travel mouse with a retractable cable. We then went and admired the staggering building that is the Opry House:
From there we went to Jack's BBQ. This decision was in no way based on any of us actually being hungry, I assure you. It was simply a place that Graydyn desperately wanted to check out, and was going to be closing long before any of us managed to be hungry again. So, we went and stuffed ourselves with wonderful smoked pork, brisket, and ribs. I may not need to eat again any time this week.
Since then we've just been hanging out near the hotel. We went for a brief walk and I got a better shot of one of the more striking buildings of the Nashville skyline:
Please observe the AT&T building - center of photo, looks like Batman. Apparently the locals actually refer to it as the Batman Building. Jay disagrees, claiming it's clearly an homage to Optimus Prime.
We didn't get far on that walk before it started to rain. The weather's been a bit bleak the last couple days, but given that Mississippi was apparently wiped off the map via Tornado yesterday I guess we can't complain about a bit of rain.
I made some use of the hotel fitness room this evening in an attempt to burn off some of the 299,792,458 calories that I've consumed today, and I think I'm rapidly approaching the time where I need to turn in for the night. Starting to feel pretty sleepy.
The plan for tomorrow is to get up around 8:00 again and get on the road towards the border with North Carolina. The state of The Dragon is still up in the air, so we'll have to see if it will be an available route to Fontana tomorrow. If not we'll have to swing south to the Cherohala Skyway to get to Fontana, adding a lot of time to the trip. Either way, it will be great to finally get to Fontana Village and really settle into this vacation.
I'll post tomorrow once I've got a more clear idea of how the day is going to play out. I hope this post finds everyone well back home.