Monday, October 22, 2007

Grand Ole Nashville

October 22, 2007 -- Nashville, TN

After our overnight in Bowling Green we bid 'adieu' to Ginnie and Kevin and got rolling for Nashville about 1pm. It wasn't the most pleasant drive as we were headed almost directly south and directly into the glare of a bright, hot sun. The truck traffic was also heavy and the winds were gusting out of the Southeast. We did stop for fuel near the Tennessee state line and filled for less than $3/gal -- something to write home about these days. The short drive today felt longer than it was and we were happy to park and get set-up for a couple days here at Two Rivers Campground near the Grand Ole Opry House and the Opryland Hotel.

Almost all of Kentucky and Tennessee are part of the extreme drought that's plagued much of the southeast this year. Nashville is 16 inches below the average rainfall for the year. The reservoirs are drying up. There's talk of rationing water in some areas. Considering all this, I'll put up with a few rainy days the forecast is calling for this week. Today, we're not planning much... perhaps a drive to a couple Corps of Engineers campgrounds nearby that we've heard are very nice, just to check them out.

After we got set up yesterday we went over to the Opryland Hotel. I stayed here a few years ago for a convention and thought Dar would really enjoy it... and she did! It's a massive place, on the scale of new hotels in Las Vegas, with thousands of rooms. All the huge open areas between the various wings of the place are covered so one can walk around in air-conditioned comfort while visiting an ersatz town-center complete with stores (of course), restaurants, waterfalls, fountains, and a "river" complete with tour boats. One phase of this hotel is called the conservatory. Hundreds of feet long and almost as wide, it's a collection of tropical plants from all over, marvelously displayed among different levels of walkways and paths, waterfalls and fake-rock walls. I thought the plants might be plastic, but Dar insists they're all real. We enjoyed the experience once we got there. The only thing that irked me was they want $12 to park near the hotel, something I just refused to do while I've got two legs that work. I found a place to park at a nearby shopping mall and the walk to the hotel turned out to be certainly more enjoyable that the pleasure of bagging a close-in parking place.

That's all I can come up with to write today. It's raining, we're being lazy, and enjoyin' every minute of it.

T