Trip Start Sep 16, 2011
290Trip End Nov 20, 2011
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Where I stayed
Ramada Inn, Nashville
The day starts in Chattanooga – okay – so the day starts well as well as ends well.
Breakfast was enhanced by Elwood's fantastical tales of wrestling and riding lions all said with such sincerity, I really want to believe him.
From this point on, the day takes not such a great turn when Elwood decides he does not want to leave the hotel room (not to go to the pool, not to go to the park, not to the car) and then he truly starts digging his heels in and refuses to get dressed
So, I get Elwood in the car, Noah gets the rest of our stuff (and perhaps briefly considers doing a runner) and then we set off for Chattanooga. Just a 5 minute drive – but gorgeous – in terms of both landscape and signage. All is calm-ish...
Then we try and get Elwood out of the car. Well, that kids knows his mind. We were heading to the Moon Pie General Store. Moon Pies are super kitsch biscuits which are making a revival and started out in Chattanooga. The store sells loads and loads of candy and just gorgeous things – where, given the time, I could bankrupt our family. Whilst I am perusing the different flavours of gum (Mmmm, Thanksgiving Dinner, you say. Turkey, Cranberry AND Stuffing!), Elwood grabs a mechanical claw hand and dons a pink Chattanooga baseball cap and starts running around the tiny store like a crazy. I man handled him out of the store whilst Noah bought some mini moonpies. (By the way, not great.)
For the next half an hour or so, Elwood did the opposite of everything we asked him to do until Noah and I started waving a white flag – and we all got back in the car
So in the car, Elwood watched 'In the wild’ for the millionth time, Noah chewed cinnamon gum like his life depended on it, and I had a daydream about being on a greyhound bus without a screaming toddler intent on listening to Cold Play and Phil Collins really loudly. Really! Hmmmph.
Stay with us folks, this story has a happy ending.....
I try to ply Elwood with a burger or hot dog for lunch (this is normally a quick fix for pretty much anything for Elwood). He says no, he only wants pasta. Now – this is going to be tricky on the road. Really tricky. Then, he says he wants the Chicken and Dumplings he had yesterday. You guessed it, Cracker Barrel tucker. So, like some self fulfilling prophecy we are drawn to those rocking chairs on the porch and the ye olde worlde wholesomeness.
Woody got very excited about his Chicken and dumplings and Noah and I ordered enthusiastically, hoping that Cracker Barrel could weave its magic spell and restore calmness and frivolity to our family
We get to our hotel IN NASHVILLE opposite the Titans Stadium. Wait for it. WITH A GUITAR SHAPED SWIMMING POOL. Yep. We are so living the dream. You have not swam until you have swam in something guitar shaped. Let me tell you people, it feels good.
We head downtown Nashville, and to the ice-cream shop, Dianas, (which I have almost certainly seen Taylor Swift photographed in), to buy Elwood an ice-cream (which in our family, is the agreed bribe for watching live music). The super lovely man remembered us (and when I say us, I do mean Elwood) from last week. Elwood chatted with him enthusiastically, and when he asked Elwood if he would like a cone or cup, Elwood replied he would like ‘whichever was bigger’. A proud moment for mum and dad, as you can imagine.
We then head to see a band we saw last week and guess what, they remembered us too (and when I say us, again, I mean Elwood) and came and said hello. We felt like locals. I so want to be a local in Nashville, I really do. The band played some fab tunes, and then we wandered around Broadway until Elwood lost interest.
Back at the hotel-in-Nashville-with-a-guitar-shaped-pool the fellas watched a documentary about wild animals chewing each other to pieces (Elwood’s choice – Noah did his best to dissuade Elwood but he was intent on watching animals eat each other)
I was a bit self conscious when I arrived and sat at my own at the bar and tried to look fascinating. Just quietly, that look needs some work. Regardless of my crazy facial expressions I made a friend. (Hi Deanna! And thanks!) We headed into the gig. Levi (www.levilowrey.com) was off the scale fabulous and I love every second. If you get the chance to listen to anything by him, I really recommend it. For me, it properly touches the heart.
For the last song of the night, a girl named Erin joined him and sang a song called ‘You don’t know Jack’ - it was so moving. I am going to look her up, for sure.
And then Levi came off stage and I briefly chatted with him (and when I say chatted, I mean I gushed at him), got my CD signed and got a photo. I was very happy indeed and felt very lucky to get a night out and also to have a couple of G and T’s under my skin
So, now I am back home. My gorgeous little fella is asleep. Noah is sorting blog photos. And I am feeling very lucky to be on this amazing adventure with my family.
The only down side, is that Noah has just eaten a sandwich which smelt funny, and I am eating a slightly out of date and ‘fizzy’ tasting fruit salad – so I fear bad things may happen in the stomach vicinity tomorrow. But for now – we are relaxed, happy and healthy – and unaffected by the out of date food we have just eaten.
Much love to you lovely people