About a month ago, as we finished up our trip out west with the camper I started a campaign with my husband to consider a trip to Florida for some sun and fun. His response to my reasoning made me laugh, “I suppose we can’t go home from THIS trip, until you have the next one planned?? he asked”. Right. Knowing that I’m still fuming some about being “trapped” at home in the United States due to covid BS, he agreed to another road trip.
This time, we are traveling light. Quite a difference driving my car vs the truck/camper/2bike program!
Our first day we left @ 5am and drove like crazy. We switched off a couple times, only because I requested it – otherwise Bob would have just kept driving. Our original plan was to get to southern Indiana, but with good roads and weather we rerouted and pushed on to Nashville for the night. 5am in the car – 5pm out of the car. One of those days where you swear your ass will be in the shape of a Ford Explorer bucket seat when you finally dismount!
We did make a “magnet stop” at Mammouth Cave. As we have both been here in the past, we didn’t “tour” – just grabbed “the picutre” , a magnet and some post cards and took back off.
I booked us for the night in Nashville downtown. Our place was within about 8 blocks walking of the famed music row so we set off to get a stretch and see/hear what we could. It was Saturday night – and OMG busy! The streets were packed, people waiting in long lines (30 or more people) outside of the restaurants and bars. I read they had just re opened for business a couple of weeks earlier. The rule we learned was to wear a mask at all times – even outside on the public street. “Security” type people yelled at the mob and tried to hand out masks. Good Luck. The party goers were having none of it. Remodeled school buses lit up and belting out disco music passed by filled with “Girls Gone Wild” type of crowds. I kind of get where that would be a fun time – until the same chick filled bus passes us for the 10th time. Around and around the same block they go. My love is hungry and not digging the crowded streets in any way. He’s not a patient line waiter – and I’m getting frustrated trying to find a spot – and trying to take in just a little bit of Nashville. Just like that the heavens open and we pass a nice looking place without a line. The prices are fairly high (thus no long line) and they don’t have music – but they do have a menu, a bar and big windows to watch the circus outside. We take a seat. The hostess comes with a cheap thermometer and takes our temperatures. I could go into a big rant about covid right now, but I won’t. Do what you must.
We see several groups of young gals. The skirts are short, barely covering their perfect little butts. One girl has a 2 foot stream of toilet paper hanging out of the back of her mini – and I think the girlfriends must be kind of little assholes (or extremely drunk) to not notice and give her a heads up. So pretty.
The food was good and settled my grouchy husband. We take a walk to the Boot Barn across the street. His cowboy boots will need to be replaced soon, and he won’t buy without trying them on – so this is a good opportunity to look at the possibilities. He finds a pair – I record all the details, and later at the hotel order them online to be shipped back home. No sense dragging them along.
We head back to our hotel and get caught in a complete downpour. We run – but it doesn’t matter, we are getting drenched. At the hotel we go up and change clothes then hit the lobby bar for a night cap. The barkeep is a ditzy lady that can’t remember what you want to drink from the time you tell her until she turns around and looks at the booze. She has the lights set on high and every available switch turned on. The bar has a hospital cafeteria feel vs. a hotel lounge.
Our next stop is Atlanta, so we decide to sleep in and have a more leisurely drive on day 2. The hotel is noisy. Bob claims that every ambulance and fire truck has passed out window 10 times thru the night. I plugged in my ear plugs earlier and slept like a baby! The drive east on Interstate 40 is a nice one, scenic. We stop at Lodge Foundry – and pick up a few items in the “scrap tub” – factory seconds. They don’t look bad. If you are into cast iron cooking – this is the place to come. Years ago I had the fortune of working on a committee with Henry Lodge, and the HR manager Dave – nice foundry folks. I wonder how many of the items in the store were actually made by Waupaca Foundry (it’s true, we make Lodge stuff for them).
There is a snare on the inbound to Atlanta that reroutes us for about an hour. When we arrive at our hotel we are pleasantly surprised with an upgraded room. Our friends Kim/John ‘s son Jeff is the property manager and mommy/daddy have sprung for the room and surprised us with a bottle of wine! Thanks again Dehnel’s!
We meet up with Jeff, grab a Lyft ride and head out for dinner. It’s interesting to discuss the perils of running a hotel of this size. Covid has struck – but they are on the upswing. Jeff warns that traffic will be bad in the morning, so our plan is to get a move on early to avoid it. He also warns that its very possible it will be noisy, as a little gang of motorcycles likes to congregate on the back side of the hotel and zoom zoom around and around. It’s true! On the otherside of the hotel is a hospital – we listen to zoom zoom, siren, siren …. We both plug in ear plugs and I find an app on my phone called “rain on tent” and use it as a white noise. *Note, – its really a good app – and works well !!! AND sounds like rain on a tent 🙂
We get the early morning start and beat not only the traffic, but the rain. Our next stop is for a visit to our friend Andrea in “The Villages”. We arrive early in the afternoon. I’ve visited Andrea over the years several times – but Bob has not had the “Village Experience”. As usual, she welcomes us with open arms.
Andrea and Bob and I all started at the foundry within a year of each other. She worked as the main receptionist. I recall that the person holding the job before her (Marie) did not like young Kim and yelled at me for violations of the “mail policy” and anything else she could grump about on a regular basis. Andrea was an instant friend – (she only yelled when I had it coming!) ha ha. After 16 years “in the chair” (the front desk post) she retired and moved on down to her house in the Villages. Now 82 (I think) she still is active – playing bridge, golfing etc. Bob remarked “she looks better than she did when she worked with us”. Not kidding – she looks great!
There is suppose to be a rocket launch (Space X satellites) that Andrea says we can see from the yard. It ends up getting scrubbed due to weather both nights of our stay. Oh well.
We spend our time giving updates on everyone we can think of from either the foundry and/or Waupaca in general. Were your ears ringing? chances are you were on the list.
I took a nice walk in the morning. Overcast and cool(er) than usual. It feels a little lonely, as previous visits have had girlfriends along to BS with as we walked. Miss you all !!!
Before we arrived I told Andrea – “Get a list” … Bob is handy and he/we can get some chores done for you. On the list was replacing the kitchen faucet. TADA – we both ended up working on it because the space was small – requiring small hands and overhead fiddling.
Today we will leave Andrea and head to the rented Condo in Clearwater. We will look forward to seeing Andrea again when she visits Wisconsin in July. What a great person and friend! She is a wonderful hostess and we have enjoyed our stay very much. I almost forgot “The Bachelor” – night one of our stay the TV got tuned in to “The Bachelor”. My husband watched, shaking his head most of the time – I finally went to bed, but he and Andrea stayed up to the end. I heard them say, “this will give her something to blab about – the two of us staying up to watch THIS show!” – so there you go.
I’m anxious for the beach and the next part of the trip. Today will be more of a “work day” – shopping for condo supplies and getting settled in… but then … just sunshine and fun on the schedule – Yahoo!!!! Peace Out my friends.