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  • mswood303

Nashville -- or as a cousin called it: Nash-vegas.

After touring Graceland, a three-hour affair including a BBQ lunch, we headed to Nashville along the I-40. Since leaving Colorado, and heading due southeast, the trees are coming into leaf. Actually, purple spring flowers, by what I gather, are the invasive "Princess Trees" brought over as an ornamental just before the Civil War. They have flourished. They make an otherwise skeletal post-winter forest pop with color.

What has also flourished are the 18-wheel Semi-trucks. There is nothing semi- about the amount of trucks on the highway. I don't know what is worse, the amount of plastic still handed-out in large quantities everywhere in the South, or the hordes of trucks clogging up the highways carrying plastics, and everything else, to everywhere else.

Colorado banned take-away plastic bags, and I really thought little of it because I had already adopted the practice of having a tote bag of totes in my car. I know this practice is better for our land, and our wild animals. I haven't yet embraced carrying a straw -- but I'm working on it. I actually urpped a little in my mouth with all the plastics littered along the highways and offered at giftshops. (I carry my own small, folding tote in my purse.) What became apparent to me was that people cannot be trusted to do the right thing. The Volunteer State forgets about the word volunteer.

The very thing "the right" fight for -- liberty and freedom -- the choice to live our lives as we see fit -- they wish to legislate away. "With Freedom comes responsibility" is not just a quote from Elenor Roosevelt -- it's a way of life that means sometimes you do the thing that is inconvenient so that you maintain a social contract -- so laws "don't tread on me."

Along with all the countless semi-trucks, and plastic bags and straws, were the consistent, persistent, number of steeples. Don't tread on me.

After a five-hour drive that should have only taken three-hours, we made it to Nashville. The most absurd thing about our Saturday drive was that the road crews had not taken down a one-lane, road construction sign -- and that was what caused our trudge (there was no construction being done). Because of merging! -- or the inability to do so. If you're wondering why we didn't get off and take side roads -- there were no exits between this stretch of road. We did eventually take the path less travelled.

We stayed downtown at the Hyatt Plaza, walking distance to Broadway. We met up with John's cousin's son -- Stephen Mariucci (Junior) yes "the Mooch's" son (good people category). He chose Nashville for music reasons, and stayed because it's a nice place to live. What little I experienced of Nashville, I would agree -- it's a pretty great little, big city. It was from Stephen, we learned they refer to the party-like atmosphere on Broadway as Nashvegas.

All the lights, all the glitz, and all the flashy music acts. We met them at Miranda Lambert's Casa Rosa Tex-Mex & Cantina. It was three stories high, with a live music bar on the Main floor, restaurant on the second roof, and another roof-top bar on the third. It was good; it was loud. Towards the end of the evening (10pm, I'm old) one poor girl (I say that with a grain of salt, John said she was our age, 50+) was so drunk she had to be swing-carried out of the building (slung arms over shoulders). I have never been blackout drunk, but she needed to go to the hospital. I wonder what happened to her, and if her friends could be inconvenienced to call a first responder. It was crazy busy, with a ton of people, But I never felt unsafe.

We then walked to Printer's Alley and past the Ryman Auditorium. I always wanted to go to the Ryman and see a Grand Old Opry show. Jokes on me. The GOO isn't there anymore (new, modern location), albeit the auditorium is. We then ambled back to the hotel. Throughout the night, I heard several sirens. I wondered if one was for that irresponsible old lady.

The next morning, we got going around 9am to hit the Johnny Cash Museum. I'm glad we did, because there was a line by the time we finished (1hour). Along with Elvis music, I grew up with Johnny Cash playing on the radio on the way home from skiing. I paid a little homage and bought a Cash for President bumper sticker.

Then a quick stop at the Goo-Goo chocolate company. When I was young, my dad would host seminars in Nashville. He once brought me back a record from the Grand Old Opry. I don't know what happened to it, but I played it a lot. After that, he brought each of us kids a entire box (6) of Goo-goos. (He usually went at least twice a year, mom wasn't too happy about all the candy.) Goo-goos are a cluster of caramel, marshmallow nougat, peanuts and chocolate. "Go get a goo-goo, it's good" -- was their motto. They don't use that motto anymore, but I bought a Goo-Goo trucker hat (figured I would fit in) and a 12 box of candies (and I still have a few stashed away from my 18-yo son's prying hands! to savor on another day, when I miss my dad.)

All in all, Nashville seems like a neat town. A friendly place to live and work, and to enjoy the occasional Dolly Parton concert. (No, we didn't see her, but we saw her dress at Graceland.)

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