The morning started out a little something like this:
M: Well, the car is nearly packed, what are you going to do with yourself for the rest of the week?
Me: Look for a job I suppose.
M: Want to come to Phoenix?
Me: Sure, why not… I’ll bring my laptop.
M: Really…? Pack a bag while I shower.
And that’s how I ended up spending another five days in a car to Arizona, not before a quick oil change.
You’d think the first thing we would have decided on was where we were going to drive to before we hit the road, but no, that was the least of our worries. We left Big Bear Cafe and headed through the city, we had an hour or so before we had to make a decision on where we were going to spend the night, it was between St. Louis, Louisville and Nashville. We’d both been to Nashville before, but as we were only spending the night with little time to be a tourist it seemed like the natural choice. To Tennessee we went, with Taylor Swift as our soundtrack.
The drive was uneventful, if not incredibly boring. Virginia is a deceptively long state. We stopped for gas outside of Pigeon Forge a little after 5pm, if we had left earlier in the day or made better time we’d have found a Dolly themed place to have dinner. Sadly that was not meant to be. Accommodations were unusually expensive for a Monday, it wasn’t until we got to the city that we discovered it was the annual CMA Music Festival, the one and only time I’ll drop $200 for a Homewood Suites. I wasn’t thrilled.
We did a loop of Broadway checking out the crowds and soaking in the music, it was a far cry from the peaceful New England air we had just a few days before. We were hungry and Robert’s Western World came recommended, probably one of the more authentic honky-tonk’s on the strip - a little less cheesy than most of the others, but just as busy, if not a little louder. There was live music, bourbon out of plastic cups, and crowds three deep at the bar. We made a beeline for the upstairs and took a perch overlooking the saloon. Dinner was “The Recession Special” a fried bologna sandwich, a handful of fries, a can of PBR and a MoonPie - all for the bargain basement price of $6.50. It was over that bologna sandwich we decided on our next city, New Orleans. And that was Nashville, a mere three hours later and we were back at the hotel.