Today started a little later than planned, and our trip did not get off to a smooth start. We had a nice peaceful wait, however, once we checked through the security point at the airport. Since you have to go through an hour before your flight, you get rewarded with an hour wait on the other side. (Stupid! But a good exercise in powerlessness, acceptance, and patience.)

When we got to the hotel, our plans changed again. We were going to go to a nearby grocery store and stock up on staples for the three-day stay. But first, the time change made us hungry for lunch an hour early, so it was time to feed the beast. (By that I mean me, not Mrs. TL!) We got in a cab and told the driver we wanted to go to the Cracker Barrel around the corner. (I swore I saw one not 2 miles from the hotel, but later found out that was a different hotel.) After spending twenty bucks to get to a $7 lunch salad, and figuring up what it would cost for cab fare to grocery shop and then maybe see some of Nashville, we decided our next stop would be to a car rental. Another lesson this ol’ redneck learned on his cultural experience (I don’t travel much, and almost always take my car.) was that a $25 economy car rental costs $150 for two days. That’s “funny math,” but it’s the price of ignorance (I deleted the word “stupid” and replaced it with ignorance, referring to my lack of knowledge on the subject, not a self-defaming character jibe.)

We tootled around in “our” rental car and made the most of the rest of the day. We stopped at Opryland and the nearby tourist spots, then went downtown and walked Broadway Avenue (Nashville’s “music row”), had decaf coffee at the Hard Rock Café, bought some souvenirs for the kids, took some pictures at some historically significant and interesting places, and just generally had a good time.

The locals keep telling us we, “have to” eat or drink at this restaurant or that bar, but I am proud to report that we ate our supper of fresh groceries from a local Wal-Mart in our hotel room and THEN went out jukin’. We plan to do that again tomorrow, keeping within our plan, one day at a time!

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