Just spent the past week roadtripping to Nashville an' back. As Lawrence Welk puts it, "Here are some highlights..."
* Booking a "three-star hotel" via Hotwire which turned out to be a Holiday Inn barely an inch from Kentucky's largest interstate. While my travel buddy bemoans the plastic chintz and dismal location, I am tickled pink. After all, when I was growing up, my family only stopped at Holiday Inns on special occasions.
* Seeing Sondheim's Assassins in a deliberately quaint Nashville suburb, home to the likes of Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman. (Apparently they spend every morning sipping coffee at the local Starbucks. We briefly considered celeb-stalking, but decided that would be too dorky and potentially embarrassing.) Assassins was tolerable, but uninspired. Note to theatre companies everywhere: I have never seen a performance which has been improved by projections.
* Wandering through a store that only sold cowboy boots and learning about all the wonderful creatures that we can turn into leather.
* Perusing the superstar biographies at the Country Music Hall of Fame and noticing that nearly every one of them ended with "and then Famous Star became addicted to drugs/alcohol/gambling and lost his wife, his truck, his dog, and his recording contract all in the same week." (Hank Williams, I'm thinking of you.)
* Following the advice of our hotelier and eating at B. B. King's B. B. Q. in downtown Nashville. Undoubtedly the worst experience of the trip (including the highway Holiday Inn). We went in expecting authenticity and got tourist crap; a Rainforest Cafe or Planet Hollywood-style place with a blues theme. A singer pretended he was Louis Armstrong (why not B. B.?) and we ate what appeared to be soul food for the soulless. Do not recommend.
* We did, however, have two great meals, both at unexpected places; one at a local farmer's market, and one at a restaurant so new it was the first day of its "soft opening" and we got to test-drive the sweet potato pancakes. We found the latter only as a result of getting lost; but there it was, fortuitously unexpected and delightful.
* Listening, on the long stretches of highway, to Meg Cabot's Size 14 Is Not Fat Either, which we checked out of the library on the theory that chick-lit would make for good entertainment. Instead we got stuck with an audiobook that was half-mystery, half-food pr0n. Heather Wells, size 14 amateur detective, runs around trying to solve crimes while pausing to do things like down nine pieces of fried chicken in a single sitting. Somewhere there are women saying "Heather's just like me!" but... nine pieces????
* Making a return-drive detour to visit a friend and turning what should have been a two-hour drive into a five-hour drive, thanks to a combination of road construction and getting stuck on the Dan Ryan expressway during rush hour. When I reach my friend's house, we nix going out to see the new Prince Caspian movie because it's 2.5 hours long and we are both too tired to stay up that late. So what do we do? Watch the old-school BBC Prince Caspian/Voyage of the Dawn Treader movie... which is 3 hours long. We're awake until 2 a.m.