Friday, 26 December 2014

DAY 16 - From The Home Of The Blue Angels To The Home Of Country Music

Hi ya'll, today was spent travelling on the road between Pensacola, Florida and Nashville, Tennessee (Music City). It was our longest travel day to date with a distance of 450 miles / 720 km and a travelling time of over six hours. The journey is essentially due North from Florida, crossing Alabama and its cities of Montgomery and Birmingham before crossing into Tennessee.

The roads were pretty quiet possibly due to all Americans being at shopping centres for the post-Christmas sales. The trip was largely uneventful except for when we passed a whopping 168' (51m) tall / 22' (6m) diameter, full-scale,  Saturn 1B rocket by the side of the road...the other side of the road. In fact, it was such a surprise, we could neither, slow down, nor stop, nor take a bunch of proper 'arty' photos (dammit!). There wasn't even a nearby exit for us to cross the road and double-back (double dammit!!). Before that, I was very tempted to take the exit to Huntsville, Alabama, but more on that in a week or so's blog.

We stopped for lunch at Hardee's a little further up the road at Ardmore, Tennessee where I decided to order the standard 'thick burger' as I thought it would be relatively nondescript, certainly unhealthy, but not too big. Well so much for that plan; let's just say, by way of comparison, Kyle ordered the Mile-High Bacon Burger (which was actually a few inches short of a mile tall), mine was about 1.2 miles high. I left that place feeling like a well-prepared Bear heading into hibernation, not an ideal situation for the 'driver'.

Here's some photo's of the trip all of which were taken on Kyle's phone by Kyle.

Crossing the Tennessee River
The high-speed Saturn 1B photo
My smooth inside-lane passing manoeuvre underway

We arrived in Nashville mid/late afternoon but still to early for our 1600h check-in time, so we headed off to a Premium Factory Outlet and the famous Opry Mills Shopping Centre. At the Factory Outlet, I picked up a nice Indianapolis Colts NFL jacket for a measly $12. So why am I telling you this? Because I decided to wear it out and constantly had people, err strangers, either cheering 'GO COLTS' or wanting to have in-depth conversations with me on the state of the NFL, the Indianapolis Colts, or whether Andrew Luck is the best Colts player ever. The problem is, I brought the jacket because it was (a) cheap and (b) looks good...on me; as for the team or the NFL in general...I do not have a clue (remember Day 11's Blog). In the end, when we got into the hotel, I was again accosted by a stranger who asked if I was going to the game this weekend, to which I honestly explained the situation. He was most understanding and went on about wanting to visit Australia.

Posing with some shoes that one of the boys were looking at; dig my funky new Colts jacket

So that was what happened today. We are settled into the Country Inns and Suites North-East of Nashville and ready for a well-earned rest after a long day's drive.