It's Nashville, I'm moving to Nashville.
I'm setting up a tent in Centennial Park and eating every meal from a food truck. I'll make my own organic lip balm and sell it to aspiring country stars who sit with their dogs in the park playing bluegrass and sipping fresh lemonade. We'll be best friends and they'll thank me in their Grammy speech and ask me to move to LA with them because they can't live without my lip balm, but I will take a bite of smoked brisket and say, "No I belong here with my people."
Maybe it's the sunshine. Maybe it's the southern drawl. Maybe it's the way nobody seems rude or even passive aggressive "Minnesota Nice". Maybe it's the food. I don't know, but I'm sold.
Not kidding this time.
I'm already looking for houses.
Anyway . . .
Our trip to Kentucky Down Under was sidelined by an emergency trip to the orthodontist for Kooka. Poor thing had a wire embedded in her gums and her entire jaw was swollen like olden-times movies of the mumps. Thankfully, Amy at Lawless orthodontics in Bowling Green came to our rescue. She teleconferenced with Dr. B. in MN, took care of Kooks and we were back on the road.
The next stop was Nashville, not for the Grand Ol'Opry, but because I figured my Greek baby should see the Parthenon before she turns 5. Turns out she didn't care in the least, in face she anti-cared, complaining the entire hike up the stairs and scowling at us when we invited her into the picture. But the rest of us were awed. Built in 1897, as part of the Tennessee Centennial exposition, the Parthenon in Nashville is an exact full-scale replica of the original in Greece. It's huge. HUGE. See those specks up there? One of them is six feet tall.
The Parthenon was cool, but the food in the park was incredible. With dozens of food trucks lining the street, there were infinite choices. Punk and Kooka chose handcrafted mini-burgers and cokes. Yoda tried the BBQ mac-n-cheese. But Rico and I hit the culinary jackpot - smoked, pulled pork sandwich with fresh cut Georgia peaches right where the pickles and onions would be. We washed it all down with fesh-squeezed Tennesee Twisters - lemon and orange juice shaken, not stirred, while you wait.
We bought organic bug spray from the organic soap lady (I noticed her lip balm game was lacking), practiced our hula-hooping skills, scaled the Parthenon a few times and refilled our Tennesee Twister before heading back on the road.
In Chatanooga we snacked on ribs and banana pudding at Sugar's and walked a short portion of The Trail of Tears exactly 138 years after it started. Suddenly, the drive to Florida doesn't seem so long after all.