Rootin tootin Nashville.....
28.08.2010 - 29.08.2010 30 °C
Chill day! My kinda day! Due to the campsites buildings being renovated, including the toilets and showers, we had no choice but to use the facilities the Beast had to offer. Thankfully Dad had figured out how to drain the crap (literally) out of the waste tanks without covering himself in it like last time! We were free to take showers and do our business without the worry of Dad later wearing it! After breakfast it was off to the pool. Dad headed straight for the shade and myself, the opposite. The pool water was already refreshing in the morning heat. I repeatedly reminded Dad to put sun cream on as we lay drying off from our swim (he’d joined me in the sunshine). His answer was always ‘’I’m going back in the shade in a minute’’, but he never moved an inch. It wasn’t until later that day after he’d moved back into the shade did he realise he had burnt; his miniature man boobs (I'm going to kill her!! SL) were now a shade of crimson, to match his crimson like belly. Hilarious! I meanwhile enjoyed a full day in and out of the pool, with cream on! Still in the Memphis mood I chilled out to some Johnny Cash and other 50/60’s tunes on the iPod. We had lunch in the camper that consisted of Hot Pockets, spicy baked beans and microwave hot dogs! Dad has cooked better.
After a few more hours in the sun I was about toasted, only suffering a slight redness to the knees! Dad looked a little like a traffic light, minus the amber and green. So on the cards for tonight was originally meant to be a trip to the Grand Ole Opry; a live radio show that has some of today’s biggest country acts singing live. ‘Country’ to me and you is Taylor Swift, but not all of it sounds as good as that as we were to find out later that night. So since all the Opry tickets were sold out we went for Plan B; a cruise down the Cumberland River on an old style river boat, with a rib steak meal and live country music. Oh joy. We had no idea what we were letting ourselves in for when the coach picked us up......
We were the first ones on the bus so we chatted to the driver about the recent floods as we drove round hotels picking other guests up. He was really sweet and insisted we go and watch his band play the following day at a local venue. We were polite and tried to tell him we wouldn’t be here but ended up having to say maybe, knowing full well that by that time, we’d be in another State.
The first couple that got on the bus were the highlight of my night; a rather ‘well fed’ bloke with thinning dark hair and a ‘tache’ and his short, bubbly wife, both from the state of Alabama. He started talking to us almost immediately. He had a really drawly “Forest Gump’ type accent and when he found out we were from England he went wild. Saying how much he’d loved to visit the UK and asking detailed questions like “What y’all eat for breakfast in England?” and “What’s the main sport y’all have in England?”. My Dad spent almost the entire hour of the trip answering all his questions whilst being completely blown away by the enormity of this bloke’s character! He showed us pictures of his dogs and a photo of his son who was my age (hint hint), although there was no face in the picture, just a rather well defined torso. I did question myself as to whether it’s right to have a photo of your sons naked body on your phone, but then I reminded myself that we were in the US. Alabama (as we nick named him), also spoke of his home, the crime rate there, the snakes he found in his garden and the amount of tornados they get each year, around 50 to be exact. He told us the story of his friend who was shaving in the mirror one morning when all of a sudden he was sucked off! Now, not only is this funny, but it was also enhanced by his comedy southern drawl of an accent! He was of course referring to a tornado but I think I was laughing for about an hour after that. He then went on to describe tornados as sounding like trains; with one incident being when a bus the size of ours was picked up clean off the ground, everyone was sucked out , only then for the bus to be perched on top of a high rise building, 15 miles from where it was picked up from. Now I don’t know whether he was trying to scare us into ever visiting Alabama, but he then complained about having to put back up his ‘’privacy fence 15 times last year due to the storms. I still found this funny.
So after our hilarious bus journey through downtown Nashville, we pretty much had a good idea of what was in store for the night. We’d passed quite a few bars playing live country music and everyone seemed to be out and about enjoying the Saturday night cowboy vibe. Believe it or not the girls’ out here really wear cowboy boots and mini shorts, I thought that was just a myth!
So we boarded our boat that turned out to be a lot bigger than we expected. It was packed with people drinking and enjoying the sunset over the skyline. Dad complained about the prices of drinks as we made our way down to the dining room where the show would also be taking place. We were sat a table away from the front of the stage, sadly not on Alabama’s table, he was next to ours.
Our table consisted of the following; to my left there was the oddest couple I’ve ever come across, a woman in her late forties who wore a hideous patterned top and fashioned a rather tight 80’s perm, she stunk of stale smoke. Her husband/brother/son (couldn’t figure it out) sat next to her. Now if you’ve ever seen the film ‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles’, then you’ll know what I mean when I say “Her first baby came out sideways. She didn’t scream or nothing.” He was the scariest looking bloke who wore a baggy sweater and a trucker cap that covered his long, tangled hair to match his long beard. If there was to be a person carrying a gun on themselves in that room, I would have guessed him. Total 100% hillbilly.
Around the table from the weirdos were a couple from Canada. He seemed ok but Dad described the woman as looking like a stick of rock in reference to her colourful top. I would describe her as looking like a stick of rock.... stuck up her arse, as she never smiled once throughout the night! Finally around from that couple were a man and wife from Chatanooga here in Tennessee who were verging on strange too. Dad spoke to the bloke mainly as the woman who was dressed up like a dogs dinner was far too busy complaining about the fact that this time last year they were in Hawaii. No one cared. Dad later described her dweeb of a husband as being a little hard to talk to. I would have said ‘simple’. Anyways, they all had one thing in common, they loved country music, and we were doomed.
After a rather shocking introduction to the music agenda tonight we had our meal. It was not what was on the brochure. It was chicken in cream sauce not the rib steak we were promised. Anyways we were starving and due to the air con above blasting away, we had to eat fast or end up eating cold chicken.
So the music began; a tribute to the history of country tunes! A group consisting of three blokes and two girls took on songs by famous acts joined by their band whose average age was about 90. We didn’t know hardly any of the songs but the rest of the room seemed to be hooting and hollering throughout the set. One of them took on Johnny Cash’s ‘I walk the Line’, I cringed the whole way through as he pretended to play his guitar like Johnny. We did know a few of the most recent songs towards the end and Dad did enjoy seeing the girls dancing round in next to nothing. All in all it was like spending the night in a nut ward, and we breathed a sigh of relief when the boat finally docked 3 hours later!
The hour long bus ride home felt shorter due to Alabama and his never ending statements and questions. He came out with ‘’Good Lord above!’’ and ‘’My Lordy!’’ as we drove through some of the crazy night time antics the city had to offer. Before getting off the bus he said how much he wanted to record our voices, he loved us that much! It had been a true pleasure to meet him and his wife, one in a million! A funny but random day! Bring on tomorrow!