Thursday October 09, 2014
This is the first time we have been in the central and central southern US. Like everyone I have seen that fabulous performer and actor ‘Larry the Cable guy’. He doesn’t hesitate to promote his love of the ‘Waffle House’. My crew was much less eager to try something new…breakfast at the Waffle House. If you have not yet experienced the culinary extravagance that is Waffle House, let me try to describe it. They operate diner style…all the staff operate from behind the counter and have access to your table for ‘passin and talkin’. They scream your order in some kind of code. Our waitress yelled; Scattered, Smothered, Covered, Chunked, Topped and Diced. The cook then placed small jam containers on a plate to record the order.
Our waitress on learning that we were from Canada asked don’t y’all have biscuits? She was a sweetheart and was simply amazed that some culture might not have biscuits. Before I could answer in some short and concise way, my crew intervened and off we went exploring the variants of biscuits enjoyed in Canada along with all the condiments one might use. I’m a hat guy and I wanted one of the little paper WH hats worn by the only male waiter in the place. They do sell their coffee mugs however, another time out.
Perhaps now is a good time to talk about accents and the south. I have an observation; in this area of the U.S. the cycles at a stop light are two or three times longer than in Canada. On our last visit to Paducah I’m sure I had two birthdays waiting to make a left on an advance green… I love the way the folks here talk. Five letter words can have up to six syllables. The cadence of their speech is very slow and I find myself wanting to finish their sentences. I understand that everyone has an accent and there is not a correct way to speak other than we all feel that our way is the correct way.
We returned to the hotel to arrange a shuttle to visit downtown Nashville. Let me say now that I’m not a country music fan. This means I don’t wear straw hats, boots and jeans 6 sizes too small and I wouldn’t willingly or knowingly sit for 2 hours on a wooden church pew to listen. I don’t hate country music. I like all music. From time to time I will put Country on loudly to keep me from falling asleep at the wheel. (in the car not the boat (others could hear)). We were going to experience Nashville and the Grand Ole Opry it has been decreed.
Nashville is about Music. Everywhere you look someone is playing, listening or talking about music. We visited several bars and listened to many performers. They all said they were working for tips hoping for their big break. They were all pretty good albeit too loud for most of the small venues. I like most older adults have a diminished ability to tune in a sound we want to hear from all the sounds we don’t want to hear. Mary Lynn says I can tune out everything but that’s another topic. So having or listening to a conversation is impossible in a honky tonk in Nashville.
The highlight of my day was a visit to Doc Holliday’s bar, not just because I needed to visit a washroom. Doc Holliday and his legend have always intrigued me. A movie quote in Val Kilmer’s only good movie… when accused of being drunk and likely seeing double Doc shows the guy another gun and says I got a gun for each of ya. Y’all had to be there. The bar has an amazing spiral staircase (leading up to the washrooms).
Our final event of the day was to visit the Grand Ole Opry. Our tickets were to the Ryman Auditorium the home of the G.O.O. from 1943 to 1974. The Grand Ole Opry is not the stage show but the radio show of the show. We sat through the commercials and radio stuff going on in the breaks. The Ryman was built as a church and the seats might be comfortable for the average church event but not for a two hour show. Two thousand people couldn’t walk following the show. As reported to me, Crystal Gayle and the Gatlin brothers were the big names of the show. If we had gone the next night we would have seen or heard rather Lady Antebellum…
When I go somewhere I would rather not I run the risk of ‘ruining it’ for others with my whining and banter. I had trouble controlling this as just 200 yards away the Nashville Predators were hosting the Ottawa Senators (tickets available) JEEZUZ
We managed to catch the shuttle back to the hotel a couple of medicinal rums and the day closed.