Day 4: Nashville was amazing
After I donated my bike, I went to my AirBnb where my host Duane warmly greeted me. At this point, I realized I smelled pretty bad from hiking the prior day and took a quick shower. I then went back to the fun/touristy area near the bike shop and found a incredibly cool coffee shop called Frothy Monkey. Not only do they have good food and coffee that smells amazing, they have a selection of local beers to try. I spent a couple of hours at the place writing the last blog post as well as making reservations for tours and other activities. I was tried, so I went home around 9 and got a great night's rest.
The next morning I was up semi early and went to home depot. I bought some red duct tape and covered the hole in the back of my car to protect it from water. The back of my car looks like it has a red band-aid right now. I then went downtown and took a two hour walking tour of Nashville led by a guide named Ryan who was hysterical. We saw the Ernest Tubb record shop, an old converted brothel, Fort Nashborough on the river, the capitol, Skull's rainbow room (an old famous speakeasy), printer's alley, the Ryman auditorium as well as some incredible murals on the side of buildings. The tour was worth the price and more.
After the tour I decided I needed to get back to nature (as much as I could in Nashville) and drove 20 minutes to Raynor Lake State Park. The park has a trail that follows the edges of the lake, and was a good hour long hike that was useful to burn some calories. It must be nice to live in Nashville and have such a secluded lake so close by.
After the lake, I returned to the Frothy Monkey for a coffee to get some more trip planning done. I then returned to the AirBnb, took a shower, and got ready to meet my friends Ben and Jennifer, and their son Jack as well as their new puppy Lucy. Ben and I met while we were doing our master's degrees in music business at the University of Miami from 2005-2007. After we graduated, Ben and Jennifer moved to Nashville and set down roots. I instead eventually moved to southern California and then Virginia, Oklahoma, and now Iowa (I move often to say the least, perhaps I am an adventurer at heart). Ben and Jennifer treated me to some amazing burgers, and we got to catch up on the last 12 years of our lives. I felt bad being there since they had gotten a new puppy the previous day and didn't get any sleep the prior night due to the puppy crying, but they were the most gracious and wonderful hosts. I left as it was getting dark, and went back to my AirBnB to type of this blog and to do research on the best way to tackle the Smoky Mountains over the next two days.
In the end, visiting Nashville was a great decision along my trip. The people were great, there is a ton of art and music, and almost everywhere I turned there were people my age out having fun and enjoying life. Maybe someday I need try Nashville a more permanent shot as a place to live.