Trip 2: Franklin, TN

This was a mixed day with some ups and some disappointments.  Since it was Labor Day, many places were closed.  My first experience in Franklin was that the downtown was blocked off because of a foot race.  I got there just in time for it to be ending, but the place was still quite a mess.  There were canopies, so I thought maybe food, drink, or craft vendors, but there were none of those. There were elementary schools soliciting, a radio station, weight loss groups, exercise vendors, and some type of zombie something.

I visited a few cemeteries only to find that several of them were in severe disrepair.  I was the only one there, and I wonder if other people ever visit.  The big touristy houses had many cars in the parking lots, but I didn’t go there because of the admissions fees.  I visited a bookstore that advertised maps and posters, but the selection was laughable.

For lunch, I found a local BBQ place, BB’s BBQ.  It was good and only a little over $10 for lunch.  The only thing they could have done better was to provide napkins.  (Seriously, who doesn’t provide napkins with BBQ?)  I had white beans rather than baked, and I had vinegar slaw rather than mayo.  Both were excellent choices.

On my way back to Nashville, I took back roads, stopped at Crockett Park, and saw some amazing homes in Brentwood (not California).  At one point, there was a sign about a one lane underpass, and I was glad that I was following someone because it was right there at the 90-degree turn to the right. Bam! One lane. It went under whatever and there was another 90-degree turn to the left. Whoa!

The funniest thing that I saw was a caution sign for a church.  I’m not sure why it was there because churches here are a lot like Starbucks in Seattle.

Finally, I went to the grocery store to find food for dinner. I went to Food Lion or Lion King or some big store. The young woman at the checkout was not enjoying her job.  She was nearly rude to the three people before me.  She asked to see my ID and had trouble finding whatever she was looking for.  She handed it back to me without saying much, and I asked if she looked at the photo. It seemed to surprise, her that I was talking.  She looked (it’s really bad).  I told her that I prepped a lot for that, and she laughed.  I think that I changed her day.

Photos of the day are posted on Shutterfly.

Berea, KY

This is a college that I learned about during my recent studies. Admission is highly competitive, from what I understand. Instead of students paying tuition, all students perform service. That helps the college, the students, and the community.

The local community includes a lot of art and artistic endeavors. For example, there is a man who is known for making quality dulcimers. Unfortunately, we were there too late in the day to visit his store, His items in the windows were beautiful.

The hotel was very beautiful, and I would like to stay there one day and dine in their restaurant.

It rained just as soon as we arrived. That was nice. It was very different from Oregon rain because it was warm rain that came, poured, and moved on. In Oregon I am used to longer lasting rain that makes everything grey.

I also saw bunnies. They were just running around like they do on campus at the University of Victoria.  I was so excited that I yelled. Unfortunately, I scared Margo who thought she should slam on the brakes for some emergency.

The strangest thing was a truck we were following on the freeway. I guessed that the cargo was 2 big screen TVs with wheels, tires, and large tubes. No one else identified it until we passed.

Following the truck

It was truck axles. I am still not sure what the “big screen”-looking items were.

Paris, TN

The first thing I saw was the welcome sign with a fish on it. I proceeded to Downtown because my online research indicated the architecture was good–it was. I walked around a bit. The time was right before 10am, and many of the stores were not open yet. That was probably a good thing. The courthouse was beautiful, and the statue of the Confederate Soldier looked very worn. In fact, the soldier appears to be missing his entire face. The flora was beautiful, but my knowledge of the plants is severely lacking.

Confederate Soldier

When I returned to the car, I remembered that Dave told me that I had to find the big catfish. My efforts to search online with my phone weren’t too helpful because there was not a specific address given. I headed back towards where I thought the reviewers mentioned (south entrance to the town), and from downtown, I could see that the “big catfish” was the fish I had already seen.

The “big catfish” of Paris, TN

From there, I tried to find the Eiffel Tower. In Paris, France, the tower is dominant in the skyline and easy to locate. Google maps had a more difficult time. The journey took me through a residential area (actually several), and I saw the Paris water tower up close. The setting for the Eiffel Tower replica is in a park near a small swimming pool. It was cute. There was no one around to take my photo with it, and I was in no mood to try the timer on the camera, so off I went.

Milan, TN

The locals call this Milan (with a long I sound), so it is not pronounced the same as the Italian city. Construction crews were working on the main route through the town, so it was awkward to get around. One funny thing was the guy driving the road cleaner. Up the hill from him were 3 women who were behind their vehicle smoking (I believe). One woman was sitting in a folding camp chair with her oxygen tank. The guy with his nasty dirt stirring machine drove up towards them, and then he backed down the street and made another pass. The second time, he came closer, and the women scurried. It was an odd way to ask them to move so he old clean the street for the construction crew, but then again, that was an odd location for them to be chatting.

Street cleaner approaching three women.

The other interesting things in Milan were the desolation near the railroad tracks, a vehicle outside the tattoo shop, and an outdoor revival area. Yes, you Southerners probably think that I am strange, but I have only seem outside revival tents in movies, like The Blues Brothers. The only thing better would have been if there had been people there.

Outside revival (according to the sign nearby)