After finding a cheap hotel for Monday night, my second day in Nashville began. I had tentative plans to meet up with old friends later in the day (tentative because making plans has never been my strong suit), which meant I had the afternoon to myself to explore my 6th city all over again. Most of the morning involved driving around aimlessly, heading to downtown first because it’s the center of the city and the area with which I’m most familiar. This allowed me to get my bearings a little bit before working outwards.
Trying to think of a good spot to while away the hours, I remembered the charming Hillsboro Village area of town and headed off that way. From downtown to Hillsboro takes you directly through Vanderbilt University’s campus, a picturesque tract of land overrun with Med Students hauling backpacks twice their size. The rolling hills are home to one of the animal kingdoms most majestic creatures, College Girls in Gym Shorts. Truly, one of Nature’s most beautiful sights.
I consumed an absolutely abysmal salad at a campus eatery and then spent time in Bookman/Bookwoman, one of the best bookstores in the city (also, one of the few). After walking around a bit in the midday’s sun – still nothing compared to New Orlean’s molasses-thick air – I jumped back in my rental and drove. With no destination in mind, I got out of the city. Once I had clocked a few miles outside city limits, I checked my GPS and found that I had ended up in the vicinity of Radnor Lake State Natural Area.
What I discovered is that this is not a park you can just drive up to. I never did find an entrance, though I’m sure there was probably somewhere I could have parked and entered the area by foot. Instead, the entire area is surrounded by private gated communities and palatial churches the size of small universities. Seriously, if all the money that went into these churches had been combined, we could have eradicated poverty in America. But, I’m being cynical. After all, rich people need a place to worship where poor people won’t get their stink on them.
In the evening I returned to downtown to meet with old friends. First, a stop by my old place of work, and then after finally eating at Jack’s BBQ – a place I somehow managed to never eat at while actually living in the city – I met up with more of my friends at our old post-work watering hole, Buffalo Billiards. Who knows why one place becomes the regular spot over any others, but in every city I’ve had one. As a mix between a sports bar, pool hall and lounge, Buffalo is on the nicer end of my “usual spots” but it always felt like home. It was nice to be back.
Around the time that this entry posts, I’ll be headed to Charlotte and then on to Chapel Hill to meet an old friend from a different year, my first. I’ll update more later. Until then, champagne wishes and caviar dreams. Or, whatever. And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter for the kind of wit and sophisticated humor most people would pay good money to experience.