Once upon a time, long, long ago, I lived in Nashville for four years. College was over and I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I had apprenticed to become a piano tuner, but I had to move away from Columbia if I was going to continue that career. One of my friends had moved to Nashville to be with her boyfriend, so it seemed only logical to follow my college friends to another town.
Nashville was a big big step in my process of becoming an adult. After some ups and downs I managed to establish my own little piano tuning business. I dated a little, made friends, explored a new city on my own. And Lee and I developed a long distance friendship that became a romance, the love of my life.
I left Nashville long ago, but one of my very best friends still lives there so now and then we end up beck there. But its been a long time, almost 5 years, so when Lee found out that he had a business meeting there, and asked me if I would like to go along, I jumped at the chance.
We stay at a Marriott out by the airport. Lee's conference is at the Opryland hotel. The plan is for me to drop him off at Opryland in the morning and then visit with Gail.
Sunday evening we meet Gail and Michael for yummy Indian food in the West End. We drive there on I-440, a highway that didn't exist the last time we were there. This town where I lived for almost 4 years is unrecognizable until we get off the highway, and then suddenly familiar.
On Monday I drop Lee off at Opryland in the morning. Its not a running day so I take my shower and go over to Gail’s house. We visit and she shows me around her wonderful wildflower garden. It's so beautiful and she is so knowledgable. Then we go driving around town and she shows me various neighborhoods.The town is going crazy development-wise, tearing down perfectly good houses and putting up giant monstrosities.
On Tuesday I drop Lee off again and then go to Two Rivers Park and run on a bike trail. Its fantastic, the trails are as good as anything in Minneapolis. Boy Nashville is hilly, hot and humid though. I'm not used to this kind of heat.
After my run I meet Gail and we go to Cheekwood, the botanic garden, for lunch. Cheekwood is disappointing. I remember it as very special. The grounds are still beautiful but the plantings are nothing much. And it's hot hot hot.
That evening I eat dinner at Opryland with Lee’s business associates. Its fun to meet the people behind the names. One of Lee’s associates, Chris, volunteers to find translators for my grandparent's old German postcards (she lives in France). Amazing! Its nice to see Raymond again, a former 3Mer from Singapore, but I still can't understand a thing he says, it's embarrassing. Singaporeans speak English very well, but they speak very fast and add "la" to every other word.
Wednesday I run at Two Rivers again, this time along the river bottoms. The bottoms are sunny and flat but to get there I have to go down a very steep hill which of course means I have to climb back up this same hill at the end of my run. Wednesday afternoon Michael takes us over to East Nashville where they are renovating the darling bungalows. Restaurants, shops, coffee shops, this formerly decrepit area of town is turning into a hip hangout.
Dinner is carry out from J Alexander's at their house. Lee joins us but gets a phone call almost immediately. He has a business call he forgot about so he ends up spending most of the evening holed up in Gail’s office on the phone, too bad!
Thursday morning it's back on a plane for me. Time to pick up the dogs and go home. I hope everything hasn't wilted in the sudden heat New England has experienced these past few days, and I hope more things are starting to bloom!