Day 74 - Stormy 4th of JulyJuly 4 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 33 °C
Happy 4th of July.
We decided to miss paying $15 each for breakfast & checked out of the hotel just after 10.00am. We put the luggage in the car & walked back down to down town Nashville. We stopped at McDonalds, but weirdly they didn’t do the normal breakfast, just the all day versions with egg & cheese. We didn’t bother.
We continued down Broadway, where Police & Security Officers were everywhere. The road behind the stage was closed so we cut down through a car park on to Demonbreun St, then passing the Music City Center & the Country Music Hall of Fame. We turned onto 3rd Avenue South & to our destination, The Johnny Cash Museum. It was busy, but we queued up & paid our $19 admission, then got lucky because we & a couple of others were ushered through a side entrance to reduce the queue.
The Museum was a bit on the small side, but it was good, particularly if you are a fan of Johnny Cash as we are. There was lots of memorabilia & film footage, including a version of him performing Ragged Old Flag, which seemed appropriate on this day.
We did however feel that we had seen a lot of it before, either at Folsom Prison, Sun Studios or at the Memphis Rock n Soul Museum. The Museum had lots of interesting facts though about Mr Cash, including the fact that he sold over 100 million records & recorded over 1500 songs during his career.
As we approached the exit there was a chair that he was sat on when he made the video recording in 2003 of ‘Hurt’, just seven months before he died. A screen above the chair played the haunting video. (It is on YouTube). It was a very moving & solemn end to our Museum visit which had taken about 90 minutes.
We walked back out into the searing heat & up Broadway, without being stopped. The bars on Broadway were already full of revellers & bands were entertaining them. We managed to blag a souvenir fan & we walked up to the big stage where people were already gathered & settled for the day & evening.
We decided to head back to our car and were amused to see that security were searching & frisking everyone entering Broadway from one entrance, but apparently not at other entrances. Doh!
We walked against a tide of of red, white & blue clad slightly overexcited individuals. The only people that were heading the same way as us were the homeless & the nutters that presumably had been evicted from their normal haunts.
We stopped for sustenance in McDonalds, it was now lunchtime. We had a burger, but didn’t hang about because the nutters were taking over. We walked via the ‘Musica’ Statue to our car & set off. As we pulled out of the car park it started to spit with rain. We hit Interstate 40 by which time it was a deluge. Many vehicles pulled over, but we ploughed on amongst the chaos of next to no visibility. Our thoughts went out to all those people on Broadway, hee hee hee!
We arrived at Grand Ole Opry House, which is a Country Music venue that hosts all the major stars & award ceremonies & is dubbed the ‘Country’s most famous stage’. Since 1974 it has been the home of Grand Ole Opry, a weekly live Country Music concert on radio & is "The Show That Made Country Music Famous." With thunder & lightning crashing around we made a dash from the car, took a few photos, visited the shop, used the loo, then dashed back to the car.
We could have taken a Back Stage Tour, but it was $29. We don’t like Country Music that much!
As we drove away from Nashville on Interstate 24, the weather changed for the better, so much so that we pulled over & put the top down. It was now back in the 90s.
120 miles later, we crossed into the State of Georgia for just 1.7 miles, less than 2 minutes, before Interstate 24 took us back into Tennessee. We stopped at Lookout Valley to assess it as a possible place to stay for the night....it would do as a last resort.
We then headed into Chattanooga & cruised around looking at our options. There didn’t seem to be a central down town area apart from a few bars near the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel, which didn’t have any vacancies. Parking was an issue & we had to parked some way away. We walked back to the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel & wandered around a side street, that was having a street party, complete with band due to play later. We decided to have a token drink until we realised that Jackie had left the purse in the car. That was that then!
We entered the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel, which is a converted Railway Station. Behind were some of the old trains & gardens. A few photos later we were done & it was around this time that we realised that we were in a different time zone & it was now 7.50pm!
We rushed back to our car, had an argument about where to stay & finally returned to Lookout Valley. We checked into the Super 8, then rushed out to the Cracker Barrel, looking forward to bite to eat & more importantly a nice beer. They didn’t sell alcohol, so we settled on limitless Lemonade & Jackie order Southern fried chicken, while I ordered a grilled chicken salad, honestly!
My salad was lovely, but Jackie’s was so enormous it was off putting. She appeared to have a whole chicken, hacked into 5 hunks, then thickly battered, as well as a whole corn on the cob, mash potato, a muffin & a scone. Jackie couldn’t face it, so I very chivalrously swapped with her.
Now about 9.00pm, we drove to Walmart for beer, wine & a bit of chocolate. Upon returning to our motel, a firework display had started just the other side of the fence, so we sat in the car park & drank a beer. We know how to celebrate!!
Song of the Day - Independence Day by The Comsat Angels.
Bonus Song of the Day :-
Ragged Old Flag by Johnny Cash
Hurt by Johnny Cash (preferably the video version)
Chattanooga Choo Choo by Glen MillerRead more