EZ Daze RV Park in Southaven, MS was home for a couple of days while we checked in on Beale St., Memphis one more time. Jeanne wanted to see the Parade of Ducks at the Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis. We went down to hang out around Beale St. and walked to the Peabody. It seems they have an interior fountain and twice a day they do a ceremonial “Parade of Ducks” where they walk ducks from an elevator down the red carpet to the fountain and the ducks take a swim. I don’t get the attraction, but if it floats your duck, then alright!
From the Peabody we strolled Beale St. and ate at the Rum Boogie Cafe. They have quite a collection of signed gee-tars by various artists who have played at the cafe. And the Gator Gumbo, oh my!
From here it was on to a return visit to the Grand Ole RV Park in Goodletsville just north of Nashville. As usual, we brought unnatural weather with us and had to endure about 4 days where the temperature did not hit 30 degrees. It froze the park pipes. I learned long ago to disconnect my hoses for these cold times but it got so cold my water pump even froze up as did what little water I had left in my coiled hose. I had a barrel of fun fussin’ with my water issues. We used the week stay here to prep for the kids arrival for Christmas.
After a week of trying to unfreeze water pipes, we relocated to the Nashville KOA where we reserved a site for the bus and a cabin for all the kids. I still dislike staying at KOA’s, they are all too pricey for what they are, but I have to admit they are family friendly and convenient. So we got set up, kids showed up, let the fun begin! Jeanne’s sister Denise, niece Savohna, and Savohna’s little ones Brody & Chloe also made the drive from Branson, MO for a very nice family get-together. We all spent a day walking the downtown Broadway area checking out all the honky-tonks, the Ryman Theater, and even corrupting our grandson Max, Brody & Chloe by outfitting them all with cowboy boots! Max even topped his getup off with a cowboy hat. Lunchtime was all about “hot chicken”. I was unaware of this “specialty” of the south, but apparently it is a must try “when in Rome…” thing. Our daughter-in-law Crissy heard of a place called “Hattie B’s” that served just such a specialty, so Hattie B’s it was. They serve 5 levels of varying temperature (that would be the Scoville scale, not Fahrenheit scale). Holy smokes, Batman, DON’T FORGET TO BRING THE FIRE EXTINGUISHER!!! Yes I hit on some of their “Shut the Cluck Up” burn notice top of the scale heat. I got to experience breaking out in a sweat while eating for the first time. The fire level thing was unique, but otherwise it was just more good ol’ southern fried chicken…
Nighttime brought us all to the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center where they got all decked out for the season. They also set up a small ice skating rink, downhill sledding, and snowball throwing for the wee ones.
The next day Denise and the kids had to return to Branson. We spent the next couple of days touring around Gallatin, Brentwood, Franklin, & Murfreesboro, as well as taking a tour at the Jack Daniels Distillery in Lynchburg. Tennessee surely has some pretty nice real estate in some of these areas. Christmas day we decided to go real touristy and took a tour of downtown and some stars’ homes in the area. Tommy, our tour guide, a true southerner, was hilarious as he narrated our way around town. “Bless his heart…” (oft used southern phrase, and not exactly representative of it’s literal meaning).
The whole family get-together went very well, other than Gus and Crissy were sick and baby Hailey came down with an ear infection which caused a side trip to the ER. But, alas, all good things must come to an end and it was with heavy hearts that everyone had to return to from whence they came (California). Gus, Jenn, and Max headed out first, Chad, Crissy, and Hailey able to stay one more night. And that night again found us ogling light displays, this time we went to the Cheekwood Botanical Gardens and Mansion. It was a very nice display. Once Chad, Crissy, and Hailey left for their home, Jeanne and I decided to stick around Nashville for a couple of weeks into the new year, so we got to attend the Jack Daniels Music City Midnight New Year’s Eve celebration at the Capitol Mall. It was a bit drizzly standing out there with tens of thousands of our fellow revelers, but Styx and Keith Urban were worth it, both putting on an outstanding show.
For now, we’ll be here, hunkering down in the sporadic rain and the impending next few days of lows in the teens. We’re still working on which way we go from here, still a little early to head north. Happy New Year to all of you and yours!