Hey Team,

It looks like I’m more than likely headed to Arkansas tomorrow so I can go check out the Crater of Diamonds State Park but until then I have plenty to share about the last two days in Nashville.

There are a lot of cities across the country that just seem to be cities. They exist just because they do. (I promise I’ll try to make this make sense.) Maybe they had a reason for being at some point, as a port city or an agricultural hub, but over time they just became a place for people to live and suddenly they start to resemble an economic house of cards. The grocery stores and service industries exist to serve the residents and the only jobs open to the residents are at the grocer or in the service industry.

These cities are easy to spot and all tend to look the same. They’re the cities that you wander into and people ask, “Why are you visiting THIS place?” And it doesn’t take long before you realize you’ve ALREADY visited this place a hundred times over and you know the place like the back of your hand, (Not me of course, I don’t even know my hometown like the back of my hand.) it’s just that last time you saw the place it was in a different state.

That was a very long-winded, overly dramatic and kinda boring way to say…Nashville is not one of those cities. It’s a strange creature all its own.

I walked through a place yesterday called “Manuel.” It’s named after a designer who has been embroidering clothing for music stars for over 60 years now. His name is Manuel.

Manuel

On first inspection it looks like a bedazzler came to life, was gluttonously force fed rhinestones and then exploded inside a western wear store Mr. Creosote style. But when you take the time to look closely it really is amazing work. The attention to detail in the embroidery is insane and the clothes themselves so over the top that it’s hard not to be impressed with the skills it must take…PLUS they’re keeping those bedazzler folks in business so they must be good people.

Rhinestone Cowboys

On recommendation I also checked out a little dive bar called Tootsies that is right on the main strip in Nashville. Seriously, next to the smoke filled joint in Albany where the bartender turned on the TV with a baseball bat, this was probably one of the dive-iest dive bars I’ve encountered. BUT, again, just on the surface. Apparently anyone who’s ever been anyone in the Nashville music scene has played at this place. Autographed pictures of long gone country stars wallpaper the barroom walls, covered by Plexiglas, which is in turn covered in graffiti.

Tootsies

Bottom line: pretty cool place and lots of live music.

I also did my Tennessee geocache with my awesome new Nashville friends and it’s going to suck when I have to leave these guys behind too.

Nashville Geocache

But “Westward Ho!” is going to have to be my rallying cry until I get near enough to see my family for Christmas. I’m not going to lie…I’m REALLY looking forward to some warmer weather too.

I’m done.

Brett.

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