9/24/07 - Canton, OH. From Nashville we drove northeast through Kentucky, where we stayed one night. From there we continued on to Canton, where we were going to visit the football hall of fame. Many of you know that Steph and I are big football fans, so a trip across country without a stop at the hall of fame would have just been a crime. When we first pulled up and saw the building for the first time, I thought, "It seems awful small for to be the hall of fame". I was surprised to find out that it is several buildings joined together so it doesn't look like a monstrous skyscraper yet is has lots of room. We slowly took it all in and couldn't stop smiling every time we came across something from our favorite team. It started with the birth of the NFL that was in Canton and thus the reason the hall is there. This is something I had wondered about. There were many displays such as the oldest football and some of the oldest equipment. We strolled through an area where it had a write up on every team and displayed the team's helmet. We gazed at the busts of all the people that have been inducted and took pictures of those we liked. Steph stopped by to see Mike Ditka and I visited with Joe Montana. After we got to see lots of memorabilia. I especially liked Tom Brady's superbowl jersey and was actually able to touch it! Another of my favorites was the display of all the superbowl rings. You wouldn't believe the size and number of diamonds in these things! We ended with some trivia games and a football toss to test if you could throw the football through a small hole. It was kind of hard, but I just kept trying until I got it. After dropping some cash in the gift shop we left to continue the journey to Cleveland. We both were pretty happy this day and it is probably one of the best museums that I can remember going to. Jay
9/22/07 - Nashville, TN. We spent three days traversing the back roads from Austin to Nashville. We spent one night in Texarkana, not a very memorable place except that the state line runs straight down one of the major roads so that Texas is on one side and Arkansas on the other. Hence the name Texarkana I guess. The evening we spent in the pool because it was warm and we weren't sure how much longer we were going to be able to enjoy it. From there we drove up to just past Memphis and stayed in a days inn. What luxury to have another bed and a bathroom right there! The next day we made it to Nashville. The city wasn't on our original literary but with the pressure of the trip coming to a close and feeling the need to get back and start the next phase of our existence, we changed the route to a more straight coarse. We were going to go up through Oklahoma and Kansas but we didn't see the point of seeing the flat nothingness of it! I mean we've seen plenty of cornfields and farmland on our trek across Minnesota and South Dakota!
I'll say that I'm not the biggest country music fan (although Steph thinks I'm a closet fan because I know a lot of the words to the songs, thanks to riding with Chad to work!) but it was quite neat to be in Nashville and take the trolley tour of the city. We rode past most of the major recording studios, the full-scale replica of the Parthenon and the capitol building. We took a trip to Tootsie's, a popular honky tonk bar on Broadway, thanks Linda and Don for the suggestion! It is the atmosphere that gives the place its wonderful charm. If you look in the dictionary under dive bar, there will be picture of Tootsie's! It is a run down dumpy place with years of people's graffiti on the walls and pictures and memorabilia hidden underneath. Steph and I spent an hour listening to a couple of bands and people watching. I showed here how to pretend to drink a beer from the bottle after it is all gone because the one you just finished cost as much as a six pack somewhere else! I know "cheap New Englander" again. I give you all permission to use that one though if you need it. We also spent some time a few blocks away at the tourist spot. The Wild Horse Saloon, a three story place with a large dance floor, many bars, a stage for live acts and pool tables on the third level. We had a few drinks there and watched the country line dancing lessons and two bands that were, I must say, very good! I was amused to observe that with line dancing there are always two or three people who know the moves and twenty others trying to go through the motions by twisting their neck like and owl to watch them. Oh yeah we did swing by the Grand Ole Opry, but just went into the gift shop to look around. We took a stroll to the Opryland hotel to see the many acres of indoor gardens. I don't know if I can quite get the point across to you but it was amazing!! There are three completely enclosed atriums that are as tall as the hotel, about 6 or 7 stories high. Each had a theme with many different plants, waterfalls, walkways, gazebos, bars, restaurants and fountains! I don't know what they charge to stay there but I bet it's worth it! All in all Nashville is a nice city. We were both surprised by its charm and are glad that we made it part of the trip. Widge