Sunday, October 9

A Few Observations

I can't, in all fairness, claim that these observations are about the South in general, since, on this trip, I have been limited to the Opryland Hotel/ Opry Mills Mall/ Opryland Music Hall acreage and the big Baptist church across the highway. Here's some things I noticed about the area I visited:
  • In the mall here, there is a Saks Fifth Ave. outlet (where the first pair of rather ugly jeans I saw cost $119 -- at the outlet). There is also a Bass Store. Not a Bass shoe store, like we have. No, it is a Bass fishing store. All bass. All the time.
  • The men flirt a lot. A lot.
  • The women like sequins.
  • I was going to be disappointed, since as of Saturday night I had not seen a bone-fide cowboy here in Nashville (that's pronounced Nashvul, BTW). All I needed to do was park myself outside of the Music Hall and, lo and behold, here they come! I don't know really how bone-fide they were, but at least they had the obligatory cowboy hat, boots and big, dark mustache.
  • The people who work the little kiosks in the middle of the mall vie for one's attention like it is a third world market. "Ma'am, would you like to try this wig?" "Ma'am, why don't ya have a sit here and let me show you all these pretty necklaces." The ones who work in the stores hardly give you a glance.
  • They have these tour buses that will take you everywhere around, some for free, others for a lot of coins. We rode one last night to the mall, which took about ten minutes. We missed the last bus back, so we took a cab, which cost five of us $9. Tonight I decided to walk back and enjoy the night air. The end of the mall and one side of the hotel are about a city block apart. It just took the bus and cab all that time to drive all over the enormous parking lots and drop us at the far end of each building!
  • The weather is pretty schizophrenic. The first day it was just like my old Arkansas days (it's weird to think that I have ol' Arkansas days) -- so humid you could cut the air with a knife and something like 85 degrees at 11 p.m. Yesterday if rained. Today it is 60 degrees. It's hard to know what to wear.
  • Another reminder of Arkansas -- the crickets which are loud enough to drown out the noise of traffic.
  • People smoke here. A LOT. And inside restaurants, at that! Disgusting.
  • There are a lot of pregnant women at the Opryland Hotel. I don't know if there's some old wives tale about inducing birth here or what. Now that I think about it, there are a lot of brides here, as well. Maybe some connection there?
  • I knew I was in the South again, when I looked across the freeway and saw a Waffle House. sigh.
  • I walked at least twenty miles in the last four days. Two of those were intentional; the other 18 were spent thinking I was going the right way (have I mentioned that the Opryland complex is big?? The world's largest, by the way).
  • The Baptists were smart and put an enormous church building right across the freeway from Opryland. I did the best I could to figure out how to get to one of our mega-C of Cs, but none were in walking distance, that's for sure. So I trekked over to worship with our cousins across the way. It impressed the four people I met (one whom gave me a ride back after) that a Church of Christ girl would walk so far to go to church with the Baptists! I suggested they put a sky bridge in over the freeway, then they'd really have a chance to get some of that hotel traffic!
I'll post some photos after Allan gets back from D.C. with the card reader!


ewall said...

Kristi: this is pure fun! We love and appreciate you deeply, but you jacked up our home, you associated the South with only Nashville, Tennessee--which is a special place in itself--so here are our observations of the Northwest. By the way we love being here in Portland and we love you...have at it.

A few observations of the Pacific Northwest:

1) Schizophrenic weather. People say it is a pretty safe bet that it will rain all the time, but it really doesn't. sometimes it rains, then other times it is sunny and beautiful. you have to dress in layers cause it will start out in the 40s and end up in the 70s. Make up your mind portland weather!

2) Coffee Shops on every corner. Over caffeinated people getting their fix. Instead of snow cone stands there are expresso stands. Instead of churches on every corner, a caffeine fix waiting for you instead.

3) Where are the Chick-Fil-As and Sonics?? Taco Bueno?? Where are the shopping centers?

4) Bunch of no door holding, no yes sir, yes ma'am saying, friendly greeting and appreciation showing Northwesterners.

5) Bike riders are as common as trucks in Texas! Between a two-ton truck and a person on two-wheels, you'd think there would be some common sense of who would need to get out of the way instead of taking up the entire road!

6) We may have cowboys in Texas but at least they will tip their hats to you and say howdy, instead of these tattooed punks with mohawks (sorry isaiah) and noserings who can't pull their pants up above their butts!

7) One morning we would like to walk out our backdoor and not be attacked by some new cobweb built by some arrogant spider who thinks they can build their home in the middle of ours!

8) The King of Micro-Beers. In Texas we have two beers: bud and coors, here everyone thinks they've got to brew their own!

Amanda & Emily
(ps--we spent the first part of our workday doing this, thanks for the fun!)

Lori Ann said...

oh, you make me miss home! Thanks for the raminders!
Of course if I left I would miss my favorite coffe place,l the beautiful mountains, the tall trees etc...
Glad you had a fun trip.

kristi w said...

Now Amanda & Emily, I clearly gave a disclaimer right off (with you two in mind!) that I was not speaking of "the South", but just my observations about the particular place I visited. I thought you Texas folks claimed to not be a part of the South, anyway! Now I could start one on West Texas, if you want me to go there...:-)

Amanda Peterson said...

I'm sick so I'm a "smart Alec." My dad always said it got worse when I was sick. It's all in good fun! You knew, before you posted, that we wouldn't be able to resist :)
We did discuss that we might be starting a war, so if you feel the need to bash Texas--go ahead, I dare ya'! :)

sherilyn said...

You wouldn't dare!!!! Would you? But I'm ready for y'all. Bring it on! :-)

Glenn said...

Having traveled over much of the world, I have observed that most people love "home," whether it is the highlands of Tibet, or the jungles of the Amazon. Humans adapt to geography and weather. It's people that make the difference. Good people are all over this planet [as well as some onery ones]. Sometimes the onery ones are just good people hiding from something. When it comes to a discussion of Texas...! Having spend eight years there I feel some qualification to comment. Well, uh... some of my favorite people come from there...uh, don't want to offend them...uh, it's a good place to be FROM!!!!

sherilyn said...

And an absolutely WONDERFUL place to LIVE!!! No offense taken! I'm not a seasoned traveler...just seasoned! But I HAVE visited most states in the U.S. as well as a number of countries close-by and across the ocean. What I have discovered is "there is no place like home". We have deserts, forests, rivers, lakes, mountains, ocean (o.k. the Gulf)beaches, beautiful flowers in the spring and beautiful leaves in the fall, snow that only stays on the ground a few days (or hours) and then goes away and then 60 degree temps return, gorgeous, breath-taking sunsets, and did I mention deserts? But you are right. Even with all those assets, the people are what make it the best place in the world to live. There's just no place like home, is there?