June 26, 2019

It seems the boys don’t suffer from jetlag. They slept until about 8am and S had to actually wake M up otherwise he might still be sleeping. We went to breakfast at Union 417 which supports Military vets (and employs them in the running of the restaurant). You do know you’re in the South when they have fried chicken as a breakfast option! Pancakes though were the definite order of preference except H & I who had your standard fried eggs though H did get the biscuit (scone type of thing really) with her breakfast.

After breakfast we walked down to the river (Cumberland River according to google) and then along the river. It was already pretty warm (around 80F = 26C). We then walked down to Broadway (the honky tonk area) and back to the hotel. What struck us is the number of homeless people. It seems worse than other cities we have been and after a quick google search today it does seem to be a particular issue in Nashville (though it also seems no one knows why).

We checked out of the hotel at 11am and headed toward Louisville, Kentucky where we are staying for 2 nights. It is about 175 miles (225km) and takes about 2.5 hours to drive. It is an interstate motorway which started out as a 6 lane highway and for most of the time was a 3 lane highway. The sheer amount of people driving always staggers me in the US. Where are all these people going? The enormous number of (enormous) trucks is the other noticeable thing. While the roads are wide, the surface of the roads isn’t great (generally because of the extreme weather conditions in these parts). We noticed how much rubber from blown out tyres there is on the interstate – about every 500meters or so there are the remains of a tyre. I guess that’s a combination of the poor road surface and truckers not changing their tyres frequently enough.

We stopped at a small town and found a grocery store (Krogers) to do some food shopping for the next 2 days. That experience always takes longer than just to buy the food as everyone wanders around the store being entertained by the differences to home. I’m sure in future blogs I will post some shots of some of things. We did the self-checkout option which ending up needing constant assistance from one of the store people. It started off because we bought alcohol and so had to do a check that we were over 21 but then seemingly M & S (who were doing the checkout – not to be confused with M&S the store in UK) were either too fast or too slow at doing what they were doing. The store assistant was very helpful though and she gave us a Kroger’s card too which ended up saving us $20 on the $130 grocery bill.

It was around 1:30pm when suddenly the clock on my cell jumped forward to 2:30pm that we realised that Louisville was in a different time zone and we had lost an hour of our day and we hadn’t had lunch yet. So we stopped at another small town and had Wendy’s for lunch. H & C went for the healthy salad lunch. K had chicken nuggets and the rest of us had Wendy’s burgers (which are definitely better than MacD’s). It was also at this point that S logged onto WiFi to discover that our AirBnB that we had booked had been cancelled (basically at the check in time!). So now we were suddenly accommodation-less. Some quick searching found us another 6-bedroom house (cheaper than the first one) which means everyone got their own bedroom. S quickly booked it and while we were heading into Louisville (we had about 45 minutes still to go) we got the Pin code for the key. Pretty annoying that they cancel at the last minute and S complained to both the owner of the property (who said they had de-listed from AirBnB though surely not yesterday at 3pm!) and AirBnB (who have given us a credit to use in the next 30 days). All a bit annoying but fortunately relatively easily sorted with new accommodation.

We made our own dinner last night (trying to limit the number of restaurant eaten meals) and then after dinner we went to Walgreens (pharmacy chain) to try get SIM cards for the others and (more importantly) ice cream (Ben & Jerry’s) for desert. It was 10:30pm by the time we were in bed and unfortunately I was awake at 4am again though did manage to doze off again from just after 5am until about 6am. H got through to 5am. Someone upstairs is awake (hear them on the creaking floors) but otherwise it seems the rest of them are still sleeping.

Until tomorrow …

P, S (for sorting out AirBnB), O (for trying Wendy’s hamburger – she would go ahead of me for trying a MacDs one), M (for self-scan work at Krogers), H, C & K

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