A Travellerspoint blog

Nashy Nash Ville

5th September - 7th September

rain
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Nash Nash, Nashville!

Instead of talking about greyhound on this blog, the amount of stories and craziness ive already seen deserves its own page so http://www.davidtodd.co.uk/greyhound.html

I arrived in Nashville in the late evening, without any phone battery and the rain pouring down I struggled to recall the directions the the hostel! 5 minutes’ walk out of town is something I remembered but I must have been too eager as I turned to early and ended up in circles trying to find it, (reminisces of Atlanta already!) after a quick burger king for me to recharge with a burger and for my phone to recharge, I found the road and the hostel in no time!

It was a great sight to see as I arrived, it looked welcoming with flags and pictures, it just seemed like a chilled out place and as I sit here writing this the best example I can give you of that is the three people singing in reception with guitars and the piano, along with ten more outside round a fire!! (review at the end for more details)

I moved into my room and immediately got some much needed washing on, and with a jumper on (as the rain was heavy, check the weather reports, the most rain and the coldest Nashville has ever been since records began!) Obviously I don’t mind a bit of rain!
The walk wasn’t long, just into tow, Nashville even in the rain still seemed pretty lively, as I arrived back, I was greeted by a couple of fresh faces, my new roommate from California, a south African, two aussie girls (one of which works at Disney Florida which I immediately wanted to know everything about!) and a kiwi, we chatted for a while and then decided to play taboo…. Which is not a bad game and very good for chit chat (a nice leisurely evening!)

Morning saw me wake up with another of my roommates who seemed to shower more than he slept, up at 5 as he was getting a shower, I assumed he was leaving, but no just making sure he was clean before getting back into bed again, 6am and everyone else was up, unsure of the mans intentions as he dried off (second shower) and got back into bed! 7am and he was at it again, but to save my already confused mind, I decided I’d run before he got out!

Still raining, although I like running in the rain, makes me feel like rocky, like someone who has to train! Took 36 mins to do 4 miles which im proud of so therefore im putting it in this blog! I had cheerio’s and made an omelette with some turkey, My omelette making skills are improving, in Atlanta I made one but it came out in horrible small uncooked lumps of egg and sausage although I ate it all the same!
Around 11 I headed out with the Calfornian, and the south African (haven’t thought of a shorter version, maybe safrican!, that’ll do) We walked down to the river front which was worth a look even in the rain, and through and round up to the Capitol building which, we found out later on was the second largest that is still in operation in the country!

Lunch was found by safrican, in his lonely planet guide he found a diner called arnolds…

  • if your reading this heading to Nashville you need to eat there

It was packed, and the atmosphere was amazing, although it was a little walk out of town it was worth it, I had some juicy ham with veg, (very healthy) then tried some spicy chocolate cake, which is one of the tastiest things when it goes in your mouth but slowly makes you cry with the spice, it wasn’t amazing so I left that to somebody else to have! (I don’t mean I sneaked a bit and then put it back on the shelf, Im not that type of guy! There was a slice for everyone to take a bit off!)

Afternoon saw us three head into a place called the wild-horse saloon,

  • turn left of Broadway, onto second avenue and its on the right!

They had free pool, table football and a game called shuffle board, which is a cross between bowls and … a game where the further down the table you get the more points you score! (im sure there is a game like that I just can’t think of it right now! Look it up and see for yourselves) we had beers called a blue moon which had orange in it, which tasted amazing and it was a good afternoon all round, made even better by horse statues posing in human-like ways at the bars and tables! (see pictures)

We walked back and left Californian as he went on his way to another part of Tennessee, changed and headed back out to the same place to meet the Aussie and kiwi girls, to do a spot of line dancing!

  • free every Tuesday at the wild horse saloon! 5.30pm and 7pm!

It was basic but the steps we learnt formed the dancing we would be doing for the rest of the night, we were the only 5 doing it so it was funny to think that has we not been there, this woman may have come in for nothing

We then went to countless different bars along Broadway and 2nd avenue, all of which has live music all night long which for me is genius, they all work for tips so entry into the places is free and drinks are cheap if you buy the right stuff,

  • PBR is in a can and tastes good but for a small price compared to most others, plus its traditional for the south of north America!

The night then consisted of going into each bar, enjoying maybe one song before doing our line dance and then leaving! I think we got worse as we went on but I didn’t see anyone fists clenching in the audience so I’ll take that as a job well done, The night also included safrican and me doing a body shot in coyote ugly which is possibly too graphic to describe (pictures!) a trip to some karaoke bars (obviously I wowed the crowds) (plus by coincidence I met two fantastic women from Grimsby so spent a lot of time chatting to them, they are also the ones who have changed my route plan again! Gotta love spur of the moment decisions!) and a strange trip to hooters in which both myself and Safrican felt a little too confident and tried some smooth moves with the ladies who undoubtedly hated us both!

One person who didn’t hate my lines was Miss Disney, (who by the way is a massive smiler) we decided that even though everyone else was going home we should stay out but in our more clumsy states, couldn’t find the bar we had just visited for some karaoke so has to stick to just live music instead, country music is a good genre to listen to on a night out, I need to download more!

Disney and I got home a little later on, we gave each other more to remember than just words as we said good night and went our separate ways and went to bed!

Morning and it was my own alarm that woke me as frequent shower man had left the day before, More cheerio’s and sing songs in the day, a very easy morning, said good bye to Disney and her group as they went on down to New Orleans, and then more sing songing before heading to greyhound, as I say greyhound deserves a page of its own, http://www.davidtodd.co.uk/greyhound.html

  • The Music city Hostel is small but that creates a great situation to meet others and talk to as many people as you want to, the kitchen area is well equipped and there is always free food to be had on the shelves and fridge, located just outside downtown Nashville, it is 25 minutes to walk in, staff are casual and extremely helpful and friendly. Definitely worth $25 a night!

Posted by davidt.ontour 20:51 Archived in USA Tagged nashville Comments (0)

The Atlanta Stop

31st August - 05 September

sunny
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So let’s continue the story, I left you hanging whilst I was on the plane, waiting to see if I got off and out into the U.S. I must add that the woman sitting next to me and I both had similar taste in films surprisingly, so we both started Limitless together, it was a nice cosy 21 year old sitting next to a 60 year old moment!

I wasn’t feeling so great as I got off the plane, the security checks seemed rigorous and they were looking for anything to send you home! After some queuing time it was my turn to step up, scan my fingers and explain my story, which I had magically changed to, going on a round trip up to DC and back, it was scary!! One slip and id be going home (sorry this sounds like some James Bond thriller, but I feel the dramatic effect is needed) the man believed my story and I was away! Free of the customs people and into the states I went

Except for the fact that the whole process of leaving the airport was another hour and a half to finish before tasting fresh air! (After you claimed your bags, you had to then put it back on a conveyor so you could meet it again at the exit… (That’s how long it took from baggage reclaim to exit!) although one old American guy was entertaining as he danced the security dance (I may make a video of it, hilarious)
I still wasn’t out after this huge process as then I had the subway to ride, which seemed a bit scary (everyone had a fixed stare, mostly on me with my huge bags and big smile!!) but to its credit it was easy to do, fast and clean.

  • tickets are $2.50 each and there is no discount for bulk buying so don’t worry about buying one or four, it’s all the same just make sure you don’t overbuy!

The sights from the train were awe provoking, seriously tall buildings (which actually id seen from the plane on the way in but I was too wrapped up in dramatizing my customs experience to tell you) it was all I’d ever thought about the states, Bug buildings, big roads and OTT lifestyle (I love it)

I rode the Gold line up to North Avenue in search of my road ‘Ponce de Leon’ I wasn’t used to American signs and when I saw ‘Ponce de Leon’ above a road I immediately assumed I was on my street, I then spent a good half an hour traipsing up and down in search of my hostel, only to then realise that a sign above a road means you can turn onto it, not that it’s the actual road, Finally after passing a Krispy Kreme doughnut place and a Dominoes () I arrived at the hostel and was greeted by a very lovely British woman who showed me the room and the hostel, (as always the review is at the end)

I took some time to get myself together, I had some major swissues going on, Headed downstairs to the lounge where a couple of other guys were sat, One of them offered me a bud light, (strong beers aren’t common in the U.S so it seems) we decided that we would go out, so after showering and spraying we headed out.

All jokes aside, we were an English man and Irish Man and an Aussie, the Aussie (with a backwards name ‘Lacklan Martin’ surely that should be the other way around!) had found a place called welfare Wednesdays, and it sure was well fair!! Free pints from 9-10 and then 11-12, amazing!

  • It was called the peach tree tavern, it happens every Wednesday!

It was also a live music venue, but instead of a band, it was more a group of 6 black guys who for the whole night performed all sort of rap numbers and pop remixes it was absolutely awesome! Not to be big headed but our accents definitely caught the attention of some guys but more importantly a lot of girls! We soon were dancing with our groupies (as I like to think they were) although maybe that attitude led me down the wrong path….. some great dancing but in fact I went home alone, whilst the other fantastic accents in our group ended up going home to a sorority, (this detail I didn’t find out till the morning! Lads)

Thursday, can only be described as a life sort out day, as many of you know I do love a good life sort out, I ran! (yes it’s a true story about 3 miles!) I rang Delta to refund my ticket (which I am happy to say writing this on Monday 5th it has been returned!) I then went on craigslist’s, eager to try and find a blackberry which I could then buy a SIM for, I rang a guy with a nice purple one and bought it for $45 dollars, I didn’t check anything so it wasn’t until I got it home that, firstly the SIM couldn’t be removed and secondly that Sprint Network (which is what it was locked to) are the worst network I have ever spoken to in my entire life! Ladies and Gentleman do not take up a sprint contract in America! I also bought a City Pass to make sure I got some good deals on the Atlanta attractions

  • $70 gets you into 5 different Atlanta attractions saves you more than $40

New Plan!! I headed into town, not only to see the sights of downtown Atlanta but also to try and get the screen fixed on my original blackberry! Unfortunately ive realised that instead of trying to fix things if they are broken, Americans just buy a new one, Three people told me that, other reactions included, ‘hahahah’ ‘whoa that looks bad’ and ‘that must have been a horrible call!’ I kid you not! A bit drained I headed back onto the subway up to a secluded area that I was told had a Wal-Mart….. I don’t know whether I’d class about 4 miles walk as ‘having a Wal-Mart’ but the exercise did me good, plus I managed to find a great phone and a good camera as well to film my new documentary series which is at, www.davidtodd.co.uk/kmeso.html (cheeky plug)

4 miles and the subway saw me back at the hostel, Irish had left but backwards named Aussie was still there along with a chicagwegian girl (that is how I class them) a girl from New York and Strange Steve from goodness knows where, his accent changed every hour! We decided to crash a pre party to the convention that was happening in Atlanta at the weekend but before that fooood, and what better place to eat than Hooters!! Nice place! :)

The party was strange (you can see by the pictures) lots of fancy dress which set the tone for what was in store for the weekend ahead! Huge amounts of adults dressed up in some crazy costumes, the best thing about it was that It was in the Hilton Hotel which was so beautiful, it was worth sneaking in just for that, couple of drinks later and it was down to me, Kim (the chicagwegian) and strange Steve but without money, we both were relying on Steve to pay for a taxi home, which he did but he was muttering under his breath the whole way home! The night ended with Steve not believing we would pay him back and Kim and I laughing at him in more places than the lounge!.

Friday, with a new camera, phone and the sun outside shining I headed out to the world’s largest aquarium, which was split into 6 sections, along with a dolphin show

  • its $26 for adults but free with a city pass

it definitely deserved the title of the biggest I spent a little over 3 hours there, the favourite part being the whale sharks (see pictures) it was absolutely huge and the fact that they could have three in one aquarium meant it was a gigantic building. The dolphin show although cheesy had some good dolphins, I was less than impressed with the trainers and actors, it made me want to do it myself to see if I could be better! (I have now looked and still not ruled out the possibility!)

The next thing on the agenda was the coca cola factory/museum….
$16 per adult, free with the city pass.

After going through the history, there was chance to see how it was made (not the recipe obviously! But the process!) I got a picture with the coca cola polar bear, saw the advertising of coca cola through the ages and across the globe and finally got to try flavours from all over the world, some of them were horrible but one from south America, was Fanta Kiwi, I loved it!!! I also took great pleasure in telling people that id never heard of the flavour from England, which was lemony drink and I genuinely believe ive never seen it before!

An easy night after two hard ones, saw me cooking with NYC (who has given me a friend that is up for taking me in to save money on a hostel in New York) we made some sort of chicken, It was mostly her, but I cooked the veg!!

Another Run on Saturday (yes it’s true again) I went to the convention with Tom, A British Lad from Portsmouth; we saw the convention parade along with two other guys from my room, who were well into it! We had our mouths open from start to finish, such a strangely fantastic thing to see hundreds if not thousands of people dressed up in all sorts of costumes, I wanted to see jaja binks but apparently the Americans hate him so there was none!

I left the group to go and see the CNN centre,

$14 but free with a city pass

It was again huge as most of America is, and I really enjoyed everything that went on, especially when we got to see a live broadcast being shot, with a news anchor, I saw how little effort went in the studio, with one anchor and then two guys operating cameras and a producer, all the leg work goes on behind the scenes, which we saw later on in the tour. I had time at the end to address to group (didn’t mean to make it a group question but the way I asked it made it seemed like I opened it up to the floor! I asked about Piers Morgan and his status in the American household and created a full on debate, much to the dismay of the tour guide who wanted to be out!
Later in the day I met back up with Tom and we found a free concert in preparation for an Atlanta College football game, this is going to be one of my KMESO episodes, as I saw the American people go all out before a game with huge parties, we also got free red bull and a group who liked our accents gave us some ribs! What a dinner!

Back at the hostel, some more drinks and lots of computer stuff!

Sunday.. Doc filming day I headed full force into the convention and no one was going to stop me! Apparently Saturday was the craziest day, but from what I saw it was still pretty full on, I took some interviews lots of footage of fantastic costumes and did some of my own links! Loving this Documentary making lifestyle! It definitely blew my mind, the amount of effort and time people had put in to make these costumes is unreal! I had some Chinese food which actually agreed with my body (honey chicken) and for the evening, a subway which I found I couldn’t order a 6 inch, only a foot long…what a farce! I ordered a meatball marinara all the same! The highlight of the day was interviewing Xmen people, very strange and I became a tiny bit star struck!

Another run on Monday morning and it was time for me to pack up and leave, I had bought Suzy some flowers because truly it’d been a great time at the hostel, her review of me was ‘ you deserve to go far, one of the best people to have here’ so I left with a big head, quick stop off at the Peachtree centre (everything in Atlanta seems to be named after peach trees) for some food and then off to the greyhound station for my coach to my next destination!

  • Atlanta hostel was easy to find if you knew the signs, and amazingly close to the station so easily accessible, the communal kitchen, and lounge area make it so easy to meet people, as with everywhere in America. Love the atmosphere, the price is a little expensive, in the hot we

Posted by davidt.ontour 20:09 Comments (0)

The First Step!

31st August, America Day


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The first step!

Im sure some of you expected my first blog to be about Atlanta (my first stop) although I wanted to start as I mean to go on and tell you as much as I can without feeling like it’s boring for anyone! My grammar undoubtedly will be bad, (sure someone will sense it more than others… You know who you are Sophie Brown)

Easy train rides to London (St. Pancras has now got a fantastic Olympic logo up which Ive posted a picture of) and then onto Gatwick airport where after I dawdled and wandered I ended up at my hotel, where the towels were made into swans and the TV welcomed me into the room! The breakfast was free/included in the price so I took full advantage of the Buffet, and learning my Europe days managed to sneak some more into my bag! (coco pops just won’t be the same in America!) It was a great start!

The great start continued when I met some American girls flying back to Atlanta as well who shared a taxi with me, Happily we all queued together to check in!! What a wonderful start.

Then an embarrassing situation occurred…I showed my ticket and visa to the desk and they asked what my travel arrangements for coming back?! With pride (as I feel proud of the fact I haven’t bought a return meaning im even more spontaneous) I said I hadn’t got any, to which the woman immediately called someone over and said in the same way a doctor would describe a patient with a terminal illness ‘he’s only got one way’

All hell broke loose! I was taken from the queue and to an office where we discussed my plan, (up the coast, into Canada) they didn’t believe me! They brought in two more immigration officers, one English, Quiet but serious and an American, Loud and bloody patronising, he had never seen my work permit for Canada and again believed that I wanted to immigrate into the states(although this is a serious situation, I think that rhyme is a good one!)

I discussed time and time again my plan and they got even more serious and patronising! I literally had ten minutes till check-in closed and we reached an agreement that I could buy a ticket that meant id be leaving within the visa permits! Amazing…. Except the was £1010, which was all my money on the card at the time.

I bought it, the girls behind the ticket desk are both owed big time by me, they told me about some loopholes in the system to reclaim all the money after I arrived in America, and checked me in, walked me through the search area (where I was stopped again for no other reason than I was the guy who was supposedly immigrating into America) and they literally walked me onto the plane, where my fellow passengers were waiting, for anyone who is late to board a plane and you are making the rest wait, take two check-in desk girls with you, I reckon I would’ve had things thrown at me if it wasn’t for them!

So I am writing this Blog on the plane (Yes im allowed!!) with coca cola on tap, having already had another breakfast whilst watching Arthur (the Russell Brand version, which by the way is extremely funny a definite comedy watch) and preparing myself for another game of chess against the woman sitting next to me, who is surprisingly good! Limitless will be my next film and lunch is some sort of Cajun chicken and rice,
Im still unsure of the outcome when I land in Atlanta, who knows who will stop me next, I’ll leave you all hanging until my next (although if I am safe it’ll be on my website!) Nervous doesn’t cut it (I secretly think the patronising American has taken my bag off for some twisted get your own back scheme!

Speak soon,

DT

P.S My Blackberry is now on the blink as well!! Lovely

Posted by davidt.ontour 15:16 Archived in USA Tagged atlanta Comments (2)

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