In the last post I attempted to give some ideas on how to make a clean break for a new start or long trip, and left at our departure: me and two friends, stuffed into a Jeep on the way to Alabama from Illinois. The first thing I would suggest on a long road trip would be to, if at all possible, switch up drivers from time to time. Whoever ended up shoved in the backseat of my car was actually thankful to be driving; the summer heat and humidity were even more grueling as we trekked further south.

We arrived in Nashville, home of all things fried and/or country, and immediately headed to a local hot spot: Subway.

Subway Out

Correction: my friends bought Subway while I opted for a much worse choice: Falafel from a place next door. Suggestion: If you’re in Nashville, remember that perhaps Middle Eastern food isn’t on their list of specialties. If you’re a coffee lover, however,  I strongly suggest going to a shop called Bongo Java at 2007 Belmont Blvd. Nashville, TN 37212. I just read that it serves all organic products, which I either forgot about or was unaware of.

The next thing I did was trot over to the parking lot next door and take a photo of some locals because they asked politely: Nashvegas

If you’re visiting the home of Country music in the summer time or almost anytime with the exception of the rare “cold” days, I would suggest grabbing a supersized bottle of wine, a blanket, and heading over to a park for the afternoon. The park we stumbled upon was massive, with a lake, fishing, and a monument of sorts.

Alex park

A few more brief Nashville tips: 1) If you’re a vegetarian, good luck. 2) If you desire an evening of drunken dancing along to records you thought were put into exile over 10 years ago then you will love the ‘strip’ commonly referred to as ‘Nashvegas.’ 3) Go swimming. 4) Bring a car.

After the wine had fully digested and we were worn out from riding bicycles up and down Nashville’s hills we headed back on the road sans one passenger. We drove through the rolling hills of Tenessee in an attempt to find the Jack Daniels Factory.

Rolling Hills PAM

After roughly 30 miles and receiving directions to continue on for who-knows-how-long, we decided to give up the hunt and just purchase a bottle. We were tired and the idea of driving 60 miles out of our way for a bottle of whiskey as a souvenir was beginning to feel both irritating and slightly pathetic.

Never made it

The drive was coming to an end. We arrived in my hometown Mobile, Alabama late at night. Suggestion: If you’re in Alabama, and you’re tired, it’s best not to attempt to go out to a bar or club because it is likely that you will stumble home having found few adventures and too much smoke, painful adult alternative country-rap-rock music, and humidity. My friend Alex left the next morning on a flight back home. I had successfully moved out of Chicago and onto the preparation of my European adventure. Deep breath.