This transition has been harder than either of us thought. From the very beginning there has been one kink after another causing stress on our minds, our bodies, and between us. It has raised the underlying question of, did we make the wrong choice? That is a hard question to begin asking yourself so early on because it means the naysayers may have been right, that we maybe should have planned more or held off going, or maybe just have gone with the traditional route of getting a house not-on-wheels.
We chose Nashville as our first stop, and to spend at least a month here, because we will be traveling back and forth to MN almost every other weekend from now until the middle of February. They're all wonderful things we're going back for and we would never miss any them, but it is also a lot of travel time. We figured Nashville was far enough south not to have the harsh freezes, but still close enough to drive our car back when we need to.
Since leaving MN this grey, cool, windy, misty rain has been relentless, following us through all three states it took to get here. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a real thing and it affects me for sure. We arrived in Nashville on Saturday afternoon and until Tuesday, basically ate, did dishes, and slept. We slept so much it was weird and, while it felt great, it was bringing me down because we're in Nashville, one of my dream cities, and hadn't stepped foot out of our campground yet. But then...then came Tuesday and we decided to venture out. As we pulled into the Opryland area I saw The Grand Old Opry and my skies opened up, the angels sang down from above, and sunshine filled my heart. We spent the next few hours exploring the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center and if you ever have a chance to get there, go. It is a beautiful facility all on its own, but with their Christmas decor in full swing, ohmygosh...it's truly like a dream. We took our time strolling through the four different atriums and enjoyed some yummy cheese & wine at The Falls which literally sits at the base of 2 indoor, man-made waterfalls.
After getting our fill of Opryland, it was time to head downtown for some food and music. We have come into Nashville basically blind, and thought downtown would probably be a fairly sure bet. We saw lights, people (which mind you, we'd only been around each other for the past few days), and bar signs so we knew we were approaching a happy place. We made our first stop Crazy Train. It was pretty quiet (it was early) but we had some great food and the band completely rocked Purple Rain, by request, even though they'd never sung it before. Next, The Stage, where we were lucky enough to snag a table - any band that has a steel guitar and a fiddle player is gold in my book. Finally, we landed at Layla's and my gosh, what we walked into was incredible...crazy guitar skills, an amazing bass violinist, and the ability to sing/play so fast our heads were spinning. Lesson of the night, get caught up in the music, but also note the names of the bands...darn it!
The next day we planned on heading into the mountains and were both really excited, until we realized they're about 4 hours away (again, pretty much no pre-planning on TN "stuff to do"). That put a cloud over the entire day because instead, we stayed in and got some things accomplished...a big low compared to the Great Smoky Mountains. However, what I'm learning about life on the road is that it's not a permanent vacation, it's our reality. We didn't get to go out and play every day before, and just because we're in a new place with no job we have to get to on Monday, doesn't mean we get to do that now. We are still in the figuring out stage of this journey and finding the balance between staying in or going out will continue to be difficult. What this week has reminded me of, is to hold on to the bright spots because they are what'll get you through the grey, cool, windy, misty rain...