Today I'm feeling especially invigorated after taking a three-day road trip (by myself!) from Louisville through Nashville, Atlanta, Macon and home to Orlando. This 858-mile journey was downright heavenly, an adventure of twists and turns I'll remember for as long as I live.
Believe it or not, I had never stepped foot in Nashville before, and I absolutely adored the place. It's true I'm not keen on country music, but I enjoyed tooling around this comfortable city, strolling Vanderbilt University, Centennial Park, Music Row and downtown Nashville. The highlight most certainly was visiting the holy grail of vintage guitar shops, Gruhn Guitars, where the staff was kind enough to show me the upstairs room, off limits to the public and protecting the shop's most prized possessions. For a few moments I strummed on a lovely, sweet-sounding Martin acoustic from the 1940s, priced at a mere $185,000. Seriously? That's just insane.
Below are a few of my photos from Music City ...
Then I was off to Atlanta, that big, bold city of the South, which looks and feels more like Chicago every time I visit. One of my first stops was the Sundial Restaurant high atop the Westin hotel downtown. It delivers quite an exhilarating vantage point, 73 stories above the city. I also dropped by Piedmont Park, The Varsity (for chili slaw dogs and a Frosted Orange), Ebenezer Baptist Church, the Margaret Mitchell House and the Coca-Cola headquarters.
Check out my shots from Atlanta ...
The most fortuitous moments of my trip unfolded about an hour south of Atlanta. I stopped to pee at the visitor's center in Macon, Georgia. After taking care of business, I asked one of the nice ladies behind the information desk if they knew the whereabouts of guitarist Duane Allman's grave site in Macon. The most animated of them, Opal, proceeded to tell me about The Big House, a museum devoted to the Allman Brothers Band located just a few blocks off I-75, in the house where the band lived from 1970 to 1973. Holy crap! I had no idea this place existed! What a rush it was walking through the rooms of this massive tudor home teeming with guitars, clothes, records and other mementos associated with this extraordinary rock group.
After the total buzz of that experience, I must admit it was a bit of a downer strapping back into my car seat and steering toward home. The fun was over and all that lay ahead was highway, another 364 miles of it in fact. I could hear Gregg Allman growl, "and the road goes on forever ..."