September 24 and 25 (Friday and Saturday)
We only stayed in two places for more than a day, and Nashville was the first. I spent the least amount of time with Mom while we were there. She knew I wanted to do a bunch of sightseeing, and didn’t want to slow me up. We were both good with that, since we’d be spending so much time together the rest of the trip. She stayed in the hotel and played two electronic games she always had. One was a slot machine, the other a poker game. Between that and watching TV, she kept herself occupied just fine.
Friday was go-to-work day. As in, visiting my long-distance co-workers of WebMD. The corporate headquarters were in two locations. I first went to the secondary site, which was in leased space at a former hospital on the outskirts of the city. I remember when I was corresponding with people who worked there, they told me when there was a tornado warning, the storm shelter downstairs used to be the morgue. That must’ve been cheery. I didn’t see that, but did get a mini-tour of one of the call center areas. Cube farm-o-rama. The woman I was talking with then started talking about some issues the people back in Florida had sent her. We got to chatting about that, then I said “Wait a minute, I’m here on vacation!” The danger of visiting work when you’re supposed to be taking time off.
Next I went to the main headquarters on Century Boulevard. It was near the main airport, as was the hotel where we were staying. I went in, but was stopped by a security person, who said I couldn’t take pictures. It was a shame, because it’s a nice building, and there was a really cool glass elevator in the entrance area. I could deal with that, but I was also told I couldn’t take pictures of the outside of the building. That perplexed me. It was an office building, and I didn’t think there was any secret government work going on there. But I resigned myself to it, and took photos of the parking lot, facing away from the building, which was permissible.
Anyway, I got escorted in and chatted with folks there. After that, I went back to the hotel. I can’t recall if we had dinner, so it mustn’t have been too memorable.
The next day was tourist time. I had already contacted a former WebMD employee who I’d kept in touch with. She said she’d give me a bit of a tour. I’d seen the Nashville segment of “40 Dollars a Day” a while back, and knew what I wanted to see. First was a reconstruction of the Parthenon. It was built for the 1897 Tennessee Centennial Exposition out of plaster and wood, then rebuilt out of concrete about 30 years later. Then we went to the downtown branch of the local library branch, which had the Provence Breads and Cafe Restaurant connected to it. I went online to check on travel options, then we went over to the restaurant. One of the things I wanted to try was their sandwiches with lavender. Very good, I must say. Back to the hotel, and maybe dinner or not.
We’d been keeping tabs on Jeanne, and she was heading up the east coast. I had hoped it would be gone by now, since I wanted to head east and drive through West Virginia. Alas, that was not to be. I joked with Mom that, if we hadn’t already promised to visit relatives in New Jersey, and had the back section of the station wagon filled with boxes of Christmas decorations for them, I’d be sorely tempted to go to the Mall of America in Minnesota.
So what to do? After considering various possibilities, I asked Mom if she’d mind if we went to Allentown (our next stop) by way of Kentucky and Ohio. She didn’t care, since she’d be with me. Awww.