Teaming in a Teeming Town

Saturday, September 17, 2011 Road Junkies 0 Comments

FRANKLIN, Tennessee— This beautiful September day began in Georgia with a hint of fall in the air, a 56° taste of the cooler days ahead.  Delicious!  Shortly after sunrise, we loaded up and aimed our van for Tennessee for a visit to my brother and cousins.
The weather fairy waved her magic wand and granted us beautiful blue skies for the trip and for an afternoon of letterboxing in Nashville.  Planning the letterboxing (from Georgia):  "Hey, let's go to downtown Nashville.  Saturday afternoon should be a great time to search for the urban boxes when things aren't so busy."
When we arrived downtown, we were treated to a large dose of Nashville reality on this particular Saturday:  Dog Day Festival 2011 brought 8,000 dogs and their owners to downtown's Centennial Park for various canine activities.  The Ole Miss Rebels invaded the city to square off against Vanderbilt's football team in their downtown stadium, both teams well represented by loyal fans.  Taylor Swift fans flocked downtown for her concert at Bridgestone Arena.  And those were just some of the major events. 
Group stamping
Fortunately for us, we had our own rolling crowd— a seven-member letterboxing team.  Anna, Alison, Kendyll, Kyle and Steven joined us on our urban treasure hunt.  With such a nice size group, no one appeared to be sneaking around searching, and we could cover for each other.  Kyle's speedy but stealthy box retrievals were a big help, too.
As much as Steven enjoys letterboxing, he was unable to resist when a couple of guys playing with an air rocket in Centennial Park asked if he wanted to join in the fun.
Stomp rocket fun
After Steven's first attempt, one of his new-found friends gushed, "Wow!  We never got it to go that far before!"  They had a great time playing together while we stamped in nearby and enjoyed watching the rocket show and observing Anna's excitement over all the puppies.
Despite the masses of people (and pups) crammed into the downtown area, we managed to locate the five letterboxes we sought and had a great time spending a beautiful afternoon together.
When the Gallatin Gang had to go to the airport to pick up a special passenger, we returned with our letterboxing buddy Steven to Franklin where we met his parents and Nanamama at the incomparable P.F. Chang's for another delicious meal. We've eaten in their restaurants in so many cities and have always found both the service and the food consistently excellent.  They use the freshest ingredients and obviously train their staff in how to maintain outstanding customer relations.
With a little creative planning, even Rachel, who was attending the Taylor Swift concert, managed to get her share of the P.F. Chang's enjoyment.
Alison & Kendyll
Alison & Kendyll

Anna the gymnast

Anna & Kyle
Anna & Uncle Kyle

Alison & Kendyll
Mother-daughter team

Anna & Steven
Following the big boy

Stones River, Murfreesboro