I recently wrote about how friendly I found Nashville to be. But the metaphysical Nashville threw some things at me to test my adoration – I had my pinky finger slammed in a cab door when a bellboy closed it in haste, was stuck for the better part of a half hour in a crowded malfunctioning hotel elevator and got trapped in a cab with a cabbie suffering some sort of emotional distress who wanted to take me somewhere other than back to my hotel (the first time in my life I seriously considered jumping out of a moving vehicle). That would normally sour me on a place, but not with Nashville.
Rolling with the punches is a life lesson travel will attempt to teach you pretty often. If you can take the inevitable challenges travel throws at you with a dose of good humour, you’ll at least end up with a good story in the end. After my finger was slammed and stuck in the cab door and the requisite screaming was done, I asked the bellboy for some ice, a towel and two Tylenol, then got the cabbie to take me where I was planning to go. My finger was all kinds of swollen and sore, but this was my one chance to see the Country Music Hall of Fame. I was even the recipient of a sympathetic free shot of bourbon at a downtown bar later that day when the bartender caught a glimpse of my finger.
Traveling home from Nashville, I had another opportunity to roll with the punches. My flight from Philly was cancelled leaving me with ten hours to kill and a strong likelihood my new flight would never take off. What did I do? I ticked two things off my “not yet in Philly” list. First, a cheese steak from Tony Luke’s, and the best one I’ve ever had in the city in my well researched opinion:
A bit later, while catching a World Cup match on TV, I had the Philadelphia famous Chickie’s & Pete’s crab fries for the first time (and a delicious pint of Yuengling):
And, as I waited at the gate for my flight home, something appeared as if a sign from the football gods or a small reward from the travel gods for my patience. I got to see the Eagles decorated US Airways plane pass in front of my gate. I probably got a bit too excited for a grown man seeing a plane taxi by, but I couldn’t keep my inner six year old down as I ran to the window to snap a photo:
Like every trip I’ve been on, I eventually arrived home not too worse for wear. My finger is almost back to its natural size and colour and the tiring day of cancelled flights in Philadelphia is in the rear view mirror. I’m back home with a mind full of stories… the true sign of a great trip.