So Friday night I was at work late, and all of a sudden my phone rang. It was my cousin Steve, who I haven't really talked to in about a decade, and who at that point was in a U-Haul at a gas station east of town. (Having apparently done the grand tour of Nashville interstate highways first.)
We agreed to meet at the Exxon near my house, and I burned rubber out of work. Turns out there was no rush -- he somehow managed to circumnavigate the city twice more before arriving! But we eventually met up, and then went back to my place. He had originally been planning on driving for another few hours, but after some prodding (and a beer) decided to spend the night. So we caught up, more or less, looked at old photo albums, toured my scary cellar, watched TV, goofed around with an online dating service he's a member of, and stayed up half the night.
Saturday morning we got up and I decided we should go to the Pancake Pantry for a true Nashville breakfast experience. So we headed over there, but when we saw the line snaking out to the street, we decided instead to go downtown, get barbeque at Jack's, then head over to Bicentennial Mall to eat.
Bicentennial Mall is one of those places I take just about anyone who visits town. The best time to go is probably a few weeks from now when the fountains are turned on and the trees are in bloom. But there's really never a bad time. The entire 19 acre park was built in 1996 in honor of the state's bicentennial, and it is a great way to learn about the state (and get wet, if you want.) Plus it's right next door to the farmer's market, so you can always go buy veggies and stuff at the same time.
After eating we walked around the park for a while, then we headed back to my place, where we hung out for a little while longer before he finally loaded up the U-Haul and headed for DC about 24 hours later than expected.
Then I started frantically thinking about the paper that I was supposed to be writing for class all weekend! (Although I admit I got sidetracked on travel planning for a couple of hours today -- still trying to narrow down where we're actually going next month.)
All in all, it was a pretty nifty weekend.