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four through six

most of the journey to asheville was spent on interstate 40, which i will disaffectionately refer to as The Truck Tunnel for the remainder of these entries. semi trucks as far as the eye could see... and traveling at a highly disproportionate rate of speed. trucks carrying twenty new hondas should not, in my opinion, barrel along interstates at ninety miles per hour. but what do i know? after arriving, we found one of rachel's high school friends and dined at the noodle shop, located across the street from a park[?] complete with bronze turkey sculptures[!]. they talked woodwinds and orchestras while i attempted to slurp up my da lu noodles with chopsticks and one of those weird chinese soup spoons.

though we loved the charm of this city, goodbyes were made and we were off to bluff city, tennessee for a spontaneously scheduled [what?] dinner date. we were drawn by the offer of a hearty, wholesome, home-cooked meal by a friend of mine; burger king and wendy's lose their appeal quickly when you're on the road every day. after a couple of hours in the car [with some of the most AMAZING views on i-26], we reached our destination and were greeted by four heads poking out of the front window curtains in barely contained expectation. i got a quick hug in with mary, but rachel and i were immediately accosted by emma, karley, ryan and joel, not to mention every pet and photo album they could get their hands on. truly, this visit was a highlight of the trip; an amazing, intriguing and functional family, willing and excited to share their lives with these passing sojourners... and to rachel's photographic delight, willing subjects for the camera as well. oh, and... the food. joe came home and, surveying the feast, offered an open invitation to visit anytime if this was the sort of result he could expect. pot roast, mushrooms and gravy, potatoes, broccoli, and pound cake... mmmmm. this meal was thoroughly incredible and appreciated. afterwards, a shiraz run was made, the need for which mary attributed to me [what?!]. we picked up a bottle at the quietest liquor store i have ever been in. creepy. we finally settled in for the night and rested in preparation for wednesday's five hour drive on The Truck Tunnel. mary even cooked us waffles for breakfast [what?!?]; we took some final pictures and headed for the 'boro.

forever associated in my mind with maddening traffic congestion and schizophrenic street names, murfreesboro is home to middle tennessee state university. our zany college friend, todd, is currently a flute graduate student there. after finding his apartment, rachel and i parted ways for a few hours; she and todd were off to an mtsu flute concert, and i headed up to nashville to meet with a couple of friends. we had some amazing queso blanco dip and melt-in-your-mouth tortilla chips [mmmmm...], then met up with another friend who was playing boggle at a bar [what?]. i departed nashvegas and made my way back to the 'boro, where i learned much about todd's vision for his new apartment. soon it was lights out, and rachel and i eventually giggled our way to slumber. thursday we had front row seats for a music recital, with todd's woodwind quintet as the closing number. after a near tragic flute misplacement, we were off for a quick lunch. while rachel reacquainted herself with the atmosphere and opportunities of an academic music building, i took a brief nap and found the campus parking office. the remainder of the evening was spent running errands while traversing the seventh circle of hell. [can't a woman just find a simple turnaround on these roads?!] we ran mental price checks on sleeping bags, rachel experienced chick-fil-a for the first time, and we returned to campus to observe todd's orchestra rehearsal. after snickering about mullets and contemplating doing interpretive dance moves for the musicians' entertainment, we found mtsu's main library for an internet fix, then headed back to the apartment. we belatedly celebrated todd's birthday with some oreo pie, and fashioned three "vote for pedro" ringer tees at 1am. shortly before the iron-on extravaganza, we realized that with a four-and-a-half hour drive AND a time change, friday's lunch plan with our friend john was simply going to be out of the question.

seven through nine coming soon...

Posted on Wednesday, October 27, 2004 at 11:08PM by Registered Commentermdog | Comments2 Comments

Reader Comments (2)

hey, I may just direct people to your travelogue since you remember the details much better than I do at this point. and no point in describing it twice! I'll post pictures soon, so you can send people my way. deal?
Oct 29, 2004 at 01:16PM | Unregistered Commenterrachel
personally, i think our respective descriptions via blogs and emails have been equally informative... it's just that i do the linear detail freak thing, and you capture the overall essence of the events. but please feel free to direct traffic here... sounds like a good plan.

i added some links to "one through three", btw. just fyi.
Oct 29, 2004 at 02:25PM | Registered Commentermdog

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