Ryan and Joel’s Spring Break Road Trip: Day 7

Originally posted on “Is It Sports” by Ryan. This is the final part of Ryan’s Spring Break Road Trip posts.

Day 7 Little Rock, AR – Gallatin, TN

I figured if I’m writing about a Spring Break Road Trip, I should get it done before I graduate, at least. Give me a break though, I’ve had a lot of stuff going on, what with graduating from a Big Ten University and all. Anyways, look at most of our posts. You can call us a lot of things, but punctual is not one of them.

Before we took off towards Tennessee, we stopped in downtown Little Rock to see the Presidential Library. Unlike his own hometown and the women he let in the White House, the Library was incredibly attractive. Joel just wanted to see the replica Oval Office. It cost seven dollars. We turned around.

As we made our way towards Memphis, we ran low on fuel, and much like in Texas, all the gas stations were prepay. If I may briefly rant, I have to say prepaid gas stations are one of the most ridiculous concepts instituted by the clearly intellectual minds of convenience store management. Some day, station owners will learn that the video camera installed in the awning is a much wiser investment than making someone come inside and guessing how much gas they will need, especially when someone starts going to the station down the street where they TRUST their customers.

But I digress.

We eventually buckled to the whims of ExxonMobil and fueled before making the rest of the trip to Memphis. When we go there, we hopped out along the Mississippi River and took a stroll through downtown to Beale Street. If you don’t know, Beale is a street known for its jazz history, home to legends like B.B. King and the like. The celebrations there get to be not unlike Bourbon Street in New Orleans. We got there on St. Patrick’s Day, so it would have been a big party night, but we arrived at noon and had to settle for lunch.

The place we stopped at, Alfred’s was obviously a jazz place, with large screens and a stage and pictures of people like Eric Clapton and others who had performed there. Most importantly we got our first taste of the NCAA tournament. Alabama versus Wisconsin-Milwaukee. It wasn’t exactly the two teams we really wanted to see, but it beat watching the local noontime news.

After the trip to Alfred’s we took a look around town, saw the Pyramid (what goes on there anymore?) and the FedEx Arena, home of Memphis basketball of all types. Definitely a Pantheon moment in my life, that’s for sure. Truth is, Memphis seemed like a nice town, but it also seemed like the town that I wouldn’t want to spend much time in after dark.

We moved off to Nashville through the remarkably hilly Tennessee. Quite the contrast to the flatness we had been subjected to for the first part of the trip. Not being country fans, we just found a hotel after getting off the freeway, which was in the midst of rush hour/just arriving tournament fan traffic. We found, again, a Comfort Inn in the northern suburb of Gallatin. After arriving, we decided we needed to go out at least once on this trip, and after asking the very pregnant, very toothless woman behind the desk, she directed us to a shopping area.

We stopped in at a restaurant/sports bar named Rafferty’s and kept an eye on the basketball games in the bar. The hostess led us into the bar and flirted with me a little, telling the bartender that I went to her school. “Wouldn’t that suck?” she tittered. Whatever. A girl talked to me of her own accord. She was probably 18.

I feel disgusting.

The bar though, had the standard three groups of people you’ll find at any non-college bar. They are as follows:

1. The Giggly Single Office Girls. They were a cause for debate between myself and Joel. Were they attractive? Where they worth the time to say hi to? We decided that yes, they were attractive if we were five years older, and no, they shouldn’t be approached, as the Mudslides they had been working on since well before we got there were doing their job and the giggling, now incessant, was annoying. This happens at pretty much every bar I’ve been to.

2. The Regulars. Clearly, this was a pair of guys that knew each other and had probably known each other for some time. They had each elected different paths in life and was secretly jealous of the other. As a result, they tried to talk up their own lives to cover for their own perceived shortfalls. The funny thing was, one was a business type, the other the contractor type. I couldn’t imagine what they possibly had to talk about, so they started yakking about the staff, who they also knew. I’m sure they had the internal debate Joel and I did in the previous paragraph. The difference is, I’m assuming they thought those girls were worth it.

3. The Ugly Lovebirds. These two were all over each other. You’ll find these two at any bar you go to, and you’ll be grossed out. You won’t mind that Mr. Bird is all hands, but you will mind that Ms. Bird weighs 250 pounds and is very visibly wearing a thong. We only assumed it was Mr. Bird’s hands going up the back of her shirt, but she blocked any sightlines we could have had. Most couples, believe it or not, have a situation where one member is more attractive than the other, be it slightly or greatly, and no matter what gender you are, you can always tell which way the tables are turned. With the Ugly Lovebirds, both are so far away from attractive that it doesn’t matter either way.

There you have it. That was Joel and my trip. It was a blast, no matter what you think, or how poorly I conveyed it. Yeah, there was the whole trip from Nashville to Lafayette, but really, I’ve written about that before, when we all went to Louisville. From now on, I promise to mostly write about sports again. – Ryan