And I walk back to the Omni Nashville passing through Broadway and the bar scene.
The Omni and the Country Music Hall of Fame are linked together.
I re-enter the hotel, I run into one of my favorite Regents (highest office in the Fraternity): Don Densborn and his daughter Elise. Need a selfie!
As I go up the escalators, I notice our convention planner being paparazzi-ed by the hotel staff. I'm sure he was ironing out the particulars to make sure the entire convention goes smoothly.
I walk around the registration area and notice my last name on a box. I guess my registration packet is there.
Since the Opening Ceremony for Grand Chapter is in the evening, I decide to spend the rest of my day being outside and being touristy. My friend Chris who went to school in Vanderbilt (Nashville) knows a lot about the area and he gave me an exhaustive recommendation list of things to do. When I compared it to what the local Sigma Nu alumni suggested we do .. he covered those options but included more local stuff. So I begin my walk away from downtown into the other parts of the city.
As I'm walking around I get a call from the Midas Autoservice place. Make a trip down and talk to Branch.
He walks me visually through all the repairs that I absolutely need and the ones that he suggests but are not necessary.
After making the decisions I need to make I end up forking over $1,121.91 for fixes to the brakes and many other things. He is very patient, detailed in his answers and generally makes me feel very comfortable with what I am spending. Even though I really don't want to spend $1100+... I rather use it to travel for 11 days.
The good news with all the repairs is that I will be safe on the road. And fortunately I have the funds for it.
On a more positive note, I have free parking for a few days while they fix my car. I walk around and notice Aladdin's Hookah Lounge and Bar. Makes me smile for just a second.
I get to Centennial Park. My friend Ashley told me to check out the Parthenon.
So I walk over to the Parthenon replica.
I go visit the art gallery downstairs.
Then walk around for a tour upstairs.
Notice a few performers playing live music for free.
View of the Parthenon and the surrounding beauty.
I walk towards the Vanderbilt area.
Notice this outdoor sign on one of the hairdressing stores. Hilarious!
Chris recommended that I stop at the Pancake Pantry for breakfast. Since it is around 2:30 PM I decided to have pancakes for lunch.
The popular favorite is Sweet Potato Pancakes.
So I got those with the cinnamon cream syrup for an extra kick.
I saw this when paying the bill. So true!
I walk over to the restaurant across the street: Jackson Bar & Bistro. Also another place that Chris recommended for food but more notably dessert.
And I get the Cookie-Dough Egg Roll.
Amazing and delicious. Wish I didn't eat the pancakes so I could finish off the vanilla ice-cream - but I ate the most important parts.
I decide that I should head back to the Omni and walk off the calories I consumed. As I walk by I see various sites on other streets.
I get to the Omni, and since registration is now open I get my registration packet from staffer Shekhar. Glad to have him on staff.
I check in to my room. The TV is on and the screen is personalized. I decide to take a quick nap before the opening ceremonies.
I get up, change and head out to the Country Music Hall of Fame - Ford Theater. It was beautiful!
Patrick Thomas and Jennifer Eitel-Young perform.
After the ceremony, I meet up with the entire Wu family. Such a beautiful family.
The other one of my favorites - Shamim's husband: Jordan Wu.
And one of the best Greek Advisors in the business: Jamison
And Dave: one of the best - if not the Best Facilitator EVER!
We all go out to the restaurant Kitchen Notes at the Omni for dinner. And finally Jordan's brother Kevin gets into town from LA. He is my roommate.
It was a fantastic dinner with the Wu's and Gaston's. The Wu family generously took me out for dinner and I am most appreciative.
I loved the chicken pot pie... but should have eaten it with a lot of hot sauce.
After dinner, I was drafted into working for the fraternity for the next day's session. I met up with the rest of the staff in the office. I'm glad I'm not wearing those green polos.
Tim co-ordinates the staff meeting as he always has done.
Later that evening I chat with Grand Historian Bob and Former Regent Jim. Those two are great pals and their constantly teasing of each other is amusing to watch. I enjoy a good conversation with Jim. His intellect and leadership runs deep. I would love to talk with him, pick his brain and learn from him some more.
I head out with Jeremy and some of his friends for a 'longer night' in Nashville. We bounce around a few locations, enjoy each other's company and the live music. Not many people around but then again it is a Wednesday.
I realized how much I miss Louisiana after talking with Jeremy. The accent, the food, the camaraderie and the culture. The four of us Louisiana boys. Thanks for the beverages and the good times Jeremy. Can't wait to see you and the family sometime in Baton Rouge.