Chattanooga, TN to Nashville, TN
Mr. Hawthorne and I rolled into Nashville, TN., Friday afternoon. I had booked at yet another Comfort Inn and the Comfort Inns are steadily going downhill. I'm enrolled in the choice hotels program where I can go online or call their 888 number to make reservations at certain hotels and get 1 free reservation for every 2 I make. Or at least that's the way it's supposed to work. I think. And I'm charging these on a Chase card on which I get 5% cashback for all hotel reservations for the month of September. It's a fairly seedy hotel this time. It smells. Stale smoke exudes from the wall paper. There's a medicinal smell from some type of cleaning product (one hopes) that doesn't take care of the smoke. It just piggybacks on the smoke. The carpet in the room is filthy. There is a little yipyap dog across the hall from us and he likes to yipyap. A lot. And he makes me miss Dixie and Junior even more than I already do. Mr. Hawthorne said the carpet on the second floor was much nicer. He actually went upstairs to do our laundry. Took him 4 hours of up and down, back and forth, since the dryer wasn't drying properly. He alerted the desk that the vent needed to be cleaned out and hopefully, they've taken care of that. My clothes were still damp the next day. The continental breakfast was everything I've come to expect and less. They didn't even have fruit or yogurt. I just don't make it very far on one piece of whole wheat toast. Now, I'm curious about one thing: Why have biscuits and gravy if you don't have sausage? And the "gravy" came out of a gallon can. No, I didn't even try it. I know my limitations. The one nice thing about this hotel was its location. It was within minutes of everywhere we wanted to go. Like they say, location is everything. My friend, Zzzadig, had recommended we go to Athens for breakfast and I should've listened to him. I'm just trying to keep costs down when I can and I thought I could snag a bunch of yogurt cups and fruit for snacking later on. Oh well, live and learn. And check on the Athens link above. Guy Fieri visited there recently. But, don't worry, I won't hold it against the good folks at Athens.
After our "breakfast" Saturday morning, Zzzadig and Mrs. Zzzadig drove by our hotel and assumed the role of personal tour guides for us. I am forever indebted to them for their wonderful hospitality. Thanks so much, Zzzadigs! Our first stop was one of the most amazing markets I've ever been to: K & S World Market. I was like a kid in a candy store.
They have every type of dried chili and unheard-of spices I have no idea how to use. Zzzadig informed me these are raw garbanzo beans.
I wanted that blue and pale green little pretty in the middle. It was only $800 but Mr. Hawthorne didn't want to drive across the country with it. He can be so damn petty at times.
Silky chickens have black skin, black bones, and grayish-black meat.
And who doesn't love bung? I never will forget the No Reservations episode where Anthony Bourdain was in Namibia and the locals offered him carefully prepared warthog rectum. I remember he turned to the camera and said, "It tastes like dirt and shit." Of course, that was beeped out but I can read lips. What a gracious and respectful gentleman he was. He would never want to offend his hosts, so he cheerfully ate what the chief offered him. Tony describes it to Mario. Mr. Hawthorne and I noticed that Tony was the only one eating it. The natives weren't touching it. I imagine they were laughing their asses off. "Can you believe that crazy American will eat the asshole out of a warthog? Let's see what else he'll eat! Bring me the ear canal of a dik-dik, stat!"
Tripe is another one of those things I want to prepare. If I fixed Mr. Hawthorne some menudo, do you think he'd know what was in it?
Hello Panda! Is this the Asian equivalent to Hello Kitty?
Nopales grow wild all over the Outer Banks. Maybe I should start cooking with these instead of stepping on them and having the thorns go through my feet.
Kimchi. Don't know about that. I had a friend who was in Viet Nam and he said he could always identify whatever village he was coming up on by the distinctive sharp odor of fermenting cabbage and however that particular village would prepare it. And it was not a good thing to him.
I loves me some FUD! Now, what did the Hawthornes buy here? I picked through the bin of taro roots and found several which were getting ready to bud. They'll travel across the US with me in my cooler and hopefully I can plant them when I get home. Mr. Hawthorne bought a package of dates to munch on for snacks and we decided to get a Joycook indoor-outdoor smokeless stove top grill. Thank you again, Zzzadigs. Stay tuned for more adventures in Nashville.