Day 3: January 22, 2016
No Opry for Me

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Though I usually say it as a joke it's true. I don't often know if the TV in my motel room even works. That was true of the one on my current room until I stepped outside this morning. I have the room for two nights but thought I'd grab some breakfast before hanging out back in the room until early afternoon. I would then head to Broadway to check out some of the many talented musicians hoping for a break or at least some decent tips as they fill the afternoon slots in the honky tonks. I would eventually pick some place for a leisurely dinner before making my way to the Ryman for the Grand Ole Opry. That's what I thought. I had heard some chatter about the possibility of more snow on Friday afternoon but it seemed real iffy and I hadn't paid much attention. I might have been the only person in Nashville that was surprised to see two or three inches of snow on the ground and more falling. I turned on the TV and tuned in a weather report after snapping a picture from the balcony. That's my car in the middle.

According to the TV, that rain I'd driven in last night had started freezing about 2:00 AM. It became snow around 5:00 and it wasn't about to stop. Roads and streets were a mess. I couldn't help but see the Waffle House when I first pulled into the motel on Thursday and even remember thinking that it was too bad that I had a couple of great breakfast spots in mind with a Waffle House so convenient. Now it didn't seem too bad at all. Coffee, bacon, eggs over medium, scattered and smothered, wheat toast. A comfort food recital that felt extra comfortable this morning. There weren't many customers in the place and I chatted with the mostly idle waitresses as I sipped my way through three or four cups of coffee. Outside, on Stewarts Ferry Pike, cars and trucks occasionally spun their tires and even did a little slipping now and then but I never saw a collision. That wasn't the case elsewhere. By the time the morning was over, more than 200 accidents had been reported in Nashville. I-40 would be closed about halfway between me and downtown.

Back at the motel, I took a picture of the car before I knocked some snow off by opening the back door to retrieve a few things. I took another picture from the balcony focusing, this time, on the picturesque scene beyond the parking lot. Near 4:00 I came back out and cleaned the car off and started it. By then the snow was well over the roof top ribs and at least six inches deep on the hood. The purpose of all that was to help me decide if I was going to attempt driving the ten or so miles to the Ryman. I had called the Opry folks and a friendly voice told me they could credit my ticket purchase to any show in the next year if I made the request by 4:30 or so. Knocking most of the snow off of the car while more fell and watching a few cars slowly pass convinced me to make the call. By chance I got the same service gal when I called back and she quickly marked my account "excused absence" or something like that. I had read some comments about the helpful Opryland agents and I found out they were all true. Thanks, Katie.

I headed back to the Waffle House for a hamburger and another helping of scattered and smothered hash browns. Now the place was nearly full. After dinner, I had to reconnect my phone to the motel's Wi-Fi. Logging in brought up the standard page for the local unit but this time it contained a red "SOLD OUT". In the morning I had Tweeted "Snow & ice in Nashville but I'm living in luxury. There's a Waffle House right next door to my Motel 6." Over breakfast it was kind of funny. Over dinner I really was feeling fortunate.

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