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Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

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Road Trip day 2: Hot Springs to Nashville Nashville, TN, Sunday, 17 July 2016 11:59pm

We'd hoped to visit the Buckstaff baths today, the sole remaining traditional bathhouse on Bathhouse Row, but I failed to notice that they were closed on Sundays.

Instead, we did a short hike up to the observation tower at the top of a hill in the National Park, and took the elevator up for a very pretty view. It was a little hazy out, so I'm not sure we could see Texas.

On our hike back down, an obliging raptor (a falcon?) gave us an opportunity to use Adrienne's early birthday binoculars. She was perched at the top of a dead tree and calling often enough for us to easily spot her. There was a little bird who kept dive-bombing her and being ignored.

On our return to our hotel, we remembered that the hotel itself, though not actually on bathhouse row, also had a traditional bath area. We got them to delay our checkout for an hour and treated ourselves to whirlpool baths, saunas, hot wraps, and needle showers.

We stopped at the Park Headquarters to peek in at the spectacular stained glass and disturbing bathing apparatuses in the Fordyce bathhouse and to pick up a National Parks Pass. We filled our bottles with spring water at one of the jug fountains and hit the road.

The Arkansas state highway map is kind enough to mark which roads are "scenic", so we took Highway 70 for much of the way, and I-40 when that got a little too slow (though the Interstate was marked as scenic by that point as well). We passed a lot of farmland, including corn and soybeans. There were also a lot of fields full of standing water that seemed too deep to be for rice. I wonder what they were.

We arrived in Nashville in time for a late-ish dinner. When setting up the route on my GPS, I noticed that our hotel is the closest one to what it considers the very center of Nashville to be. It turned out the restaurant we'd picked was (literally) right around the corner. It had the charming name of "Skull's Rainbow Room", and was apparently a landmark of Printer's Alley until Skull died. It's recently been reopened, and is serving creative cocktails and delicious food.

We took a stroll along Broadway after dinner, pausing to see if we heard any particularly good live music. Adrienne picked a place with pair of singers/guitarists who were doing requests. They did a lovely rendition of "Jolene" for her.

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