Huh, well that was Weird

After over a year and a half of no travel, I’m ecstatic to post an addition to my “Weird List” Travel Blogs.

I’ve logged strange things from DeKalb, High Point North Carolina, Austin Texas, and Ireland. Twice.

For those of you new to this idea, or in need of a reminder, a “weird list” is comprised of travel moments that make you say, “Huh. Well, that was weird.” My lists include everything from a Salt and Pepper Shaker Convention to Pokemon sock torches to a sack full of grape jam packets to the ‘bat bridge’. My weird bar is pretty low, lol.

  • On our eventual way to Nashville, we stopped at a McDonald’s in Indiana. As we were filling our cups with ice and DC, a woman behind us suddenly states, “My husband and I go there almost every year!” She was referencing the t-shirt Dave was wearing from a bar called Dam Near Home in Albany, Wisconsin. Once I realized what she was talking about, I said, yes, I’d been tubing there, too. Small world weird, sure, but then…she mentions that they stay in a converted hardware store. Debbie and I stayed in that converted hardware store when we did our writers retreat! Smaller world weird, for sure, but then–she says she’d taken a photo of his shirt to send to her husband. Okay, but kinda weird, you know?

Of course, maybe it seemed weird because the last time I stopped at a random McDonald’s in Indiana, I ran into a friend from middle school!

  • Our first night out and about, we entered a bar in Indiana and walked through a cloud of smoke. Figured they’d been smoking outside and just come back in. Nope. Entered into a cloud of smoke. They allow smoking indoors in Indiana! Considering Illinois banned it in 2008 (!), we thought that was weird.
  • I thought it was very cool and worth a ‘weird’ mention that the Village Anchor restaurant we visited used books as their receipt holder. Of course, I left one of my author cards. 🙂
  • We visited an Australian petting zoo! Kentucky Down Under Adventure Zoo was very cool. Well, it was two hundred degrees outside with even higher humidity, but the zoo was fun. We got to feed kangaroos and emus. What I thought was truly interesting–and genuinely weird–were the kangaroo paws! They have five-fingered hand-like front paws

and, well, WEIRD back feet

They have smaller toes on each side of a single giant, very strong digit. Did you know that?! I did not.

Know what else I did not know? A kangaroo’s pouch looks NOTHING like Kanga from Pooh

Nothing like it.

Of course it’s not a pocket like in toy kangaroo mommas, but…ew. Er, I mean, but…weird. And a little fascinating. I’d never seen that. Had you?

  • We dined in a Bob Evans restaurant. And were surprised to see a dog at one of the tables. Not a service dog. Not an accessory pooch. And not by the table. AT THE TABLE.

Obviously, we thought that was weird.
But it did make this sign we saw later seem less weird.

  • We took a quick detour to the Hidden Hollow Orchard and Kentucky Equine Adoption Center. Truly hidden! GPS kept guiding us and we kept questioning her decisions. But what a weird little treasure this totally organic and wild orchard was. A quick tour, a brief history, and a small bag of interesting types of tasty apples.
  • We attended Ribberfest in Madison, Indiana. Open space on the Ohio River, free bbq samples, and live blues music. It was awesome.

We even got to meet members of the Ghost Town Blues Band. And here’s where I come full circle with another Dave t-shirt story. The guy in line ahead of me was wearing a Sun Studio shirt and a member of the band said he liked his shirt. I was wearing a Cheap Trick shirt (probably the same one as the McD’s reunion posted above) and he said he liked my shirt. I said, “You must say that to everybody.” When I asked if he liked Dave’s shirt–the guy hesitated. And kind of sneered a bit. Dave was wearing a Blackberry Smoke shirt. Seems the band member was not a fan. Seems his reaction was personal, though. Still, a bit weird.

My last entry here is less of a WEIRD and more of a PSA.

We checked into our 12th floor hotel room near Vanderbilt Stadium and first thing I noticed was that there was a balcony. Cool! I walk out, look around

then look down

No diving, indeed.
  • PLEASE, if you think it’s safe to have sex in a hotel pool at four in the afternoon because no one is on the deck, consider your surroundings. All of them, including UP.

Public Service Announcement, sure, but it was a little weird. I mean, THEY WERE RIGHT THERE. DOING IT.

The true purpose of the trip was the AVB convention at the Gaylord Nashville Opryland Hotel. Nothing too weird about that, though. Great meetings, beautiful hotel. We had a fantastic, jam-packed, adventurous couple of days. It was very nice to get away. Let’s hope it’s not another 18+ months till the next trip.

About Mary Fran Says

I am an artist, crafter, designer and writer. I enjoy working with mixed media-- applying visual and tactile manipulations to telling a story. Not a lot of market for that, though, :), so I'm focusing on short story submissions and novel completions. Yes, plural. Lots of beginnings, too many ideas, not enough focus.
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