So... where was I?
OH... breakfast with Jerry Seinfeld - that's right!
So... up at at 'em; the usual time. Down to Capriccio for our usual breakfast. Arriving downstairs I asked the host to seat us within the section of our favorite waitress (Mia) and so of course... he did.
Seated next to a far corner table marked "reserved" we were served coffee, juice, and Mia took my omelet order. (Mary wasn't in the mood for an omelet and stuck to the buffet.)
So... after a few sips of coffee... a few sips of juice... I head up to the buffet. Just as I'm getting up from the table the host leads a party of three to the reserved table next to us. I actually pay little attention as my thoughts are focused upon what I'll be having as my first breakfast course...
After filling my plate I return to our table - still paying no attention to the three men seated right next to us.
I sit back down... my back to the "reserved" table... and just as I'm about to start shoveling food into my mouth, Mary gives me a "pssst" and whispers, "Billy; Jerry Seinfeld is right behind you!"
Without batting an eye I say, "that's nice," and begin to eat. I don't look behind me; instead, I notice that another couple a few tables away are staring in our direction - staring past me.
Next... I hear... the voice.
YEP... Jerry Seinfeld was eating breakfast right behind me!
Kinda neat! (Not the first time I've been in close proximity to a celebrity, though.) No one bothered Mr. Seinfeld. No autograph seekers... no requests for photos - at least while we were there. (And that's how it should be!)
Anyway... we finished up before they did and went back upstairs to our room. I blogged while Mary packed. (Showered... shaved... etc.)
We checked out of The Peabody just after 11:00 a.m. and drove straight back to our previous morning's frustrated attempt to visit the Danny Thomas Pavilion at St. Jude. UNFORTUNATELY... for the second day in a row... at the gate we were told that the Pavilion was closed for a private event.
Folks... I was pissed! They're still gonna get a donation... but... I'm gonna be sending a strongly worded letter addressed to Mary Anna Quinn (Chief Administrative Officer of St. Jude) expressing my displeasure - along with a check, of course.
Anyway... looking at it from a "glass half full" perspective this allowed us to get on the road to Nashville sooner - which we did.
Uneventful trip... got to Nashville around 2:30 p.m. and since the car wasn't due back (at the airport) till 6:00 p.m. we had some time to kill. Unfortunately... rush hour begins early in Nashville on Fridays and so our "time window" in which to explore wasn't quite as large as the numbers themselves seemed to indicate.
Again... following the theme of trying to catch up on our "list" stops... we decided we'd make another attempt to visit the Japanese Tea House - Two Ten Jacks. Well...
We arrived at around 3:30 p.m. only to be told that they didn't open till 4:00 p.m.
Next... (and this one was for my best friend Carl!)... we decided to make a quick stop to see "the glories" of the Opryland Hotel.
WHAT... A... FRIGGIN'... RIP-OFF...!!!
(Friggin' low-class Marriott...)
(*MUMBLING TO MYSELF*)
So... the hotel is massive...
(Check out the website!)
We arrive and find that not only is there no free parking...
(Even though it's a "suburban" hotel!)
...but that the parking actually goes from "20 minute grace" free entrance/exit to $23/day for anything beyond 20 minutes! (Friggin' RIDICULOUS!)
Still... we entered... I flagged down an attendant and asked "does the Hickory House (their premier steak house) validate," and she told me they do. So... I parked... and we went in to explore - planning to also drop in for a couple drinks at the Hickory House bar!
THE... PLACE... IS... MASSIVE...
We explored... took a photo or two... finally found the Hickory House...
(*SOUND OF THE OTHER SHOE DROPPING*)
...only to find it closed.
(*JUST SHAKING MY HEAD*)
Apparently (and I just checked the website - which is deliberately vague) they're (again... according to the hotel's own deliberately vague website!) "open for dinner."
No hours; just... "open for dinner."
So, anyway, at this point we decide we'd better "get the hell out of Dodge" so as not to be charged for overstaying our 20 minute grace parking. We would have made it... but the exit from the lot was all jammed up... ticket/card machines not working properly... one solitary attendant rushing from lane to lane, car to car, because everyone was getting stuck...
We were literally stuck behind another driver caught up at one of the exit gates for five minutes! Meaning... when we finally got to the gate ourselves...
(*GNASHING MY TEETH*)
...upon reading the ticket the machine read "Pay $25.13 Daily Rate."
Ha! Like hell...!!!
I'll freely admit... I semi-lost it!
I beeped to get the attendant's attention and when she came over I told her in no uncertain terms that I'd be damned before I paid $25.13 for a "day's" parking when if it hadn't been for their faulty equipment I would have been out of there within the 20 minute grace period!
Believe it or not... she actually tried to tell me there was nothing she could do!
My reply? "GET ME A MANAGER...!!!"
After going back and forth for a bit she FINALLY opened the gate manually...
(*JUST SHAKING MY HEAD*)
Folks... it's a friggin' SCAM. It's that simple. I'm a damned New Yorker and I've never seen anything like it - not even in midtown Manhattan! (Forget the suburbs!)
I may actually write a letter of complaint to the proper Tennessee state authorities!
(*STILL MUMBLING TO MYSELF*)
Anyway... by now it was around 4:30 p.m.; time to find some cheap gas to fill up the tank of the rental car.
(I'm gonna miss that car... that beautiful Impala...)
First, though... one last drink!
We drove around... nothing "spoke to me"... and then before we knew it we were in the city proper! So... we decided to revisit the Listening Room. (They make good drinks!)
(*STILL SHAKING MY HEAD*)
"CLOSED: PRIVATE EVENT"
ARE... YOU... FRIGGIN'... KIDDING... ME...?!?!
Oh, well... it seemed that the day was destined to be a bust... until...
(*CHORUS OF ANGELS SINGING*)
We'd stopped to fill up the tank ($2.53 per gallon - regular) and had almost given up on finding a spot for a quick drink/bite when we passed a trusty ol' Waffle House...
My friends... it turned out... the PERFECT way to end our trip!
Yum... yum... yum...!!! And GREAT service! (The friendliest people on earth apparently all work at the Waffle House!)
Just a quick stop... maybe 20 minutes... but we got to eat not just our entrees, but we shared a KICK-ASS slice of grill-warmed pecan pie! (It was out of this world! And... our waitress gave ME control over the can of whipped cream!)
(*HUGE FRIGGIN' GRIN*)
Folks... if there are any among you who have never been to a Waffle House... take it from me - "Mr. Leading Hotels of the World," "Mr. Fine Dining Is My Middle Name" - the Waffle House is the place to go when you're just not in the mood for Masa.
We were at the airport before 6:30 p.m. (for a 7:50 p.m. flight)... returned our beloved rental car... got a ride on a golf cart to the main terminal...
And the rest is pretty standard.
One thing I will say, though: I LOVE Southwest Airlines! (Not only are drinks just $5 - with a nice selection including Fat Tire and Leinenkugel Shandy - but after only one round... our flight attendant "bought me" another!) GREAT service!
Anyway... we're HOME...
Next stop... Congers, New York - my godson's Holy Confirmation! Church at 1:00 p.m. followed by...