March Madness – Journey to the Center of the Earth.

by Nomad on April 8, 2011

Alarm goes off at 9:37 am

Shakes head in a bit of a daze was last night a dream or for real?  Nice Sunny Mountain View

Walking In to the Ray

Check Email for Flight time thinking it was 6:30 pm oh snap no its 1:15pm.  Shower – Pack  -Hit the Road – Gas – Car – Airport,  agarrr its 10:15….

After flirting with the Ticket Agent she says “Where to sir?’”   Me and you can escape to the beach in Hawaii, Come on I’m a good tour guide on 3 islands???  She blushes that a young dude would flirt with her.

Any flight that I get on, I always Kiss my fingers then touch the plane as a blessings and respectful way to ask for Safe Passage.

My seat is next to an odd little character. Dude with Green Hair and a Green Hornet Super Hero Shirt on.

Flight From Tucson to PHX – PHX to IAH.  Over NCAA Finals March Madness outcome.

So while I’m recollecting my thoughts from the weekend trips and the night before,  The Green Hornet asks me what kind of phone is that  ”Do you like”?  After hearing her speak I realize The Green Hornet is a quirky female?  I say yeah the phone is good works out great for me, on the go so much.  I tell her its good but not so sure if there is a Crime Fighting app??? To Poke Fun,  LOL really hard with my inside voice.

The Green Hornet says ohh so you travel a lot?  I reply ” A little”?  Hornet starts to go on about how she wishes she could travel more and how she was just in Tucson visiting Grandma and GrandPa,  I’m down from Milwaukee.  As I say oh yeah I like Milwaukee I have a good friend there.  Just as I said that thinking to myself oh damn don’t get her started otherwise its Jibber Jabber all the the rest of the flight.  Too Late.

She says I had such a great trip, I don’t wanna go home.  I say under my breath, welcome to my world.  I tell her usually when fly I try to look around on the flight and try to imagine who if anyone had a better trip than mine?

Hornet says well you should tell me about your trip because sounds like you had a great one,  I was just hangin out with Grams and GranPa (in a funny midwest accent).

Well I would have to start from the beginning….

We call this March Madness.

Hobby,   Houstons 2nd Airport usually has cheaper flights than IAH.  Off to BNA – Nashville TN. Walking thru the airport thinking I can help all these travelers to have better vacations!!!    Ask the Nomad about your destinations.

So Nashville? Hollywood of the South for Country Music?  What are they gona have for me?  Well every place has something to offer?

So Hornet check it out.  Touch the ground running is one of my special powers.  From when the wheels touch the ground I start running to gain momentum.

Wheels are down and I’m ready to roll.

Lets find a spot for lunch in Nashville.  Now I remember from previous trips here there is an area downtown near the river where the Titans Stadium is with Bars and Restaurants. I kinda like the Titans the are the rebirth of Houston Oilers?  Oilers yes Texans no. Saints Yeah Yeah Yeah.

Plan  -  De-Plane – Get luggage – Pick Up Rental – Lunch – Find Hotel before it gets Dark.

Grabbed one of those new Jeep Cherokee’s (reminds me of mine from College – Reminice) Find Downtown no Problem windows down cool breeze, mix blasting.  Perfect parking place near the river, great view of the Titans Stadium and downtown.


Once again the Parking Gods have Shined on Me.  Didn’t have a lot of time to mess around so I took in some Tennessee vibes, had some lunch and looked around the downtown area.  They claim to have good BBQ in Tennessee,  well in my opinion,  Its probably good if your not from Louisiana?  I ask The Hornet if she likes BBQ?  She says oh yeah there is a great place near my house.  I laugh on the inside thinking – Sarcastically – I’m sure its some real good BBQ in Milwaukee.

Now its off to Kentucky.  Once I cross the border this will make it a 3 State Day?  Hence the name Tha Seasoned Traveler?

In Kentucky Im headed to the Mammoth Cave National Park.  Soon after entering the Park I’m Greeted by a family of Deer.  I seem to have a spiritual connection with animals, and Deer are sacred, should not be hunted.  I was surprised to find that The National Park Celebrated Black History Month in February?  There is a very interesting history with the Kentucky Cave System,  many of the parts of the Caves were discovered by Stephan Bishop a Tour Guide that was a former slave.  Mammoth Cave is the worlds largest Cave 500 plus miles.  Rocks from the cave were mined for making gun powder during the Civil War and created large profits for the owners of the caves.  Native Americans were the first to live and use the cave.  Many burial sites have been found there.

I went on two cave tours and felt like I could Journey to the Center of the Earth. There is an erie feeling at the entrance of the cave. Inside of the cave there is a nice breeze of fresh air even at some of the bottom depths there are no problems breathing?  I quickly found out this is not the trip for you if you are claustrophobic.  I decided to go to the end of the tour so I could be apart form the rest of the group.  It seemed very strange there were a few times when I was looking around at the rock formations and I felt like something was also looking a me from the shadows.  It was very creepy.  The Park Rangers were very resourceful.  My photos did not turn out so well if you want to experience Mammoth Cave your going to need to trek it to Kentucky yourself to see the real thing,  plus its a good family friendly trip.  So I encourage people to hit the open road, ask me about ways to do it for cheap.

I have a late flight out of Nashville not heading home because I had a last minute change to my flights sending me to San Deigo, CA.  Not bad cuss I love Cali, like the Late Biggie Smalls.

“Women Weather and the …. Great place to Visit”  Arriving at 9:30pm on a Friday.  It wold be rude to arrive in Cali without a fresh haircut? Thinking very hard where could I get a cut in Kentucky, and I was in a very rural place?  The kinda town where most people probably throw the old bowl over the head and trim whats left over, know as a bowl cut.  So on mission to find a Black Barber in the boonies.  Ouch, looking Hornet I realize she had a bit of frown looks like thats how she cuts that green hair do she was rocking?

So I went on to tell her about my internal navigational skills which led me to Bowling Green, KY which is on the way to Nashville.  Univ of Ky. has a campus there.  I say to young wipper snappers riding there bikes around. hey fellas where is the barber shop?” The said go up two blocks to Dee’s,  Im like yeah right Deez Nuttz huh?  They laugh and say nah thats where we go, looking like they clearly hadn’t been in a while? So I  find Mr. Dee’s barbershop.  He says do you have an appointment?  ”No”,  he said come in my last appointment just cancelled.  Perfect, cus Im trying to make time have a flight in Nashville in a few hours.  Mr Dee was proud of the work he did.  He says can you get good cuts like that in the big cities?  Trying to hype him up I said “Not like this” but it was a good cut.  Short time, find a place to gas up the rental and catch the flight.  There was enough time to have a beer at a bar in the airport.  Where they have live country music.

Joy because you know I love me some country???   This dude was good. The bar was kinda packed so I made space for two ladies.  After I saluted them with a Cheers/Salud, seemed to kick off a new friendship.  One from Texas the other from Cali.  Veronica and WarBaby (the nick name I gave her because her last name is Gurrera). Then a guy joined us who says he was headed to New Orleans for Mardi Gras because this was the Friday on Mardi Gras Weekend.  I was sad that I wasn’t going to be in NOLA after spending so much time there.  Im sure they will be partying it up without me.  Where ever I’m at I plan to do something for Fat Tuesday!  I tell the guy some cool spots to hit in NOLA.  The ladies were maybe impressed at my travel wisdom. I said don’t you know who I am?

tha seasoned traveler 6 copy

Tha Seasoned Traveler.

Here is the video version for those of you who want to see what I’m talking about.

This is just the beginning…

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

KD April 8, 2011 at 12:50 pm

Good job. I feel like I was actually there with you. Keep them coming.

MNJ April 8, 2011 at 7:31 pm

I loved your story Damon-san! I didn’t know about the cave adventure. There are some salt caves his outside of Houston. Did you know that? You should start sending your stories to Oprah!

SRY April 10, 2011 at 7:06 pm

I love your stories and that you have the unique ability to make the best of any situation. Keep the stories coming, let people see the world through your eyes.

Nomad April 20, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Thx for reading! Tell your friends.

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