Adventures is putting it kindly. While I have had a wonderful time in Nashville thus far, it has most definitely been an adventure (and that's not always a good thing).
I departed from my home in the sticks on Thursday morning at 6:30am with a warped notion that I might miss some of the Dallas traffic, but an overturned 18-wheeler on the interstate to the airport, in addition to construction along the way and general absurdity from 80% of the drivers around me, prevented me from making the quick trip I originally envisioned. Two hours later I found my way to the international terminal for my very domestic flight (your guess is as good as mine). Now, the international terminal at DFW is VERY swanky. Very swanky indeed. Picture space-age leather chairs, marble tables, walls of glass, a neon light or two, and you probably have a fair mental representation of the surroundings. Add 3.2 billion disgruntled travelers stuck in very long security lines and I'm sure you can also imagine the state of the union within that so swanky terminal. Thursday's security line was one of the bitchiest I've ever been in. While I was suffering along with everyone else, I managed to keep a pretty positive attitude (even though the over-surgeried hussy in front of me was carrying 2-too-many carry-on bags through security and a pool worth of illegal liquids). But, for the sake of example, I'll tell you that the man behind me, in what I perceived to be a fit of goodness toward strangers, passed one of those plastic security tubs ahead to a soldier to put his laptop in. However, after doing this good deed in the midst of the bitchy maelstrom, he turned to me and said, "I didn't do it to be nice, I just didn't want this line to get any longer."
The flight was fine, and upon arriving in Music City I boarded the Gray Line shuttle service bound for a number of hotels in the greater Nashville area, and proceeded to almost lose my very life when the driver decided it was perfectly fine to execute a 3-point turn in the middle of a street that ran parallel to Vanderbilt University and the respective medical center next door.
Since then things have been relatively smooth sailing. I haven't been accosted by the droves (really, droves) of homeless people hanging around music row, but I was accosted by a fellow Children's Lit scholar who mistook me for a good friend. This particular scholar is a relative big-wig in the field, so when she came up and put her arms around me, I was a tad taken aback. But I hugged her anyway. Because who doesn't hug a big-wig scholar when the scholar initiated it? We all had a good laugh (I was talking with some of her friends when the incident took place), and I thanked her for the warm welcome to my first big Children's Lit conference. Not all fields are this warm and fuzzy.
Thesis Director and I headed out on the town last night and consumed a heartbreakingly wonderful meal (it broke my heart when I wasn't able to eat it all) of shrimp/spinach/cheesy dip and spinach tortellini in alfredo sauce at the Old Spaghetti Factory. There was only one scary moment...when I realized I'd left my credit card at the Spaghetti Factory. Luckily, the manager had it in his pocket.
Today's been relatively uneventful. Thesis Director departed this morning but called a few minutes ago to inform me that her flight has been cancelled due to gawd-awful weather in DFW, and she might end up back here with me tonight. Fine with me. I spent the morning rattling around Painter's Alley and other main-draggish parts of the city. I bought pralines at Leon's Candy (featured on the Food Network), hit up Sun Records (bought a t-shirt), and puttered around in the Charlie Daniels Museum (more to see than anticipated).
For the remainder of the day, I'll finish up an article for Estella, look over the paper I'll be presenting tomorrow, and have dinner with some ISU girls.