On our last day in Nashville, we woke up in a puddle…the overnight storm had taken its toll on our little tent, and left a trail of destruction everywhere we looked. There was water inside, outside but miraculously not on us! All of our belongings that were in the tent were soaking wet, and feeling pretty fed up with the situation (it continued to rain) we decided to just get our stuff together in a rush, and get the hell out of Dodge.
By 7.30am we were packed-up and ready to wave goodbye to the music city, and begin our drive to Chattanooga. I was desperate for a coffee, and was begging Rob to detour through a Starbucks we’d seen the day before, but he convinced me to forgo the large interstate in favour of a (longer and slower) country road (the 26), so we could try to find an old school joint that would serve us a kick-ass American breakfast.
We couldn’t believe our luck when, about 40 miles east of Nashville (only 10 miles east of Lebanon, where we were staying), we found this gorgeous little place called Watertown – teeming with local history and super friendly locals. The rain hadn’t yet let up, so we took shelter in a large café, that had kitschy vintage ceramic Christmas decorations on the windows as well as toys and cards. It looked like nothing had changed since they first opened, and that included the prices. We ate like kings in this place for the price of two overly-sweet lattes from Starbucks. Win!
As we walked around the town, we met some locals who were very friendly, full of helpful tips and stories. The man who runs the antique shop started chatting with me, and was enthusiastic in the history of the town, telling me that the community had lots of artists and writers who had moved here. You can see it, as even under rain, the town had a special quality, and definitely a personality of its own. I wish we had more time to stay there, but we had to hit the road!
We continued the rest of our way under torrential rain, but really didn’t care as the spectacular views over the surrounding state parks and Center Hill Lake together with the lack of any traffic whatsoever made it all worthwhile to take the slow road.
This is something we’re trying to do more and more: staying away from the interstates in favour of country roads, that may, or may not give us new ‘proper’ American experiences 😉 This time, we really did hit jackpot!