yrmencyn: (armadillo)
A year ago [livejournal.com profile] rosepurr and [livejournal.com profile] thndrstd went to the Southern Festival of Books, and they told me it was awesome.  And then I bailed on going down on New Year's, because the roads sucked and I was tired whaa :)  So a few months ago I said "Sure, I think I might go down next time the Festival rolls around."  And then, despite the fact that I was dead tired from my first, crazy week of work, I made good on this commitment ('cause it's rude to bail on two travel plans in a row).

Totally good choice.

Good despite the fact that we ended up stopping on Friday night in Elizabethtown, KY so that I wouldn't drive off the road.  Or that there was a sort of 2001-like dipstick thing thanks to a broken dipstick tube (it's not worth explaining, really, it was just a little bit of a masculine blow).

The Festival was, as any such event is, a mixed bag, but it was TOTALLY worth it, just for the panel where Kevin Wilson and John Pritchard read from their work.  There were other good things, too, like the discovery of poet Karen Head, or YA author Justine Larbalestier (in spite of a completely incomprehensible talk she gave that we walked out on).

And NY-style pizza in Nashville of all places.  And boiling hot fried catfish.  And an espresso macchiato that took well in excess of 10 minutes because apparently some coffee shops spend all their time on developing superb coffee drinks, and none of developing a good workflow.

After the festival we went to see a free concert by the Nashville Philharmonic Orchestra, which included (among other things), Sibelius' Op. 26, "Finlandia," which I know I am not alone in loving.  As a bonus, we caught the tail end of Nashville in Harmony's performance in the lobby.  [Amusing side note: their conductor's concert rhetoric is quite circumspect -- I didn't realize until I looked up their website just now that they're a GLBT chorus.]  We skipped out on the Nashville Symphony's performance in order to celebrate the birthday of a friend of our hosts, at a bar called Past Perfect.  They specialize in classic cocktails -- I don't think I've ever even had the opportunity elsewhere to have both a Pegu Club Cocktail and a Sazerac in one sitting (and a Key Largo, but that doesn't have quite the cachet, thought it's surprisingly pleasant, especially for a tropically flavored drink :)

After a pancake breakfast and my traditional swing by Bojangles' for a country ham biscuit (be still my heart), we headed on back to Columbus, only an hour late to rehearsal thanks to an hour in which we moved about 15 miles on I-71.  No wreck.  Just... slowdown.

All in all a very satisfying weekend.  Next stop on Mike's Regional Visiting Tour?  I believe that'd be St. Louis.  Or [livejournal.com profile] talyr will eat my soul :)  Stay tuned.


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December 2009



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