The past few days I have been enjoying the weather. The mornings are warm and humid. The sky has been clear and beautiful. Random afternoon storms have been popping up and moving through giving way to beautiful evening sunsets. It reminds me of the weather when I first arrived. I must be nearing the anniversary of my arrival.
Yesterday, I played the tourist. I have been through Franklin, TN a couple of times but never really had the opportunity to walk the streets downtown. It’s a town rich in Civil War history. Monuments and walking tour signs provide sightseers some insight to the historical significance of the town and particular structures.
I started my photographic journey at The Factory, once the Dortch Stove Works factory that has been converted into artist galleries and retail space. A wonderful, authentic farmer’s market is also hosted there Saturday mornings. I didn’t spend long at the Factory because my sights were set on going to the square. At about 1:30 in the afternoon I began the one and a half mile walk: music playing in my ears, camera in one hand and water bottle in the other. The walk itself led me down beautiful residential streets and past the Harpeth River.
Once I approached downtown I could feel a change in the atmosphere. People were out in the streets enjoying one another’s company. Some were enjoying snack time with their dogs. The architecture was breathtaking. All of the shops were quaint and inviting. There was free entertainment on the streets, as well. Perhaps I could have been spared this.A group of girls were on a scavenger hunt looking for key points of interests and providing the proof of it.
It wouldn’t be America if there wasn’t a Starbucks on the corner. And Starbucks was good to me. My free rewards drink coupon came in the mail Friday. “Single grande, iced, soy, no whip carmel mocha please.”
No adventure could really be “Southern” if it didn’t include conversations with passing strangers. I had three such conversations. The first was with an older woman who assumed I was a tourist because, as she put it, I looked so happy just walking down the streets with my camera. Truth be told, I was a tourist and I was happy. The second conversation was had as I admired this beautiful 1961 Bentley. The third was with a lady who is a dog trainer. From the response she received from the dogs with her, she’s got some skills. I took her brochure for the future.
I headed back, again with music in my ears and my camera in hand. I took a bit of a scenic route walking through some residential neighborhoods. The trees were covered in cicadas. They were so loud, it almost sounded like screaming. Without much warning the sky began turning very dark and moving very quickly my way. Thankfully, with just about ten minutes to spare, I got inside before the rain pounded.
This was one of the more enjoyable free days I’ve spent getting acquainted with my new home. Then reality hit and I had to buckle down and finish my research paper.