The Uprooting: Day 2

My journey from Maryland to Texas continues to what is now the halfway point between my old home and my new one: Nashville, Tennessee. Before entering the state of many double letters, I decided to go through that list of 70 free things to do in and around Lexington, and decided to take the public tour of the Toyota Motor Manufacturing facility in Georgetown, Kentucky. With my love for cars, I’ll admit there may be some bias when I say it was one of the most fascinating plant tours I’ve taken (and I’ve been on a few).

Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Kentucky (TMMK) has two production lines under a 7.5 million square foot roof, building Camrys, Camry Hybrids, Avalons, Solaras and Solara Convertibles. Something neat I learned is that completed engines only take 30 seconds to install in a newly built Toyota. Actually, one whole vehicle runs through the assembly line in just 20 hours, with 9 of those hours being spent in the paint area. Those of us on the tram even got a sneak peek at a brand new vehicle they plan to release in November, a crossover that is estimated to get over 35 miles per gallon in the city, and over 40 mpg with highway driving, all with a standard combustion engine. Seems too good to be true, I’d say, but we’ll see soon enough.

This afternoon, though, I arrived in Nashville, with much anticipation for the concert I have been waiting to see for what felt like forever. The beautiful and talented Brooke Fraser graced the stage at 3rd and Lindsley Bar and Grill, hailing all the way from Sydney, Australia (though she is originally from New Zealand). Of course, every time I go to a concert something must be a little off, whether I sit with the lamest people in the whole stadium (Mariah Carey, Brandy), or I’m cold and wet from the heavy rain outside the venue (Marc Broussard, Jon McLaughlin), or I am alone on New Years’ with an “extra” ticket (Gavin DeGraw). Here at 3rd and Lindsley, the poor seating layout gave me little view of the Kiwi beauty during the show, and apparently she wasn’t feeling well afterward, leaving many of us fans without a chance to meet her. Regardless, her voice was flawless as ever, and I am all the better for having seen her live.

Next stop: the home of cajun food, Mardi Gras, and corrupt leaders.

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