52 States in 8 Months

The departure the Nashville

Posted in East coast trip by Ulf on January 27, 2009

Our main job on December 25th was to get to Nashville. But before we visited a few places in Atlanta. The first picture is from Alexander’s lab, the second one shows the place where our favorite soft drink comes from:

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Unfortunatelly it was Christmas Day, so everything was closed in the US. Alex said that he never saw the campus so empty. I did not visit the Martin Luther King Center in Atlanta. I visited neither the World of Coca-Cola nor the CNN Studio. And we went without the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library. So all I could care about was Alexander’s 1995 Mercury Grand Marquis. It has a 4.6L V8 engine, theoretically producing 210 hp. In practice however, the engine sounds terribly at high revs so we would never come close the full power. Maybe there is something wrong about the valves.
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As most US cars this one has an automatic transmission with four gears. What it did not have, however, was cooling water and engine oil: I could not see any engine oil on the dip stick, and the remaining cooling water was about 10-15cm under the minimum marker in the reservoir. But as Alex bought some new windscreen washer fluid, we had at least enough of that one :-).

After we fixed this, we started our ride to Nashville. Well, we did not quite start immediately. When we were at a gas station, I dropped the car keys. No, they did not fall into a gully, they just landed on the tarmac. The plastic on one of the car keys (which is needed to attach it to a key ring) broke apart when it fell down, so after about 15 miles we went back home. But finally we hit the road:
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You might ask yourself why this Grand Marquis has more than one car key. Well, actually it has three of them: One is for opening the front doors. Another one is for opening the trunk, and the third key is for starting the engine. None of the keys will also fulfill the job of another one. So you can’t for example open the trunk with the key for unlocking the front doors. Well. No comment ;-).

After a nice ride of about 3-4 hours, we arrived in Nashville. Our overnight accommodation was a “Comfort Inn”. I realled liked this place! And it was cheap, too! When Alex first told me that is would cost about $70 I thought that this would be the individual price, but we paid around 70 bucks for the two of us.

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btw: Alex will also write about this trip in his blog.

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2 Responses

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  1. Alexandra said, on January 28, 2009 at 4:24 am

    Hi Ulf,

    I hope you eventually got some Coupon-books (lying around at the entrance of Denny’s, McDonalds and similar places…), because you can get room rates which are a lot cheaper than 70$ (of course, the Comfort Inn is one of the more expensive chains).

  2. Ulf said, on January 28, 2009 at 10:05 am

    Actually we’ve seen some ads for rooms starting at about $30. There were plenty of these offers next to the interstate. But I actually feel quite comfortable with paying $70 for a room. That’s $35 per person which is just a bit more than what we pay in an youth hostel (that’s roughly $20 to $25 per night).

    But the next time I visit a fast food place, I’ll look out for these Coupon-books.


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