When I was in tenth grade I travelled to Tennessee to visit my best friend Amber. Amber had moved away when we were in the third grade, but we had always remained in contact. She would visit during the summer and she always sent me Christmas and birthday cards. Amber lived in Franklin, Tennessee at this point, which is located about 20 minutes away from Nashville.
Amber’s dad was working as a farm manager for a multi millionaire named Randall Baskin. His home was absolutely amazing. To enter the property large gates with enormous gold horse knockers had to be opened. Not only did he have a large in ground pool, he also had a pond manually put in for a natural look, including a dock and a fountain. Baskin owned buffalo and Tennessee walking horses as pets. His life simply fascinated me. When he and his family went on vacation, they travelled in a camper that was worth three million dollars. The camper included luxury big screen televisions, marble counter tops, a king sized bed, and other features. However, this man treated people as his equal, he was very friendly. The land that he lived on was absolutely beautiful and surrounded by a natural landscape trees, flowers, and bright green grass.
While I was in Tennessee, Amber and I went camping on the Baskin property. We set our tent up down by a river that ran naturally through a part of the property. It was in a clearing of a wooded area. We had been four wheeling for most of the day and a night with nature was the perfect ending. We made a small campfire and roasted marshmallows while listening to very upbeat music. We discussed life and all of its surprises. We talked of our future college plans and how our lives would turn out. We dreamed some of our most important goals that night under the stars as we watched the smoke from our fire rise above us. After we extinguished our fire and climbed into our cozy sleeping bags we began to hear noises. Sleeping next to a river can be a very spine-chilling experience. We jumped on to the four wheeler and left our campsite for a half of an hour before gaining enough courage to return. It was one of the most fun filled experiences both of us had that year.
The next day Amber wanted to show me Nashville. Nashville was delightfully designed, the stores blended in with the country austerity. There were cross walks laid in brick and every inch of the town from the homes, to the store fronts, to the sidewalks was picturesque. While we were in downtown Nashville we went to a Starbucks. This was my first experience at a Starbucks. I ordered myself a white mocha latte. I was like a little child in build-a-bear; there were too many choices and too little money and a low caffeine tolerance. We grabbed our orders and headed for a local park to take pictures. Amber is an amazing photographer! She takes some of the best photographs I have yet to see. We drank our coffees and then walked a nature trail. It was beautiful. The sun was beaming down through the leaves creating dancing shadows on the floor of the earth. It was absolutely memorizing, it was like we were having our own private performance from thousands of ballerinas. We went down under a bridge of a railroad track, next to a creek bed. The sound of the water trickling over the stones was soothing. We had climbed up huge stones to get to this point. Under the track there was graffiti, telling stories of previous visitors. Everything was colorful and new to me; it was as if I was a toddler having my first memory of a sunset. We finished our walk by looping back to the park and swinging on the swing set until the sun went down. It was a serene and peaceful sunset.
We ended the night with a movie at the theatre. We watched the newly released thriller of the time, “Prom Night.” This movie theatre was the biggest one I had ever seen. It was beautifully built and was its own separate building, unattached to a mall or other stores. The candy counter was the size of a small store! The viewing theatre could have fit three of the viewing theatres from back home in it. It was unreal. Everything was elaborate from the tile to the soap dispensers in the bathrooms. I was very impressed.
I made this trip during my eleventh grade spring break. I saw one of my best friends, danced in the warm rain, and truly enjoyed life. I paid for the trip with all of my own money that I had saved since the beginning of the school year. I was very relaxed during this trip without a worry. We drove around with the windows down singing our hearts out to new songs on the radio. We may have looked like total maniacs to outsiders looking in, but we were having fun which was all that mattered. I was truly at peace during my trip to Tennessee. It was one of the most tranquil experiences of my life.
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