Travel Troubles All the Way to Nashville

In eat, explore, see by lauranoll Comments

At 1 a.m., my iPhone decided it was done charging. For forever.

As the last of the battery crept closer and closer to imminent death, I spammed texts to Shanda. “Um, my phone is dying and won’t charge. So, if you can’t reach me, just drive on over. I’ll be ready around 5.”

It was almost the worst text I could send to my Type A best friend who just happened to be my travel buddy for the next 3 days. Shanda is a planner. She knows the when, where, what and how of just about every trip detail months in advance. I am actually the exact opposite and, shockingly, it makes us really excellent at traveling together.

She quickly one-upped my crappy text with an even shittier one of her own.

Around the exact time that I texted, Airbnb delivered an email to her inbox confirming our weekend reservation in Franklin, Tennessee. But, she quickly noticed that the reservation address wasn’t right. The new location put us on the opposite side of town from where Shanda had booked nearly 6 months earlier. We were traveling for a music festival, the area hotels were over booked and Airbnb was extremely slim pickings. Finding a replacement place near the festival at this time would be nearly impossible.

I was on the last straw for ideas to save my phone. Shanda was whipping up new panic trying to solve the Airbnb mix up. Our flight was just hours from take off and we had no place to stay and no way to communicate once we left. Cool.

Magically, around 3 a.m., my phone found a second life while plugged into the wall and stashed in a bag of rice. To this day, I have zero insight into why this actually accomplished anything, but I’m not asking questions.

By the time we boarded the plane, we had relayed the entire panicked story to Airbnb customer service. That was it. We had to get on the plane with complete faith that we’d have a place to stay when we landed.

We touched down in Nashville running on coffee fumes alone. I was nearing my trademark hangriness when we stepped into line for our car rental. Every other guest in the city had apparently booked the same and we waited about an hour and a half before we finally reached the counter. There, the agent told us that we were in the kiosk line, not the counter line.

Amidst grumbles and snide remarks from the others behind us, we stepped up to the counter anyway – forcing the agent to choose between helping us or causing a scene. He was not happy about it, but helped us none the less. We snagged our reservation paperwork and calmly walked to the garage.

Just as relief began to take over, we ran into yet another snag.

In the garage, the car we were promised wasn’t available. The “free upgrade” they were offering was dramatically larger than Shanda’s usual compact – and, unfortunately, neither of us felt super comfortable with the tank. So we waited and waited and waited longer for a more manageable vehicle to become available.

All the while, Airbnb was – hopefully – still working some magic in the background. We certainly didn’t know where we were going to drive to when we did finally find a car.

Climbing onto the barstools at Biscuit Love was the exact win we needed when we needed it. Delicious food promised to cure our woes and give us a restart to the crazy weekend. And delicious it was. I downed an amazing breakfast plate while feeling a bit ashamed of just how much I love food. But the Bloody Mary in my hand quickly remedied the feeling and I began to forget all the reason we were stressed.

We made it into Franklin with time to roam the town while we ironed out the details of the Airbnb. It turned out, in the 6 months since booking, the owners had moved. Instead of canceling the reservation, they just changed the address and listing. But didn’t bother to tell us. Somehow, we managed a cancellation with a discount on rebooking a boutique hotel near the festival grounds. Yet again, I was overwhelmingly impressed with how Airbnb manages potentially crummy situations. Their customer service is genuinely some of the best anywhere.

We had a great dinner at a little market I can’t remember. The bartender mixed some delicious cocktails and offered excellent sightseeing advice while I plucked at amazing pulled pork rivaling that of my Kansas City favorites. As we hauled our weekend’s gear into the chic hotel room we’d miraculously managed at the last minute, it seemed as though things were looking up. Never could we have known just how dramatically they’d turn around in the weekend that followed.