Drake Motel in Nashville, TN looks pretty picturesque when you Instagram the sign and put this awesome filter on it. Purportedly, many of country’s biggest stars stayed here at one time or another. Also “The Thing Called Love” was shot here, the last movie River Phoenix would star in before his death. In the present-day, Drake Motel is sort of rundown and out of the way of Nashville’s neon downtown.
TripAdvisor led us astray with this one. I was drawn here by the warnings of prostitutes, drug dealers and shady characters. Oh, and my favorite: people saying they were afraid for their lives. However, the sunny afternoon we arrived only brought a bored-looking receptionist who talked Shawn into upgrading to the jacuzzi suite, which was a whopping $65.
The suite is a stand-alone unit with a designated parking space. I got excited as we approached as someone was repeatedly yelling, “MOTHERFUCKER! MOTHERFUCKER! MOTHERFUCKER!” from another room. Unfortunately, all we found was this charming pad.
And, of course, the jacuzzi.
Disappointed, we decided we needed to find some other way to get in trouble. We hit up East Nashville due to an article claiming it had a high population of hipsters. As usual, we headed toward the first bar that was all lit in red with a bunch of plastic skulls for decoration. After all, this is the most likely place Shawn will hear metal. Here,we met a young man named Virgil who told us he was studying lynchings. He told us about a bar called the Lipstick Lounge that had karaoke. And as you may remember from previous posts, Shawn excels at singing one song at karaoke.
Unfortunately, Shawn also got too drunk to use the deluxe jacuzzi suite and woke up hungover the next day. But I am not one for excuses! NO. THE ROAD TRIP MUST GO ON. Because not far from Nashville, of course, is one of America’s best opportunities for sight-seeing. And when you have one of those, you have really ridiculous tourist traps. And if Captain Spaulding is looking for another victim, IT IS PROBABLY GOING TO BE ME.
“WAKE THE FUCK UP, YOU DILDO.”
Now we’re in Cave City, home of the Mammoth Caves! Home of motels shaped like wig-wams and all sorts of cave-related quackery. Of course, we must go see the caves. “This,” Shawn tells me, “is probably least creepy thing we’ve done!”
Now, underground security is important. Like, it’s important, as you can see from this sign, that you DO NOT bring a gun in.
My favorite part of the caves was when somebody’s shitty little kid hit some button that made the lights all turn off. That made the little shitty kid that was behind me who wouldn’t listen to his mother or shut up (even though our condescending tour guide kept making passive-aggressive comments about how he should STFU, but you know what, 8-year-olds don’t understand being passive-aggressive) become terrified. He spent the rest of the entire tour staying right by her. And making weird noises, but you can’t have it all.
Our tour guide was really concerned that people would try to write their names on the walls and that future visitors would think we were dicks. He also made so many puns that I decided if he made one more, I was going to CAVE HIS FACE IN.
Caves are cool for some kind of natural wonder, I mean, if you’re into science and shit. But let’s not forget the man-made wonders of Cave City. Like Mystery Spots!
Yeah. That’s right. Not only can you buy a bunch of awesome shit that you’re totally gonna need someday (and shit for all your friends who didn’t come with you that’s totally NOT just going to be clutter in their already-cluttered lives until they feel okay about throwing it away FINALLY), there’s a MYSTERY HOUSE.
(Best thing in the shop was probably this cute chick dream catcher. Authentic, I’m sure.)
This is Dylan. I think that’s his name. It might be Dillon. Anyhow, Dylan was the best possible tour guide for Big Mike’s Mystery House. He rang me up for admission ($1/person) without a single emotion on his teenage face. He began to give us the driest tour of all time, complete with an obvious disdain for life. This is the kind of tour guide the Mammoth Caves needs. A guy who’s gonna say, “Yeah. It’s a cave. It’s dark. Wet in some places. If you died here, they wouldn’t find your body for, like, a while. Probably.”
First stop, Dylan led us into a very spooooky and mysteeeeeerious room where any white clothing you were wearing would light up. There were posters specifically chosen to show you how mysterious this room was.
(As you can see, every guy you fucked in college ALSO had a mystery spot in their bedroom, right next to their katana collection.)
Dylan then gestured to some “optical illusions.” He explained them to us by saying, “I don’t know, we printed them off from the Internet.”
The next room is very disorienting. Gravity is defied. As Dylan leads us through this section, he offers to take a photo of us with one of our phones. He’s a pretty nice guy.
(This isn’t an illusion. Shawn is actually a tiny baby.)
Next, Dylan takes us through a hall of macabre pictures and holograms! The eyes follow you as you move! Horror and delight!
Then Dylan turns to us and says, “Well, that’s it.”
We thank Dylan for his time and decide we’re going to drive to Cincinnati and visit the Creation Museum, because, why not? And in order to prepare, it’s only natural we should stop at another Mammoth Cave tourist attraction.
But then it’s like, $12 to get in and Jesus doesn’t even ride ONE of them. Fuck that.