Back to my epic travels. I haven’t yet blogged about my adventures in ME, VT, and NH, but I’ll get to that down the line. This past Monday afternoon, I flew off to Nashville, TN for work. I was meeting with folks in the Department of Environment and Conservation. In case you’ve never been to Nashville, here it is…
Anyways, it was a pretty good trip. There weren’t any “site visits” involved per se, but I did get a nice walking tour of the city. I lucked out with my hotel choice, a Courtyard Marriott directly across the street from the state building (hello awesome commute)! It was a very informative discussion about the water quality management program and the nonpoint source program (604b and 319 for you wonks out there). I got to learn about the work they’ve doing and some of the challenges they’ve been facing in regards to dwindling resources, being force to cut staff, and frustrations with “the people of DC” as they put it.
With each additional state that I visit and program that I learn about, it always amazes me at the amount of work that states do, the amount of stress they are put through, and the types of obstacles they encounter. As I become more involved with the 604b program, I really think that these trips well assist me in making it a more directed and worthwhile program… and hopefully, someday, I’ll be able to answer some of those ever-elusive questions that states always pose to the people who are too far down the totem pole to be able to answer.
Between working, the good folks of the Department of Environment and Conservation so graciously “toured” me around downtown Nashville. I got to see a newly revitalized section of downtown that’s been changed into mixed use and made pedestrian-friendly (my grad school smart growth and urban revitalization prof would be so proud). I also walked across a massive pedestrian bridge and checked out the Titan’s NFL stadium… all while the paddle boat (in the picture above) passed underneath us. I also got to walk by CMT and share in the excitement as people cheered for Journey (in concert on Tuesday night… WHY DIDNT I KNOW UNTIL IT WAS TOO LATE!??!). My last meal in Nashville was Mexican, yes, Mexican. I didn’t even know they served Mexican in Nashville. They do… and for the people who were born and raised and lived their whole lives in TN, it’s the best Mexican that ever existed.
I like people from TN, they have big ideas, big opinions, and a gentleman’s attitude. It was a quick and dirty 48 hour trip. I’m back in DC now until Sunday. Then it’s off to Jackson, MS.