The Amazon-Tennessee Experience

 

So we survived our employment at Amazon during peak 2015! We had a few days here before we started working. I’m sure glad because we didn’t have much time or energy to explore once we started working. Here’s some highlights from our time spent here and what it was like working at Amazon.

Jack Daniels tour

A major attraction in this area is the Jack Daniels distillery, oddly enough located in a dry county. The tour is really in depth, taking you through the entire process of whiskey making at different locations of the facility. You get to see where they create the charcoal for filtering, the cave where they get the spring water, the distilling and filtering processes and where they store it for aging. At the end you get a tasting which includes 5 different styles, all together equaling about an ounce. The visitor center has a ton of historical information to prep you for the tour. It was a fun tour and we would recommend it to anyone, even non-whiskey drinkers.

Antique Archaeology

Made famous by the show American Pickers antique store Antique Archaeology opened up a location in Nashville. The shop is located in the historic Marathon Automobiles factory building. This is one of Megann’s favorite shows so it was a must see in Nashville. As expected the shop is full of amazing antiques and interesting items from around the U.S. There are a number of other interesting shops filling out the building that were fun to browse through.

Nashville’s Honky Tonk Row

You can’t go to Nashville without taking in some country music! There’s an area downtown referred to as Honky Tonk Row which is exactly what it sounds like, a street filled with restaurants and bars with live music pretty much 24-7. You can just walk down the sidewalk and stop when you hear something you like. There are a couple famous ones that are more crowded because they have better bands, Tootsies Orchid Lounge and Second Fiddle. We don’t really listen to country music much but had a really good time hitting the honky tonks, especially the two mentioned. There aren’t any cover charges but expect to pay high dollar for drinks.

Opryland Hotel

The Opryland Hotel is the historic hotel at the Grand Ol’ Opry. We were told just walking through the hotel was an experience and it was! The lobbys and stuff are fancy but the thing that’s really cool is the botanical garden they have indoors! It was so beautiful and they had it all decorated for Christmas. We had a good time walking around.

Dukes of Hazzard museum

Near the Opryland Hotel we stumbled upon the Cooter’s Place, a Dukes of Hazard Museum. It was called Cooter’s and had the tow truck and General Lee parked outside. We grew up watching that show so we had to stop. They had a ton of memorabilia including one of Daisy’s jeeps. It was fun to take a little trip down memory lane.

Martin’s B-B-Q

Of course we had to take in some local BBQ while we were here. After reading through some reviews we selected Martin’s BBQ and were NOT disappointing. I’m not sure I’ve downed that much food at one time in a long time. Yes we had indigestion. Yes is was worth it.

Stones River National Battlefield

The South-East is covered in battlefields and the one closest to us was the Stones River National Battlefield. The battle at Stones River was one of the bloodiest of the war leaving more than 24,000 dead and nearly 16000 injured. It was a major victory for the Union leading to the construction of a massive fortification in middle Tennessee.

 

Amazon

Working for Amazon was an experience! Being former cubicle dwellers, work means sitting on your butt staring at a computer. Our recent workcamper experience has thankfully created a much more active lifestyle however this job was way above and beyond what were used too. Our job consisted of pushing a cart with plastic totes on it up and down hundreds of aisles to get items out of thousands of little bins. These bins contained anywhere from 5 to 25 different types of products, multiples of each, that you had to dig through to find the specific thing your scanner was telling you to look for, then rush off to the next one. When your totes are full you put them on a conveyor belt. Considering the size of the “mods” you work in and that there are 3 floors you easily walk 10 miles during the 11.5 hour night, usually more, on a hard surface. Considering I have an issue with tendinitis in my feet and Megann started off with a sprained ankle it was tough!! We limped in to the break room many times and were awakened by throbbing feet at night. We ate an entire large bottle of Ibuprofen while we were there. We know now that the job we got is probably the hardest one in the plant, from our perspective. In the last week and a half we got trained to pack single items which was a relief! You’re still standing for 11.5 hours but it’s on a squishy mat and you’re not doing miles. On the positive side the pay was decent and we got a lot of bonuses. They offered $100 gift cards each week for anyone who worked all available overtime (hence the 11.5 hour days) so we did that all four weeks it was offered. I was also randomly picked to go in the “cash vault” with the money blowing around for 30 seconds and scored $360! We did apply to come back next year but for packing, or pretty much any other job in the plant besides “picking”. We also met a lot of great people and and made some new friends who we’re already making future plans with!

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What’s Next

We leave our RV park tomorrow and will be making a meandering trip down to Florida to do some exploring. No set plans yet other than making our way to warmer weather!

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