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Oct 1, 2017

Nashville Trip - September 2017

We've spent the summer working on projects around the house that are more infrastructure-related rather than cosmetic. So at the end you look back and wonder if you've really made any improvements at all. I'm fairly certain we have, but I needed a pick-me-up.

I dragged Tom off to Nashville for 10 days and we had an absolute blast. If you remember (here's a link if you don't), I went there on a girls' long weekend last year, but didn't manage to see nearly all of the sights I wanted to. Tom and I played full-on tourist and packed our days with sight-seeing and our evenings with live music.

Nashville

Of course we started our vacation with a night at the Grand Ole Opry. That night featured Ricky Skaggs, Maggie Rose, Shelly Fairchild, Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers, and Steve Wariner, among others. Tom was pretty happy to be there on a bluegrass/banjo night.

Grand Ole Opry
Grand Ole Opry
Grand Ole Opry

~~~~

We took the Old Town Trolley tour, which is a hop on, hop off trolley that goes all around Nashville, hitting most of the city's landmarks. The drivers were really well-informed and kept up a running commentary filled with history and interesting trivia about what we were seeing. I recommend it highly.

Get ready for a whole lotta scenery.

Old Town Trolley Tours Nashville

Marathon Motor Works:
Marathon Motor Works Nashville
Marathon Motor Works Nashville

The Parthenon (Centennial Park):
The Parthanon - Centennial Park - Nashville

Bicentennial Mall State Park:

Bicentennial Mall State Park - Nashville
Bicentennial Mall State Park - Nashville
Bicentennial Mall State Park - Nashville
Bicentennial Mall State Park - Nashville


We also walked around downtown A LOT. My phone's step tracker probably though I was cheating.

Lower Broadway Nashville
Johnny Cash Museum Nashville
Printers Alley Nashville
Printers Alley Nashville
Printers Alley Nashville


Nashville Farmers' Market. This place was HUGE. And it has a food court. That's open every day. 

Farmers Market Nashville
Farmers Market Nashville
Farmers Market Nashville
Farmers Market Nashville


I loved the architecture. My camera was filled with pictures of buildings.

Kirkland Hall Vanderbilt University Nashville
Union Station Hotel Nashville
Hermitage Hotel Nashville
U.S. Customs House Nashville
Hume-Fogg Academic High School
Tennessee State Capitol Building Nashville
Christ Church Cathedral Nashville

Tennessee Supreme Court Nashville
Ryman Auditorium Nashville

~~~~

At night we went to see as many live acts as we could.

Belcourt Taps:
Belcourt Taps Nashville

The Family Wash:

Stephen Simmons
The Family Wash Nashville

Jon Byrd
The Family Wash Nashville

Jamie Rubin
The Family Wash Nashville

The Bluebird Cafe:

Yes, we got tickets! They sang, and told stories, and brought in other friends to sing. It was amazing. Like, I didn't want to leave amazing. We were sitting so close to the singers (that's Tom's head in the lower left). Best night of the whole vacation.

The Bluebird Cafe Nashville

Mickey Guyton
Mickey Guyton The Bluebird Cafe Nashville

Nathan Chapman
Nathan Chapman The Bluebird Cafe Nashville

Stephanie Chapman
Stephanie Chapman The Bluebird Cafe Nashville

Liz Rose
Liz Rose The Bluebird Cafe Nashville

Jake Rose
Jake Rose The Bluebird Cafe Nashville

Christy McDonald
Christy McDonald The Bluebird Cafe Nashville

~~~~

On my last trip to Nashville we went on a tour of the mansion at Belle Meade Plantation. It was so good - the guide told the story of the plantation in such a way that it really stuck with you. I knew Tom would enjoy it too. The tour was just as interesting the second time. We also toured the grounds and buildings.

Belle Meade Plantation Nashville
Belle Meade Plantation Nashville
Belle Meade Plantation Nashville
Belle Meade Plantation Nashville
Belle Meade Plantation Nashville
Belle Meade Plantation Nashville
Belle Meade Plantation Nashville
Belle Meade Plantation Nashville
Belle Meade Plantation Nashville
Belle Meade Plantation Nashville
Belle Meade Plantation Nashville
Belle Meade Plantation Nashville
Belle Meade Plantation Nashville
Belle Meade Plantation Nashville

We finished up by visiting the Belle Meade horses - Whispers and Lt. Dan. We quickly became very good friends.

Belle Meade Plantation Nashville
Belle Meade Plantation Nashville
Belle Meade Plantation Nashville
Belle Meade Plantation Nashville
Belle Meade Plantation Nashville
Belle Meade Plantation Nashville

~~~~~

So what about the food? After all, Nashville is known for its food. Oh, we ate so much!

Nashville is famous for its hot chicken. The most well-known locations are Prince's (the originator) and Hattie B's. It's even on the trolley tour. We chose Hattie B's because...we were in the area. Note: the Charlotte Avenue location has a much shorter line, if you happen to be over that way.

Hattie B's Hot Chicken Nashville

The chicken comes in 6 heat levels - from Southern (no heat) to Shut the Cluck Up (burn notice). I chose medium and it was just right. Spicy-hot, but not so much that you don't enjoy it. I really liked my meal, but I'm going to be completely honest here - it wasn't life-changing. It was just good chicken.

The other southern treat I wanted to try was Kool-Aid pickles. We don't have anything like that here at home. These ones are from Peg Leg Porker, a BBQ restaurant located in the Gulch. Now these were kind of fun. The pickles are brined (is that the word?) in a dill juice/Kool-Aid mixture, so that they have a flavour somewhere between a dill and a sweet pickle. I'm going to try to make these.

Kool-Aid pickles koolaid

Now Tom + Chee isn't a "Nashville thing", but it was a place we wanted to try because, again, we don't have this chain at home. They specialize in fancy grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup, hence the name. This one below is turkey pesto with mozzarella and potato chips - in the sandwich. Amazing.

Tom & Chee Nashville gourmet grilled cheese

We went to the Tennessee State Fair on our last night there, and I had to the deep-fried Oreos. What a fantastic, greasy treat.

deep fried Oreos


Other places we tried that were new to us:

Cookout - 2910 Gallatin Pike, East Nashville
- great prices, generous portions

Tenn Sixteen - 1016 Woodland St., East Nashville
 - try the Bushwacker! (and the chicken & waffles)

The Family Wash/Garage Coffee - 626 Main St., East Nashville
- the best meatloaf and mashed potatoes

Sky Blue Cafe - 700 Fatherland St., East Nashville
- worth the wait in line, huge breakfast, fresh squeezed orange juice

Franklin Mercantile Deli - 100 4th Ave. N., Franklin
- get the soup and sandwich combo

Southern Engine Deli - 1200 Clinton St., Nashville
- pastrami sandwiches on sourdough - so good!


There is a store on Lower Broadway called Savannah's Candy Kitchen. It is a candy-lover's paradise. I went there last year and was pretty excited to go again.

Savannah's Candy Kitchen Nashville @savcandy
Savannah's Candy Kitchen Nashville @savcandy
Savannah's Candy Kitchen Nashville @savcandy
Savannah's Candy Kitchen Nashville @savcandy
Savannah's Candy Kitchen Nashville @savcandy

Then there was Rocket Fizz:
Rocket Fizz Nashville

And Sweet! Pick & Mix at Opryland Mills:
Sweet! Pick & Mix Nashville

I probably should have bought this shirt.