Tag Archives: nashville

The South Trip #2: Nashville, Tennessee

14 Aug

On our quest to visit all 50 states, earlier this summer we took five days to visit some friends who had recently moved to Nashville and road trip through a few other nearby Southern states (Alabama, the tip of Florida, Mississippi, and New Orleans, Louisiana).

My interest in Nashville was piqued by ABC’s show starring the amazing Tami Taylor (I mean, Connie Britton) (#texasforever), plus, lots of history (particularly around the music industry). We spent about a day and a half exploring the city so here are some of the highlights… and the things we *didn’t* do but had looked into!

EAT/DRINK
*THE PHARMACY (link) – First meal in Nashville and it was pretty solid. Burgers, fries, lots of beers (and shakes/malts/sodas) on tap, really fun atmosphere with a huge patio – reminds me a lot of Austin. I think it gets crowded — we came at a weird hour (like 3 or 4pm on a Saturday) and no wait to sit at the bar.
*PRINCE’S HOT CHICKEN SHACK (link) – Late night “snack” after watching a show at the Grand Ole Opry. The chicken itself I did not try (vegetarian!) but when they say spicy, they REALLY MEAN IT – so be careful how hot you go! The coleslaw/fries/sides were all great. Note that the neighborhood feels a little sketchy at night, and you have to wait quite a while for your food, so just keep that in mind and don’t be dumb!
*LAS PALETAS GOURMET POPSICLES (link) – Was so looking forward to this, especially given how hot and humid it was while we were there. They have a lot of different kinds, some of which change seasonally. I really liked my plum popsicle, but I heard the +cream ones were better.
*CRACKER BARREL (link) – Our friends really like Cracker Barrel and we had never been, so we went and had a really good meal. The store itself is a lot of fun – SO many distracting toys and contraptions and things to buy (I can probably find something to buy almost anyone as a gift there) and while the wait was pretty long, the food came out pretty quickly and it was yummy – particularly the biscuits.
*SUSHI O SUSHI (link) – For our last meal, wanted to stay close to home so Went to a nearby Japanese (owned by Korean) restaurant (funny how these exist everywhere!). The service was friendly, the food was pretty good (not any better or worse than other Korean-owned-Japanese restaurants we’ve been to). I had a teriyaki veggie plate which was huge but yummy, and I also really liked their miso soup, which is a pretty good barometer of quality.

Places we didn’t get to try…
*HATTIE B’S CHICKEN (link)
*BISCUIT LOVE BRUNCH (link)
*TOOTSIE’S ORCHID LOUNGE (link)
*LOVELESS CAFE (link)

SEE/DO
*GRAND OLE OPRY HOUSE (link) – Even though we’re not really country music fans, I felt like we had to do *something* authentic while in Nashville, and watching a show at the Grand Ole Opry was it. There was a show the night we got in, and once they announced the performers (usually a week before or so), I was happy to see I recognized two names: Clare Bowen who plays Scarlett on the Nashville TV show, and Vince Gill, who married Amy Grant (of CCM fame). The format is really interesting and they covered a large variety of types of country music, and I ended up having a lot of fun. It definitely got more fun as the night went on, and we did some country music Spotifying the rest of the weekend based on the songs/artists we had liked. Would recommend it! (Note: parking is pretty difficult so plan for that)
*THE PARTHENON (link) – Had to see this lifesize replica of the Parthenon… funny because a friend was actually at the real Parthenon at the same time so her pictures showed up on Facebook and … well, this does look similar, if not much newer and cleaner! Mostly took pictures, didn’t bother with the inside/downstairs museum.
*HATCH SHOW PRINT (link) – I thought this was pretty cool, and if we had timed it better, could have done a tour of the actual press/printing operations. We bought a couple of prints for the gallery wall i one day will put up…
*PARNASSUS BOOKS (link) – And can’t skip at least one independent bookstore while in Nashville! There weren’t any author events while we were in town, but really liked the selection (so much good YA!) and actually had a lot of fun reading the press pieces they had put up on the walls about the origin of the bookstore and how significant it was for the city (Ann Pratchett co-founded it when she realized the entire city was going to be without an independent bookstore)
*BLUEBIRD CAFE (link) – Didn’t have time to wait in line for a show (they do first come first serve seating for some of them) so just took a picture – but the Nashville fan inside of me was happy we could stop by! It definitely looks different – more like part of a strip mall — than what I had expected though.

Places we didn’t get to try…
*COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME (link) – Right next to Hatch Show Print, but didn’t make the time… I did hear they had a Taylor Swift exhibit I would have loved to see!
*RYMAN AUDITORIUM (link)
*TENNESSEE STATE CAPITOL (link)
*OLIVE & SINCLAIR CHOCOLATE (link) – Chocolate factory tours!! The timing didn’t work out (they have limited slots) but hear it’s interesting and delicious.
LOGISTICS
*NASHVILLE AIRPORT (BNA) (link) – Love any city that Southwest flies into, and I greatly appreciate when you don’t have to take a shuttle or tram or vehicle of any kind to get to the rental cars – it’s just a covered walkway away.
*HERTZ (link) – Good enough. Not every company will let you do one-way rentals, so I usually book through Costco, then will track via Autoslash to see if I can get a better deal. Ended up with Hertz, and while we didn’t have any problems, they didn’t really have a selection of cars, which is always a nice option

From Nashville, we drove in and through Alabama, so more next!

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For Someone Who Doesn’t Own a TV…

14 Mar

…I watch kind of a lot of TV. Thanks to Hulu and the dear ol’ Internet, I end up watching quite a bit of TV in my down time, on weekends, when I need to stop using my brain, while I’m prepping/cooking, etc. Here’s the honest-to-goodness list of what I’m watching these days. I’m almost ashamed of this list… actually, I am ashamed. Oh well.

Shows I Love (please don’t judge me…):

  • Grey’s Anatomy (I’ve watched this on and off since high school and almost every episode still makes me cry)
  • The Lying Game (It’s not a good show, but I’m emotionally invested. I’ve always had a thing for twin stories… Sweet Valley High, what?)
  • Modern Family (one of the few shows B & I both like — late to the party, but we love it)
  • Nashville (I love Connie Britton. #TexasForever oh wait, #TennesseeForever? Doesn’t have the same ring to it)
  • New Girl (sometimes crass, but makes me laugh out loud with the ridiculous (and by ridiculous I mean awesome) writing)
  • Once Upon a Time (the most creative show I’ve ever seen–and family friendly!)
  • Revenge (so dramatic and so good)
  • Sherlock (BBC version – so witty, so fast, so smart — catching up in Season 2 at a leisurely pace since Season 3’s not coming for a while)

Shows I Watch (but often get left at the bottom of my queue):

  • The Carrie Diaries (I got suckered in by all the promotions—foreal. And I strangely love all the 80’s clothes!)
  • Glee (love love loved in the first few seasons but nowadays I feel like it’s losing its way…)
  • The Mindy Project (30 minutes is sometimes the perfect length of time for a distraction, but I’m actually surprised it didn’t get cancelled)
  • Pretty Little Liars (joined PLL late and had to figure out what was going on… it’s sometimes too creepy for me and I’m less invested)
  • Shark Tank (one of the other few shows B & I both like — we both have a little bit of that business mindset)

Shows I Don’t Watch (for a variety of reasons):

  • Mad Men (bought seasons 1-4 on DVD and we were mesmerized by the first few… then I realized I couldn’t handle the … cable-ness of it all)
  • Game of Thrones (I don’t… but I really want to! I wish there was a PG version)
  • Parenthood (maybe because I didn’t start at the beginning–I’m willing to start from the beginning one day!)
  • Community (it’s just too smart for me, or something)
  • The Office (we watched until Michael left… the end of an era)
  • Breaking Bad (B really wants me to watch, but it’s just too intense)
  • Walking Dead (B loved it at first so I watched sometimes (with my eyes half closed) but got over it, fast)
  • Switched at Birth (watched for a while, then realized how bad it was)
  • 90210 (ditto)
  • Vampire Diaries (a friend who shall remain unnamed loves this show so I followed along for a bit… then moved on)
  • Smash (it just doesn’t interest me… which is strange, because it’s like grown up Glee)
  • Downtown Abbey (I know–sacrilege! I’m sure I could get into it… but I’ll just avoid)
  • Suits (watched part of an episode and it was SO poorly acted that I couldn’t stand it. Might have caught it on an off day, but idk)
  • American Idol/The Voice/SYTYCD/Top Chef/etc — I’ve watched all of these for at least a season at some point… but reality TV just got too exhausting

And… now I’m going to go hide. And watch TV.