Nashville: 2010

( #Nashville, #ThirdMan, #Hermitage )

Last week I spent a lovely weekend in Nashville. This was my 2nd trip to the city, my first was documented right here. This time we traveled with friends (Rob and Lisa) to see an Avett Brothers concert. We ended up repeating a few things and doing some new stuff. Here is the breakdown.

[Bellmead Plantation]
Website: http://www.bellemeadeplantation.com/

I knew our friend Lisa would really enjoy the Bellemead (which we visited last year). There didn’t seem to be much damage from the floods and overall was a good experience, but I am not going to re-hash.

[Cheekwood Gardens]
Website: http://www.cheekwood.org/

We also visited Cheekwood Gardens again to check out the new Chihuly glass exhibits. Last time we were there, we had to rush because they were closing, this time we walked around on a great sunny day.

The grounds were beautiful and worth checking out, but the Chihuly glasswork was “meh”. If you see one, you have seen them all.

[Bars]
Our first night in Nashville we went around the downtown area popping into as many bars as we could to take in all the bands. Most bands did mixes of country and pop tunes to appease the tourists like me. My friend Rob is a huge nerd for country music, so he really enjoyed himself.

All of the bars are essentially laid out the same in the downtown area – stage by the door, long narrow room, bar close to the stage. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

[Loveless Cafe]
Website: http://www.lovelesscafe.com/

The next morning, we were all planning on going to the Pancake Pantry for breakfast (another repeat), but the line was around the corner, so we opted for the Loveless Cafe. Allison had found about this place and the famous “Biscuit Lady.” I didn’t think we would have the time to go, but I was pleased that the Pantry was packed because the Loveless was excellent.

We opted to get a sit down all you can eat of breakfast meats, fruits, and of course biscuits. I won’t lie – I ate way too many of the famous biscuits and felt sick for most of the day, but screw it, it was worth it. The cafe is a little commercial, but if that’s what it takes for them to say in business, so be it.

[Third Man Records]
Website: http://www.thirdmanrecords.com

I wasn’t going to Nashville without checking out Jack White’s music store. As we approached, they were setting up the front for a private Halloween party (which sounded like an awesome time from the news I read last week).

Third Man Records was much smaller than I had expected, but it was charming and I am glad it is doing business. I pick up some interesting vinyl while there, which I will review at another time.

[The Hermitage]
Website: http://www.thehermitage.com

Our friend Lisa wanted to check out the historic home of Andrew Jackson. The grounds were spectacular and the staff was friendly. Touring the house and the garden was educational and very interesting.

As I mentioned in my 2009 Epilogue, Nashville struggles with their past as a Southern state with slave history. They use soft super politically correct terms to refer to slaves and they try to make it seem that the slaves lives weren’t so bad. The Hermitage tour incorporate the slaves like they were friendly characters from a book. While it is good that their stories are a main part of the tour, it seems to make their experience less harsh.

[Avetts/Ryman]

We closed out our time in Nashville with an excellent concert (that I already reviewed here). The Ryman was an excellent place to see a show.

[Conclusion]

We packed in a lot of activities for 2 days, and like any good town, Nashville had me wanting more when I left. Looking forward to the next trip to the city of music, where I might just keep driving to Memphis too.

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