"Could I have this dance for the rest of my life?" - Anne Murray

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Nashville, TN: Our First Week in Music City

It's hard to believe we've been in Nashville for almost a month and this is my first post about it! (Click on this link for some music to accompany your reading.) Well, I was off to NYC for a bit, and then we had company, and then I was swamped with some academic type work that all came at once... excuses, excuses. But here goes a quick report from our first week here. 

We're staying at the Nashville Country RV Park north of Nashville, in Goodlettsville. (They've got  music on their website too.) We have to take the interstate to get almost anywhere, and the traffic can be heavy in and out of Nashville, but we're getting used to it and figuring out how to avoid the rush hour traffic when possible.

The weather was wet and dreary, so we were looking for things to do inside. Like eat. : ) No, not really, but one of the first things I did was get my haircut, and the stylist who took care of me, Bobby, was so helpful with suggestions about what to see in Nashville. He had the whole salon in on it, giving me the "must see" list. (He did a great job on my hair too, even with all the talking.) It was a perfect example of warm Southern hospitality. 

So one of the top picks was Monell's in Germantown, and they were sure right about that. Monell's is a traditional Southern home-cooking, family style restaurant in a quaint, old and refurbished neighborhood, Germantown.  Here's one of the cute homes there.

When you enter Monell's they welcome you in like family and seat you with others who have just arrived and then start bringing the food out. OMG! It's like your grandmother's best Thanksgiving meal.  Fried chicken, biscuits, cornbread, green beans, lemonade, macaroni and cheese, sweet tea, pork chops, meatloaf, peach preserves, mashed potatoes, corn pudding, cucumber salad, and on and on and on. Pretty soon I was literally giddy with it all. 

It was one of the best meals I have ever had. No exaggeration. And the company was great too. All around you people are having a good time talking to each other, telling stories, making jokes. We met a nice guy who gave us more recommendations about what to do and see in Nashville: the best BBQ and the best hot chicken - a Nashville specialty. (More about hot chicken another time.) 

Another day we ventured downtown in the gloomy weather to see the Country Music Hall of Fame. After parking we walked by the Music City Center (below) which is a huge new convention center right downtown on the Cumberland River.  As we walked by we spotted some folks in costume, and thought it must be Halloween related. But as we got closer it became clear that there was a preponderance of super heroes, and we discovered it was Comic Con!!

Now, for those of you who don't know what Comic Con is - it's a convention of comic book fans who traditionally dress up as their favorite comic book characters. It also draws out the sci-fi, fantasy and horror characters as well. We thought we'd just walk through the lobby and see what we could see, and we saw a lot.... among them, a couple of superman-superwoman pairs...

...a storm trooper at the WEAPON CHECK POINT!?!

...and this ghoulish guy whose name I don't know, if he even has one.

So, that was different.  

The Country Music Hall of Fame is right next door, and seemed kind of tame compared to Comic Con, though a lot more polished. It's got three floors of collectables from the whole history of country music. Sprinkled throughout are some very informative historical videos and music sound tracks playing. Below is Bill Monroe's mandolin.

And here's Web Pierce's cadillac, with tooled leather upholstery, silver dollars on the console, a shot gun mounted on the trunk and six-guns in the doors. Wild.

It took us awhile to figure out that most of the building is this historical museum of country music, ending with contemporary artists' stuff like Carrie Underwood's costumes from her last tour. All the memorabilia and exhibits are not limited to artists who are actually in the Hall of Fame. That you see at the very end when you enter this round hall with plaques on the wall for those artists who were actually inducted. Kenny Rogers is just getting inducted this year. 

The words that run around the wall are "Will the Circle Be Unbroken." Very fitting.  

On our way home we drove through The District, which is centered around 
Broadway and Printer's Row, downtown. More about that soon.

We've done so much in Nashville, and I'll do my best to get caught up in the next few days.
 Y'all come back for the Parthenon, Cheekwood Gardens, The Hermitage, more of the District, 
and The Grand Old Opry!

(By the way, we watched the Country Music Awards last night. How perfect is that?)

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