Spring 2012 #30 Nashville

Cities are not Alie’s thing, but she had only been to Nashville on business.  She never left the hotel except to go to the Stock-Yard one night for a steak dinner.  My memory of it was she came home and told me the group sang numerous choruses of “Mother:” M is for the mud-flaps on my truck.  Drinking must have been involved.  I had only passed by the city decades ago.

It is time to get home, so we only spent a day; and we are both getting beyond sitting in a bar and singing.  It is just too loud now.  With this stick-in-the-mud attitude, we purchased tickets for the HOP (on and off) Trolley that gives an excellent overview of the town and, as the name implies, allows one to get on and off at various spots.

Capitol from Centennial Park

The “District” down by the river was the financial and business district in the 1800s and is now the entertainment district with shops and honky-tonks.  We noticed we were among the younger people on the trolley but clearly the oldest when we went in the shops in the District.

Nashville is the Capitol of Tennessee.  Its capitol building is the second oldest still in use.  The oldest is in Annapolis.

You might be surprised to learn medical services is the principal industry.  There are many hospitals.  The largest is at Vanderbilt University.  Nearby is the Sarah Cannon medical center.  Sarah Cannon was the real name of Nashville’s Minnie Pearl.  The second largest industry is music and tourism.

Country Music Hall of Fame

It is an easy city to get around.  As it was a Monday, the replica of the Parthenon was closed, but the Farmers Market and antique markets were both operating.  There are many antebellum estates in the area, and nearby Franklin was the site of the second bloodiest battle of the civil war.

With a nod to what makes the city famous, we toured the Country Music Hall of Fame.  There was a period when we both listened to country music while commuting, so we enjoyed seeing the history displays as well as the displays on particular individuals.  The people here obviously know sound systems, so one could hear samples of different music as one passed from exhibit to exhibit with little overlap.

The Grand Ole Opry was not open on Monday, but we heard plenty of live music as we walked along the street.  Every honk-tonk has musicians playing for tips and hoping to be discovered.  Even our trolley operator said he played back-up for CMA bands.

Finally, I will note we had two dinners in the city.  Our first night, we stumbled into Jack’s Barbeque purely by accident.  The side dishes were ordinary, but it was the best brisket I have ever had, and Alie liked her pulled pork as well.  The second night, we were in Opry Mills, an absolutely huge shopping mall, to pick up some jeans (mine had developed an indiscreet hole for an old man).  We ate in The Claim Jumper.  Alie said it was the best chicken pot pie she had ever had in a restaurant (I agree) and I had an excellent steak chili.

I’d like to come back to Nashville for some music and food.  I can turn down the volume on my hearing aids, and Alie can buy earplugs.



About ralietravels

Ray and Alie (Ralie) are a retired couple who love to travel. Even during our working years, we squeezed a trip in whenever we could, often when we had to stretch the budget to do so. We have been fortunate to vacation in all 50 states, all the provinces of Canada and one territory and a little more than 50 countries. We like to drive, but we particularly love to travel back roads to find unusual sights, people, and experiences.
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