Growing up, my family went on a summer vacation every year. Looking back, those are some of my fondest childhood memories. Now that all of us kids are “grown-up,” it’s harder to get together, and even more difficult to find time to all take a vacation.
This past weekend we loaded up the van (just like old times!) and headed to Nashville. Unfortunately, my brother had to cancel last minute, but it was great to take a few days off work, get out of town and spend some time with (most of) my family.
I’d never been to Nashville before, and I’m not quite sure what I expected the downtown area to be like, but I loved it. The old restored brick buildings mesh and flow with the new steel skyscrapers and everything, including the best bars, are all clustered together on a few blocks. Everyone was friendly, and the dress code was everything from dresses and stilettos to jeans and boots (my kind of style!)
We took one whole day and explored Broadway, the main drag. We stopped at Hatch Show Print, one of the oldest working letterpress print shops in America, the customary Hard Rock Cafe and just soaked in the atmosphere in general. It was cool to see signs for BB Kings and Coyote Ugly and hear live music float across the street from 9 am til 4 am.
We spent one night in Robert’s Western World, one of the bars on the main drag, and listened to the Don Kelley Band live. They have a young guitarist (18 years old!) who is crazy amazing: you have to hear it to believe it. They play lots of old country, including a few that they speed up and play at warp speed. They really had the crowd engaged and it was a good energy, but still laid back. Very my speed!
We also visited the Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Art Museum, which featured several displays called “Light by Bruce Munro” (installation artist and creator of made-to-order luminaire). It featured about five displays of fiber-optic lights throughout the garden and mansion. Very cool and absolutely gorgeous at night.
Our tour of Nashville finished up with dinner at Demos Steak and Spaghetti, and I have to say, if you are ever in the area, you have to try it! Expect a wait as they don’t take reservations, but I promise it’s worth it. Get the signature steak and spaghetti combo – there’s a reason the whole place is named after it!
After dinner we saw a show at the Grand Ole Opry, headlined by Carrie Underwood. While she’s not my favorite country artist, she has an incredibly powerful voice, and after seeing her in concert earlier this year, it was amazing that she sounded exactly the same in both live events as she does on the radio. She certainly doesn’t lack any talent in the voice department!
Hope everyone else had a fabulous weekend; I’m going to try to catch up on blogs throughout the week!