Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Last of the Travelogue - Nashville

Luke was busy with school and lacrosse for a couple of days so we took a short side trip to Nashville. Why not? It was just a 2.5 hour drive. While it's never been on my bucket list, I knew I would enjoy it nonetheless. And I did.

We stayed at a hotel right downtown within walking distance of the main drag ... Broadway, I think. Pretty touristy. Lots of pubs and restaurants with live music and souvenir shops. Lots of people buying cowboy boots. Lots of girls in dresses wearing cowboy boots.

There was a beauty pageant going on in the hotel we stayed at. Lots of pretty young girls wearing sashes and tiaras and lots of Mom's with cameras.

Kevin was thrilled to visit Ernest Tubb's record shop. Who knew?

We stopped to get out of the heat at a little bar with some live music. I felt right at home. Can you tell why? Doesn't this look just like our kitchen? Okay, so I have fruit and vegetable stickers instead of beer signs. But the general idea is there.

Our hotel was next door to the Hermitage Hotel so we took a walk through its very impressive lobby. Beautiful. Fancy schmancy!

We wished there had been a Predators game for us to see while we were there but they were on the road. We saw the arena, though. A nice building.

The first night we selected B.B. King's Blues Bar for dinner. There was a live band, which we thoroughly enjoyed. They were excellent.

A little off the beaten path is Printers Alley and it's literally a back alley but with some venues in it. We had planned on getting back to the Bourbon Street Blues and Boogie Bar but didn't make it.

The next day we ventured out of the downtown area and made our way to an area near Vanderbilt University ... a trendy little shopping district called Hillsboro Village. We poked around shops, bought a few things, and then ... because it was so smoking hot ... we stopped at Cabana ... a very happenin' bar and restaurant, though not so happenin' at 3:30 in the afternoon on a Tuesday when we were there. It was lovely to sit in the sunshine, have drink and a bite to eat. We learned later that Cabana is one of the hippest places in Nashville. We just picked it by chance.

I had an unusual but delish cobb salad and Kevin had lobster mac-n-cheese. Talking to the people at the shops and in the restaurant gave us some ideas for dinner and drinks that night. The suggestions were excellent. Awesome, in fact.

For dinner we drove to East Nashville (thank you GPS) in search of a recommended restaurant called Eastland Cafe. Such good food.  And then we drove back to the area close to Vanderbilt University where all the recording companies have buildings. Sony. Warner .... all the big names as well as lots of old houses that have been converted to the offices of many smaller recording companies.  At the edge of that district is an establishment called Patterson House - a tapas bar - but, more than that ... it was a very cool experience! I don't have any photos but let me tell you, it was SO COOL!! Very mysterious. I felt famous just being in it!

The house itself was a bit difficult to find. The only identifying signage was the name "Patterson House" in rather small letters across the middle of a normal front door suitable to the older home that it is. Inside was a little lobby with books shelves, leather sofas and chairs, antique chandeliers and a podium where an attendant stood beside a closed velvet curtain. Our name was added to the list and we waited about 15 minutes and then we were led to our seats at the bar that dominated the dark, moody room.  It was a massive square bar and bartenders wearing jeans, shirts, ties, and vests, worked behind it. Booth seating was along the perimeter of the room along with book shelves filled with books. The bar tenders train for about 6 or 8 months before they're allowed to apprentice in the bar. The cocktails on the menu are original and everything is made from scratch in front of you. They create their own bitters and special flavours. They keep some special flavours in little dark bottles and they add them to your drinks with eye droppers. We had some yummy tapas and tried some adventurous bar drinks. Very fun!  Very COOL!

It wasn't until we spoke with the Davis family whose son Brad plays lacrosse with Luke and who live in Nashville that we learned that there were bar rules that we somehow missed. Rules such as you are not allowed to stand in the bar ... you are not allowed to approach anyone else in the bar and are not allowed to disturb anyone famous. Latedah! Well, that explains why nobody was hitting on me and why there were no paparazzi, right? That's what I tell myself. It was a wonderful evening experience and if you're in Nashville, definitely GO!

By the way, the Davis's were amazed that we had been to the Patterson house. Apparently it's so secretive and exclusive that most people in Nashville don't even know it's there! Even the website it mysterious! Check it out here ... Patterson House. Read an article about the place here. Here's a link to a photo on Flickr taken from the vantage point of the exact place at the bar where we sat.

We tried to see the Grand Old Opry. It's a bit of a drive to Opryland. It's not downtown where I expected it to be. I had no idea it would be so huge! In fact I don't know if we ever did find the famous concert hall. There were signs everywhere and attached hotels and conference centres and we drove and drove and looped and looped. We finally gave up looking for it when we found Opry Mills, a big shopping centre in Opryland. Kevin's eyes lit up when he saw the sign for the Bass Pro Shop. So we shopped instead. And that was fine with me.

I think this sign was serious! *shudder*

Nashville. Nice place to visit.

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1 comment:

  1. The Ryman Auditorium (i.e. The Grande Ol' Opry) is located behind the Bridgestone Arena.


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