A BIG day yet again so lots of photos. Sorry. 4 things were on the agenda:
- Nashville Public Library
- Tennessee State Museum
- Tennessee State Capitol
- Ice hockey game tonight at Bridgestone Arena
We started with an early shuttle drop off downtown, around 8.40am and started walking around as we knew the public library and other buildings did not open until 9am or later.
This old shutdown building on Church Street seems to be an omen for USA's Medicaid (universal healthcare) program...
Bail bonds is a big business in the US. These guys have with their own van and bimbo to promote it. And your bail bonds man is... Grumpy. Just what you need after an arrest...
This nice little plaza called Church Street Square is opposite Nashville Public Library. We have our beanies and jackets on because Nashville at this time is about 0 degrees Celsius. It does not warm up much during the day either.
Church Street looking west out of downtown.
Nashville's Public Library opens at 9am on the dot and we dash in with about 50 others, homeless and otherwise, away from the cold. The library and the building is beautiful. You would think its quite old but the library is only 12 years old and is in an old converted shopping centre that didn't work out.
Here we are looking down into the main entrance foyer and towards the street.
The central staircase and murals on the walls.
You were able to write down some ideas for town planning and Di had to contribute a few.
Nashville's Public Library has a Civil Rights room showing historical photos and movie clips from that turbulent time of the 50s and 60s outlining the civil rights movement in Tennessee. And yes, MLK was here too.
The children's section of the public library is lovely and they are well known for their storytelling through puppets, which are on display when not in use. We liked this big guy as tall as us and with eyes the roll and lips that move.
Nashville's Public Library has a French style coffee shop adjacent to it, so when we had enough of ooohing and aaahing, we went there for a cuppa break.
The coffee (and tea for Di) was good but the server was so ditzy. He twice asked Di what we had ordered and then when he came to our table and saw Di's tea with milk in it, he asked her if she had not liked it and why she was sharing Hans' coffee? Perhaps too much of both country and western music and beer last night...
Tennessee State Museum around the corner on 5th Avenue is next on the agenda.
Spring break is starting today so there are a lot of excursions happeing with hundreds of primary school age children with questionnaires they are trying to complete.
The museum has a lot of stuff - Andrew Jackson (again, and to be fair he was a Nashville lawyer before a military leader and US president) another governor/president, James Polk (another president with Tennessee roots) and a current exhibition about the Civil War.
Not a happy Di... Well, she must have been very naughty...
This was a bit weird. An Egyptian mummified man, unwrapped. They date him to 1300BC. How come he's in Nashville? He was sold and shipped in 1860 to the Historical Society here. We felt it was a bit undignified and that he should be returned.
A copy of the 13th amendment to the USA constitution, freeing slaves.
The Civil War exhibition also had a copy of the Emancipation Proclamation from Abraham Lincoln, which was to become the 13th amendment, freeing slaves.
After a quick and cheap (and good) taco lunch we head for the Tennesee State Capitol up the hill off 6th Avenue.
The Tennessee State Capitol is quite an old building for Nashville, 160 years. Built in 1850's. It is our third State Capitol visit after New Mexico's in Santa Fe and Texas' in Austin. Out of the three, Tennessee has the strictest security, checking our bags quite thoroughly, scanning our photo ID and giving us adhesive tags to wear during our visit. The guard was a very funny guy and kept saying that Aussies are trouble, with a big smile on his face. When Hans went through the metal detector without incident he joked "I was sure you were going to set it off, trouble".
As you can tell from the photos, it is still cold.
This is inside the Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam's reception, where lovely frescos are on the wall depicting more Tennessee history. You are allowed to step in if the door to the corridor is open, but we are quiet as it is a working environment after all.
This is the legislative assembly, the House of Representatives. Here, there is another great story about the original chandelier, which was about 10 feet in diameter and was so big that it heated up the room too much. The House then opened the windows to cool down the room, which then caused the very heavy chandelier to sway above the nervous reps. The House soon voted to replace the chandelier with 6 smaller ones.
The Senate still had its original but much smaller chandelier, still decorated with corn stalks, tobacco leaves and cotton shapes. There are 99 members in the House of Representatives and a third of that in the Senate, so with only 33 members here, it was quite a small room.
The only other man whose remains are buried in the wall, Samuel Morgan, was "the money" behind the building. A big businessman, a commissioner of the building committee and responsible for fund raising.
Looking south towards the Nashville Public Library The building on the right is the War Memorial.
During our tour of the State Capitol we learned about the "one vote" which gave women the right to vote. Apparently the young rep ultimately responsible for the ratification changed his vote from Nay to Yey when he got a letter from his mother saying "son, you'd better do right by us".
You could picture him getting a clip around the ears when he got home if he didn't.
A NHL game (that's National Hockey League for the uninitiated) is on tonight and we have tickets. Ice hockey is so cool and this is our first "premier league" hockey game in North America.
We are excited. This is our team - the Nashville Predators - aka Smashville with the team mascot called Gnash. Well, it just has to be our team, doesn't it?
We were getting into the spirit in the Predator's gear shop, but with long sleeve official shirts costing upwards of $125 each we opted to just look. Official fan merchandise is not cheap.
Love the hand... Like a tiger!
A few things "had to be done"...
1) Hans checking out the cheerleaders, here known as the Ice Girls;
2) eating a hotdog and having a Bud; and
3) going nuts when our team scored a goal! See photos later.
The empty Bridgestone Arena before start...
Ice hockey rules! Much better and much more fun than either cricket, rugby league or AFL.
Gnash, the Predators' team mascot.
The Nashville Predator's team gate - they skate through this at the start of the game.
And we won! Final score line, Predators 5, Calgary Flames 3, and the crowd goes wild!!!
We had a fantastic night and an easy ride back to the hotel with the shuttle waiting to collect the fans.
Of course Di yelled and sang so much she's now got a sore throat and Hans could not wipe the grin off his face. A full on day and night.