Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wed 20 Mar - Nashville, TN

Today we have two definite agenda items; Visiting Country Music Hall of Fame and getting Ice Hockey tickets for tomorrow night.


A quick coffee break at Mike's Ice Cream shop, with a claim to fame of being the oldest espresso bar in Nashville. Yes, but after all those years of practice they still can't get it right! Yes, we are coffee snobs.

On the way we pass Hatch Print Shop and go in. It is the oldest continuous block print shop in USA, and they still do music and event posters this way. It is a very cool shop and we loved their 2 cats...

Maow below enjoying the sun and was ok with being patted as long as you did not interrupt his sunlight. The other, Huey, was happy to stroll around and be stroked.

Very cool posters on several walls.

A location shot from Hatch Print Shop. They still do it the old way...

Then onto the Country Music Hall of Fame. Note the windows as black piano keys.

Outside they have a Walk of Fame with some obvious names...

And some not so obvious names...
The Country Music Hall of Fame is big. It's not just the Hall of Fame, but also a museum. More than we could ever want to know about country music history and performers - but it has to be done. And they adding more to it... they are building a brand new even bigger building next to it...
Anyway, onto the show...
There were some interesting exhibitions. This one was called "Unusal Instruments". No doubt...
This was... Hmmm... Different.
This exhibit reflected an old American TV program called Hee Haw. They did present from a corn field...
Dolly Parton wore this dress...
Even an Aussie features in the line-up.

More than 800 gold and platinum albums are on display here. We think the new building is because they are running out of wall space.


Finally the Country Music Hall of Fame. Well, not those 2 guys at the front.

The Hall of Fame is a circular dome like structure with plaques randomly stuck onto the wall, listing the artist, the year of induction and a short biography.
We thought this was a great likeness of Willie Nelson.
Other famous names like Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and Tammy Wynette. Sam Phillips is in the lower right corner.
Phew. More than 2 hours later and we need lunch and a break from Hillbilly, Blue Grass, Hard Country, Outlaw country, Bakersfield sound, Pop country etc...
We wander further into town into what feels like the CBD and find a cheap Asian place for lunch. We miss Chinese, Thai and spicy food. It's not brilliant here but at last the Taiwanese owners add a certain authenticity and we finally eat with chopsticks. It's also cheap. $5.79 each + tax for 2 dishes and rice.

We head Church Street down the hill towards the Cumberland River and Hans spots what we think is a Groundhog or Badger. About the size of a large cat and not too afraid of humans considering he lives downtown.

We pass this small replica fort called Fort Nashborough on the river's edge and had to read a little about the start of Nashville.

The local county has done some work to add interest to the Nashville downtown and along Cumberland River. It's quite nice and a nearby pedestrian bridge is also well done. Nashville clearly is more prosperous than Memphis. Note the photo below was from a quick walk past this morning so the sun was out and we also noted the river was in flood as you can see behind us.

The pedestrian bridge over Cumberland River, called both Music City Bikeway and Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge.
On the bridge looking back towards town.

The weather turned colder and we chose to head back towards our hotel shuttle pick up point. We are incredibly lucky as the shuttle arrives at the same time as we do. We jump in and are back to our hotel within 15 minutes.

The good thing about the Millenium Maxwell House Hotel is that it has a decent gym. We used it yesterday and used it again today to try and work some lazy old muscles, like chest, abs and shoulder. Wow, do we feel it already but we need to get some all around fitness back.

A quick shower and change and we are ready to go back to town for dinner. Di is waiting for the shuttle below.

We waited more than 20 minutes this time so got chatting to some fellow shuttle riders. One lady was going to work as a Greyhound Bus driver. She is based in Atlanta and told us some stories of her work. It turns out that a few passengers never pay attention and end up on the wrong bus or missing their stop. One such lady, on a friend's of hers bus, realised 90 minutes too late that she had missed her stop. She phoned the police and said the bus driver had kidnapped her! Police surrounded the bus with guns drawn. Needless to say the lady got into trouble with the police when the facts came out.

Once in downtown we find its busy and head to a restaurant recommended through TripAdvisor. Hmmm - it is very popular and there is a 35 minute wait for seating at Demo Steak and Spaghetti House on Commerce Street, so we chose to go back go the Old Spaghetti Factory around the corner in 2nd Avenue, last night's dinner location. Hans insisted that we sit in the tram and eat this time.

We had 2 servers this time, Chanelle and Chanelle. Yep, same name. One was there on her first night on the floor and the other was supervising. Service good, food good again, so all good.

And all washed down with a glass each of... Jacob's Creek Shiraz. Ahh...
We decide to call it a night after dinner. The cold and wind is quite punishing (1 degree Celsius at the time) and we wander back to that shuttle pick up corner on Broadway and 5th Avenue.
The band at Legends Bar is doing their best Country and Western music performance and we decide to take a night photo from the outside. The bloke on steel guitar sees us and is goofing around... see below. Fun!
Before long, Mac, our shuttle bus driver turns up and we end up being about 8 people or so going back to base. Good night.

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