Sunday, December 4, 2016

A Vibrant City - Nashville, Tennessee

November 29 - December 1, 2016
Nashville, Tennessee

I was stressed for weeks before my California trip, some of that time is a bit of a blur. Going through some photos, I realize the last blog post missed a whole state and stop. Granted it was just an overnight stay, but the area of West Virginia we traveled through was very pretty.

Our one night was in Milton, West Viriginia, and we stayed at another KOA that we liked. The Huntington-Fox Fire KOA is a nice park not far from the highway with very friendly staff, and clean, level sites. 

I didn't take a single photo.

From there we moved on to Kentucky, covered in the last post :-)

Now that things are back to normal, hopefully I can avoid forgetting any other stops! 

Our back-in site at Two Rivers RV Park is level with trees on either side. FHUs with 30 amp, and our satellite connects. Decent separation with grass and picnic table. Over the course of our stay the water pressure and electric service are less than perfect.

Tuesday we take advantage of sunny skies and head to downtown. We check out Nissan Stadium, home of the Tennessee Titans. It is different from the other stadiums we've visited with openings at both ends. As a result we can see inside from the sidewalk. Not Titans fans, but it's a great venue.

We take our first drive through downtown where there is major construction on almost every block. This is a town that is growing in a very big way. Looking for the capitol we find Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, and stop for a nice walk. This is a very special place, combining lovely grounds with the history of Tennessee shared along a marble wall. Veteran memorials and large bell towers complete the urban park.

The combination of old and new really works in this city.

A wonderful medium for outlining the state's history

A lot of music history included

Defining moments in the state and the nation

A lovely mall marred by that weird Sheraton spaceship thingy

Half of the circle of bell towers that ring on the hour.

Vegetarian art
We're ready for a bite to eat and some live music. There is no lack of places that provide both downtown, but we head back to the Music Valley area near home, and find the Nashville Palace. Mediocre food, but the music is very good. I'm in heaven with all the classic country songs. Bill is tolerant.

The glare from outside is bad, but I want to remember this talented trio
Our first night Bill noticed bright Christmas lights behind our park and looks up the Dancing Lights Show. Set up in the neighboring Jellystone RV Park, we pay to drive through dozens of light displays, synchronized to the radio in our Jeep. It is very well done, and moving at a snail's pace we enjoy at least ten songs with a wide variety of colors and characters. Definitely gets you in the Christmas spirit! Photos are challenging with the constantly moving lights.....but you get the idea.

There is so much to see and do here, and our priority is visiting the Johnny Cash Museum. Not because we are big Cash fans, but because a fellow Eagle Mountain High School alumni is the founder. Bill Miller graduated four years after Bill so we don't know him well, but we are excited for his success in this wonderful city. We meet him at the museum and learn he and his family were long time friends of Johnny and June, and were with him a week before his passing. They opened the museum while still living in Southern California and moved here when the enterprise took off. Their Patsy Cline Museum is under construction, and their son opened Nudie's Honky Tonk last week. Wow! We are so happy for him!!

Bill has to get to a meeting before I get a photo, next time for sure :-) We take our time enjoying this very professional and personal tribute to a good friend and hall-of-fame musician. It is shoulder-to-shoulder packed by the time we leave.

Personal items including these cups from the Folsom Prison warden in 1968

Childhood and family photos

An amazing career

Johnny's hand written Folsom Prison Blues and two of several Grammy Awards

Sit down for a bit and enjoy a montage of movies and TV shows featuring Johnny Cash

Several personal pieces with these long-time friends and musical collaborators
A musical icon who made his home in Nashville. Come see his museum and learn about his incredible life.
We haven't had a working DVD player for over a year, so Wednesday we pick up an early Christmas present from Best Buy. Bill has it all hooked up quickly, and we're ready for some newer movies! 

At Pam's recommendation (she hasn't steered us wrong yet) we have lunch at Tootsie's Orchid Lounge by the Ryman Theatre downtown.

Live music and bars on two floors, the place is pretty busy on this weekday so we sit upstairs. It's too cold for me to sit on the large roof-top patio, but it's view of downtown is sweet. 

 Still home to the Grand Ol' Opry from November through March.

I didn't realize that "near the Ryman" meant within a couple feet!
Plywood walls and ceiling are un-expected.

No conversations while the music is playing with those speakers :-)

Every wall is covered with layers of writing, including all the way to the ceiling.  ??
We enjoy a light meal and more country music and head for home. Even with just a light breeze, the cold is enough to make me want to stay indoors :-(

Jim and Diana have left Amazon early and get in touch to say they're coming to Nashville for the weekend. This is great news, can't wait to spend some more time with these two new friends!!


  1. Thanks for taking me into the city. We went in to the Opry and the Ryman but that was all we had time for. Love me some country music! Patsy and Hank! Sorry it's so cold. Come on down, it was 84 today. We'd love to see you.

    1. So tempting :-) If you love country music the Hall of Fame is spectacular!

  2. Seems like as much as I love all kinds of music, I should visit Nashville...sounds like a great place to explore. Love your pictures of downtown Jodee.

    1. Thanks! For anyone who loves music the city is a must-do!

  3. As many times as we have been to Nashville, that was our first time on Broadway, Jodee. Oh, my...what a delight! The singer at Nudie's asked if we wanted him to sing anything...I thought about it yesterday that with that voice, we should have said 'anything Dierks Bentley'!. Had so much fun with y'all!

    1. It was so great to share it with you guys! That guy could definitely do Bentley - they were really good!!

  4. We MUST get back to Nashville!! There is so much to see. While we do love that most of the bars have music all day, we must move beyond that! Your photos of Tootsies had us scratching our heads. That's not the Tootsies we remember. So with some Google searching we discovered they expanded in 2013. There was no rooftop when we were there and no third stage and bar. If you go to Google Images for Tootsies, you will see photos of the original place. It was very narrow, not a lot of room. It will be interesting to talk to you about what has changed. A lot of famous people started there. Thanks for sharing lots of ideas for our next visit!

    1. The downstairs was packed and we just happened to find the upstairs beyond the bar - no signs. The Hall of Fame has pics of Tootsies so I figured it was famous - and all the pics downstairs.

  5. More fun times! We may get back to Nashville next year. Last time we were there was well over 20 years.

    1. A rockin' place for sure. I know we'll be back :-))))

  6. Never been big on most country music yet it's hard to say no to Johnny Cash. I like that you go to cities so I don't have to.

    1. I'm finding more and more to like about cities that have great museums and art - and in this case honky tonks :-))))