Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Weekend in Nashville

Hank and I took a much needed vacation in Nashville last weekend, and had an absolute blast. One of my best friends from high school Aline (and her husband) moved there recently, and I have always wanted to visit that city. Hank has been several times and talked about how similar it was to Austin, and how much I would love it. He wasn't lying!

We arrived on Saturday just in time to watch Vanderbilt beat Georgia while eating a late lunch at Rotier's on campus. Nothing like starting off the trip with a pimiento BLT sandwich and a side of fried okra. Then we headed downtown to Broadway St. to catch some live music at Robert's Western World. The whole strip was pretty much like the country version of Austin's 6th street- neon lights, interesting people and tons of live music. Lots of fun! We rounded out the day trying to get into the famed Bluebird Cafe to see the Songwriters in the Round, but we got in line a few people too late. Due to it's rise in popularity thanks to the show Nashville, it's considerably harder to get into without a reservation. We still got to see and hear a little of the show though, so it wasn't a total waste of time.

The Holland House: Nashville Music Scene

Sunday started with a morning run (had to take advantage of the much cooler temps) and then turned into a ridiculously awesome day, as we got to head to LP Field to watch the Titans/49ers match-up. It gets better- my friend Aline was able to score us pre-game sideline passes (thanks to her husband's job). I've gotten to experience this once before, but it was a first for Hank. I had so much fun watching his reaction as he saw these players up close and personal for the first time. TV just doesn't do justice how big the players actually are. After watching both teams warm-up, we headed to our 50 yard line seats to watch the game. It's a bummer they couldn't pull off the win, but we still had so much fun!

The Holland House: Titans Game

The Holland House: The Titans Game
Aline had to work on Monday, so Hank and I borrowed her car and headed out for a little sightseeing outside of Nashville. We really wanted to have a true "diner" experience, so Aline suggested eating at Loveless Cafe. It was only a (very pretty) 20 minute drive from Nashville, but we had been warned that there is a wait nearly every day. It was an absolutely gorgeous day though, so we really didn't mind hanging out for an hour while waiting for a table. And it was so worth the wait. We completely splurged with a true southern, meat & two meal. It started with homemade biscuits and preserves. Hank had chicken friend chicken with fried okra and mashed potatoes, and I had meatloaf with friend okra and hashbrown casserole. I wanted so badly to finish every last bite, it was all so good! But my stomach could only eat so much. There was no way we could finish the meal without some of their homemade desserts though, so we shared a blackberry cobbler. Yum!

The Holland House: Loveless Cafe

After lunch we drove over to Franklin, an affluent town about 30 minutes outside of Nashville. The downtown area was filled with so many fun shops, and we spent the rest of the afternoon strolling down the main street. My favorite store was The Shop Around the Corner, an adorable store in a historic home, filled with a variety of pretty things. I left with a Franklin-scented candle to commemorate our trip.

The Holland House: Franklin, TN
We drove back to the house in time to get dressed for an early dinner and the Patty Griffin show at the Ryman Auditorium downtown. The Ryman was originally built to house a Gospel Tabernacle, but soon turned into a popular location for community events. Music quickly took over, and the Ryman served as the original Grande Ole Opry house for 30+ years. The auditorium has an intimate feel to it, with superior acoustics, and it was the perfect location to see someone like Patty Griffin. She put on an amazing show that left us wanting her to play much longer than the hour and half she performed for.

The Holland House: Patty Griffin

After the show we weren't quite ready to head home yet, so we went to 12 South Taproom in the Hillsboro area to catch a little more music. The people watching and music was great, but I probably could have done without those few extra beers. Made for a rough travel day back home on Tuesday.

Overall we had so much fun exploring Nashville, and got to enjoy a great mix of food, music, football and shopping to give us a good taste of what the city has to offer. I highly recommend a long weekend there if you're ever looking for somewhere fun to visit.

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