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Chapter 19 - Nashville: Scenes from the New American South

Our destination was, of course, Nashville for days 3 and 4 of our trip. Again having been there as a child, I didn't remember a whole lot about it and I'm sure it has changed considerably since then.

This is a very vibrant town, full of energy, sports teams, high rise buildings, and country music. Nashville seems to have become the destination venue for bachelor and bachlorette parties and you see many of these young people prowling the streets. It is a city of museums, great food, craft distilleries, and friendly people.

We stayed at a Marriott property which was right in the heart of downtown and a quick walk to the convention center, the Grizzlies' arena, and Broadway - the main street of country music. Dinner on Saturday night was at Calacas Mexican Cuisine, a restaurant adjacent to our hotel. The food was great and our waiter Sebastian was exceptional.

Our Sunday stop was at The Hermitage, Andrew Jackson's home and it was beautiful. I know there has been a lot of controversy around Jackson's legacy in American history. Jackson was a contradiction of saint and sinner even in his own time. Some terrific books about him are American Lion by Jon Meacham and Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans: The Battle That Shaped America's Destiny by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yeager.

After our journey into the past we visited Parnassus, author Ann Patchett's bookstore and had to take a peek at the Bluebird Cafe', featured on the show Nashville. Dinner Sunday night was at Trattoria Il Mulino, a fantastic Italian restaurant which I recommend highly.

Monday found us taking a backstage tour of The Grand Old Opry, well worth the money. We were just sad that there was no show that night because we definitely would have signed up for that. Then back to downtown Nashville where we hit the Johnny Cash Museum and had drinks and heavy appetizers at a few of the bars on Broadway.

An early bedtime after we said goodbye to our friends as we were off to Chattanooga the next day. Some authors who write books centered in Nashville include J.T. Ellison, Tamera Alexander, and Mary Burton.

Have you experienced Nashville? I'd love to hear about it!


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