Weeee’re back! I’m sure you all have been sitting on the edge of your seats waiting in anticipation to see just how amazing our trip to Nashville was, right? Hitting refresh over and over, asking yourself, “Why are they making us wait?” I only hope our blog-tease on Sunday was enough to hold you over until today. Well, wait no longer, here it is, our 68 hours in Nashville!
Friday, March 8th Agenda : Big River Grille & Brewing Works, Tequila Cowboy, Honky Tonk Central, Big Shotz, Coyote Ugly, and Beer Sellar
Annie, her husband, and I’s journey began Friday morning. They picked me up and away we went! We did a lot of the things that I noted in a previous post about road-tripping the right way. We listened to “Road Trippin’” on Pandora, played Would You Rather via You Rather (free app from the App Store), kept our eyes peeled for license plates of the road to help fulfill our license plate quota, and had lots of good conversation, including talk about up-and-coming blog posts for the next coming months. The PB&J trail mix went over well and thank goodness because on our trip from Raleigh to Nashville we saw at least a dozen stops for Cracker Barrel. We finally arrived in Nashville around 5PM central time, having made our way from eastern time, approximately 8 hours from when we started.
We easily found the condo in which we were staying that Annie found on Airbnb. We spent some time admiring and giggling over the condo owner’s eclectic taste while getting ready for a night on the town. Since we’d spent 8 hours in a car and were only half a mile from Nashville’s downtown we walked.
Absolutely famished we made our way to Nashville’s famous Broadway Street and ate dinner at Big River Grille & Brewing Works. Though a little chilly we ate outside so we could enjoy some prime Nashville people-watching, totally worth the chill.
After dinner we went hopping looking for good music and drinks, all of which we found in multiple places! We stopped at Tequila Cowboy (great band), Honky Tonk Central (3 levels with great views of the Broadway strip, also where we witnessed a surprise engagement on the street below), Big Shotz (featuring our favorite drinks of the night, Southern Barbie shots made with vodka, Malibu, cranberry, and OJ), Coyote Ugly (not worth it despite the hype), and our final stop of the evening before walking home, Beer Sellar.
Saturday, March 9th Agenda : The Gulch, Bar Louie, Apricot Lane, Kocktails and Kouture, Two Old Hippies, Urban Outfitters, Studded, Moonshine Nettie, Antique Archaeology, Bound’ry, The Patterson House
Despite getting a rough start Saturday morning (fun Friday night = rough Saturday morning), Saturday was packed full of fun. We first started out attempting to get brunch from the Loveless Cafe, unfortunately the 2-hour wait simply wasn’t going to suffice our growling, hung-over tummies. So, off to The Gulch we went. The Gulch is very similar to NoDa in Charlotte, and if you’ve never been there it is the “artsy” neighborhood, though I think we’ve determined it is more “hipster.” We grabbed an early lunch at Bar Louie followed by shopping at Apricot Lane, Two Old Hippies, Urban Outfitters, Studded, and Kocktails & Kouture. Two Old Hippies was pretty cool, and for those that know me know that the inner hippie in me loved it. At Studded I picked up a purse turned camera bag, it was a great find and on sale!
Up next was Marathon Village which is on Nashville’s west side. We stopped in at Moonshine Nettie’s, Antique Archaeology, and The Bang Candy Company. Moonshine Nettie’s was a disappointing vintage shop, from the outside it had so much potential. Then we waited in line to get into Antique Archaeology, which is featured in the show American Pickers. This place was small (probably made smaller by all of the visitors), but had live music and lots of interesting things to look at. Next up stopped in The Bang Candy Company and got homemade marshmallows, my favorite being the chocolate-dipped, rose flavored marshmallow.
After doing a little bit more shopping we went back to the condo and got “all done up” to head out to our fancy dinner. For dinner we splurged and went to Bound’ry. Annie had steak, her husband had the antelope, and I had a salad with the sweet potato ravioli dish, it was delicious. After dinner we made our way over to The Patterson House. Good thing Annie had done her research because it was hidden above another business, very speakeasy-like. We had to wait a little while to get in, but the drinks were worth the wait. The atmosphere was light and trendy. The best part? Our checks came in old books that had been marked up with messages by prior guests. Most of the marks were dirty in nature, but it was fun to see what others had written inside the books to leave their mark!
Sunday, March 10th Agenda : Marche Artisan Foods, Wonders on Woodland, Country Music Hall of Fame, The Parthenon, Bluebird Cafe, and Flying Saucer
Sunday morning was a much more pleasant morning and to make it even more pleasant we had brunch at Marche Artisan Foods located in Historic East Nashville. I had the Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Strata, and it was to die for.
After our delicious brunch we had about half an hour before a couple of shops that we’d been waiting on to open in the area, so we took a leisurely stroll through the neighborhood. Once open we popped into a well-known antique shop called Wonders on Woodland. The shop, run by a husband and wife duo was pristine and had some beautiful pieces of furniture and art. I purchased a vintage box to put on my nightstand for miscellaneous jewelry.
We then made our way back downtown to visit the Country Music Hall of Fame. While I’m not a country music fan, I did find it interesting. I know that both Annie and her husband found lots of interesting things. I did enjoy seeing Elvis’ Gold Cadillac and a couple of other items like a replica of Owen Bradley’s office.
Next door to the Country Music Hall of Fame was the ginormous Music City Center which was not only huge, but very interesting to look at. It wasn’t open yet, but there was a sign outside pointing out that it was a LEED Certified (Green) building. One thing I noted in Nashville was how Green the city was. For example, The Gulch itself is a LEED neighborhood. Being a LEED professional I gave Nashville a +1 for their efforts.
Though the Parthenon was not open, we drove over and were able to walk around the Athens, Greece inspired replica which is near Vanderbilt. It was so nice to see people out and about enjoying the nice day in Nashville.
Next up, the Bluebird Cafe. An FYI if you ever decide you want to go to the Bluebird Cafe on a Sunday night, show up AT LEAST an hour before doors open. We had to wait in line for about an hour, but it was a wait well worth it. First they featured a Celtic band that was decent. Then they had a slue of singer/song-writers perform, some good and others amazing. I would say this was probably the highlight of our Nashville trip, and partially made up for missing Lady Gaga. After the Bluebird Cafe we popped in at Nashville’s Flying Saucer, since this is a joint that Annie and her husband frequent often in Raleigh.
Monday, March 11th Agenda : The Loveless Cafe and Gas Lamp Antiques
For our last few hours of our Nashville trip we got up early, packed, and headed back to the Loveless Cafe, hoping to avoid a 2-hour wait. With luck on our side, we were able to walk right in. We filled our tummies with a country-cooked breakfast (biscuits included). Before departing we popped in at the Loveless Cafe Hams & Jams Market where I picked up some jams to bring home to my husband (who stayed home to work over the weekend).
Our final stop before the trek back to Raleigh was the Gas Lamp Antique store. To say I was blown away would only be the tip of the iceberg. Wow! If you like antiques like me, this is a MUST. I’ve already pondered making trips back to Nashville (flying) just to go back here. The store went on and on for ages and carried what I like to call, “Old Money” antiques, meaning quality, upscale antiques, not just the stuff found in grandma’s closet. I found a silver platter that I intend on using in our bedroom, but had I had 8 more hours could have done lots more damage. As we exited the employees told us that they didn’t just have the one store, but they had another that was of the same quality. I literally had to pick my jaw up off the counter.
Overall the trip was a success, I’m not sure we could have accomplished more in 68 hours. Good food, good shopping, good drinks, good friends, good music … good trip! Look for Annie’s post on Friday, where she’ll highlight some other moments from our Nashville trip.