In a delightfully hasty decision, I booked a ticket to Phoenix by way of Nashville at the end of October.
First I had to drop off little Rigo at the boarders for the week. He was not as excited about his vacation as I was about mine.
Then, I flew on a red eye to Nashville. Especially for long distances, this is just the way to go. I was worried I’d be wiped and I didn’t sleep a ton on the flight, but I got to my destination ready to party.
Oh, and yes, I went alone – it’s kind of hard to find someone else who can travel during the week with a few days’ notice – yay unemployment.
Why Nashville? Because I’ve always wanted to visit. Spoiler alert, I was right, it was amazing! Here’s the somewhat quick and dirty of my four-day trip.
Breakfast: Puckett’s Grocery
Coffee, coffee, coffee and eggs and such to fuel my busy day.
Nerd alert: Tennessee State Museum and State Capitol
Get your cruise on: Country Music Hall of Fame Museum
airbnb: East Nash Room
For the first time, I stayed in a “private room” airbnb, meaning sharing a home with the homeowners. It wasn’t as weird as I thought it would be, honestly. My hosts were, of course, super nice and the room was great and it was perfect for mostly just sleeping since that’s really all I needed it for. I was out and about most of the time anyway. (Also, a nice money saver when traveling alone!)
Nashville perk: Sam Hunt street concert
Is this real life? In Nashville it is! The concert was announced for Tuesday (the night before I got in) but moved to Wednesday due to weather! What a charmed life I lead!
Yeah, it was pretty crowded. I got close, but mostly got pictures of other people’s pictures.
GNO round 2: John Corbett at City Winery
This was my original plan for the night. Yes, he sings. Yes, he sings country…kinda, it’s kinda like Southern rock. Yes, he’s still sexy. Yes, he’s actually pretty funny. I loved the intimate venue.
Dinner and bed…I was zonked.
My hosts made coffee and blueberry muffins, which totally saved me from the struggle bus so I could start my day.
Local culture: The Parthenon
Yes, a full-scale replica in the middle of a nice, little park with some history.
Local flavor: Loveless Cafe
Just yum. Like holy shit, but yum.
Nerd alert: Cheekwood Botanical Garden (and art museum)
One of my favorites!
I took a very important phone call here….couldn’t have asked for a better view!
Pop culture must do: The Bluebird Cafe
Stood in line for a good chunk of the evening, but loved the intimate show – my favorite of the night was Michaela Anne.
Local flavor: The Pharmacy Burger Parlor and Beer Garden
I was (kinda) finally hungry again after breakfast and yum! Also, I met not one, but two, bartenders from Washington!
Nashvegas must do: hit the honky tonks, like Tootsies!
Small town charm: Franklin, Tennessee
History nerd alert: Carnton Plantation
Another highlight for me!
Get in my mouth: Red Bull Vodka slushy
Found on tap while afternoon honky tonkin’. Obviously another highlight.
Dinner #1: Five Points Pizza
Like a snack…don’t judge.
Classic Nashville: Grand Ole Opry
Friday night at the Grand Ole Opry! I saw, among others, Charlie Daniels playing the shit out of his fiddle and Brad Paisley. Brad Paisley! At the Grand Ole Opry!
Local flavor: Hattie B’s Hot Chicken
Hot chicken is a Nashville thing and Hattie B’s is the place according to friendly locals I met. It was good, but after three days of Southern cooking, I should have just tapped out.
Run it off: Shelby Park
Another perk of staying with hosts…finding out about the local running trails!
See ya later from Bicentennial Park
I loved Nashville! Everyone’s friendly and there’s a great, creative energy all around. Fall is such a gorgeous time of year to be there and and there’s plenty to do no matter what you’re in the mood for. I’m not always big on vacation repeats, but I will definitely go back to Nashville! I’ve hopefully already talked it up enough to my friends that there may be a girls’ trip in the works!
As for traveling alone, I actually liked it a lot. I’m very comfortable on my own and have done business trips and quiet, recharging road trips solo, but this one was bigger and made me somewhat anxious, but yeah, it was great. I wouldn’t say I necessarily prefer it, but given the option to travel or not, I’ll take travel TYVM!