Friday, August 23, 2013

Flash Back Friday: Nashville, TN 2007

Way back in 2007 Mark was invited to the wedding of his college roomie and buddy Ed held in Nashville, TN. I had never been in TN and was excited to take the opportunity to go and spend some time with his friends and in such an amazing city. (Still by far one of the cleanest cities I have ever been in.) Looking back at these old photo's of the trip I only wish I had taken more and perhaps added a journal to my adventures, because the four day weekend was so much more then I can even attempt to totally recall. We flew out on a Thursday, and went straight to our hotel. I SOOO wish I had taken pictures because I cannot even remember the name of the place, and it was one of those nicer hotels, located right in the heart of all things.  The hotel was located with in a short walking distance from downtown and directly across from the War Memorial Auditorium....(going to get my souvenir map, and maybe the name will be one it.) It looks like it must have been the Sheraton Nashville.

 After we checked in and got settled we took a stroll and made our way to Ryman Auditorium. (which is not actually The Grand Ole Opry as I originally thought, but was the original home of the Grand Ole Opry).
Anyways, we entered the theater and immediately joined in on one of their tours. (I did not realize until we were on our way out that it was a paid tour, so we took the whole thing totally FREE. OPPS!)
While visiting we took a few candied shots of Minnie Pearl. I was never a big country fan, and I sure would not have known who she was except for the occasional viewing of Hee Haw on TV in the 70's. Mark got a nice seat next to her on the bench, and he got to meet her in person later on in Down Town Nashville.
I cannot recall who Minnie was sitting next to. The tour was interesting enough, although in hind sight, I'm glad we didn't pay for it, because it wasn't that spectacular. Do I feel bad, sure, but I will get over it. Inside were several pictures and documentations of those who had played here,  most of country musicians I never heard of. The auditorium was pretty neat, and there was someone practicing a violin.
(sorry the pictures are so bad. They are pictures of pictures and they were not great pictures to begin with,)
After Ryman, we made our way to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

The front of the building. Isn't the keyboard on top look cool.
I don't know why I only have one picture inside the Hall of Fame Museum, but I just have one of Mark next to one of his favorite country singers George Strait. He knows much more about country music then I do and certainly enjoyed and appreciated this attraction more then I did. I honestly barely remember much about it.  My all time favorite is Patsy Cline and I'm sure there was memorabilia in the museum about her, I just don't recall. I am so glad I'm a better and take more pictures now, then I was then.  
 and did some poking around, had some dinner and went back to the hotel. Mark meet a real life Minnie Pearl, while I sought out Elvis.
No Elvis that evening. The Following day was the rehearsal dinner and we were pumped for some BBQ. In the meantime, yours truly forgot her bathing suit,(and there was an amazing pool at the hotel) so we decided to take on Nashville in a different way then we had ever taken on a city in the past. VIA public transportation; The Bus. We decided that we would take the bus to Target/Walmart or some type of Mart to get me a bathing suit, and we were sure glad we did because we ended up finding this amazing...who would have thunked? place on the bus line we happened to be on.
If someone asked you WHERE IN THE USA would there be a LIFE SIZED replica of The PARATHNON?  Would you, in a million guesses say Nashville, TN? I never would have, but there it was. The Parthenon right there in Nashville, TN. Mark and I just had to take a look. I took the description right from Wikipedia. 
"The Parthenon in Nashville, Tennessee is a full-scale replica of the original Parthenon in Athens. It was built in 1897 as part of the Tennessee Centennial Exposition.
Today the Parthenon, which functions as an art museum, stands as the centerpiece of Centennial Park, a large public park just west of downtown Nashville. Alan LeQuire's 1990 re-creation of the Athena Parthenos statue is the focus of the Parthenon just as it was in ancient Greece. The building is a full-scale replica of the Athenian original; and the statue of Athena Parthenos within is a reconstruction of the long lost original to careful scholarly standards: she is cuirassed and helmeted, carries a shield on her left arm and a small (6 ft) statue of Nike (Victory) in her right palm, and stands 42 feet (13 m) high, gilt with more than eight pounds of gold leaf; an equally colossal serpent rears its head between her and her shield. Since the building is complete and its decorations were polychromed (painted in colors) as close to the presumed original as possible, this replica of the original Parthenon in Athens serves as a monument to what is considered the pinnacle of classical architecture. The plaster replicas of the Parthenon Marbles found in the Naos (the east room of the main hall) are direct casts of the original sculptures which adorned the pediments of the Athenian Parthenon, dating back to 438 BC. Many fragments of the originals are housed in the British Museum in London. Others are at the Acropolis Museum in Athens."
This is as it looked as we were walking up the hill from the bus stop.
I so wish I took more pictures, as I recall it was pretty amazing. Here are a few that I did get.

I got one of the Goddess Athenea as well.
I wish I got more, but this had to be before digital cameras of at least before I had one. Anyways, it was all so amazing. I was super stoked that we had fallen into this gem. Our bus trip was pretty exciting as well, and we found a bathing suit at Target (I got a great deal too) and we had a cheep lunch at the Target food area. Nothing says Greek like a hot dog from Target!
We made our way back to the hotel just in time to see a ceremony being held at the War Memorial across the street. I took a few shots. I have no idea why or what they were doing this for, maybe it was an everyday ritual, but we observed it quietly, then went to swim, and relax before the big reception BBQ.

 We made our way down town to have the rehearsal dinner and meet the wedding party and the bride (our first time meeting her). BBQ was super yummy and I dressed in my most country gear. Mark actually wore his boots, which he regretted due to his pinched toes later in the evening.
 Rippy's Smokin Bar and Grill was the site of the rehearsal dinner and quite honestly I couldn't have picked a better place. What great fun to have your rehearsal dinner at this yummy place and get all of the fun that came with it. I tried to find a internet picture of Rippy's, but couldn't find any worthy of posting. Let me just say it was super fun, we ate, drank, ate some more and had a great time. The wedding party had booked the entire upstairs which included a balcony area over looking Broadway.
Here is the only picture taken at Rippy's and I didn't take it for one.
We were ready to hit Nashville like nobody's business. It seemed everyone was intoxicated and I was feeling a little fancy free too. Kristen and Ed made they departure while the rest of the party continued making our way into the streets.
Look I found Elvis.
 Mark and I hit several bars and shops in the downtown area having so much fun. Almost every bar we stopped at had some band or singer playing. They were all amazing.

Crossroads is pretty infamous, we enjoyed this band play a few tunes. There was this bar, I don't recall the name, but get a look at the Buck with multiple bras hanging from his horns and smoking a cigarette.
There were several Street performers and I caught a picture of this guy. Totally what Nashville is all about.
This guy, I thought was Elvis...his drivers license said he was... offered up a photo opt, but with a price tag.
I could get a picture with him for the payment of a kiss on the cheek. Okay, I can do that. Mark get the camera ready.
No problems right...well here's what happened when I went to give him a kiss on the cheek.
He kissed me back...YUCK!!!! EWWEEE! (even the women in the picture next to me is like WTH).
After that I felt it was safer to stay clear of all Elvis's! We went to a few more bars, and enjoyed Karaoke. Let me just say that these Karaoke performers were not just some drunks out for a little Friday night fun....these performers were AMAZING. I could have spent hours just enjoying the music that was pouring out of the several locations along the streets, but we traveled on and hit Nashville's most famous bars and seen on tv as it debus Dance competitions.
The Wildhorse Saloon.
We didn't go in as there was a cover, and we really were enjoying the night life outside. (we made point to visit before we left Nashville).
The evening was so fun. I believe we stayed out rather late, and drank several adult beverages. One of the brides maids cut open her foot and went to the hospital. I don't know who and what her name was, I just recall being informed by some of the wedding party people we saw as we were hitting the streets.
The following day was the wedding. Now I really really wish I had taken more pictures, because the place that the wedding and reception was at was beautiful, and I don't even remember the name of the place. I do remember that the bride and groom chartered a luxury bus to have the guests taken to and from the wedding and reception and that the bride looked lovely, but that is really all I can recall.
Here are the few shots that I did take.

Dr. and Mrs.  
These flowers were the centerpiece at the reception. They were absolutely gorgeous.
The final day we were in Nashville was a busy one. We luckily had late leaving plane tickets and we still wanted to take in all of Nashville before we left.
We caught these guys...and this cool art piece
And a few more fun shots.
We even made it back to The Wildhorse Saloon. (and didn't have to pay an admission or battle the crowds) Its a pretty neat place, with three floors. I wished I got a picture of the Bar stools that were horse legs, so it looked like your bottoms were horses.

We had a nice late lunch at Big River Brewing Company, and stayed awhile to listen to their featured singer/song writer. We even hung out with him after his performance (there was not many people there) and Mark purchased his CD. I cant remember his name and I have no clue where his CD went. I wonder if he ever made it big. I don't remember what I ate, but anyone want to guess it probably came with French fries.
After lunch we made out way to River Front Park and were excited to see the Luis Palau Cityfest is full swing. This FREE event had all sorts of entertainment, although based on a religious organization had several things not all about God.
We watched some amazing tricks on motorbikes.

And even Stephen Baldwin was there.

There was a few bands that we enjoyed. Although I have no idea who they were, it was entertaining. Apparently later that evening LeAnn Rimes was to be performing, but we would be on our plane back to NY by then.

How's this paddleboat on the river looking? I just love the look of the paddle boats
and on the other side of the River is the home of the Tennessee Titans.
We had so much fun, I was not ready to return home. Mark announced that he was in love with Nashville and if given the option would move there in a heartbeat. The city is absolutely beautiful and we really enjoyed the area. So much more we would have liked to do, but such a great adventure.  If I was to rate Nashville on a scale of 1-10 it would most definitely get a 10 rating.