Thursday, July 8, 2021

I was looking for a short trip before one of my sons dedicated the rest of his summer to his Shakespeare in the Park rehearsals and performances. We could have done a whole week to somewhere in June, but honestly I just didn’t get anything together. It’s been a big and crazy year, as you know. The kids moved home April 29th and we were busy with that adjustment and finishing up my school year. Our kids are not big beach people anymore. They could’ve handled a couple of days on the beach, but need more options I think. I also wasn’t excited about flying yet for various reasons. So, that is how I picked Nashville for our very short getaway.

It was an easy drive at just under 3 hours. Tom always drives and I always navigate. He does not enjoy being a passenger and that is fine with me. After rolling into town around 11, we stopped to see the interior of the Opryland Hotel. It was swarming with people and it looked like a convention was going on, as well.

I had made a reservation to eat at The Aquarium for lunch because Jack loves marine life. Nashville is an hour behind us so that made it nice. We kind of gained an hour.

Mason dressed for it, which I thought was sweet. It was just o.k.- the food was o.k. and the experience was just o.k. I thought it was going to be a little more interesting than it was. Oh well.

Then, we drove into downtown Nashville to go on a redneck comedy tour of the sights of Nashville. It was bad. We were trapped on a school bus that was quite hot for two hours. It wasn’t funny and I wouldn’t even say it was very informative. You guys, I normally laugh at everything. I kind of have to as a high school teacher, right? I hardly even cracked a smile. One of the tour leaders went off on personal tangents and political tangents. It was uncomfortable and our kids hated it.

They stopped halfway through at this moonshine place with a nice outdoor area. Jack and Mason walked to the hotel at that point. Oh well again. You live and you learn. Tom was a good sport but he thought it was not great, either.

Our hotel was really nice! We stayed at The Graduate. I had never heard of this chain before planning for this trip but apparently they are commonly near college campuses. It was across form Vanderbilt which is gorgeous.

It smelled so good and I shared Tuesday that they had full sized products in the shower by Malin + Goetz. I can’t wait to order the rum body wash. I doesn’t smell like rum to me but I can’t put my finger on what it does smell like.

In the photo above those are pencils embedded in the lobby coffee bar!

The rooftop bar is below.

rooftop pool:

For our dinner the first night, we walked to Hattie B’s hot chicken. We have Joella’s and Royals hot chicken here in Louisville and we love them; they are also hot chicken places.

We were all tired from the long day and the hot bus, I think! We stayed in the room after dinner.

The next morning we wanted to do the art museum for Mason, so we walked to The Gulch area and found a little coffee and breakfast spot.

We had everything croissant sandwiches. I am going to add my seasoning to the Trader Joe’s frozen croissants! So good!

We found the murals!

This was Tom’s idea to have little wings and he did the face to emphasize that he was sad to have smallers wings than me.

We made it to the art museum and had to wear masks! Luckily I had packed some for the Lyft. Those were the only two places we had to wear them.

The art museum is in the old post office and it is a really pretty building.

From there we walked to Broadway. This is where there are tons of bars and restaurants with live music. There are also some record shops.

Below is Miranda Lambert’s place called Casa Rosa. We had driven down the main drag in our bus the day before, too.

We sat down in Ole Red, Blake Shelton’s place, and had a drink. Tom doesn’t drink and the boys were appalled at all of the “day drinking”. Tom and Mason like country music and I am fine with it. Jack does not like it. But, Jack plays guitar and piano, so he appreciates musicians.

We Lyfted back to the hotel to rest after walking the whole day – from maybe 9-3. I had to take another shower because I was sweaty. I cannot stress this enough. Wear very comfortable shoes and dress for the city heat and humidity.

That night the boys wanted to order food and Tom and I walked in the rain to a different area. He wanted pizza and I didn’t care. I tried a prosecco cider – yum! We split a small pizza and I even let Tom get his preferred toppings because they wouldn’t let us get half and half. I am a vegetable pizza person. I also like just cheese. but Tom wants his meat.

We found some music in the Virgin Hotel lobby.

They were handing out free prosecco for their one year anniversary. Okay!

Then we walked around some more looking for more live music and couldn’t find any. This was a Thursday night and it was raining and we were not on Broadway, but we thought surely there would be music. Nope! I did talk to a friend who said she was really disappointed in Nashville after having been to Memphis. I don’t know. There were lots of bachelorette and 21st birthday groups and many of them were staying in our hotel but they didn’t bother us. We did not get to check out any suburbs like Franklin which I have heard is really cute.

So, the next morning we headed out. It was a quick trip but I’m glad we got away.

Some things I learned:

-Boutique hotel kinda means smaller hotel rooms – or maybe the rooms in a downtown area are always smaller? I tried to splurge a little and the common areas were great but the room was small. I also encountered this at the Omni in Louisville. I think we are Comfort Inn type people!

-We probably need to get two rooms now. We had not stayed in a hotel room as a family since the boys were 14. We have rented VRBOs where we can spread out. I figured for only two nights it would be fine and it was, but next time we probably need two rooms.

-The parking situation is rough in any big city’s downtown area. We had to rely on walking and using Lyft one time. Lyft and Uber still require masks. I did not have an account set up so we used our kids’ account once. The hotel did not include parking and it was $40 a night in their garage. We took our Suburban with racks on top and it didn’t fit in their garage so Tom had to find a different one and then didn’t want to risk losing that spot. It was a whole thing!

–Tom wants to go, go, go and the boys and I want a bit of down time to head back to the hotel between activities.

-Manage expectations when teens are involved.

–I brought an extension cord and will always do that from now on. It was so nice to have with all of the chargers one has in modern life.

Have you been to Nashville? What was your favorite activity?

Thanks for reading,

Amy

27 thoughts on “Nashville Getaway

  1. We went to Nashville years ago when our boys were young and they enjoyed seeing the Omni hotel, eating at Aquarium, and checking out the Parthenon & the science center (which was more like a children’s museum).

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    1. Things were so much easier when they were young and content with everything! Lol! That is a long distance for you! Our kids always loved a good science museum. COSI in Ohio is cool!

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      1. It sure was; but my husband had a job in the next town over and was going to be gone for 4 days so I decided to just tag along with the boys and we enjoyed a mini family vacation/ work trip!

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      2. Way to take that opportunity! What is his job? I have been trying to figure out what it is – I know something about hydroplants?

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  2. Sounds like a good trip, despite the mishaps. I don’t think anyone can avoid hiccups when traveling… just part of the adventure and you will always have those memories. 😀
    Seeing shows at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville has always been a highlight of my trips to Nashville.
    I do have to say that I prefer Memphis over Nashville. Memphis just has more of an old-school, Southern vibe, and I do love the blues.

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    1. Very true. Tom would’ve liked that and we should have planned around a concert. I think I would like Memphis. Tom has been a long time ago. It was good to get away and come home and appreciate home nonetheless!

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  3. We went to Nashville about 10 years ago right before Christmas to stay at the Opryland Hotel and see all the holiday decorations. It was a nice weekend, and there was plenty to see/do in the hotel, but it was soooo crowded! We also spent a few nights in Memphis a few years ago because I got some discounted rooms at the Peabody Hotel. If you’ve never been to the Peabody you need to go, at least for one night. There is a lot to see/do in Memphis and it’s on my bucket list to visit again. Glad you were able to get away for a few days! And you’re right, it does make you appreciate home!

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    1. I bet that was pretty! I get a bit claustrophobic with so many people! I would love to go to the Peabody. I have heard how cool it is. I think Memphis NOT in summer would be great!

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  4. I think two rooms are a great idea and I can’t believe the parking fiasco! That bus tour sounds terrible, I cannot stand it when the guides use it as their personal platform – no one paid to hear their politics! I bet you’d enjoy it with friends, I love Nashville but that’s mostly because people I love are there!
    xo,
    Kellyann

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    1. Totally! It’s time! I know – I feel like I’ve been on the receiving end of so many of these rants on the different things we’ve taken our kids to. You are right – more fun with adults!

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  5. I’m sorry your trip started off rough but it looks like it rebounded 🙂 I’ve seen people share about that hotel, and it looks so nice! Travis mentioned after our five days in our hotel room, that it may be time for two rooms 😂 I love Nashville and we enjoyed our trip in April, but I know what you mean about everyone wanting to do different things. Always yes to free Prosecco 🤣🤣

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    1. Thanks! Yes, it turned out better after day one! It is one of the nicest hotels I’ve ever stayed in. We normally choose very moderate hotels! Yes, I can see that 5 days in one room would be hard – maybe adjoining rooms or a junior suite? It just seems pricey! Yes, are you ready for teenagers? lol! I am on a big prosecco kick! Yum!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know! It seems expensive to get two rooms. We haven’t stayed in a hotel for an extended amount of time in a while. Usually, we are in a house to spread out. And…no! I’m not ready for teens 🤣

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  6. The bus tour sounds so bad! We now try to get a room with 2 queens and a sofa bed like at Embassy Suites or go for 2 rooms. It makes everyone a little happier!

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  7. Hello! We are headed to Nashville in September as my parents want to celebrate birthdays and their 60th anniversary. Yes, boutique means small, European also. I love Malin and Goetz and our gym carries it in the shop and so lovely smelling. Yes, separate rooms now. Just easier. Loved your highlights. Will check out Broadway. Oh, parking!! We laugh at how $40 for the motel used to be so much, now it’s for the vehicle!!

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    1. NIce! I can’t wait to order that body wash! Yes, I learned my lesson on the room situation. It wasn’t bad but I think more space is needed. I will be interested to see what you think. That is so true. I guess I haven’t parked in a big city in a long time!

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  8. This post made me laugh because I am born, raised, and still live here in Nashville and I have never been to any of the places you mentioned. I lived on 2nd Ave right out of college in the early 90’s but it was NOT like it is now back then. I am sorry the tour bus was not a good experience but glad you had fun otherwise!

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    1. I should have asked you before I planned it! Lol! I wish I had had time to see more or see some suburbs, too. Oh well! It was a quick trip and I’m glad we did it!

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  9. Going in 2 weeks. Segways, golfing and some drinking and eating. Sign me up. Yes it’ll be hot and sticky and I am sure to pack a few extra things. We are staying at the Residence Inn downtown so we could have a little more space and a kitchen. NO I wont be cooking but I will have coffee and creamer for each morning !!! and snacks. fruit, cheese and crackers for late afternoon. Sorry you had a less then stellar time. Hopefully your boys will appreciate that you tried! I cant wait to go back to State College,Pa and stay at the Graduate there!

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    1. I hope you have a great time and maybe some of what I shared will help? I would recommend getting the Lyft or Uber app. Ask about your parking if you have a rental car.

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      1. Yes i already know about parking. And we all have Uber and Lyft on our phones. We started doing Uber when we went to Seattle Washington for Fresno state vs UW football game. 4 years ago. We don’t normally travel with our kids as they’re all grown adults so when we have – everyone has gotten their own rooms. It’s the only way to do it.

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  10. That was a nice family trip! Your boys seem so nice! We are also very “family-oriented”, I love our little pack.
    Pre covid we went to London for Easter (3 times) and we so look forward to do it again next year! But I agree, I think it’s time to get two rooms… It will be more expensive, but we can splurge now after two years of no traveling – right!?
    I would really like to see Nashville! Believe it or not, but we have some Swedish country musicians, and they record their albums there (of course). I would like to see New Orleans too – have you been?

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    1. Thank you! It is time to get 2 rooms but I miss the days of piling in one and snuggling! You should see some other states next time you come to Florida and you have a place here! I would love to meet you in real life! Goals!
      I have not been to New Orleans but want to!

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