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.
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,