We were looking forward to our week in Nashville and boy, it didn’t disappoint. It was a perfect blend of nature, relaxation, touristy activities and time with good friends.
Our friends David and Sharon, who came to hang out with us our first week back in Pennsylvania, are from the Nashville area so we were excited to meet up with them on their turf.
First, our campsite. We stayed at Bledsoe State Park in Gallatin, TN, which was around a 40 minute drive into Nashville. We were right on Old Hickory Lake and the site came with our own flock of ducks. Pretty cool.
The welcoming committee....
View from our campsite
Old Hickory Lake
The park also had a nice walking trail which I took advantage of a couple of times. Both times didn’t disappoint with some wildlife sightings. Of course there were lots of squirrels, but ran into plenty of deer and turkeys, too. Thinking the deer and turkeys are the smart ones….the deer for hanging out in a state park during deer hunting season and the turkeys for hanging out in a state park a few weeks before Thanksgiving. Brilliant!!
Now, onto the touristy things….
On Wednesday, the day of the CMA’s, Sharon had arranged for us to do the Nash Trash tour. And while we didn’t know what to expect, it didn’t disappoint one bit. (David and Sharon obviously knew their audience recommending this!!) The tour is more of a comedy show, with a few interesting tidbits of Nashville gossip thrown in as you drive around in a pink school bus.
Nothing says trash (or Mary Kay cosmetics) like a pink schoolbus.
The tour, which has been running for about 18 years, is described as a rowdy, very risqué, one-of-a-kind musical-comedy extravaganza. It is normally conducted by two sisters, (the Lugg sisters) and on this Wednesday, for the first time ever, one of the sisters was sick, so we had a solo tour. I’m sure it’s funny with two, but we were extremely entertained with just one of the sisters—Sheri Lynn.
Sheri Lynn checking everyone in!
"Travelers" were encouraged....okay, at least not discouraged.
Bathroom and refueling break at the Tin Roof .
The tour brought charcuterie to a new level—they passed around the squirt cheese with Ritz crackers. And yes, they got rid of the hard little crusty clump of cheese at the end of the nozzle before they passed it around.
The cheese tray being passed around
All in all, a fantastic tour and would highly recommend it to anyone (with a sense of humor) passing through Nashville. It books up early so plan ahead.
Won’t repeat what Sheri Lynn said to Greg while this picture was being taken, but was something in the lines of what a teenage boy might do with a Victoria’s Secret catalog.
We had lunch at the Farmer’s Market, which was excellent, then hopped on a (free) bus to downtown. Score. Did I mention it’s good to have local tour guides!?!
Once downtown, we went honkytonk hopping and had a great time listening to local music.
PBR Happy Hour!!
Odd placements of a parking meter!?!
When we hang with David and Sharon, we seem to have a pattern of timing and randomness, as witnessed with the naked bike ridein downtown Philly, and this day was no exception. While “hopping,” some guy came up to us and asked if we wanted to see The Band Perry at the CMA Theater (next to the CMA Awards). Really? Free, you say? Well, sure!! Yep, we’ll take four tickets!!
So, he gave us four tickets and we then started googling things to see if it was for real. I mean, come on, what are the odds that some stranger is going to give us, no strings attached, free tickets to see The Band Perry? Would we have to sit through a timeshare presentation? Amway? What’s the catch….we were sure there had to be one!?!
Well, believe it or not, there really wasn’t a catch. They were taping The Band Perry to be on the Jimmy Kimmel show and were going to do some magic hokey pokey hologram thing with the show. Jimmy was going to be beamed to Nashville; The Band Perry beamed to LA. Seemed totally logical to us. Well, not really. We honestly didn’t figure it out until we watched the Jimmy Kimmel show, but ultimately we did get to see The Band Perry perform three times (the same song), we got to wear some fancy led light up bracelets, and got upgraded from our second to last row seats to the third row; overall was pretty cool. We didn’t stay for the hologram beaming of Jimmy back to Nashville, but, couldn’t beat the experience. David and Greg made it on TV if you look really close and Sharon and I were too short to make the TV cut. Oh well.
These were our original seats...before the upgrade!
Our fancy bracelets; they lit up while the band was playing.
The Band Perry in between songs. Tuning guitars and fixing hair!
The Band Perry....take 3.
Shots from outside the CMA....stars arriving, crazed fans and us!
Cars pulled up, stars walked down the red carpet.
The Red Carpet...
Outside the CMA's...the show was in progress.
And Nashville at night!!
Thursday was a very low key and relaxing day (it sort of needed to be as we don’t bounce back like we used to after a day of “day drinking.”) and we celebrated my birthday—with a perfect low key dinner, followed by a campfire and yep, live music. There’s nothing better than a campfire, someone (a.k.a David) strumming a guitar and hanging out with friends. Can’t think of a better way to celebrate the big 5-0!!
Not a great picture....but the music was awesome!
Friday, David and Sharon got tickets for us to see the comedian, Christopher Titus. Because I guess I’ve been living under a rock, I’d never heard of him, but everyone else had. Not sure how I’ve missed him, but this dude is hilarious. The show, “Born with a Defect” gives a very different perspective on parenting, one that kept us laughing for about two hours and in the end, sort of made us appreciate our childless way of life!! Highly recommend the show if he comes to your area!
Wasn’t easy to get a good picture....this is the best of the bunch!!
Saturday, Bill and Kelly took a break from their Amazon gig and drove up to hang with us for the day. Was interesting to learn about their workamping job where Amazon has around 500 other workampers at the Campbellsville facility. Kelly brought a birthday cake, so we celebrated again!! Awesome visit!!
Greg, Bill and David
Hobie was ready for some cake....he didn't get any!
We wrapped up our time in Nashville with a quick trip to Antique Archeology—one of the two retail stores from American Pickers. For American Picker fans, the store is cool, sort of small, but neat to see some of the picks from the show in the store.
Didn’t realize it, but thought Mike and Frank were business partners, but they just pick together; the stores are Mike’s. Frank has his own store and they just started picking together to share expenses, etc. T-shirts seem to be the most popular item being sold, but if you have a need for a Piggly Wiggly head or a Wolf boy, this is the place to go!!
The store is in the old Marathon Automobile factory
A nice old bike....
The Wolf Boy. Really.
Inside the shop...
Overall, two thumbs up on our time in Nashville! Two thumbs up on Bledsoe State Park! Two thumbs up hanging at campfires with our friends! Two thumbs up on nature walks! And well, no thumbs up for turning 50!! But, if you have to turn 50, Nashville ain’t a bad way to go!!
We were heading to Tuscaloosa next, but cancelled that stop...stay tuned for an update on where we ended up!