We’re on Spring Break this week, so we took the opportunity to hop over to Music City for a few days.
When we got here the weather was significantly colder than back home in Colorado. That northern wind caught us a bit off guard, but luckily it’s died down over the last few days and we’ve enjoyed some good mild days in the 60’s. The most surprising thing to us was the layout of the city, with everything being so spread out. It’s similar to Denver, where you really can’t get around unless you have a car. Luckily with our rental, we’ve been able to hop back and forth between downtown and over by the Opry (close to where we’re staying). Driving by the Grand Ole Opry, it’s funny how the exterior resembles a civic center theater, parked between a mall and the Opryland hotel. We spent most of Monday over in this area, on the backstage tour of the Opry. The tour was definitely worth the $20, being able to see the Artists entrance and their dressing rooms, rounding off with the chance to walk out on stage.
We also ventured over to the Opryland Hotel and Convention Center. We were originally expecting Bellagio-style gardens to view, but were taken aback with a tropical landscape under this big glass dome. The immense size of the hotel and convention center is hard to explain. The pictures I took from my phone don’t do it justice. In terms of size, the hotel would trump virtually any hotel in Vegas. I kept looking for the casino.
The rest of our time has been spent down-town, checking out the Honky-tonks on Broadway – at least as much as having a two year old would let you. Luckily there is live music going on all day long, featured in really small bars with most of the stages backing up to the front window. Clara can’t get enough of the live music, and in the few places we’ve been in, she’s been out there tearing up the dance floor. Out little groupie even ended up with one of the drummer’s Vic Firth’s, I didn’t have the heart to tell him that she already has 20 more at home.
With Clara traveling with us, we’ve had to limit ourselves to the daytime and early evening hours, so I’m not sure how much dancing occurs in these places during the evening. I’m also not quite sure if there’s a lot of original music as well, most of the day-time tourist attractions have been a lot of cover bands. As much fun as it’s been to be traveling with Clara and watching her take all this in, I think that if we visited this place five years ago we would have had a fuller experience, shutting down a few bars. Don’t get me wrong –this trip has still been a lot of fun.
On Tuesday we’re planning on making the trek to Lynchburg to see the Jack Daniels Distillery, then rounding out our trip with seeing Vince Gil at the Ryman, which is one of the best places on the planet to view live music. The outside resembles a giant church, and I’m told the inside is similar, complete with wooden pews.
Stay tuned, more from Nashville coming…