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Nashville in a Nutshell

Hello folks!

Skip and her companion recently jetted off to the wonderful land of Nashville, TN for a quick trip with our friends, Mr. & Mrs. Z. Here are some highlights, tid bits and recommendations.

Places to stay: We shacked up at the Hutton Hotel on West End Ave, not far from Vanderbuilt University, but also pretty close to Downtown Nashville. The Hutton is a boutique hotel and is very chic. We found it classy, comfortable and clean-- all very important. They have Nespresso machines on each floor, so you can get your caffeine fix, but you have to leave your room. However, there is a small coffee maker in the room as well with a decent coffee and tea selection. The highlight for Skip's companion was that there were speakers in the bathroom that allowed you to hear what was playing on the tv. The shower was amazing. Skip is not a fan of rain shower heads, but this one was fantastic and you could set the temperature and turn the shower on and off from a panel directly outside of the shower. Pretty cool.

Monday through Friday the Hutton offers a free wine happy hour in the lobby. This is a nice feature and we took advantage of it once- it's a small window of time that it is offered. It's nice to chill in the lobby with a glass of wine and strike up a conversation with fellow travelers. I think this complimentary wine service should include a few snacks. I was disappointed that they didn't have anything to nibble on. I'm not asking for anything elaborate, but I think when you offer free booze, you should probably have some snacks. Being a boutique hotel, Hutton does not have a traditional spa, they do however offer spa services. Mrs. Z and I experienced this strange set up first hand. We booked massages prior to our arrival, we went to the floor indicated and found two empty treatment rooms. We sat down in a small waiting area and soon our massage therapists arrived and we discovered that they work for an off-site spa and are contracted to provide service at the Hutton. Despite it not being the standard set up, we both enjoyed our massages and relaxed before another big night out on the town.

We didn't really check out other hotels while we were there but we heard good things about the Hermitage Hotel. There were also lots of big name hotels and small boutique hotels in the area, meeting the needs of all travelers.

Ryman Auditorium
Places to visit: No doubt, there are tons of places to visit and tour while you are in Nashville. If you are into country music, or even just music in general, the possibilities are endless. Our foursome only hit a few that interested us. We wanted to make sure we had plenty of time on this short trip for drinking, live music and eating (more on those later). We visited the Johnny Cash Museum which was super cool. It gave you a great history of his life and you also got to see some pretty cool memorabilia. We also checked out the Ryman Auditorium (the original Opry) which also has some great memorabilia on display and walks you through the history of the auditorium which touches on American history, Country Music history and Nashville history. Shows still happen there and be sure to check on the wall of signed concert posters which are very, very cool.

After a failed attempt at a visit to the Grand Ole Opry (we didn't want to wait an hour and a half when the only thing nearby was an outlet mall), we ended up at The Hermitage home of President Andrew Jackson. While initially there was disappointment over the Grand Ole Opry, we felt a little like Dorothy and her crew getting denied access to the Emerald City, we decided against fighting our way in and made a choice to visit another historical site. The Hermitage (not to be confused with the hotel of the same name) was a great experience. It is a walking tour with an audio component, guides dressed in period clothes and features both indoor and outdoor exhibits. You can see Andrew Jackson's family home, learn about and see slave quarters, visit the family cemetery and of course, check out the gift shop!

The Hermitage (home of President Andrew Jackson
There are many other museums and sites to be seen in Nashville, so do your research and pick the things that interest you, perhaps you want to see the life size replica of the Parthenon.

Places to drink and listen to music:  On to the good stuff. There are a plethora of places in Nashville to drink and hear live music. It is after all, Music City. What you do is you travel your little booty down to Broadway, imagine if Las Vegas was just three blocks and didn't have casinos- now you've got it. Along Broadway there are boot and hat shops, souvenir shops, bars, restaurants and the like. Our main focus was finding music and hitting some legendary spots. I think we did a good job. Here's the list of where we went.

Layla's Bluegrass Inn

Tootsies World Famous Orchid Lounge

Acme Feed & Seed

Robert's Western World

Legends Corner

Tin Roof  

Places to Eat:

Adele's- You could call it hipster or Farm to Table and either way you can start to get the picture of Adele's. It was crowded, we sat outside on a lovely evening. The atmosphere is interesting given this was a garage (where they worked on cars) that has been converted to a restaurant. The service was slow, however our waiter was pleasant. Whatever you do, get the chicken, there may be lots of other things that look good, but trust me, make sure someone at your table gets the chicken. Mr. Z and I can attest that it was amazing and delicious. Mrs. Z had some pretty great gnocchi's (she's an expert) and my companion had some sort of fish, as can be predicted most nights.
Brisket Platter at Martin's

Martin's BBQ- A nice joint to grab a quick bite and a drink. This is a glance at the menu, order at the counter and find a seat type of joint- and it was perfect. I had amazing brisket, my companion had pulled pork, as did Mrs. Z, but her's was on a sandwich and his was on a platter, they both thought it was excellent.Mr. Z was adventurous and tried the "Redneck Taco" which was pretty much a cornbread pancake topped with pulled pork and cheese, etc. It looked yummy and he wasn't complaining.

Husk- This place was voted as our least favorite of the trip. Not that it was bad, but I think it was a combo of us being tired and also having had such good food the whole trip. Husk could also be described as a bit "hipster" but not in the same way as Adele's. It's like they are trying too hard. The menu I felt was limited and the servings small. Now, I'm all about little bites in certain types of restaurants, but this was not that time. Our main dishes were better than the appetizers. They have a great, unique cocktail list, which is a plus.

Etch- The decision to go here for dinner was based on one thing only- butter tasting. Etch delivered in every way possible. Decor, atmosphere, service, food, even the awesome parting words we had with the chef. A+++++ for Etch as far as this foursome was concerned. The butter tasting was definitely a highlight, 4 beautifully flavored butters served with warm, crusty bread- just yum. The truffle butter was probably the favorite of those including in the tasting. Truffle oil was again used in a pea pesto served with the roasted cauliflower appetizer, really unique flavors.

So, there it is, the quick and brief (well, as brief as I can be) review of Nashville. I just wanted to hit the highlights and give you a taste of where we went.



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