For a while there, we thought the horrific storms in the South might have foiled our plans: an 11AM departure for Nashville turned into 7.30PM and then 8.30PM, and meanwhile the weather reports on TV made us wonder if we should be going there at all. But it all came right eventually — the plane left, we had a magnificent view of Manhattan by night which just about made the nine hours in La Guardia's food court worthwhile, and we arrived in Nashville to gorgeous warm weather.
The delay meant just two full days instead of two and a half, but we still managed to pack plenty in. Highlights? The Grand Ole Opry, clearly, where most of the names on the bill were unfamiliar but most turned out to be hugely entertaining. I mentioned the fabulous Jean Shepard — still going strong at 77 — in my previous post. I also loved Bobby Osborne and the Rocky Top Express, not surprising since I am a bluegrass girl at heart.
And did you know Nashville had a full scale replica of the Parthenon? I didn't, until somebody on Twitter told me about it the night before I left. As it turned out, it was just across the road from our hotel. It's seriously impressive and seriously weird. I loved it. Particularly the insanely huge and very very gold statue of Athena inside.
I loved wandering down Broadway and hearing live music from every second doorway. I went on a couple of productive souvenir shopping sprees — one at 11pm, because apparently nothing on Broadway ever closes, and one at the Mecca which is the Country Music Hall of Fame. I had a hilarious fried chicken dinner on the rooftop of the charmingly disorganised and rough-around-the-edges Wild Bill's Beignets and Bikes — our waiter Brian is my new favourite waiter ever. And I could have wandered around Hatch Show Print for hours, plotting the abduction of their adorable store cat and coveting every single poster on the wall.
Two days isn't nearly enough to do the town justice, clearly, but we sure tried our best and I'm determined to get back there, sooner rather than later. Sing it, Dolly.