Bill and Helen/ 2011 travel blog

This is that great place we stopped at on the way to...

The District... Downtown Nashville

Great Store

Isn't this a great building?

Our Lunch Spot of the day

Cruzin Down the River

Pretty isn't it?

Shotgun Red--


Grand Ole Opry




The grounds


And more magnolia trees

What a great time we have had in Nashville…. The weather has been lousy but in a way it is sorta nice to have to use a blanket and turn the fireplace on to take the chill off.. I can’t remember the last time that has been needed.

Yesterday we went to downtown Nashville which is called “The District… It hasn’t changed much since the last time we were here except for the effects of the horrible flood they had just one year ago.. We found a parking lot that was big enough for our truck up on Church Street just above the Ryman Theater and started our walk down the hill… I won’t go into a lot of detail since we have been here so many times that I would just be repeating myself again but we never tire of this neat historical area.. I can remember just like it was yesterday when we used to get our pillows and lay on the floor in the living room on Saturday night to listen to the Grand Ole Opry. If my dad was not working on the railroad he would make us popcorn, or fudge, or root beer floats and we would all sing along to what we thought of as the greatest music of all time… We still love that music and the best place for it is still in Nashville..

Our first stop was at the visitors center to see what was going on this week and then we started down the street in The District.. Ernest Tubb Record Shop was our first shop since Bill was looking for some new sheet music for him to play on the guitar.. He found what he was looking for and also a CD of some old time Brothers whose name I can’t remember but it has great songs for the guitar and the harmonica that he and Steve will play when we get back to the Cities….

We walked the streets, stopped for lunch at Margarita Ville, shopped in all the tourist traps and finally got home exhausted. It had drizzled a lot but even though we had an umbrella along, we never did open it and are no worse for the wear…

Today was one of those days where we really didn’t make plans.. It was our idea to go toward the Opryland Hotel and have lunch at one of our favorite places and see what damage remained from the flood.. We soon found out that the shopping mall was still completely closed and under reconstruction… That didn’t bother us at all since we both thought that is a stupid place for a mall… I remember when it was Opryland Park and one of our favorite places to visit.. We used to stroll thru the park and find entertainment at several places along the way… It used to be a place where many of today’s country stars got their start.. There was also the place where they used to film Hee-Haw that had to be one of the corniest hours on TV but so delightful that you just had to turn in the next week to hear more. All things change and so has the Music Valley.. Well thanks to XM/Sirus satellite radio, the younger generation is hearing this music again and finding that it is not so bad after all.. In fact they are downloading it to their I-pods and maybe, just maybe the next generation can enjoy what we have for so many years…

Like I said, we had planned on going to the Opryland Hotel for lunch but when we turned into the parking lot and they wanted $18.00 to park we both looked at each other and said NO WAY… Now this is a beautiful hotel but all we do is go inside and spend money on food and then go to the shops and spend more money so there was no way we were going to pay $$$$ for the privilege of doing that.. We drove around to see if there was someplace to park and walk a mile or so away and came to the parking for the General Jackson Showboat….. Well we were here, why not go see what it was all about… Turns out that there is a luncheon cruise already boarding and if we hurried we could just make it.. We have heard about this attraction for years but have never taken it.. This time we did and we are so glad….. Once we boarded this one time steam boat we were ushered to our assigned table right away.. We had missed the pre dinner show at the top since we got their so late but we did hear from our dining companions what a good show that was….

Each table seated 10 just like on a cruise ship but this had a huge lazy susan in the center so all you had to do was turn it to get salt, pepper, cream, sugar etc. an well as a huge salad bowl filled with fresh veggies that we started with… It was so good that our table got a refill.. Next they brought rolls and huge platters of ham and mashed potatoes and baked chicken with assorted veggies … This food was awesome.. Every bit as tasty as on a cruise ship… After we finished a great meal, we had about a half hour to wander around and watch the scenery along the Cumberland River or shop in the gift shop if that is what you wanted.. When we went back to our table there was a beautiful chocolate mousse with cherries on the bottom that was delicious…

While we were having our coffee the show started.. This afternoon show was starring Steve Hall and Shotgun Red…. This turned out to be a great show… We laughed our heads off at Steve and his puppet Shotgun Red and enjoyed the talent of everyone in his cast.. What made it even more enjoyable for us was to find out that he was from Minnesota (Brainerd) and not far from my home town of Duluth.. I talked to him after the show and he told me all the places that he had played in Duluth… Wow, how did we miss him.. These are places that we used to go to all the time and it turned out that we had some friends in common… What a small world.

So because we refused to pay $18.00 to park somewhere, we added a few more (well quite a few really, in fact a lot more) but we had a wonderful lunch with great entertainment and met some really nice people that were on their way back to Nova Scotia after staying in The Villages in Florida this winter… We gave them our card and hope to see them when they come back next winter… More small world…

We were just around the corner from the Grand Ole Opry House and it wouldn’t be a trip to Nashville without going inside. We checked the ticket off to see who was the stars tonight and after finding out that it was Diamond Rio who we have seen several times before as most of the others appearing tonight, we decided to wait and listed to it on the radio. We did go into the gift shop and Bill found another great book that he was real happy with… I found a great Kenny Chesney hat that fit me great but I don’t dare bring another hat into our house.. I have them hanging on every lampshade now… It was really a nice one though…

Everything else I had hoped to do while we were in Nashville this time will have to wait for the next trip… It was late when we got back to our place and we are beat…

Tomorrow we leave for the next stop… Not sure if we will go toward Louisville and Indiana or Paducah and Illinois… We’ll toss a coin in the morning.

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