Friday, December 21, 2012

DAY 119- Nashville- Music, Parthenon, & Hee Haw!

As I’m finishing up writing this and going through for my poor grammar errors; I’m watching the bells being rung out for the children of Newtown and I can’t help but shed tears.  The TV first shows bells being run in Newtown, then Miami, FL, and then Washington, D.C.  For the last week as I’ve been driving, I’ve been seeing all of the flags hanging at half-mast.  I haven’t felt like this since 9-11; a change has happened to our country and it will never be the same.  I almost can’t help but mourn a little for the safety and security that I had in childhood.  But I will say that there is hope out there for all of us and I can say that from my experience while I’ve been out on the road.  I have met the nicest helpful people on the road and it really has given me hope for our wonderful country.
Photo- The Nashville skyline from the river area with flags hanging at half-mast.

DAY 119- Nashville…
Photo- Inside of the Ryman Auditorium.

From the current Opryland area, I headed to downtown Nashville where the old Opryland used to be the Ryman Auditorium.  I took a day time tour of the Ryman and was amazed at all of the talent that started out on this stage.  The Ryman is second only to the Salt Lake City Mormon Tabernacle as far as sound acoustics in any building and has been referred to as the “Carnegie Hall of the South”.  I found myself fondly reliving through some memories as I watched Minnie Pearl videos when she appeared on Hee Haw.  “HowdEE!”
Photo- Cases of wonderful memorabilia from costumes (like Minnie Pearl's dress) to instruments.

Next, I walked over Printer’s Alley which is known as the Blues and Jazz section of Nashville.  I went down the alley and there wasn’t much going on. It looked like it was mainly open during the night time.  In fact, the only place that seemed to be open was a bar that looked like it was a topless bar if the photos outside was any indication.  Hmmm… that would explain the looks I was getting as I was walking down the alley.  I took the next turn and escaped from that alley.
Photos- Printer's Alley which is more of a night spot than day.

I walked down by the river and got a view of the city with the flags all flying at half-mast for the children of Newtown.  I also enjoyed the view of the bridge going across the river and the little park areas that run by the river.  There were tons of bicycle stands where you could pay to rent a cruiser bicycle and go around the city.  Though, watching some of the drivers and the pedestrian interactions I would question the safety of bringing one more into this mix.
Photo- All kinds of places that have LIVE music along Broadway in Nashville.

I then walked along the famous Broadway Street of Nashville.  There was all kinds of restaurants and bars where there was live music being played most of it was country.  I stopped here and there outside the doors; looking in doors to see who it was that was singing out of curiosity.  There were quite a few instruments being carried by people walking along on the sidewalk; most of them guitars in cases.  I looked like the total tourist as I went along snapping my pictures.  I even went by a place called Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville which had a guy playing what sounded like honky tonk.
Photo- Here's Jimmy's Place!

As it started to pour rain, I ducked into a souvenir shop and found a bumper sticker along with a couple of postcards.  When it stopped raining for a bit, I quickly walked back to my car.  It was time to head on to the city park area to see the Parthenon.  Yes, the one and only full scale copy of it is in Nashville.  Don’t ask me why but in 1897 it was built as an exposition piece for a fair.  It was the only piece that remained standing.  In 1921, it was refurbished.  Warning, it is not made of marble like the original.  This is fortified concrete.  I guess there’s an amazing golden Athena statue that is inside but it was closed on Mondays.  But it was rather impressive just going around the outside of it.
Photo- A full size copy of the original in Nashville!

Next, the clouds were starting to get very, very dark.  I had considered visiting a southern plantation nearby but looking at these clouds I thought it might be a better idea to forgo that and drive to Memphis.  I was hoping to drive through the storm before it got into full force.  I also heard that there was a ball game and a couple other events in the area that were supposed to make traffic in the area almost unbearable.  I wanted to be out of here before that happened.  Well, I must have caught the beginnings of that because it took me almost 10 minutes to move 1 block at one point.  Thankfully, shortly after that I was able to take a left turn and head out of town.  I could see the long lines of traffic going into town. Whew! Good call on that one; and off to Memphis I was…

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