The end of my time (and by end I mean second month) in Nashville got busy due to VUceptor Training and CommonVU, but it was so amazing having students back on campus that I couldn’t tear myself away long enough to write blog posts. I still tried my hardest to get out and see Nashville, and was successful especially in the weeks before students came back. Here are the highlights of what I saw in that second month:
Love Circle/Love Hill
I have no pictures for this one, because it is pretty hard to capture the feeling of standing on a hill above Nashville at night and seeing the city lit up below you. Definitely one of the coolest places I saw, although it’s pretty sketchy looking until you get up to the top of the hill!
Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge
Another great view of the city but from a completely different angle than Love Hill. I have a rarely-shared fear of bridges so I was hesitant to experience this one at first, but I am so glad I got out there and checked it out. A great view of downtown plus I think it is so neat that Nashville is such an accessible city by foot.
Of course I forgot to get a picture the one night a fellow Demon Deacon was in town. We headed to The Pharmacy, a well-known burger place in East Nashville, and caught up over some of the biggest burgers I have ever seen. For burger lovers, this place is a must-eat. The patio out back was some kind of wonderful and it was the perfect atmosphere to enjoy the summer night, catch up, and stuff ourselves silly.
Hattie B’s Hot Chicken
The food alone could entice me to stay in Nashville forever. While there is no shortage of “good food” (according to others) in Evanston and Chicago, for some reason I cannot quite find the good food that is to my liking. Nashville, on the other hand, is filled with great taco places, burger joints, and fried chicken. ALL THE FRIED CHICKEN. Maybe I am just looking in the wrong places in Chicago, but I cannot find that kind of food here for the life of me. And it is a good thing there were so many places I could go outdoors and get my sweat on because I needed it after the meals I had. Hot Chicken was probably my favorite Nashville discovery, and I still need to get back and try Prince’s to see if I can stand the heat.
I could have ordered my chicken hotter at Hattie B’s – I got Hot, which is the middle in terms of heat, but could have gotten Damn Hot, one notch below their hottest, “Shut the Cluck Up!”. It was still delicious and I will be dreaming of it during the Chicago winter. Doesn’t that sound like the best way to warm up in February? I think so…
Any place that offers ice cream with rosemary and cayenne pepper in it is a place I am bound to like.
They offer more normal ice cream as well for the less adventurous, but I have to go for the unique ones when I see them. I will say that it is an odd sensation when your mouth is cold from eating ice cream but hot from the cayenne!
Two more Grand Ole Opry Shows featuring Hunter Hayes, Sam Hunt, Trace Adkins, and Carrie Underwood
Hunter Hayes + Opry = so many teenage girls excited to see him. And then there were me and the cute old couple I sat next to, just enjoying the show. We got a kick out of the hoopla around the final act of the night (Hunter) but it was also funny to see the flustered parents walking out who clearly did not understand how the Opry works. Each of the anywhere from 7-11 acts performs 2-3 songs, depending on how the show is set up that night. It’s a live radio show that the audience gets to see in person, and that is part of what I love about it – instead of seeing one artist for 2 hours, you get to see a variety of artists every time you go. Between the three times I went to the Opry I only saw one repeat performer, so by my count I saw over 35 country artists there this summer. I heard songs like Rocky Top, Wagon Wheel, Leave the Night On, Before He Cheats, I Want Crazy, Later On, the “Rawhide” theme, You’re Gonna Miss This, and countless others live. Basically it was awesome and clearly I want to go back.
The Loveless Cafe
After hearing about the biscuits at the Loveless from almost everyone I spoke with for two months, my supervisor and I went for my farewell dinner during my last few days.
I have to say, it did not disappoint! Remember how I mentioned all the fried chicken earlier? This place has the fried chicken down to a science, and the sides and biscuits are just as delicious. I am torn about how long I waited to try this place: on one hand, I think about how many meals I could have had there while I was in Nashville. On the other hand, I think it’s a good thing I did not eat there sooner, because I would never have been able to work off all those biscuits!
I think I experienced some of the best Nashville has to offer in quite a short period of time. This is not to mention countless other meals and smaller events, and completely skips over the two and a half weeks of intense time spent working 24/7 with VUceptor Training and CommonVU. That would be way too much to try and fit in one post, so I’ll save that for another time! I still have quite a few things on my Nashville bucket list, so I’m hoping to head back sooner rather than later! This experience has also inspired me to create a Chicago bucket list to get out and about more in Chicago during my final year here – I’ve done plenty of interesting things in the last year, but I need to keep exploring. Hopefully this winter will cooperate a little bit more than last year did!