Nashville Trip (June 27 through July 2)
We (all 5 of us) cruised to Heber Springs in a tricked out Chevy Suburban. We lodged at the Red Apple Inn on Greers Ferry Lake. Its a quaint little place and probably the best lodging in town, although it’s a couple of miles outside of town which was fine with us.
Dinner was at the Red Apple Inn Restaurant. The food was okay and we had to wait at least an hour for it so bring a book to read.
This part of the world is beautiful. Kind of place you could come back to and jus veg our. The biggest downside for me is there is no walking trails or nature trails. I guess they expect everyone to drive a car. We had a hard time finding access to the lake but once we did the views were spectacular.
The next morning we headed on out to Searcy where we partook of breakfast at the local Waffle House. Most of the group had never eaten at a Waffle House. All were surprised at how good the breakfast tasted and the clean restrooms. After breakfast we walked the hallowed grounds of Harding where Kara attended college for two years. The Harding campus is quite impressive and much larger than I’d imagined.
We left Searcy bound for Memphis on U.S. 64 through the flatlands of Arkansas. It’s a different and strange world in that part of the state. Much of the land is covered with rice. All of the land is flat. All of the land appears to be water logged unlike Texas which is crying out for rain.
Our first stop in Memphis was the Rendezvous Barbecue (http://www.hogsfly.com/) , a basement joint reached via an alleyway behind the Peabody Hotel. Of course since we were in Memphis the ribs were dry rub and delicious. Definitely a must stop for anyone in Memphis. I’ve eaten at Corky’s several times. Corky’s is darn good also but both the atmosphere and ribs are better at the Rendezvous.
After a great lunch we and about 10,000 other faithful toured Graceland. The lines were long but I learned a lot about Elvis and life. His grandmother outlived him and his parents. And money can’t buy you everything. Elvis dies at 42 of “heart problems” according to the tour. I’d always heard it was drug problems that killed the King.
Before leaving Memphis for Nashville we watched the ducks waltz from the lobby fountain at the Peabody into the elevator for their ride to their rooftop home. Someday I want to come back to Memphis, book a room at the Peabody, and watch the ducks from a table in the lobby while sipping on a martini. After the duck watching we headed out for Nashville only stopping at a Subway for dinner and a wine shop to ensure a celebration toast once we reached our Nashville destination.
During our drive to Nashville we encountered the usual 45 minute delay because of road construction. Hint: Never drive I40 in Arkansas or Tennessee if you can avoid it.
In Nashville we divided out time between enjoying good restaurants, taking in local attractions, and vegging out in the condo.
As you can see from the restaurant list below we placed an emphasis on breakfast.
Most of the local attractions were country and western oriented which is not a surprise since Nashville is the C&W capitol of the World.
- Pfunky Griddle – you cook your own breakfast place. Food was good. And we did cook it ourselves at a griddle in the middle of our table.
- The Row – a causal dinner joint. I ate barbecue again
- Pancake Pantry – World famous pancake house. I was disappointed because I did not have to wait in line for an hour. Otherwise lots of kinds of pancakes including my favorite , buckwheat.
- Jack’s Barbecue – On Broadway in the midst of all the honky tonks. Definitely good barbecue Nashville style. Try out their white barbecue sauce. Apparently white barbecue sauce is a Nashville delicacy. It’s composed of mayo, horseradish, and some other secret ingredients.
- Loveless Cafe (http://www.lovelesscafe.com/) – Its about 40 miles outside of Nashville at the terminus of the Natchez Trace. Well worth the drive at least for breakfast. The place alone is a good reason the drive the Natchez Trace
- The Pharmacy – Billed as the “wurst hamburger beer garden in Nashville.” I ate curried wurst. Go there when the weather is nice because your most likely to eat outside and even if you don’t the inside does not appear to be air conditioned.
- Five Points Pizza (http://www.fivepointspizza.com/) – In a dumpy neighborhood NorthEast of downtown. However, the pizza is fantastic and the craft beers are all great. Don’t worry about getting mugged. Apparently this is the new neighborhood in Nashville for the locals in the know.
What we did besides eat
The list of things we did that I’d recommend:
- Ryman Auditorium – the high church of Country Music. Interesting visit. Apparently Gwen and I did not realize how lucky we were to watch a concert there several years ago. I recommend the tour if you have not taken it.
- Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum – My 2nd visit. They trade out many of the exhibits or I am old enough to forget because much of it seemed different to me. On a side note, I wonder where the Western Music Hall of Fame is located?
- Grand Ole Opry – Of course if your in Nashville you’ve got to attend the Opry. Saw lots of good acts both old and new. My favorite was the Old Crow Medicine Show. We liked them so much we bought tickets to their July 7th show at the House of Blues Dallas. They have to be one of the best musical acts I’ve ever seen.
- Broadway and 2nd area: Walked honky tonk heaven. Went into a couple of joints and listened to the music
- Parthenon – replica of the original in Greece.
- Swimming in the condo pool with AG
- Watched World Cup matches, especially the USA