Nashville without A Tan

Trip Start Nov 10, 2009
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Trip End Dec 18, 2009


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Flag of United States  , Tennessee
Monday, December 14, 2009

After lunch at the Arcade Restaurant http://www.arcaderestaurant.com/ in Memphis we ditched for Nashville.  There was a Comfort Inn that via sign vowed it would compete with any hotel's rate in town.  This sounded like a vow to test.

We entered the hotel and asked them the rate.  They started out at $69, went down to $59 with the Triple A rate and then when I asked them if the could go just a little lower we settled at $49,  The Indian man behind the desk's name was Kevin and I was very close to asking him for the "Tri-Kevin Rate" as it was I, Kevin Laake and this Kevin.  I was hoping to capitalize on the name sameness but, was quite pleased with the rate.

On our way in we saw a huge van called the "Waffy Taffy" it was a taxi system in town and we took their card. After a short chill out and settle in in the room we called on the Waffy.  The hotel was decent, there was a fully functioning pool outside our veranda which they told us we could not use.  I was circumspect about this and thought for a few moments about testing their resolve in this case but, I refrained

The Waffy Taffy got the call and we zipped down to the main drag in Nashville which I think was Broadway and 2nd.  At this point I am starving so we take a quick walk down towards the river and the football stadium and end up at Big River Grille  http://www.bigrivergrille.com/  On the walk down to the BRG we encounter two twenty somethings, a young man and his lady friend.  They both are wearing black and the guy has a megaphone.  He is phoning about a special at the bar he is promoting. I believe it was $5 all you can drink and you get a very classy looking glass. Later we will learn that they are both from Maryland.  One from Dundalk (the guy) and another from Rockville (the girl).  They pitch us on the Maryland connection.  The guy is going to school to fix diesel engines.  It's a 13 month program that he just began.  The gal just graduated from Salisbury State and has taken an internship at Country Music Television.  They are exuberant at their jobs and really believe they are going to sell us on a visit.  I tell her "We're not going in, I'm just being honest with you.  We aren't going"   The guy was a little over the top.  Earlier we ran into a huge man (350-400 pounds) who was wearing all black and had door duties at a bar across the street.  He was none too pleased with the volume level of our Terrapin friends.  I told the megaphone guy that the big dude across the street was ready to beat the megaphone out of him but, he has priors so he's not won't.  Dundalk guy was unfazed by this revelation. 

So back at the Big River Grille we wash down a tasty order of nachos with a couple of their smooth home brews.  The tender was very kind as I knocked over my beer and marveled at the physics of the table.  The spilled beer flowed right into an alley on the bar as though fate called it there when it was really physics.  A bar making genius made it this way. 

Honky Tonks were the order of the night but, first we needed to get some chow.  Jack's was the plan.  World Famous BBQ.  http://www.jacksbarbque.com/ It was cafeteria style and there was little charm here but, the BBQ was wonderful and afterwords we were ready to get our honky tonk on.  But first we went to Ernest Tubb Record Shop  http://www.etrecordshop.com/.  I browsed it and found nothing to my liking.  It was all country music.  Obscure country music.  I don't know any country music.  I did get a kick out of the Steve Martin banjo tunes album they were hawking.  It was on vinyl too which I'm certain James Rosenthal would have been enthralled by for just a few minutes anyway. After the record we crossed the street to a honky tonk.

We went to The Stage http://www.thestageonbroadway.com/theStageOn/home.php.  Having we left Ernest Tubb and as we shuffled across Broadway I put in my earplugs.  Kevin chuckled as I popped the bright yellow numbers in my ears.  I recently discovered that I have some hearing problems as it pertains to sharp loud sounds.  The result of concerts over the years. The best way to protect my ears is via earplugs. Let me put it this way it is a sharp pain to hear yelling, singing and other sharp sounds.  You don't heal your ears per se you just protect them so that's what I'm doing.

Inside the Stage we saw a band play country songs that Kevin knew because of his wife Sarah.  I just looked confused. I introduced myself to two trade show going women who we deemed were tourists because they had BBQ next to us at Jack's and were taking pictures of said cuisine.  We had a short chat and I went back to my seat and only to behold a huge bunch of band members approaching the bar.

These guys were a band of say eight or nine and they were in full on cowboy poseur mode.  The singer had ridiculous highlights in his shoulder length tousled hair.  The drummer was a fat guy wearing sneakers.  The other guys had all the cowboy regalia going on.  Hats, belts, holsters, leather and vests.  Of course.  All I could think of was "have these guys ever even ridden a horse or worked a farm in their lives"  probably not which made their whole deal really Halloween.  We wanted to see these tools play but, they took way too long to set up so we called it.  Done.

We moseyed across the street to the tony Paradise Park Trailer Resort which initially had lots of suck potential but, then surprised us.  http://www.paradiseparkonline.com/.  They had a cover band playing.  Normally, I would harangue about how much cover bands suck etc. but, this one was really solid.  They played songs I liked to hear and were nailing them note for note.  They were also smart enough to not try and sing all of Layne Staley's parts in Alice In Chains' songs like "Rooster".  They let the guitar do the heavy lifting which was wise.  They kept playing good tunes and since Sports Center was on and updating us on all the scores of the day there was no real need to leave.

Behind us sat a black man called "The Poet" who exclaimed "I want to leave but, they just keep playing good songs man".  Then there was this trio of college aged folks.  One was an overstuffed guy, the second was his girlfriend, a tall brunette, lastly was her friend, tall blonde with spindly long legs that looked good in boots.  The problem was they were playing beer pong and the blonde was loaded and as I gazed in her general direction I saw her popping an unknown prescription.  She got a little sillier after that sitting on people's laps and generally being overly gregarious.  The boyfriend guy tried fruitlessly to settle her down but, when the band beckoned her to walk around with a basket to collect tips she (after 2 attempts)  agreed and strutted around the place collecting dollars (they play only for tips in Nashville).  They collected themselves and sauntered out a little while later.

We left too back to the hotel and the end of the night.  No swimming though.  It got cold and I am not a golden god.

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