Tennessee

We arrived in Nashville, TN on September 9, 2016, just before sunset. DB was quite tired from having to do all of the driving for the day and Niner’s migraine had her feeling miserable. Before seeing what “Music City” has to offer, we both agreed that some much needed nap time was in order.

After our nap, we were ready to have some dinner and we decided to get Nashville’s signature dish – hot chicken. We made our way to Hattie B’s. It was a Friday night and the midtown area of Nashville was pretty lively. Thankfully, we managed to find some street parking just a couple blocks from the restaurant.

There were many young, trendy, Nashville newcomers in the line in front of Hattie B’s – in the group ahead of us and the one behind us we heard at least 5 different people saying something like, “I moved here about 2 weeks ago.” The line wasn’t too long, but it moved pretty slow. When we finally got to the front we ordered the mild 1/2 chicken plate with southern greens and macaroni and cheese. For drinks we got the lemonade and the localy brewed Chicken Scratch pilsner from their funky tap.

The chicken was juicy, crunchy on the outside, and quite spicy considering we ordered the mild. We were grateful for our cold beverages to help deal with the spicy heat! The greens were very good, but the mac was only okay. All in all, a great meal. However, if returning to Nashville, I’m sure we would not return to Hattie B’s but instead, make the trek to the original Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack on the outskirts of town.

After our meal, we were pleasantly surprised that a little breeze was rolling through and we enjoyed a slow walk back to our car and heard live bands jamming out as we walked past several venues. Too full and too tired, we opted for our dingy hotel room for some TV, AC, and Zzzzzzs.

The next morning we got our free hotel breakfast and our first stop was Centennial Park and the Parthenon, a full scale replica of Athens Greece original. Even though we made sure to start our day early, it was obnoxiously hot and we became weary from our time outdoors very quickly.

In search of refuge from the heat we headed to the Opry Mills Mall, which sits right next to the legendary Grand Ole Opry. First, we needed sustenance, and good ole TGI Fridays did the trick. Once refueled, we wandered around the mall and enjoyed the AC and free wifi. Then we braved the heat once more and walked across the parking lot to Opryland to check out the indoor atrium.

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Unable to stand the heat anymore, we headed back to the motel and rested up. Once the sun started to set, the temps lowered and we ventured out to the trendy 12 South neighborhood.

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For dinner we ended up at a stylish Mexican eatery named Bartaco.  The place was packed, but somehow we managed to snag two nice seats at the bar. We ordered the guacamole to start and it was surprisingly legit. The tacos we chose were: duck, chicken, pork belly, and portobello. Everything tasted fresh and was well flavored. The portions were fair for the price and the service was good even though they were outrageously busy.

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Our dinner was strategically small to ensure we were prepared for some dessert. Our stop for sweet treats was the Five Daughters Bakery. This place’s take on the Cronut craze is called the “100 layer donut.” Niner got the vanilla bean and DB got the Salted Caramel. Those things were huge in size and huge on sweetness as well. Sadly, they were also oily.

After our sweet treat cravings were put to rest, Niner was craving a whiskey sour and we found ourselves at a cabin themed bar called Embers Ski Lodge. Considering how crowded the neighborhood was, and how cute the bar is, we were both surprised and grateful that there was hardly anyone there. It was nice to relax and chat with drinks without having to raise our voices.

We woke up the next morning and packed our bags. We made a couple last minute tourist stops before we left Nashville: downtown, music row and the State Capital.

Then we hit the road and headed to Cincinatti Ohio. The route to the “Queen City” lead us through Louisville, Kentucky, home of the Louisville Slugger factory that produces legendary wooden baseball bats. Pressed for time, we did not do a museum tour. We walked around, visted the gift shop, and put in some BP at the cages. DB opted for the smallest slugger, which was Brandon Philips’ signature bat and Marlaina chose Jackie Robinson’s.

Just down the street from all the baseball bats is the Muhamed Ali museum. Since it was so close, we decided to walk over just to check out the building and the riverfront.

And that completed our pit stop in Louisville and we got back on the road to Cincinnati. Our next blog post will be all about our time in Ohio – Cincinnati and Cleveland!

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