It was here in the country of Horses Whiskey and Honky-Tonk that the country music was born, and still alive. When you walk the streets of downtown Nashville, TN you can feel the heart beats and wild flow of the music in the veins of this Music City. Being big fans of country music, that was our destination for the W/E
It’s not a city, It’s a hotel!
Saturday, November 28th, 2010 – OK., so here is what happened. We originally thought that we will leave the campground this past Tuesday, drive and stay around Nashville for a week or two, and then continue west.
But as you know Patti didn’t feel so good this week, and we ended staying here another week. We also looked for a reasonably priced campground around Nashville that will have good Internet but could not find anything in a decent price.
So – we thought – we will visit Nashville while staying here, this weekend, and then skip the whole stop, drive directly towards Memphis. Nashville is about 90 miles south of Cave City where we stay.
One thing we did not want to miss in Nashville – the Grand Ole Opry. This is the show that made all the country stars famous. It is said that if you have been to this show, your way to success is open as a country performer. They have 2 shows on Saturday – at 7:00pm and 9:30pm and we wanted to get the early one so we can get back home at a decent time.
First stop is the Grand Ole Opry to get the tickets. We parked in a huge parking lot that had signs of Gaylord Opryland. We saw a complex of big buildings that looked like the place we were looking for. We walked to the entrance and were amazed. The place was an unbelievable sized complex of rivers, streets, shops, waterfalls, all under one roof of what turned out to be… a hotel. Hard to describe the size of this neighborhood. We asked where is the Grand Ole Opry and were told that it is on the other side of the hotel. “Do you want to take the shuttle?” The lady asked us, “no” we said, “we will walk”. How far cold that be? Let me tell you – almost an hour hike! went through shopping centers, rivers, and convention center – the biggest one I have seen. Just amazing.
Opryland moved…back to town
After a long walk around and about, we finally saw it. It, being the Grand Ole Opry Building in all its glory. I learned some terms today – so let me share it with you – Opry, is any establishment that plays country music, including Honky-Tonk, which is a bar that plays live music, usually Country. And The Grand Ole Opry, is a show that is broadcasted on the radio (WSM 650) and became very famous for being the starting point of many of the Country music Legends.
So back to the story – we got into the building, entered the ticket office, and approached the girl at the counter. “You know the show is not here tonight, right?” Hmmmm, nope! we didn’t know that. Now we do, I guess. There is a winter tradition in town – the building is serving some Christmas show, so until February the show is downtown in an old Church that was converted to an Auditorium. What a bummer we thought – but it turned out to be a great thing.
First – we will get to see downtown, and the Country Music Hall of Fame. Second – We learned that the Ryman Auditorium was the home of Grand Ole Opry for 31 years until 1974 when they purchased and moved to the new building. It is the “Mother Church of Country Music” So we are reliving history – That is great!
We had some time to kill so we parked the truck and walked the streets of downtown Nashville. We spent a full hour at the Country Music Hall of Fame were we saw Elvis’s car and Piano, the history of Tammy Wynette – the first lady of Country Music, and everything in between. Before the show we stopped at one of the many restaurant on the main street and had a great dinner. The temperature dropped outside and the show time was within the hour, so after dinner we went to the Auditorium and waited inside. The place was packed – 1,900 people sitting on wood benches. We came early but by the time the show started everybody were just squeezed together. Some kind of a kumbaya. The show itself was a mixture of old (89 years old) performers, young, known (Crystal Gayle) and less known. All Country! Great time and great music. It was funny – since it is a radio show, they actually played the commercials too. I am extremely happy we stopped here. I am usually not excited to visit cities and would prefer a nice pearl of nature anytime, but this is not about the city – it is about the music, which is in the heart and soul of this town. A must to any country music fan.
We went back home, to sleep, living a very awaken city behind us.