Tennessee Part II: Nashville

We went to the middle of Tennessee for our second stop. It wouldn’t be right to spend a month in the Volunteer State and not see Nashville, so we found a campground at Percy Priest Lake on the east side of Music City. We stayed at a placed called Nashville Shores, a combination campground – water park- zip line tree top adventure park-marina. Luckily, the waterpark season had not started yet, so it was quiet and relaxing. If we had been guests of the campground when the water park was in full swing, I’m sure the sounds of screaming kiddos from dawn to dusk would have been a little much to take over the course of seven days.

We spent half of our time enjoying the relaxing atmosphere of the lake, and the other half exploring all the major attractions of Nashville. We had a great time when we were there.  Nashville is a beautiful city. It was funny how we overheard so many people comparing it to Austin while we were there.

A selfie at the Ryman.

A selfie at the Ryman.

We went to the early show at the Bluebird Café on our last night in Nashville. The place is tiny, and we did not have reservations. We got in line about an hour before the doors opened. There  24 people in front of us. We know this because they said they could take the first 24 in line, and they shut the door after the gentlemen in front of us passed through. We waited another 45 minutes at the door, and finally made it in when someone with reservations did not show up. The music was phenomenal, and the experience was fun too!

We went to the early show at the Bluebird Café on our last night in Nashville. The place is tiny, and we did not have reservations. We got in line about an hour before the doors opened. There were 24 people in front of us. We know this because they said they could take the first 24 in line, and they shut the door after the gentlemen in front of us passed through. We waited another 45 minutes at the door, and finally made it in when someone with reservations did not show up. The music was phenomenal, and the experience was fun too!

We spent a couple of hours on a rainy afternoon at the famous Tootsie's Orchid Lounge. Kris Kristofferson signed one of the ceiling tiles above our bar stools. I took that at a good omen because I drool over that man. (Its okay, Mike knows).

We spent a couple of hours on a rainy afternoon at the famous Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge. Kris Kristofferson signed one of the ceiling tiles above our bar stools. I took that as a good omen because I drool over that man. (Its okay, Mike knows).

The original Grand Ole Opry Stage. Tom Jones was playing a concert there while we were in town. We would have loved to have seen him, but we had already seen a show at the 'new' place in Opryland. Our fixed retirement income does not allow us to spend $250+ on concert tickets in one week. We took the self-guided tour instead. I did put a concert at the Ryman on my bucket list, though. I heard a docent telling another group that the acoustics in that building were second only to the Morman Tabernacle. I see a return trip to Nashville in my distant future.

The original Grand Ole Opry Stage. Tom Jones was playing a concert there while we were in town. We would have loved to have seen him, but we had already seen a show at the ‘new’ place in Opryland. Our fixed retirement income does not allow us to spend $250+ on concert tickets in one week. We took the self-guided tour instead. I did put a concert at the Ryman on my bucket list, though. I heard a docent telling another group that the acoustics in that building were second only to the Morman Tabernacle. I see a return trip to Nashville in my distant future.

The Ryman Auditorium. Thanks to Emmy Lou Harris for sparking its historic restoration and bringing it back to life.

The Ryman Auditorium. Thanks to Emmy Lou Harris for sparking its historic restoration and bringing it back to life.

The Rhinestone Cowboy went all out with the bling on the golf bag.

The Rhinestone Cowboy went all out with the bling on the golf bag.

It rained a bit while we were in Nashville. One morning during a storm we watched a skunk family transport their newborn babies from under a garbage bin by the bath house to their den in the woods. One had a fat white stripe down the top of its back, and its mate had two white stripes down the sides of its body. They ran back and forth in front of our window for more than an hour as they transported each baby skunk individually by the back of the neck in their mouths (like a mama dog carries a puppy). I was so thankful the dogs were inside the coach, and we could watch the nature show without fear of getting sprayed.

It rained a bit while we were in Nashville. One morning during a storm we watched a skunk family transport their newborn babies from under a garbage bin by the bath house to their den in the woods. One had a fat white stripe down the top of its back, and its mate had two white stripes down the sides of its body. They ran back and forth in front of our window for more than an hour as they transported each baby skunk individually by the back of the neck in their mouths (like a mama dog carries a puppy). I was so thankful the dogs were inside the coach, and we could watch the nature show without fear of getting sprayed.

The Grand Ole Opry in motion.

The Grand Ole Opry in motion.

That would be on of the most beautiful voices ever... Vince Gill.

That would be one of the most beautiful voices ever… Vince Gill.

I loved the lights in the lobby of the Grand Ole Opry. They shimmered above the crowd in various shades of red, and reminded me of a dangling microphone.

I loved the lights in the lobby of the Grand Ole Opry. They shimmered above the crowd in various shades of red, and reminded me of a dangling microphone.

A Friday afternoon view of Percy Priest Lake from our spot at Nashville Shores.

A Friday afternoon view of Percy Priest Lake from our spot at Nashville Shores.

The Parthenon in Centennial Park is the only full-scale replica of the original Athenian masterpiece in the United States.

The Parthenon in Centennial Park is the only full-scale replica of the original Athenian masterpiece in the United States.

No big deal... only a man completely covered in silver paint meandering along the streets of downtown Nashville.

No big deal… only a man completely covered in silver paint meandering along the streets of downtown Nashville.

We could have spent an entire day at the Country Music Hall of Fame. The exhibits were all so interesting and informative. I also love how the building is reminiscent of piano keys.

We could have spent an entire day at the Country Music Hall of Fame. The exhibits were all so interesting and informative. I also love how the building is reminiscent of piano keys.

We loved the fact that there was live music in downtown Nashville at all hours of the day and night. We got to have our pub crawl AND be home in time to watch the evening news!

We loved the fact that there was live music in downtown Nashville at all hours of the day and night. We got to have our pub crawl AND be home in time to watch the evening news!

The Tennessee State Capitol Building was smaller than I expected.

The Tennessee State Capitol Building was smaller than I expected.

The Grand Ole Opry at Opryland. A giant perk about the location adjacent to a giant mall? There was a Chuy's Restaurant, so we got some REAL Tex-Mex after the show. YUM!

The Grand Ole Opry at Opryland. A giant perk about the location adjacent to a giant mall? There was a Chuy’s Restaurant, so we got some REAL Tex-Mex after the show. YUM!

The view from our dining room window during out week at Nashville Shores.

The view from our dining room window during out week at Nashville Shores.

The first spot we were assigned to at Nashville Shores was miniscule. We after we got parked, I took the dogs and scouted out other possible spots that we might move to. When we got back to the Monaco, we lucked out because Mike had discovered that the water faucet leaked when he started hooking us up. We had the perfect excuse for asking to move spots. They said yes, and we picked #20 on the end. With the fence around the perimeter, we ended up with our own 'yard' for the dogs!

The first spot we were assigned to at Nashville Shores was miniscule. After we got parked, I took the dogs and scouted out other possible spots that we might move to. When we got back to the Monaco, we lucked out because Mike had discovered that the water faucet leaked when he started hooking us up. We had the perfect excuse for asking to move spots. They said yes, and we picked #20 on the end. With the fence around the perimeter, we ended up with our own ‘yard’ for the dogs!

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