So after our less than stellar time in Miami, Emma and I were more than ready to move on to our next destination, which was…

Nashville.

We love and are passionate about music, so being called the Music city, we had high expectations.

From Miami, we flew this really small plane (3 seater) and we we’re seated at the very back and thought it wasn’t such a good start but as soon as we touched down Nashville airport, we were greeted by that familiar Southern hospitality we fell in love with and we knew that Nashville will be a blast.

We stayed at Nashville Downtown Hostel which is located in the heart of “the District” (a block from broadway and two blocks from the world famous Honky Tonks).  This hostel is by far one of the nicest hostel I’ve been. Don’t be fooled by the rather old/historic exteriors of the building.  Inside, it is spacious and boast modern interiors, complimented by a subdued industrial look that is so hipster/country rock en’ roll (sounds weird but it works). Highly recommend this place.

We were going to meet my cousin and her family for dinner, but since we’re normally hungry by around 5 pm we decided to grab something light and ended up eating at Hooters.  Emma didn’t want to go there at first but I managed to persuade her (my persuasion skills are very effective when I am hungry).

Grabbing a bite was a good idea as my cousin didn’t get to our hostel until around 10 pm. They drove all the way from Ohio to see me (so sweet) and it was apparently a 6-hour drive. It was actually the first time I was going to meet her, her husband and her son in person.  We’ve been in touch for over a decade online but we’ve never seen each other in the flesh so I guess you can say we’re all very excited  to see each other that night. They surprised me with a beautiful bracelet with a little heart pendant that  had an engraving of my name on one side and their names on the other side. I was quite embarrassed with my little gift to them but I guess it’s the thought that counts right?

Early morning view across the hostel we were staying

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Such a thoughtful gift from my cousin and her family.

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 They booked a dinner for us at this cute restaurant called Cabana which offers casual southern comfort cuisine. 

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Over dinner we decided that we’re gonna start the following day by having breakfast at the famous Pancake Pantry.  We got there early but the line was still long.

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Being tourist and taking lots of pics while waiting 🙂

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After 30 minutes of queuing, we’re almost inside (yay)
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Was definitely worth the wait.  We were in pancake heaven.

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IMG_1595After breakfast we made a quick stop at The Container Store.  We don’t have them here in Australia so I was so thrilled to find what I was looking for.

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 Now this was a crazy surprise.  I thought I was back in Greece for a second.  Didn’t expect to see a full scale and polychromed replica of the original Greek Parthenon, in Nashville of all places.

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This place is massive.  

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Spring has sprung in Nashville and the sun makes the colour of nature more vibrant than it already is.

IMG_1607We also checked out the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center. Such a mouthful to say but one word to describe the resort is ‘Opulence’. It kind of reminds me of the Truman Show for some reason, coz outside it looks just like another big hotel, but inside it’s this beautiful tropical resort, like you have your own little world, complete with handmade waterfalls. Insane.

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Buena famila 🙂DSC00311

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 How cool is this wall painting? Too bad I wasn’t dressed up in a period piece no? Would have blended in hehe

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So of course, a trip to Nashville is not complete without checking the Grand Ole Opry.  We didn’t get in because of time constraints (tour starts specific time each day) which was unfortunate but across the road Scotty McCreery was performing among cheering/screaming crowds. I didn’t know who he was but my cousin said he’s an American Idol alum and that he’s really good. I’ll take her word for it.

The iconic Grand Ole opry

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My cousin is a big fan of flowers and wanted to check out Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art as well.

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So happy that I got to spend some time with my beautiful cousin
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One restaurant that was highly recommended to us in Nashville was Pucketts Gro.  We loved the place so much, we ended up buying the mason jar as souvenir and yeah we carried it around with us hahaha.

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Another highlight of our Nashville trip was meeting up with my good friend, the talented singer songwriter Daniel Christian.  We were going to meet up at the famous Bluebird Cafe at around 5pm.  Anyway, Emma and I were at the Grimey’s records store and we thought we could just call a cab from there  to get to Bluebird Cafe. Bad idea. I don’t know whether that area in Nashville is considered woop-woop but there’s not a single taxi in sight.  I was getting so frustrated with the cab company because they kept telling me to wait for around 15 minutes and 2 hours later, we’re still waiting. I told Emma, that I am gonna go ask some random people to give us a lift.  Desperate measure I know, but I gave my word to my friend that I will meet him and the only time I will break my word is if it’s like a life or death situation. Now I DO NOT recommend hitchhiking but I usually trust my instincts and I felt that the guy I approached for direction is a decent guy, that when he graciously offered to drive us to Bluebird after hearing our predicament, we accepted. Emma and I actually offered to treat him dinner or some beer for giving us a lift, but when he saw the massive line  outside Bluebird Cafe he politely declined.  I am aware that things could have gone horribly wrong but it didn’t, and I want to focus on that.  I am forever grateful to the kindness of that stranger that gave us a lift (unfortunately I forgot his name). I can’t thank him enough for driving us, 2 complete strangers that afternoon. Mind you, he was as in as much danger by letting us in his car too you know.  The main thing is, we’re all safe and we met up with Daniel and we made great conversations with other tourists and fellow Australians while lining for up to 3 hours to get inside Bluebird Cafe.  Did Bluebird Cafe live up to the hype? YES! So many up and coming amazing artists performed that night, for free.

 We were so lucky to have the legendary Don Schlitz as special guest and yes he performed The Gambler much to everyone’s delight.
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What better way to end our last night in Nashville than having my friend Daniel Christian perform an acoustic version of his award winning song ‘Dandelion’ outside our hostel.  Will try and upload the video next time.
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I’ll be back Nashville, and hopefully I’ll get to drink some of your fine whiskey, until then…

Cargo: Check out Daniel Christian’s official website at http://www.danielchristianmusic.com

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