Sunday, July 7, 2013

lost in nashville

We didn’t really get lost, although there was the one morning I decided to explore Vanderbilt’s campus on my morning run and ended up…not exactly where the hotel was when I started.  But then, are we ever really lost these days with Siri always ready to provide a map and surly instructions?

Georgie and I are currently watching Lost on Netflix.  If you don’t know about my Netflix problem, just scroll down a few entries and catch up.  If you’re one of the normal people who watched the show when it was on please know that I do not want you to tell me anything about what happens.  And if you’re oblivious like me, Lost is 6 seasons of a series that drops a diverse group of people into a desert island scenario.  A plane crashes on an island in the Pacific and all the survivors band together to stand against some really strange forces already existing on the island.  It’s a very strange ride and we average 2 ½ - 3 episodes each day in our current addiction. 

My good friend Donovan got married in Nashville on July 4.  I was a groomsman in the wedding so last Wednesday Georgie, our good friend Ginger and I drove halfway across Tennessee to attend the festivities.  Another of Donovan’s good friends, Amanda was a groomsmatron or groomsperson.  She’s female and she wore a dress but she stood on the groom’s side, you with me?  So Amanda and her husband Justin joined us in a block of hotel rooms and the five of us made the most of the Nashville trip together. 

We had a big time.  Along the way it occurred to me that our group might do well in a desert island scenario.  We had Georgie the nurse, Ginger the chef, Amanda the magazine editor and possessor of a wide range of knowledge, Justin the writer and philosopher and me, the artist and builder of sculptural traps and shelters.  Not only would we have survived, but it seems we would have laughed and been thoroughly entertained while we were on the island.  (Seriously, what a group:  Ginger Morrow –, Amanda B Heckert –, Justin Heckert –

For the last several days Nashville was our desert island and here’s a glimpse of how that went:

 I think this is the Clinch River in TN

 The Parthenon was very close to our hotel.  

 The story behind this is pretty interesting but you'll have to Google it.

 The steeple at Woodmont Christian Church, the site of the wedding.

 I'll give Donovan credit for finding a church that actually looks like a church.  This was no warehouse style metal building for sure.

 Live bluegrass band at the rehearsal dinner.

 Post rehearsal dinner Taco Bell run.  Justin gave me the encouragement I needed to try the Doritos tacos for the first time.  They lived up to all the hype.

 The morning of the wedding in the groom's back room.  If you look closely you'll see breakfast and a pile of cash on the table.  Don't ask.  That's Donovan in the beard looking nervous.

 I'll be starting my venture into wedding photography soon.  That's Donovan and Megan doing photos before the big event.

 The desert island crew at the luncheon at the Mad Platter.  L to R, Justin, Amanda, Ginger, Georgie.

 Across the table was Donovan's dad, Donovan, Megan and friends of the bride.

 The reception was held at Carnton Plantation outside of town.  There was an old mansion, a cool garden and the site of a Civil War battle.

 The first dance.  Who knew Donovan could dance?

 Antebellum?  Isn't that a word?

 Several hundred Civil War soldiers rest here.

 The next day we headed to the Frist Center for Visual Arts.  This sculpture made of Humvee parts greeted us.

 The Frist, or "ArtQuest" as we began to call it did not have a permanent collection.  This was a bummer, but the exhibits were nice and the building itself provided some of the aesthetics you expect from an art museum.

 Housed in the old Nashville post office, the building is drowning in Art Deco.  The interior is very ornate.

 Down to the last detail.

 Justin was keen on participating in all the interactive art exhibits.  I think he had a lot of fun lending his artistic voice.

 When we left the Frist someone joked about stalking Jack White at his recording studio.  So we did.  

 The novelties part of his studio was eccentric and very entertaining.  I have no idea who the girl is who photo bombed me.

 Novelties and the Loretta Lynn poster.

 The old photo booth worked and we proved you can fit 5 adults in there.

 Next, Amanda and Justin put us on the trail of Prince's Hot Chicken.  This proved to be one of the high points of the entire trip.  If you are within driving distance to Nashville, you MUST go here before you die.  It was amazing.  I chose "medium" and did not regret it.  Go hotter than that at your own risk.  Half gallons of milk are available next door if you need it.

 Then we hit up the Country Music Hall of Fame because we thought it was a requirement.  While I've never been big on country music, my parents gave me the country music memories I needed to be able to appreciate what I saw.  That's Buck Owens' "American" guitar.  

 In fact, the instruments were the most interesting part of the CMHOF for me.  Maybelle Carter's guitar from the Carter Family.

 Hank Williams' guitar.

 Johnny Cash's guitar!

 A surprising touch was the Thomas Hart Benton painting of "The Birth of Country Music".

 And Taylor Swift's guitar complete with glitter.  Ok Taylor, that's strike one.  Glitter is forbidden.

 After the Hall of Fame I took a quick walk over to Broadway.

 I walked up just a bit past the strip of honky tonks...

 To check out Ernest Tubb's Record Shop.  I found the map to the star's homes but decided we'd done enough stalking already.

 We ended the night at Husk with some tasty food.

 And since eating is one of my superpowers, I was happy we went to the Loveless Cafe for breakfast the next morning.  I was tempted by the BBQ pork omelette, but I decided to create my own awesome breakfast by getting the huge pancakes and a side of BBQ pork.  I piled the pork on top of the pancakes and drenched it all in syrup.  Oh was sooooo good.

Did I mention that it rained the whole trip?  The radar always showed a thick line of green and yellow precipitation flowing right over Nashville.  I hate rain but I will not complain about running at 70 degrees in a light to moderate rain shower each morning.  And since I was expecting it to be 100 degrees and blazing sun for a July wedding, this was an unexpected and welcome spot of weather.

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