The Grand Ole Opry & Nashville DowntownJuly 13 in the United States
NEW JERSEY TO TENNESEE
From Colt’s Neck, NJ to Nashville is not just a long drive—it’s a whole culture away! We left NJ on July 11 and it was a really long day. We elected to take the long way around since getting through Baltimore and Washington DC meant careful re-routing to avoid low bridges and tunnels (you can’t take an RV through tunnels as a rule).
So we went through Harrisburg, PA to Lynchburg, VA, making for a 400 mi jaunt. That makes for a hard day of driving and even the dogs complain.
The next stop was Knoxville and Friday we completed the short stretch to Nashville.
We got to Nashville in the early afternoon Friday and had plenty of time to change our clothes and get over to the Grand Ole Opry venue for the 7 pm show.
The Grand Ole Opry was a major bucket list item for me and it did not disappoint! I knew, rather vaguely it seems, that it is an actual live radio program, and has been every week since 1925! Most of know that I am a country music fan. It’s the music I grew up listening to and it’s a part of the fabric of my life. I married at 19 to a man who was 8 yrs older than me and who considered the Mantovanni Strings a musical genre (think: elevator music). He frowned on country music (Jesse and Sarah must have got it from him). I always listened, but only when he wasn’t home. When he died, I went back to country music and it’s been mine ever since!
Saturday night we went to dinner at Valentino’s—a restaurant owned by the uncle of Herb’s great-nephew’s wife, Megan Oliver. Valentino’s is a 3-star fixture in downtown Nashville—very elegant, very good and very expensive.
Then we went to downtown Nashville. An amazing place! If you’ve never been there, it consists of about 4 blocks of Broadway St between 5th Street and 1st St. There are dozens of bars, no more than about 50 ft wide, with open windows and live bands playing loud country music and huge crowds of 20-somethings working on killing their livers. The streets are gridlocked with pedestrians and the homeless who sit on the curb. It’s a major sensory overload!Read more