United States
Belmont Terrace

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13 travelers at this place:

  • Day74

    Day 73 - Nashville Without You

    July 4 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    Woke up at 8.30am & again decided to give breakfast a miss again.

    Jackie had the bright idea for us to call in at AutoZone Auto Parts to seek advice on the damage to Doodle. It wasn’t great news, the damage of scratches & bits snapped off on the lower bumper were irreparable. Worst still, the guy who came out to look at our car noticed that the offside of the bumper was also cracked. Worse even still, we discovered that some c*#t had scratched an ‘M’ into the same bumper. We think it must have happened in Memphis & the motive for the mindless damage was that the car plates are from California. The verdict was that a new bumper would be required by the hire car company. Brilliant!

    We drove on to the Casey Jones Museum & lots of other things. I always thought that Casey Jones was a fictional character, but no, he was John Luther Jones who died on his train ‘Old 382’ on the 30th April 1900. Our minds were more still thinking about the damage to our car & how best to deal with it, so we didn’t take too much in. I can say that the Museum included his house he lived in when he died, his train, a carriage on a pole, a motel & several shops & odds & sods.

    Trying to put the damage to the back of our minds, we found our way to Ridgeway Cemetery still in Jackson, where the Mausoleum of Carl Perkins was situated. After a quick photo & a blast of Blue Suede Shoes on the car stereo, we were off & back on Interstate 40, Music 🎶 Highway.

    We stopped for fuel & a MaccyD, then cruised on to Hurricane Mills, the Ranch belonging to that Coal Miner’s Daughter, Loretta Lynn. Her Ranch is enormous, it contains her family home, a Museum, a Chapel, a Shop & Cafe, a graveyard, a championship motorcycle cross course, an RV park & chalets. The grounds were very scenic, particularly with the river running through it.

    We continued towards Nashville, with our soft top roof being put up & down several times due to the irrational weather. Our next stop was the Loveless Cafe & Motel & Shop etc that sold overpriced Jams & Hams & other gifts. We browsed, but didn’t buy.

    Next on the trip, was the Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge. It was slightly underwhelming, probably because we only passed below it. We continued to a little town called Franklin, then joined the masses on Interstate 65 heading into Nashville.

    At 4:30pm, we pulled up outside our hotel for the night, the Hilton Garden Inn on Broadway in Music Row, but so had seemed had everyone else. It was chaos, cars everywhere blocking the entrance to the car park. Jackie went in to reception, whilst I queued with the car. Eventually I got to the barrier only to discover I needed a bloody passcode, so I reversed back & abandoned the car & went in search of Jackie.

    Half an hour later we were finally in our room & after uploading Jackie’s little Nutbush dance on Instagram, we went down to reception to catch the shuttle bus down town. This was also chaotic, so we set off down town on foot. It was possibly not the best time to visit Nashville, being the eve of the 4th of July!

    We weren’t the only ones walking, there were streams of people, but soon we had arrived at the other end of Broadway. At the junction with 5th Avenue S, there was a huge stage set up & a band going through a sound & lights check. There were tv cameras everywhere getting set to record the concert. After enquires with both security guards & ticket touts (ELO were playing that night in the Bridgestone Arena), I only established that all the activity on & around the stage were preparations for tomorrow night. Surely a well-known band or artist were playing, but no-one seemed to know who. I have since googled it & it is Brett Eldredge, Mac McAnally, Jessy Wilson, Dylan Scott, Nashville Symphony & many others.

    Broadway in Nashville is like, Beale Street in Memphis, bar after bar of neon lights & excellent live music. Better still, the Broadway bars didn’t require a cover charge!

    Our first stop of the evening was Kid Rock’s Big Honky Tonk & Rock ‘n’ Roll Steakhouse. We went to the downstairs bar & purchased a beer & watched an excellent band playing at one end on an elevated stage. The band were playing cover versions of classic songs such as Mr. Jones, Piece of my Heart & Sweet Child O’ Mine. The music took a stranglehold on me & I could’ve stayed all night, but Jackie dragged me away for food.

    We walked down toward the Cumberland River & found the quieter Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery. We had a pint each & a large portion of spicy wings to share. Apparently that was enough! From our seats, we could see across the river to the Nissan Stadium, which was open, I think to screen the Jamaica v USA football match.

    After a ‘substantial’ meal, we wandered back & stopped at Nudie’s Honky Tonk, where another excellent band were playing under a Cadillac attached to the wall. As we approached the bar, a woman accosted me & asked if I was from the Bronx. “No, why?” “Because it’s on your T-shirt”. She was from the Bronx & wanted to know all about our trip, fortunately after a while her husband ushered her away.

    We sat at the bar & listened to the band, but Jackie was getting itchy feet 🦶 & wanted to get nearer the band. Before I knew it Jackie was dancing with all the other tipsy women to foot-tappers such as Billie-Jean, Faith & 9 to 5. I might have accidentally recorded a small bit of it.

    I extracted Jackie from the dance floor & headed further up Broadway. My final intended stop was Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, but the ‘Gary Glitter Lookalike Jobsworth’ doorman wouldn’t let Jackie in with her rucksack. We had seen signs saying that people may be refused entry to bars if they had anything other than small handbags. Now we appreciate the need for security & caution at such events, but Jackie’s rucksack is foldable & only contained her lipstick, perfume & cardigan!

    We couldn’t be bothered to argue & as the venue was between swapping over bands we decided to call time on another great night. We had a very pleasant walk back to our hotel.

    Song of the Day - Nashville Without You by Tim McGraw

    Bonus Songs of the Day -

    Casey Jones by Johnny Cash
    Blue Suede Shoes by Carl Perkins
    Coal Miner’s Daughter by Loretta Lynn
    Loveless Cafe by 20 Minutes To Park
    American Rock ‘n Roll by Kid Rock
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  • Day12

    Gossip Girl Tour

    May 10 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 19 °C

    Today we got to sleep in a bit with our Gossip Girl Tour not starting until 10. We planned to eat breakfast at the hotel but we hit snooze a few times and ended up with a maccas breakfast on the run after snapping a few pics on those red stairs in Time Square.
    Met at the Palace Hotel - the home of Serena. Then off to see the places where the high school scenes are filmed. Dylan’s Candy Store next for some sugary goodness. Off to get our picture in front of the MET, famous steps in the show. Next, the Empire Hotel, home of Chuck Bass which involved me running 2 blocks to get a photo with a red sign above the hotel that you always see in the show!! Our tour finished off at Grand Central Station!Read more

  • Day8

    Pink Palace to Nashville

    June 14, 2017 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

    Up earlyish and the car was packed ready to move on again. By now we were habitually packing and unpacking so a natural rhythm started to emerge. The dilemma this morning is whether to go to Graceland. A Mecca for many people whether they were fans or not of Elvis (we aren't) we decided that we would give it a miss hoping we won't regret it. It's out of the way, expensive and I'm not interested in shuffling by rhinestone suits, a collection of pianos and 70s kitsch furniture. Instead we went to Clarence Saunders mansion the Pink Palace, Clarence Saunders is the founder of the Piggly Wiggly chain.

    Now, I am aware that I am starting to look crazily fanatical about this supermarket but to me it some up a timely story about a man with a seemingly crazy idea who ends up broke when his business is wrestled from him by the stock market. The Pink Palace sits in the suburbs of Memphis and consists of Clarence's huge mansion house which was finished by the city after he became bankrupt and gave it to them. Next to it is a large 70s extension which has a collection of museums and attractions such as a planetarium, 3D theatre and display of dinosaurs. We were interested in the Memphis history museum which contained a potted history of Memphis taking us through founding, through slavery to war and then the efforts to rebuild.

    It was gently fascinating but the Mecca for me was a mock up of the first Piggly Wiggly store. The elegantly fronted store lacked the brash 'piggy' decals of today and was rather sophisticated if not a little claustrophobic. You would take a basket and follow a convoluted one-way route past shelves of tins and packets, meats and a little refrigerated area. Then you would wind behind the till where packets could be wrapped before finally making it to the till at the front to pay. It felt really frustrating. It was too narrow to pass dawdlers in front and there was no chance of going back if you forgot something. However it must have felt so innovative then to actually chose produce without the guiding hand of the grocer. Posters on the wall reminded customers that they are free to walk through without purchasing anything. I imagine that southern manners meant that some people awkwardly bought something small so as not to feel cheap passing the cashier empty handed.

    The drive to Nashville was unremarkable apart from a brief stop at Red Robin diner where we grabbed a couple of salads and an ice tea in a desperate attempt to keep the calorie count under 1000.

    Nashville soon loomed on the horizon and felt like the first big city since Boston. Even Atlanta which is far bigger felt empty and struggling. Nashville felt thriving with many tower blocks dominating the skyline. Nashville has a fast growing, multi headed industry covering music, hospitality and healthcare. We turned things around quickly in the hotel and caught and Uber straight out to Opryland. We had a stilted conversation with our Egyptian Uber driver who had very little English. 'What religion do you think I am?' He barked as we careered along the highway. I desperately looked for clues. No religious symbols, no beard just stubble, he said he hated barbecue food. In the the end I went with the odds 'Muslim' I offered. His eyes smouldered in the the rear view mirror. 'No, Christian! There are too many muslims, they kill people.' We tried desperately to change the subject and as we screeched to a halt at the venue I decided to break my personal rule and to tip an Uber cab. HIs face was wreathed in smiles and we decided to stay silent in the next Uber that we took.
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Belmont Terrace

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