We did so many cool things in Nashville. Not all of them are on our list but some are worth telling you about. On Friday, day three of our adventure, we got up early for a tour of the Ryman Auditorium. I really did not know much about the place, but was soon taken aback by the magic and history of the place. All the music legends that have shared that stage, the story how the theater was almost left to ruin before country music artists stepped in to save it, it was a really great experience and made me appreciate the building and the country music community as a whole.
After our self-guided tour of the theater, we walked down Broadway, stopping in a couple boot shops on our way to Acme Feed and Seed. The restaurant is several levels like many of the others with a rooftop bar and different levels offering a different atmosphere or type of food. We ate downstairs on the main level. We ordered our food as we came in, found a table and went to the bar to get a drink, we picked one named after Hannah Montana, in honor of our kids and the hours we have spent watching the show as they were growing up. The food was at our table pretty quickly and was absolutely delicious. I had the brisket sandwich. It melted in my mouth. Probably the best thing I ate the entire time I was in Nashville, even better than the baconaise at Old Red’s, haha. We were there too early to experience any live music, which is unfortunate. Since eating at five Food Network restaurants is on our list, we can check one of those off with this visit.
Once we left, we headed back up Broadway in the direction of our hotel. We stopped in several shops in search of cowboy boots. One of the shops, Boot Country, offers buy one get two free boots. The problem with this is it is very hard to find a pair that is under $300 and the selection is limited. They are lined up on racks by size like you would find in Payless Shoe Store. Not finding what we were looking for here, we wandered into another store that was more like a boutique. They carried clothes from Miranda Lamberts clothing line as well. I can’t remember the name of the shop, but the boots were really expensive and there were not any discounts. Lastly, we walked into Big Time Boots. The clerk who helped us was incredibly patient as we tried on endless pairs of boots trying to make a decision. He helped me wedge boots on to my feet and helped pull them off, and not once did he seem aggravated or annoyed. After at least an hour, Kelly and I both had our official cowboy boots and were ready to make a purchase. They offered a discount if you bought multiple pairs you got 30% off. He applied the discount and figured the cost of each of our boots so we could pay separately but still get the discount. Boots in tow, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for the Grand Ole Opry. My one piece of advice here is if you want cowboy boots to strut around Nashville in, and you totally will, buy them ahead of time. Even with the “discount” both of our boots were cheaper online.
Decked out in our best country outfits (lace, denim, gingham and leather boots), we headed out to the Opry on Friday night. I want to say, if you do anything in Nashville, if there is one must do, gotta see, attraction, this is it. Maybe it was the drinks I had ahead of time, or the lineup of talent that was there the night we went, but the Opry was amazing. We belted out “Strawberry Wine” with Deanna Carter like we were 15 years younger. Headlining that night was Charley Pride, which took me back to my childhood and 8 tracks playing in my dad’s old stereo. The only frustrating part was each artist only performed a couple of songs and some of them, like Aaron Tippen, I could have listened to for hours rather than minutes. After the show, we took a backstage tour, hung out in the dressing rooms, and got our picture taken on stage.
When we finished our tour, we called an UBER, and headed back to our hotel. Hungry, Kelly wanted to walk a block or two over to McDonald’s to grab late night French fries. I tried to talk her into a diner or something more upscale. But in the end we opted for quick and close. We took our food back to the hotel, tugged our boots off and called it a night.