Nashville, Tennessee, USA.

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Broadway, Nashville, at night. There are more people here now than during the day.

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This was in the Swinging Doors Saloon. These guys were great!

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The Bluebird Cafe, made famous by the TV series ‘Nashville’.
People were lining up to get in… and you can’t get in unless you book at least a month in advance.

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We bought boots. What else does one do in Nashville?

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Country Music Hall of Fame. This was an absolute must!

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My country music “first love”.

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The Band Perry playing at the Grand Ole Opry.

Nashville #4

We are leaving Nashville this morning.
I’m sad.
I’ve loved every moment of my time in this town except for the bum steer I got about boots at the first store we went to, where the staff seemed helpful but weren’t really. Thankfully, the staff at the other boot stores in town were a lot more helpful and constructive, and I have come away with two magnificent pairs of very comfortable boots.

We stayed at the Nashville KOA. This is a great campground, like every other KOA we have visited. The staff are friendly and helpful, and the facilities are excellent.
The thing that set this one apart from any other campground (and many hotels I have stayed in) is the bathrooms.
Usually, a campground provides clean and adequate communal bathrooms, and everyone is happy with that.
At Nashville KOA, they are worthy of a posh hotel. Marble countertops, brushed stainless steel sinks and taps, rich textures and heated floors combine for a very luxurious feeling. Individual shower rooms continue the theme with the same textures, plenty of room to move, and plenty of hot water.
When you’re camping or travelling in an RV, that little touch of luxury is very much appreciated and makes a place rather memorable.

Goodbye, Nashville.
And thank you. You’ve been marvellous. I love you.

The Grand Ole Opry.

Wow.
What an absolutely amazing night of entertainment.
Legends and newcomers took the stage together for just over two hours of top quality country music performed live at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, TN.
I was moved to tears by both Chris Janson and Jim Ed Brown, for different reasons. I loved Lorrie Morgan and Brandy Clark. Jeannie Seely was fabulous. Riders In The Sky were wonderful with their medley of songs from Toy Story 2 and incredibly funny with their between-song repartee.
And then The Band Perry played four songs to finish the night. They are incredible: so much talent, very energetic, and powerful in their lyrics.

It was a huge thing for me to get to a show at the Opry: it has been on my bucket list for decades.
Tonight, “one day” became reality.

What a wonderful way to finish my first visit to Nashville.

Nashville #3

The Swingin’ Doors Saloon is close to Broadway on 4th Ave, Nashville.
This bar is awesome!

The food is good and the servings are very generous. I had their home special, the Swingin’ Doors burger with fries. It was fantastic, but I had no hope of finishing it. I could have shared it with a couple of homeless people and we would have all had enough to eat.

We spent a couple of hours here listening to Jamie Baxter and Paul Pace, great singers/musicians and very funny guys.
They were doing some songs together, but their main game was for one to challenge the other with the name of a well-known country singer, and he then had to sing a song by that artist. They changed it up by asking the audience to nominate artists.
The entire time we were there, these guys did not miss a beat. Song after song, they were absolute crowd pleasers.
They interacted with the crowd in a very positive and entertaining way.

If I lived in Nashville, I would be a regula at this bar.
Heck, they’d have to throw me out at closing time. Every night.

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Nashville #2

The Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, TN, is a great place to spend some time.
The museum houses all sorts of memorabilia, outfits and instruments from a range of country music identities, past and present. There are video presentations on different themes and artists which are well integrated with the rest of the exhibits.

When we visited there was a small but special Glenn Campbell exhibit which brought some powerful memories flooding back to me. My mother loved Glenn Campbell and it’s fair to say that I was raised on his music.
There was also an extensive Reba McEntire exhibit titled ‘Reba: All The Women I Am’ which had video presentations as well as her outfits and memorabilia. The video material was very personal and engaging, and gave some thought-provoking insights into the complexity and sincerity of Reba as a performer but also as a woman who has worked incredibly hard with her talents to achieve what she has.

The museum offers a number of interactive games and activities that anyone can participate in, including recording your own vocal track and designing your own album cover. Those were a lot of fun, and resulted in a pack of digital souvenirs that get emailed to you at the end.

The Hall of Fame is housed in a large round room that bears the inscription ‘Will the circle be unbroken’. A
brass plaque commemorates each
Hall of Fame personality with a short description of their career in country music.

I feel really blessed to have been able to visit here today. I saw clothing and memorabilia of many artists whose voices and songs I love, and I enjoyed a number of “Oh! I remember that!” moments which were really enjoyable.

Nashville #1

Broadway, Nashville, is an amazing place.

By day it looks like any other shopping/restaurant/bar strip, but it is defined by the sounds rather than the sights. Music streams from the venues into the street in an oddly harmonious way. The shops play recorded music inside, but in the street you can hear a variety of live performances in the bars and restaurants that run in four hour sessions from 10.30am to about 3 in the morning.
Some of the acts we heard were really good, especially a guy named Randy Moore who was playing at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville bar. He was doing some fantastic acoustic country-style covers of recent pop/rock hits as well as country music.

Many of the shops are open until midnight, especially those selling boots, hats and clothing. The souvenir shops all have the same things in them, so you really only need to go into one and you’re done. There is a candy store that smells absolutely amazing. They make taffy, fudge, and caramel or chocolate-dipped goodies on the premises, as well as selling all sorts of other candy.

As dusk falls, the neon signs get brighter and the street fills with people. Broadway springs to life like a nocturnal creature that has been waiting all day to eat, drink, dance and party. Security staff appear at the doors of the venues, just to make sure everyone behaves themselves and has the most enjoyable Nashville-by-night experience possible.
Horses with open carriages behind them clip-clop their way up and down the street, offering the opportunity to see the city from a different perspective.

Right through the evening, people stream up and down Broadway. There are more than just stereotypical country music fans here: bikers in their leathers and bandannas, young women in short dresses and high heels, families with children, groups of teens in jeans and sneakers, as well as those in their jeans, boots and hats. Everyone is here looking for fun, or food and drink, or music, or boots, or a hat, or any combination of those things.