Rachel and Jason have 20 weeks left in Nashville until they move to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Their goal is go do at least 1 memorable thing every week.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Week 2: Discover Nashville Tour

Through a nice little gift at work, I was given some sweet little VIP tickets to the Gray Line Tour company. They run all kinds of tours around Nashville, and I was given a free pass for 2 to four of them.

Today we decided to take advantage of the Discover Nashville tour. Despite the fact that it was kind of a crummy day outside, this 3.5 hour tour gave me a brand new appreciation for this little honky-tonking city I chose to move to. I realized during the tour that exactly 1 year ago I was here visiting Nashville, and that couple days ended up changing the course of my life. Who would have known a year ago that I will have moved to Nashville, and been planning a move back to Milwaukee.

We boarded the bus at the hotel I work at and headed through the downtown area. Rachel and I got an upclose view of some of Nashville's most famous landmarks including the State Capitol, Fort Nashborough, Printers Alley, LP Field, and the Parthenon. One of the cooler aspects of this tour was it also included stops at two of Nashville's most treasured attractions.

Our first stopping point was the historic Ryman Auditorium. We got off for a self guided tour of one of the oldest music venues in America. It was built in 1892 and was home to the Grand Ole Opry from 1943 to 1974. It still is home to the Opry show during the winter months. We've been to a couple shows together here and it is such a breathtaking venue. We sat in the first row of the center balcony for Zac Brown Band, about the 8th row for an Opry show and about 5th row for Lady Antebellum. Our seats for each show have been simply incredible but its really nice to be able to check out the venue during the day and absorb all the history of the legendary performers who have been on that stage.

We decided to pony up the $5 to get our picture taken on the stage, and its honestly something I will cherish for a long time. They let us get on stage, grab a guitar and they snapped a picture. I have no idea how to hold a guitar, let alone play one, but I felt the need to have to strum out a few notes just to say I have. We spent another 45 minutes or show checking out a small film presentation, and checking out some costumes that performers have worn there in the past. I'm not the biggest fan of old time country music but it was still some pretty awesome stuff to see.

We got back up on the bus to go check out the Parthenon and Music Row. The Parthenon is a pretty incredible building, and we look forward to checking out the inside another week. Music Row is full of history, but sadly all of it is inside, and the general public can't see much. We headed back downtown for our second stop of the day...The Country Music Hall of Fame.

Again, I'm not the biggest country music fan, but this was still a neat thing to see. There is so much music history gathered in the Nashville area, it was pretty neat to see it all in one place. There were so many old guitars, fiddles, and famous outfits, it was alot to absorb in the hour we were there. Everything from a Pasty Cline dress, a platinum Jeff Foxworthy cd, to a pair of shoes and car owned by the King himself, Elvis Presley. Definitely some cool stuff to see. Not sure I'd pay $20 to see it on my own, but very glad it was part of the tour.

We hopped back into the bus and headed for our final stop at Legends Corner. There we got to get a small taste of a Nashville honkey tonk. I'm not gonna lie, the band playing while we were there was AWFUL. Hopefully the Austrailians on the tour got to see some other music while they were here, because I sure don't want them taking the memory of this dude with them. It was pitiful. After about 15 minutes we finally got back onto the bus and headed back to our hotel.

All in all, the tour was REALLY cool. The tour guide was hilarious, informative, and we were sure to hit all the main spots of Nashville. I'm totally glad we went. After the tour, we met up with Rachel's friend Jamie and her boyfriend Jason to take in another tradition....Jack's BBQ and a Nashville Predators game! It was quite an awesome day.

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