Music City, AKA The Athens of the South

Now, you know that while my friend Sara was visiting we did some pretty adventurous stuff (of course), but we did some regular touristy sight-seeing stuff too. We like to give our guest a well-rounded experience.

Nashville is in the south after all, so eating some delicious fattening food is a must if you’re visiting. We took Sara to lunch at the Loveless Cafe. This very famous restaurant has been around for over sixty years and is known for its fried chicken and biscuits. It all began as a party house, owned by husband and wife, where travelers would stop on Highway 100 to dance on the living room hardwood floors, visit and eat the homemade preserves and biscuits that the wife made for all her visitors. It became so popular that they turned their home into a cafe and motel. Now, it’s famous for serving tourists from all over the world.

The Loveless Cafe's famous biscuits
The Loveless Cafe’s famous biscuits

steve and sara

We really wanted to treat Sara to Jack’s BBQ on Broadway in downtown Nashville, but sadly it was closed by the time we arrived and we settled for dinner across the street at Rippy’s Bar and Grill . Rippy’s has live music and good barbecue, but holy cow the service was HORRIBLE. We made up for it by ordering Jim-N-Nick’s take-out the next night.

Rippy's BBQ
Rippy’s BBQ

And, because I am pregnant and from Texas I insisted we stop for shaved ice at the only decent snocone stand in Nashville, Blue Monkey. Where I grew up there are snocone stands on every corner, and not the cheap ballpark snocones with big chunks of crushed ice and thin paper cones that drip. No sir, these snocones are little pieces of shaved ice heaven, with cream on top. I may have to take a break from writing to go pick one up…

Mmmm, nothing better than a snocone during the summer.
Mmmm, nothing better than a snocone during the summer.

Did I mention it rained every single day Sara was here? And, that it has also rained every single day since I have moved to Tennessee???

Anyways, between storms we spent a dreary wet afternoon walking through downtown Franklin. (I live in Franklin!) Downtown Franklin is one of those adorable little towns full of kitschy shops, unique boutiques, cafes, restaurants, a teeny theatre and a town square of course. Although the square is actually a circle, but whatever.




Enjoying a day in the rain in downtown Franklin.
Enjoying a day in the rain in downtown Franklin.

Have you heard that Nashville is the “Athens of the South”. No? Well, I’m not surprised. Supposedly the exact replica of the Parthenon in our Centennial Park earned us that nickname. It’s a pretty big attraction, it also doubles as an art museum. Hey, if you can’t make it to Athens, you can at least make a trip to Nashville, right? eh?



The entrance to the Parthenon
The entrance to the Parthenon

Finally, we took Sara to the most impressive piece of Nashville, the very famous Bluebird Cafe. Okay, okay, now I have to brag a bit on Husband’s Aunt. She, the cool woman she is, is actually the original owner and founder of the Bluebird. I’d try to describe this magical place to you, but the description on the website is so much better than my own…

The Bluebird Café is one of the world’s preeminent listening rooms and the venue has gained worldwide recognition as a songwriter’s performance space where the “heroes behind the hits” perform their own songs; songs that have been recorded by chart-topping artists in all genres of music.  Located in a small strip mall outside of downtown Nashville, the 90 seat venue is unassuming in appearance but some of the most significant songwriters and artists have performed on this stage. Our reputation as a listening room is based on the acoustic music that is our signature style.  Our patrons repeatedly tell us that they are captivated by hearing songs performed by the creators themselves.

Most of you have probably seen the Bluebird on the TV show, Nashville, but it’s even cooler than the show makes it seem. We had a blast at the “In the Round” where we got to watch three famous song writers share their hits and their favorite songs. My favorite part is listening to the writers tell stories of why they wrote each song, what inspired them and funny stories from their musical backgrounds.


We definitely had the best table in the house.
We definitely had the best table in the house.
Two of the famous song writers in the round
Two of the famous song writers in the round

Okay, now seriously, who doesn’t want to visit Nashville? Good times are sure to be had.



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