Sunday, May 10, 2009

Nashville Touring

The reason I was in Nashville was to run the Country Music Half Marathon, but while I was there, I had a day and a little more to see something of a city I’d never been to. It is a delicate balance – without a car, my feet were the mode of transportation, and with 13.1 miles to do on Saturday, you don’t want to overdue it and walk for miles. Some of the main attractions, like the Grand Ole Opry and The Hermitage (Andrew Jackson’s home) are 10 – 15 miles away from downtown.

So most of my sightseeing involved being within a mile from our hotel. There was still plenty to see, and I have included some photos with commentary.

Right around the corner of our hotel was the Ryman Auditorium, original home of the Grand Ole Opry. They still do some shows in this beautiful venue.

The Tennessee Titans play football here, right downtown and across the Cumberland River. If the Eagles play here sometime, it would be really fun to come back, catch a game, and see more of the area. This is also where the marathon and half marathon finish. We also did a team three mile walk / run to here the morning before the race.

Nashville really is "Music City", and has a great looking Symphony Hall. In Richmond, our symphony has been relegated to playing churches for about 4 years now while the Carpenter Center is being renovated .

Nashville is the state capital and has a nice looking Capital Building.

Near the capital grounds is the Tennessee memorial to the Korean War and those native sons and daughters who served, died, and suffered there. I wonder how many Americans know much about this war, now nearly 60 years in the past.

Here I am hanging out with some of the legends of country music. On Sunday, just before the team left for the airport, my roommate Dave and I hung out at the joint in the photo for a while and listened to some great music being performed by a young couple. Several of usalso went to Tootsie's Orchid Lounge the night we got here, which was fun and just packed to the gills on a Thursday night. Nashville definitely has a livlier downtown than Richmond does.

Speaking of country music, this place is the Country Music Hall of Fame, and is a must see. I wish I had been able to spend more time in here that the hour and a half I had before our Inspriation Dinner Thursday. I was amazed how good this was. Seen from above, building would look like a treble clef, and the left hand side (the bottom of the treble clef) has what looks like the old time radio tower.

Priscilla Pressley gave Elvis this golden piano for their first wedding anniversary. I also saw Carl Perkins’ blue suede shoes and wish I had attempted a photo. Some of the guitars just had the most incredible workmanship.

Our hotel had a sculpture like this on each floor. Each one is different, but they all have a musical theme and were all made entirely of chocolate by the hotel's restaurant staff. I love chocloate but eating this would be like smashing up a painting to burn for heat.

I really enjoyed my short time in Nashville, and hope to get back there again. My race roommate, Dave, told me the other night that he is running in the Country Music Marathon again next year!

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