Welcome back to part two- finally! I have really been struggling to finish off this part of the blog. For some reason I have felt like once I finish writing, that is closure on my trip, which I just don’t want. I have been writing various snippets of the trip, but I haven’t been committing to finishing anything through fear of parting with the journey. However, I have now finally plucked up the courage to finish it off, and get it published.
So I assume anyone landing on this page has already checked out part one. If not, you can find that blog post here. In part one we got to the end of day two, so now it’s time to continue to adventure for the rest of the trip….
Waking up in the beautiful Gaylord hotel, I was able to open my curtains and the doors of the balcony, straight out onto the most beautiful atrium view. I wanted to have breakfast amongst this so I went to one of the restaurants within the gardens, where I was greeted with an all you can eat breakfast – just perfection. I had another walk around one of the Garden Conservatories before making my way over to the Grand Ole Opry, for a behind the scenes tour.
Tour of the Grand Ole Opry
Oh my goodness… THIS PLACE! This had been on my to do list from the start of looking into booking Nashville. The Grand Ole Opry is walking distance from the Gaylord Hotel, maybe 10 minutes, and it is all signposted. This venue is home to the live radio show, which has been broadcast since 1925!
The backstage tour here was really quite emotional. For a country singer, playing here is like the pinnacle. We were able to see the dressing rooms and even go in one, which was just amazing. I really felt in character like I was about to go out and blast an absolute country banger. However, for those of you paying close attention to my Instagram, you’ll have known that for me, singing will never sadly be a career, despite my best efforts – 😉 – so you’re safe for now. Seeing the circle that country singers dream of performing on actually gave me a lump in my throat, and we got to stand on it, I can only imagine everything it means to them. This tour is an absolute must if you are in Nashville, it is executed so well, you couldn’t not enjoy it.
Finally met my love …
If you told me I was going to be able to cosy up with number one dreamboat Luke Bryan whilst in Nashville, I would have assumed I was dreaming. He is quite possibly the most beautiful man on the planet, and we got to hang out taking selfies together… pure bliss.
Madame Tuassards Nashville is based in the Opry Mill, opposite the Grand Ole Opry. Centred around Country Music legends, you can get up close and personal with the lifelike wax work celebrity figures. This doesn’t take too long to get round and was reasonably priced.
Opry Mills is a big shopping mall opposite the Grand Ole Opry, this is where Madame Tuassards was based, so I was able to walk around here following my visit to see Luke 😉.
The mall had lots of shops and I fell in love with several pairs of cowboy boots, before settling for a little pair to take home with me from my trip.
I also just have to share with you the very lengthy interaction I had with a hair straighteners sales man in this mall. He had one of the little carts in the centre walkway, so was pretty much impossible to avoid. He spotted me and I just couldn’t get away. Part of me felt too polite to move, the other part of me kind of did melt when he kept saying my name with his accent. Anyway, I managed to come away without an armful of straighteners and hair shampoo, much to his disappointment. I did also have to take the longest circuit round the mall to avoid seeing him on my way back round. It’s such a ‘you had to be there’ moment, so none of you will actually even find this funny, but I did. What I didn’t find funny though was how one side of my hair was now poker straight, and the other was wild … but I wouldn’t in a million years have asked him to finish it off though 😂.
There was also a Rainforest Cafe in the Opry Mills. I absolutely love the Rainforest Cafe. I have only ever been to the one in Disneyland Paris, but I love it and it makes me so happy, so I ventured on in. As I had missed out on my usual brunching alcoholic beverage this morning, it was about time I caught up- and went for a couple of cocktails. The girl behind the bar in here was so friendly and was telling me lots of other places to visit, and some of the history behind the various sites. Everyone here is friendly and wants to talk, and that’s my kind of world – I am definitely a talker!
Of course the day concluded in Cerveza Jacks, have I mentioned it yet?! Only my favourite place in Nash. It’s taco Tuesday here, so I of course went for this. It was such a delicious meal, again accompanied by their mega Margaritas and live music. I absolutely loved the feel of this place, it put me at so much ease and everyone again was friendly in here. I got chatting to another couple of people who were road tripping through and everyone’s own stories are so fascinating.
But with Cerveza Jacks completed again, it was time to head home to bed.
’Sometimes you just have to let your hair down’ and that’s what I did on day four, exactly that.
I had brunch booked at an amazing spot for 11am, but I was up and about early, so I headed to an ‘Another broken egg cafe’. It was really busy already, but I grabbed a coffee and some fruit in here, before heading for a little walk around the streets prior to my brunch booking. The weather in Nash wasn’t particularly cold, so every day I was able to walk around and enjoy everything, without being freezing or getting wet!
Branching at The Hampton Social
Wow this place is an absolute insta hotspot. I saw this location on quite a few travel guides when researching Nashville, and I am so glad I came! The interior here is stunning, and very ‘instagrammable’. It was just beautiful. I had an amazing meal and a couple of really lovely cocktails. I had actually tried to book this earlier in the week but I think it had been sold out at the time I wanted to come, so definitely worth booking ahead. The staff here were AMAZING, they really were brilliant, and again so friendly. I wish I had visited here prior to this day, as the experience was amazing.
‘I might not go down in history, but I’ll go down to the Honky Tonk’ – Jake Owen
Following brunch I went to Rippy’s on Broadway, which was an experience. This was exactly how I thought a Honky Tonk would be. They had several stages of live music, which was amazing. No matter where you go, the singers always seem to ask where everyone is from, and as soon as you say England they love it. I stayed in Rippy’s for a while and checked out all of the stages. I then met one of the Country Singers who showed me some more of the local bars to visit.
Tootsies, Laylas and Cerveza Jacks til closing time…
Despite having crossed the wrong side of 25, I still like to think I’m a little bit of a party girl at heart. I mean, you won’t ever catch me out clubbing these days, sticky floors and slippery nipples (the drink I may add! Naughties!) lined up along the bar are no longer my scene, however, I have always worked hard and like to think I still have the ability to play (slightly) hard too. I definitely let my hair down on this day in Nash. I was in a great mood, I had met some great people, and had enjoyed great drinks all day.
I got to visit Tootsies on Broadway, I had seen this in a lot of travel guides but I think I had been a bit scared to go on my own. It is a really busy, but small Honky Tonk. I didn’t actually realise it says it was voted number 1 in the world! The atmosphere in here was amazing, everyone was in high spirits and the music was great. We joined with a lovely couple from Canada who were so friendly, and horsey! So I had a great time speaking to them and finding out all about their trip. The rooftop view here was gorgeous too. We then moved on to Laylas, where the drinks were very.. umm.. strong!
Of course, we ended the tour in Cerveza Jacks until closing time. There was some great company in here, and the live music on this day was the best I had heard, everyone in the bar was getting involved and I just had the best time….
Today was definitely the quietest day I’ve had in Nashville. I was definitely starting to feel here like my time was coming to an end, which is such a wasteful way of thinking, but had gotten me a little bit emotional. I also had a couple of comments about the fun I’d had the day before. Why anyone feels the need to comment on a girl in her twenties having a good time is beyond me, but keyboard warriors don’t rest up, and I woke to a couple of petty messages. In light of recent actions, I hope these petty people learn to contain their small minded thoughts and learn to keep to themselves.
Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum
I came to walk around the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum early afternoon, this place was fantastic, so interesting and lots to see. I was here for a couple of hours which is about the recommended time. They had apologised when I arrived as they had had an issue with a pipe earlier on in the morning, but it didn’t effect any of the experience at all. This is definitely worth a trip if you are visiting.
Mega Milkshakes …
I also had on my list to visit the Legendairy Milkshake Bar. I was so excited to visit this place as the pictures I had seen on Instagram were crazy! This place was actually ridiculous. The milkshake and Ice Cream selection was amazing, and I went for both, despite knowing I probably wouldn’t be able to tackle them. They brought the goods over and oh my goodness, I had definitely overfaced myself, but it was insane. You have to visit this place. You will not be disappointed. I had a pretty quiet evening after this, with just a bit more exploring, and then heading back knowing I had a busy day tomorrow.
How have we got to this day already, my last full and proper day in Nashville. I remember feeling so emotional all day, I didn’t want to think that I was going to have to leave tomorrow. I planned a mega last evening in Nash, but for the day I spent my time visiting more well known sites.
Cafe Intermezzo and the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge…
I came to Cafe Intermezzo for breakfast, which was beautiful. The interior here was gorgeous, and the staff were incredible. I had got talking to the waiter about magic (somehow!) and he told me about an amazing local bar that does magic, but has a very strict dress code and is considered quite the destination. Unfortunately I wasn’t going to be able to make it there now on this trip, but next time I return it is definitely going to be on my list. The food and drinks at this cafe were amazing, and definitely set me up for the busy day ahead. I went exploring the city again, and went over the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge. This is one of the longest pedestrian bridges in the world, and offered some of the most amazing views of Nashville, it was beautiful. I also went to find the Ryman Auditorium and some other well known sites before making my way back to get ready for the evening.
Dinner with a view…
This was definitely the best meal that I have had in Nashville. The duck, oh my goodness, the duck. It was insane. The restaurants in the Gaylord Hotel just have the most beautiful views and I felt like I was in heaven. I had booked the Grand Ole Opry Show for the night so after dinner I head over to the venue ready for the show.
The Grand Ole Opry Show
I had been looking into booking the Grand Ole Opry show since booking Nashville, but I had kept holding off as I wasn’t sure of my exact plan once I arrived in Nash. However, following my backstage tour on Tuesday, I just knew I had to come, so I had booked a ticket online. This show was incredible, I got to see so many amazing Country legends perform and the whole show was spectacular. This was definitely the best way to spend my last night here. If you can get to a show, you absolutely must!
Back in time for late night drinks
Honestly, when I say Nash brought out the best in me I really mean it. I had forgotten how much I absolutely LOVE magic and since in Nashville I’ve spoke more about magic than I have for ages. I met someone else who was at a conference at the hotel and we had got talking about Nashville and … well everything else really. We were having such a long chat about magic, and honestly it was amazing – I absolutely loved it. The Falls bar in the Gaylord is just amazing, surrounded by waterfalls and greenery, it is an absolute dream, and the cocktails in there are incredible. I also walked around one of the garden conservatories again because they look so beautiful in the dead of night all lit up. This whole evening had been magical and I didn’t ever want to go to bed!
I don’t think I’m even ready to talk about day seven. The worst day of the holiday always comes around and it just doesn’t seem fair. I shed several tears whilst checking out, despite still having the morning to enjoy the last of Nashville.
The Well Coffee Shop and the Final Tour
I was starving when it came to breakfast on this morning so I ventured to The Well which was a coffee shop, and it feels like I ordered pretty much one of everything. I had a huge granola and fruit bowl, accompanied by a breakfast bagel which was stuffed full, and I had a peanut butter coffee, which by the way, was insane. I then did a whole walking tour of Nash to say my goodbyes, I went back to see as much as I possibly could and was just enjoying going back to see all of the sights again.
Parting with Cerveza Jacks..
I came back to Cerveza Jacks one final time to enjoy the cocktails and live music, before getting ready to head to the airport. I had a huge burger in here and a couple of my favourite margaritas as my farewell parting meal. The guy performing in here was amazing again and I really had to drag myself out to get in the Uber and now head off to the airport. Driving out of downtown towards the airport was the worst feeling in the world, not one part of me was excited for heading back to the UK.
Returning to the UK…
I cried for probably a good half an hour on the plane whilst taking off. As we were getting higher and higher in the sky, I could physically feel my heart aching for Nash back, I have never felt like that about a place before (not even Disneyland, which if you know me, you’ll know I am OBSESSED with). And just like that, I arrived back in the UK.
Nashville, you set my soul on fire, and you finally made me start to believe in who I am, for that, I will be forever grateful, and you will ALWAYS have the most special place my heart. I’ll be back, maybe sooner than you think.
There are still some more blogs to come in the Nashville series, so if you have enjoyed these, do keep an eye for the other posts coming soon. That’s all for now, stay safe.
Lots of love, Lucinda xo
‘But I’ll always be right there, even though I’m leavin’, I ain’t goin’ nowhere’Luke Combs