Monday, September 18, 2017

“Tennessee, There Ain’t No Place I’d Rather Be…”



Music has been a pervasive part of my life…I have been playing an instrument since I was 9 years old, I was in the high School Marching, on radio in college and have played in a band my entire adult life.  Debbie and I still enjoy going to concerts (though less frequently than we would like), Bec is an avid music listener and Gab graduated with a Music Ed degree.  Yes, living near New York has provided exposure to music, but we have never been to Tennessee!  OK, I know that sounds like a non sequitur…

We recently were invited to a wedding in Nashville – a place where we have never been but were told it is a great place to go.  Besides helping to celebrate the marriage of our friend’s child, we decided it would be a good opportunity to go away, just the two of us on a weeklong vacation, spending time in Nashville and driving to spend a few days in Memphis.  The wedding was fantastic – dinner at the Parthenon (replica of the actual Parthenon with Athena watching over us), ceremony at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center and a great brunch.  Our initial reason for traveling to “The Volunteer State” was a success, and with all weddings, it is great to see the newlyweds looking so happy. 

During the trip, we went to:

  • The Johnny Cash Museum
  • The Musician’s Hall of Fame (GRAMMY Museum)
  • The Country Music Hall of Fame
  • Ryman Auditorium
  • Grand Ole Opry, featuring the Charlie Daniels Band
  • Afternoon Brewery Tour
  • Hear music on Broadway
  • Buy cowboy boots
  • Eat Nashville Hot Chicken at the famous Hattie B’s (worth the long line)
  • Graceland


  • Rock and Soul Museum
  • Sun Studios
  • The Peabody Hotel March of the Ducks
  • Rock Music Hall of Fame
  • Gibson Guitar Factory
  • Hour and a half ride on an authentic paddle boat on the Mississippi River
  • Distillery Tour
  • Eat a bunch of Nashville and Memphis BBQ
  • Hear music on Beale Street

 What we learned:

  • Nashville is the home of Country Music
  • Bluegrass started at the Ryman
  • The Grand Ole Opry is a stage / radio show that has been running since 1925
  • Johnny Cash has a HUGE list of accomplishments, overshadowing all other musicians
  • Memphis is home of the blues
  • Memphis is where the first Rock and Roll record was recorded (Rocket 88 with Ike Turner)
  • There is a lot see in the USA and it great to experience it!

This was the first week long vacation Debbie and I have taken together since before we became parents.  I have to be honest - it was great to spend time together, doing things together, and having fun together.  Any issues we have in our lives, we left at the gate before getting on the plane.  In the hustle and bustle of daily life, we sometimes have to steal time to spend together.  On vacation, aside from needing to rest and recharge, we had the whole time together worrying only about what do we want to do next.  And, for a couple that loves music, what better place to spend time but “…back in Tennessee…”