The Towns I Like, Nashville, TN – Stories From Home, A Podcast


*** SHOW NOTES ***

First a trip around the interwebs – 

Target offers “waist-up styles” for video conferencingBoingBoing

From virtual meetings to fam (family)  time, find waist-up styles that elevate your fave (favorite) comfy bottoms.

Welcome to the 2020 pandemic. I keep three collared logo embroidered polo shirts close at hand for any last-minute web meetings. Over the weekend I added a credenza to my home office, and the centerpiece is my refrigerated humidor with the reflective front, let’s just say by mid-afternoon Monday, my coworkers knew I wore gym shorts when working from home.

I guess it is sort of the 2020 version of the Mullet, business in the front, party in the back. Only… business up top, party on the bottom? And that sounds like a category.


This is sketchy:’ Video shows manhunt for a trespasser on Disney World island – Click Orlando

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – More than a dozen Orange County sheriff’s deputies swarmed a shuttered Walt Disney World theme park in April trying to locate a trespasser accused of camping on an island at the resort.

Richard McGuire, 42, was arrested in April for allegedly camping at Disney’s former Discovery Island zoological park while the entire resort was closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.


I’ve made it no secret that I don’t possess the “I have to go to Disney chip”, but this is intriguing, Discovery Island closed in 1999. Originally it was labeled as Treasure Island a pirate-themed island inspired by the Disney film “Treasure Island.” The island has been closed to the public until Mr. McGuire decided to venture into Urban Outdoorsman status and cop-a-squat so to speak. The recently released video should bring nothing but a smile to your face.


Pilots over LAX report “a guy in a jetpack” flying beside them – BoingBoing

On August 30, an American Airlines pilot reported: “a guy in a jetpack” flying beside them above LAX. The sighting was confirmed by another commercial pilot.

  • American Flight 1997: “Tower, American 1997, we just passed a guy in a jetpack.”

  • Tower: “American 1997, OK, thank you. Were they off to your left or right side?”

  • American Flight 1997: “Off the left side, maybe 300 yards or so, about our altitude.”

It turns out that this was reported by two different flights and at an altitude of 3000 feet. One hell of a jetpack and in the flight pattern of LAX, dear God. When the tower says, OK, thank you, that seals the deal… as calm as a cucumber. All that being said David Blaine just took 52 balloons up to a height of 25,000 feet…. So you’re saying there’s a chance?

Nashville Demographics

  • 2020 Population, over 1.9 Million
  • Education – High School Education 22% Bachelor Degree 25%
  • $37,275 Average Earnings
  • The temperature in January is between 30 – 50 degrees for July it’s 70 – 90 degrees

 A few Nashville Did You Knows – 


  • You’ll hear the term Nash-Vegas and it comes from all of the neon along lower Broadway, making it appear as a mini Las Vegas.
  • Nashville’s Centennial Park is home to the only replica of the Greek Parthenon. A sculpture of Athena Parthenos inside the Parthenon is the tallest indoor sculpture in the western hemisphere at 42 feet high.
  • AT&T Tower – is nicknamed the Batman Building because of its resemblance of bat ears.
  • GooGoos – This iconic local candy is made of caramel, marshmallow, milk chocolate and peanuts. The name is believed to stand for “Grand Ole Opry.”
  • The DoubleTree cookies are made in Nashville.  DoubleTree cookies are in fact Christie’s Cookies – a famous Nashville cookie company.
  • There are more than 150 live music venues in Nashville. Those that feature live music four or more nights a week get to display a special sign shaped like a guitar pick.

How To Get There

Getting there from Central Florida by car is up I-75 and then merge onto I-24 and 10 hours later you’ll be in Nashville. Plenty of direct roughly 2-hour flights from Orlando into Nash-vegas 

Where to stay

 I’ve been traveling there for 20-years, at times it’s for a convention, other times it’s just general business, and other times its pleasure.

If you’re there for a convention, more than likely you’ll be staying at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, and here’s why..

  • #1 on Cvent’s Top 100 Meeting Hotels in the United States. Cvent is a SAS software-as-a-service company that specializes in meetings, events, and hospitality management technology. They are the 500lb elephant when it comes to events
  • 86 – Event Rooms
  • 758,911 – Square feet of total event space
  • The largest meeting space will accommodate 10,000 people
  • 106 – Maximum breakout rooms
  • More than 15 restaurants and lounges 
  • More than 14 specialty retail shops on-site

Over the years I’ve attended at least 6 conventions here, one of which we hosted, and each visit was flawless. I have no idea how they cook thousands of meals, change meeting spaces around so quickly, truly mind-boggling. While it is advertised as a resort and convention center, there is a resort part that just might appeal to the kids. It’s the 4-acre, 3-level luxury indoor/outdoor water experience called SoundWaves.

For business travel, there is a cluster of hotels right outside the airport on Donelson Pike. There’s plenty of good food close by and you’re minutes away from I-40 & I-24.

When it comes to pleasure, there is only one place for me, Hilton Garden Inn Nashville Downtown. It’s located at the east end of downtown Nashville, close enough to the bar scene, by foot, but far enough away that you don’t hear all the noise.

What to do in Nashville, well damn near anything.

If you’ve never been to Nashville I suggest starting with the Old Town Trolley tour. There are 15 stops, and it’s hop off- hop on all day long.

Here are a few of the highlights.

  • Stop #1George Jones Museum – $17.00 with the centerpiece being George’s Jonn Deere tractor that earned him a DUI after his wife hid his car keys.
  • Stop #8Marathon Motor Works – The Marathon Motor Works building was converted into a village housing an American Pickers backed store as well as Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery.
  • Stop #13Bobby’s Idle Hour – This stop focuses on Music Row and Bobby’s is the only bar on the block. If you happen to stop by on a Wednesday afternoon you’re in for a treat, Sam’s Jams. It’s nothing but songwriters singing original songs.
  • Stop #14 – The Gulch – Great shops, eats and photo opportunities.


Here’s the trilogy

  • Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum – $26.00, but you can save a few dollars by purchasing a package from Old Town Trolley. Plan on spending two or three hours. The facade looks like a piano keyboard, thumbs up for design. The museum will make an impact, even if you’re not a Country Music fan.
  • The Ryman Auditorium – $22.00 and the self-guided tour will take less than two hours. The Ryman story is more interesting than I ever imagined and the structure is an architectural masterpiece, including its restoration. They are still holding shows, during our visit Tony Bennet and Trace Atkins held concerts.
  • The Grand Ole Opry – $45.00 – $99.00 and the performance is under three hours. If you’re buying tickets in advance you’ll be purchasing without knowing the performers, they post that seven days before the show. We saw John Conlee, Carley Pearce, Del McCoury Band, Lorrie Morgan, Chris Janson, Jamey Johnson and Charlie Daniels was scheduled to perform but canceled due to illness. On the night we were there Chris Janson was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry family by Garth Brooks.


When in Nashville music and booze go hand in hand.

For music

Tootsies – Located behind the Ryman Auditorium. Tootsie’s has three stages that host live local talent each night; covering modern-day country music artists. The building is a vibrant pink and they claim the color comes from a paint mixture that was supposed to save money and probably can’t be recreated.

The Wildhorse Salon  – A great place for live music, and the food are fresh and the “LOCAL” beer is cold. If you’re looking to learn how to line dance they offer free lessons….as they say, Don’t Walk The Line ~ Dance It!

So here is my story when it comes to The Wildhorse. This place is hopping. It’s part of the main drag,  located on 2nd street. Regardless of the day The Wildhorse will be packed. I did a conference a few years back, remember conferences? One of the vendors rented out all three floors for the evening. Everything covered food drink and a personalized concert from the country-rock duo Adair’s Run.

Something to say for free food, booze, music, and then a ride back to the Gaylord in a custom motor coach.

For booze, let’s start with beers.

Yazoo Brewing Company (Nashville, TN) Widely distributed across Tennessee and Mississippi. My favorite is their Double IPA 7.2% ABV, only available on draft. They offer nine beers produced year-round and then a seasonal offering every three months. They even have a kiosk in the Nashville airport.

Rock Bottom (Nashville, TN)- It’ll be easy to call foul on this being a local or craft beer. However, they only brew at each location and if you want to enjoy their beer elsewhere you’ll have to purchase a growler to-go because they don’t do any distribution.

I’ve visited other locations over the years, but my reintroduction came a few years ago on a cold and wet afternoon in Nashville, TN. We started with a flight of, Irish Coffee Brown Ale, Desperado Dark Lager, The Roast Beast – Imperial Smoked Porter, Fire Chief Ale, Rye So Mild Man & Papa’s Pale Ale. It just so happened we found a seat during happy hour, which meant half-price house beers and appetizers.

Nashville has become a whiskey town, but first a bit of Tennessee whiskey history.

A question, how do you spell whiskey? Whiskey or whisky – Both spellings of the word, whiskey, and whisky are correct. … If you’re talking about a drink that’s been made in Scotland, Canada, or Japan, use the spelling without the e—whisky. When referring to drinks distilled in the United States or Ireland, use the e—whiskey.

Prohibition was January 17, 1920 – December 5, 1933

Tennessee remained dry until 1939, six years after the Federal ban was lifted.  While these laws destroyed the legal spirits trade in Tennessee, Tennesseans across the state kept making whiskey and maintained Tennessee’s reputation as a place for fine whiskey and moonshine.  The Jack Daniel Distillery reopened soon after the law allowed in 1940, and George Dickel returned in the 1950s, and both began rebuilding the once-proud legal distilled spirits industry.  In the mid-1990s Pritchard’s distillery opened Tennessee’s first craft distillery and that is where progress stalled.  

In 2009, Tennessee began reforming its prohibition-era laws and eliminated many nearly insurmountable legal barriers to entry.

Since then, the number of Tennessee distilleries has grown from three to the now thirty distilleries Tennessee host’s across the state.   These distilleries range from small, boutique-style operations making traditional and innovative spirits to well-known distilleries that have been making legendary Tennessee Whiskey for generations. 

All Tennessee Whiskey is from Tennessee, but that does not mean all whiskey from Tennessee qualifies as “Tennessee Whiskey”. For example, the Ole Smoky Distillery (which began operation in 2010) is located in Tennessee and produces a whiskey product, but the product cannot be sold as Tennessee whiskey because it is not aged. Instead, it is legally classified as a corn whiskey rather than carrying the “Tennessee whiskey” label and is marketed as “Tennessee moonshine”.

Legally, Tennessee Whiskey has to be aged four years. So if someone is telling you they have a bottle of 2010 2011  single barrel Tennessee Whiskey, that didn’t come from Jack Daniels, George Dickel, or Pritchards they’re full of it. The reason…. 2009 was when additional distilleries were allowed to begin production and Tennessee Whiskey has to be aged 4 years.

Many of these newly launched distilleries had to find ways to survive the first four years as their first production run aged. Many distilled vodka and gin while others shipped in whiskey from other distillers, blended them, and bottled them as whiskey, not Tennessee whiskey.

My favorite distilleries

Pennington’s Distillery 

From their website – Whiskey takes time. In fact, the very process of time defines whiskey: aging the distilled spirit in oak barrels is what brings out the familiar and exciting flavor. So, we think a lot about time around here. Like the time we decided to open up a distillery when we knew we wouldn’t be able to taste the aged fruits of our labor until many years later. 

When two ladies run the sample station you know you’re in for a good tour. Family-run distillery with a solid product. I enjoy a product when there’s thought that goes into the packaging. For instance, their Pickers vodka bottle has a fretboard on the bottle and the label resembles a ticket to the Ryman theater…. a homage to Nashville.

Make sure you get to hear Mrs. Butterworth’s story.

 Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery

The Nelson story is fascinating, here are the cliff notes.

The Nelson family was from a small town in northern Germany. Charles as the eldest of six children whose father, John Philip Nelson, owned a soap and candle factory. 

When Charles was 15, his father decided he wanted to move his family to America for a better life. He sold his soap and candle factory, converted all of the family’s earthly possessions to gold and had special clothing made to hold all of that gold on his person during the journey. In late October of 1850, John gathered his family and boarded and set sail for America. 

As fate would have it, intense storms and gale force winds sent many of the nearly 180 passengers overboard. John Philip Nelson was one of those unfortunate souls and weighed down by the family fortune, he sank directly to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. Luckily, the rest of the family arrived safely in New York, but with only the clothes on their backs, and 15 year-old Charles found himself a man of the house.

John and his brother began making soap and candles as they did in Germany, eventually making their way to Nashvill where John opened a grocery store, his three biggest sellers coffee, meat and whiskey. John focused on the whiskey till prohibition hit and he closed up shop. In 2006 some of Charle’s descendants decide to reopen becoming the present day Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery

Lots of history on this tour and I suggest you start the tour with an Old Fashioned, and why not you’re it’s a distillery tour.

The sampling is well organized and includes a lesson in how to correctly sample whiskey.

Nashville Craft Distillery

Former DNA laboratory director Bruce Boeko has put his science background to work in a new setting, opening Nashville Craft with a focus on local and regional ingredients and resources. The distillery has been in operation since March 2016 in the Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood near downtown Nashville. A very new distillery that should have a bright future. If you want to know the science behind distilling spirits then this is the place. Great tasting session that included some of the random samples. I enjoyed their Golden Biscuit as well as some Absynth complete with the sugar cube

We’ve talked about the Jack Daniel’s distillery tour on our Chattanooga episode, and it’s only an hour and a half trip south from Nasheville. Do yourself a favor, go…..

Let’s throw in a winery, Arrington Vineyards

Arrington opened its doors July 1, 2007. Since then, we have been providing a “wine country experience” of award winning wines set among the picturesque rolling hills of middle Tennessee. Owned by country music artist Kix Brooks, winemaker Kip Summers, and Nashville businessman John Russell, Arrington Vineyards has truly become “Nashville’s Wine Country”.

Nashville Food

A few Nashville food terms

Meat and Three: Exactly what it sounds like, a meat-and-three restaurant offers customers a plated lunch with meat (often a choice of fried chicken, pulled pork, brisket, country ham, or another quintessential Southern main) and a choice of three sides. Mac and cheese, baked beans, collard greens, potato salad, and fried green tomatoes are all among the frequently found side dishes as some of Nashville’s most beloved meat and threes.

Honky-Tonk: A honky-tonk is quite simply a bar that plays country music. Depending on the night of the week and who you ask, the word honky-tonk can elicit feelings of nostalgia and excitement, or dread and utter annoyance. This may or may not be directly correlated with the number of bachelorette parties to be found on Broadway on said night.

Nashville Hot Chicken: The super spicy fried chicken Nashville has become known for, and our first food stop.

When in Nashville you have to have some Nashville Hot Chicken. A few years ago I was in Nashville with a coworker, late morning the subject of lunch came up and the suggestion was Gus’s Hot Chicken and we headed out. A few minutes after our food arrived I looked at my coworker, and beads of sweat had broken out across his forehead and were beginning to run down his face. After a few gulps of water, he explained that he thought the “HOT” in hot chicken referenced the temperature, not the spice level.I think I replied with something along the lines of, “Have you ever heard of a cold chicken restaurant?”

In case you haven’t figured it out by now the hot refers to spice.

Nashville Hot Chicken is marinated in a water-based blend of seasoning, floured, fried, and finally covered in a paste or sauce that has been spiced with cayenne pepper. It is served atop slices of white bread with pickle chips. It is both the application of a spicy paste and the presentation that differentiates it from similar dishes, such as Buffalo wings.

Everyone will tell you that the go-to place for hot chicken is Hattie B’s, and it’s not a bad suggestion, but expect to wait, as in the line begins before they open. You can place your order online to cut down some of the wait time.

Not willing to wait then you can check out Gus’s, Prince’s or 400 degrees. If this is your first time tasting hot chicken you’re not going to know the difference between Hattie B’s or any of the other places. If your friends ask if you ate at Hattie B’s tell them you found a better place, instant neighborhood legend.

Martin’s Bar-B-Que JointWhen your hotel’s across the street and you smell hickory smoke for three straight days you will eventually wander in, and we’ve been back multiple times.

Our last visit there was on a major football weekend and it made the place packed, but we found a seat in less than two minutes and had drinks a minute later.

Good local beer selection mixed with a big selection of Nashville spirits.

The brisket tacos were just the right mix of smoke flavor combined with pickled red onions and cilantro.

Bar-B-Cutie – stopped in because it was close to the hotel…ordered the Pork Plate with Fries & Brunswick Stew…….The fries were the frozen crinkle type, pretty standard for a BBQ joint…the Brunswick Stew a big thumbs up the pork was moist with just the right hint of smoke. The variety of BBQ sauces added to the meal….. mustard-based to vinegar-based they had them all right on the table.

Burger Up – Found ourselves here after long wait times at every other burger stop in a 15-mile radius. Started with the fried mac & cheese bites….. Delicious! The Woodstock burger was the main course and it didn’t disappoint. They offer a full bar with a solid selection of local beers.

Bobby’s Idle Hour Tavern – If you like dive bars and quality live music then Bobby’s is the place. Day drinking can’t be beaten, and if you do it at Bobby’s on a Wednesday then you’ll get to experience Sam’s Jams……. and an afternoon of all original music. A side note, if you’re in town doing the “Vacation Thing” Bobby’s is the only bar on Music Row…… so get off the tour bus and have a drink.

Since we’re still pre/mid pandemic make sure you check these locations so you know what their operation restrictions are. Nashville is a great town, for a long weekend or a week-long excursion if you get bored, it’s probably your fault.

If you have a comment you can leave a voicemail on Anchor or send me an email

Each day we’re getting closer to traveling and returning to “travel safe” until then stay safe and thanks for listening.

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