September 1

We headed out early this morning from MD toward Nashville. Our gracious hosts, the Murrays, got up early to make us breakfast and see us off. They were such a welcoming and kind family. We headed out around 6 am in a fairly successful attempt to miss the D.C. traffic. We spent much of the day driving through Virginia and then Tennessee. Around an hour or two from Nashville we realized that we were making unbelievably good time and that we had cut an entire hour off our ETA. We were so proud of ourselves…until we realized that we had changed time zones without noticing. Needless to say our entire day moved back an hour. Which works out great for our sleep schedule!

We arrived in Nashville and headed down to Broadway, which is the main drag.

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We walked up and down the street and explored cowboy boot stores and gift shops.

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Eventually we decided to listen to some live music and enjoy happy hour at a three story bar called Honky Tonk Central.

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The music was great and the bar had balconies on all sides. Afterwards we decided to visit a Nashville institution, Jack’s Barbeque. It was our first time eating BBQ. We both order smoked chicken sandwiches, which turned out to be an entire half of chicken.

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They also made their own flavors of BBQ sauce. We ate on their patio and listened to the live music at a nearby bar. We headed out into Ryman alley where we saw a group of people waiting for the famous musicians who attended some kind of country awards show tonight. One of the locals that we spoke to told us how the Ryman alley was historically significant to the area and about the celebrities that walk out of the auditorium there.

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She also suggested that we head next door to another three story bar called Tootsie’s. The walls are covered with signed photos of celebrities and other musical paraphernalia.

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There is a booth in the front that is always reserved for celebrities. We didn’t see any, but apparently Cher was there a couple weeks ago. Needless to say, the band that we watched (one of three playing) was excellent there as well. Tonight we are staying in Columbia, TN with Lauren’s cousin and his wife.

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