Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Seeing the "stars" around Nashville

Nashville is such a great and unique city. We have lots of things great music, of all genres, and the stars are not afraid to be out and about in Nashville. I think we all have stories of being at the grocery or in a restaurant and look up and see Garth Brooks, Keith Urban, Jon Bon Jovi, Robert Plant and many more just a few feet away. Some people will say that the stars go out in New York, L.A. and elsewhere but the difference is when they are here we all respect their space. We love telling friends and coworkers later who we saw and where they were but we know that when they are here most of them are at "home." Many of them live here or they come to Nashville to work and/or visit other musicians and singers.

I think I speak for most people in Nashville when I say, we don't want any crazed fans or papperazzi chasing people around. We want this to be a city where anyone can come to have fun and relax. Nashville is known as the friendliest city in the U.S. and I think most people of all walks of life would agree with that and how we treat our "stars" is just a great example of that and how we respect people.
Robert Plant, of Led Zeppelin fame, has been spotted around Nashville lately. He has been spotted in Tower Records on West End Avenue, Bluebird Cafe and Rotier's restaurant. I wonder if he tried the legendary cheeseburger on french bread? It turns out that he is in Nashville to record a duet project with Alison Krauss that is being produced by T-Bone Burnett. I can't imagine how those two will sound together but I sure can't wait to hear it.

Two Neighborhoods and the Restaurants in those areas

Wanna know where to go get something good to eat in Nashville? Hungry but don't know a good place to go near you or in the area you are meeting friends? Well, here are some ideas to help you get out there and find what sooths the savage beast.
They all share the area code 615

Hillsboro Village

1910 Belcourt Avenue

Jackson's Bar & Bistro
1800 21st Avenue S.

Bosco's Nashville Brewing Company
1805 21st Avenue S.

Sportsman Grille in the Village
1601 21st Avenue S.

2000 Belcourt Avenue

Sam's Place Sports Bar & Grill
1803 21st Avenue S.

Villager Tavern
1719 21st Avenue S.

Sunset Grill
2001 Belcourt Ave

Vanderbilt Area

911 20th Avenue S.

South Street
907 20th Avenue S.

1811 Division St.

1918 Broadway

1711 Division St.

San Antonio Taco Company
416 21st Avenue S.

Nick and Rudy's
204 21st Avenue S.

Brown's Diner
2102 Blair Blvd

2100 21st Avenue S.

More listings coming soon...

Sunday, October 29, 2006

T.J. Martell Foundation benefit. 50 Year Musical Journey with Steve Cropper

The legendary Steve Cropper will be playing at the Ryman Auditorium on Wednesday, November 1 at 7:00pm. He will be doing a 50 Year Musical Journey with and featuring Ray Benson, Lee Roy Parnell, T. Graham Brown, Trick Pony, Beth Nielson Chapman, Danny Shirley, Felix Cavaliere, Delbert McClinton, B.J. Thomas, John Kay, James Burton and more! This will be a night filled with memories and great music that set a high standard for all music that followed. A chance to see a living master of the groove so don't miss it.

Tickets range from $50-125

Some Travel Advice

Some things to be aware of when you travel....

1. Have your I.D. and/or passport

2. Have your money, credit card, or whatever you will be using to pay for things with, in a safe place while on the road.

3. At the hotel, they will ask for a method of payment. Be prepared and know how it is going to be paid. It might be you or your company paying but please be aware of how it is taken care of and don't be offended when they ask for a method of payment.

4. When you arrive at your destination, please have your confirmation ready. Before you begin to read it off as soon as the person at the desk, on the phone or wherever ask how you are doing....Tell them your name and they may not need it. The confirmation number is often a backup plan just in case they can't find your reservation.

5. At the hotel, the keycards are often sensitive to magnets, cellphones and other items that have any sort of magnetic field in them. They will erase the keys ability to work.

6. Before leaving home decide how you want to get around the city or place you are visiting. Will it be a rental car, taxi, shuttle service, by foot or what? Very important to plan this one out.

7. Be aware of the security levels of travel before you leave home. Check with the airlines, watch the news, check info from Transportation Sercurity Administration and know what you can and cannot take with you.

8. Be aware that a long distance phone call from a hotel room will cost you a fortune. Use a cell phone or calling card or something besides the phone in the room.

9. Call ahead and talk to a concierge or someone that can help with information that you can only get from a local person. They can often help much more than a travel agent or anyone else because they live there.

10. Feel free to ask for upgrades with the airlines, car rentals, hotel or anywhere. All they can say is no or yes.

11. Ask questions.....don't be afraid because it will only help you get the information that you will need.

Henry Cho at Zanies

Henry Cho is coming to Zanies Comedy Club on November 16-18. This guy is incredibly funny and is a comedian that doesn't rely on blue language to be funny. Hope to see ya there.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Meat and three's...a Nashville institution

Here is a list of Meat and Three's in Nashville, in no particular order. If I missed anyone I'm sorry, please let me know.
We have a new addition in Madison...

Tradewinds Cafe
1408 Gallatin Pike North
Madison, Tennessee 37115
(615) 870-5753

Thanks to Meat and Three Blog for the info


Bakers Cafe
503 S. Main Street
Goodlettsville, Tn 37072

Star Cafe
429 N. Main Street
Goodlettsville, Tn 37072

901 Dickerson Pike
Nashville, Tn 37207

Chef's Market
900 Conference Drive
Goodlettsville, Tn 37072

605 8th Avenue
Nashville, Tn 37203

Sylvan Park
4502 Murphy Road
Nashville, Tn 37209

2725 Clifton Avenue
Nashville, Tn 37209

Loveless Cafe
8400 Highway 100
Nashville, Tn 37221

Hermitage Cafe
71 Hermitage Avenue
Nashville, Tn 37210

Rotier's Restaurant
2413 Elliston Place
Nashville, Tn 37203

Wendell Smith's
407 53rd Avenue N.
Nashville, Tn 37209

Pie Wagon
1302 Division Street
Nashville, Tn 37203

Cal's Country Kitchen
222 Woodruff Street
Madison, Tn 37115

1235 6th Avenue N.
Nashville, Tn 37208

3803 Dickerson Pike
Nashville, Tn 37207


I grew up with stories of my uncles hitchhiking across country after the second world war and I found those stories to be riveting. When I was traveling around the country during my vagabond days I remember meeting all types of people that would hitch around the country. I had a friend of mine who went to Europe for a while and that was one of their ways to get around. It has been a major part of the history of the U.S. but over the last few years it has almost vanished. There are lots of speculations about why you don't see it like you used to and some of them are very valid reasons. You hear stories of someone being picked up or picking someone up and either the person in the vehicle is killed or the hitcher is killed. We have heard it enough and we've seen movies that depict a hitchhiker as a killer and thus it turned into no one wanting to pick someone up.

Over the years I have picked up many hitchhikers and never thought much about it but I had to have that "gut feeling" about it before I would stop. If I didn't feel that than they would not be riding with me. I never hit the road and used my thumb to travel but I always thought it would be fun but as I get older the less appealing it seems. I just wish people could still feel safe to do it or to pick someone up because I think the ability to talk to someone new and hear their stories of traveling and just the joy of sharing a road or journey can be a real treat.

Hitchhiking; Wikipedia

Art of Travel: hitchhiking

What killed hitchhiking?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Haiku's for the Webbspun one

Haiku2 for webbspunideas
locations southern
sayings i have been to many
grateful dead concerts
Created by Grahame

Haiku2 for webbspunideas
the right answers to
your needs and if you want to
do in nashville
Created by Grahame

Caney Fork Fish Camp

The Food:
Fish and Chips- Battered and fried Cod that was delicious but the size of the pieces of fish were a little meager this visit. Two sides were included and I chose cole slaw and french fries and they both tasted really good and fresh.

Blackened Grouper- Just the right amount of spices and was delicious. Nice serving size on this one. Green beans and mashed potatoes were the sides and they were top notch in taste.

Grilled Boneless Chicken- A delicious piece of chicken with just the right amount of seasonings. Mashed potatoes and baked beans made the sides and were also very good.

The Service:
I went to pick it up since we were doing take out, we were at work ya know. The young lady at the bar took care of the order and she was very nice with a big warm smile. She provided the kind of service that makes you want to go back to a business. Bravo!

The Location:
Caney Fork Fish Camp
2400 Music Valley Drive
Nashville Tn 37214
615-724-1205 (to go orders)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Garrison Keillor is coming to town

Garrison Keillor will be in Nashville for New Year's Eve Sunday, December 31 at 10 pm. I know I wouldn't mind being there to see him and perhaps the whole Prairie Home Companion bunch.

Tickets will cost $85, $70 & $30

Tickets go on sale Saturday, October 28 at 10

Elegant chocolate candy

Learn how to make delicious chocolate candy just in time for the holidays. Former White House pastry chef Roland Mesnier will be at the Viking Store in Franklin on Thursday November 9. This should be a delicious, fun and decadent class. Where do you sign up as a taste tester?

Chocolate & Candy Decoration Class

Some of the things you will learn to make include,
~Chocolate Shavings
~Molded Chocolate Leaves
~Chocolate Ribbons and Bows
~Chocolate Galette or Chocolate Pear Brandy Truffles
~Chocolate Kisses
~Chocolate-Covered Caramel Walnut Candy

Monday, October 23, 2006

Nashville plantlife (taken at various locations)

Southern Sayings...

I have heard some funny things said from folks here in the South when they are describing something or someone. What is funnier is when someone from New York or somewhere tries to say the kind of things they have heard Southerners say. Just something about the accent messes it up when they try it.

Some of the "sayins" include:

~ She is cuter than a speckled pup under a pickup truck
~ Big enough to whoop a tomcat/wildcat in - Marvin Finn, artist, describing the size of his workspace.

Has anyone else heard anything worth sharing?

Hermitage Cafe

Stopped in the Hermitage Cafe today for a sandwich and while sitting at the counter I talked to some of the workers and folks around me. I overheard the owner of the cafe sitting and talking to a gentleman about places and things that are now just a part of Nashville history. It was interesting to hear and I know when I have more time I will be back in there and if possible will be talking to her and taking some notes on Nashville's interesting places of history.

The Food and Vibe:
A sausage, egg and cheese sandwich on wheat toast with fried potatoes and coffee. It was very good, inexpensive and one of the few places left in Nashville where you can sit at the counter and enjoy seeing people from all walks of life. It's funky, it is a dying breed and I love it.

The Location:
On Hermitage Avenue on the southside of downtown. A few blocks from Riverfront Park and Broadway and across the street from the new Rolling Hill Mill lofts and townhomes.

71 Hermitage Avenue
Nashville Tn 37210

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Lia King, Real Estate Broker, Scottsdale Arizona

When I travel I always meet the most interesting and often wonderful people. While in Scottsdale Arizona a few years ago I met Lia King, who is a real estate broker and she is interesting, delightful and beautiful. She recommended some of the local attractions and I was actually able to talk her into being a personal guide for me to the Hyatt Gainey Ranch, Camelback Inn and more. I was amazed at how luxurious the resorts were. We were both dressed to the nines as that is how it is done in Scottsdale.

She seems to have all the right answers to your needs and if you want someone who is the best of the best, she is the person for you. She specializes in quality and class which will be obvious when you work with her.

Well, if you are ever thinking of moving to Arizona and you need some advice or you wanna buy some land/home than get in touch with her.

Your Arizona dream is Here

Mullet Festival

Mullets are edible? Won't I get a hair in my mouth?

Thanks to Sista for this one...
Mullet Festival

Here is the official website.

Cooking tours in Italy

This is not an advertisement for this person or company. I just love the thoughts of making a visit to Italy and experiencing something like this. I swear I would be in heaven.

Italy Cooking Schools
Cooking Tours in Italy: Experience the Real Italy Through Cooking, Food and Wine With Local People


Experience real Italian life and culture through your cooking lessons, visits with olive oil, cheese and balsamic vinegar makers, wine shared with local people on your cooking tour in Italy.
Discover cooking secrets in your cooking lessons with top chefs in their restaurant kitchens and mothers on their farms.

Savour the rich bouquet of Italian wines as you swirl your glass and you drink and learn all about your favourite wines and new ones with producers right in their cellars.
Enjoy private insider visits with olive oil, cheese and balsamic vinegar producers so you see how they make these food treasures and you taste them right where they're made.
cooking lesson in a country town near Bologna, Italy

Discover places and people off the beaten path with your local guides. Soon feel like they're your old friends showing you their favourite haunts and taking you to meet the people they like best. You'll feel Italian for a week! You would meet Italians you'd never have met otherwise, in some places you never would have found otherwise!

Wander almost deserted pathways through vineyards and olive groves in hills and valleys with beautiful panoramas. Food for your soul!

Go back to slower, simpler, sweeter times of long ago. You sit around tables with lots of time to talk, laugh, share experiences with family and friends you love and new friends too. You have time to eat wonderful, genuine Italian food made of local ingredients fresh from the market.
Live in lovely villas, a castle, family run B & Bs on farms or in pretty, little towns, historic hotels with magnificent views. We offer you accommodation for every taste!

How will you find the right tour? Sit down now with a glass of your favourite Italian wine and visit "Delicious Journeys".
We also custom design tours so you experience just what you've always wanted to in Italy.
Mama Margaret has loved travelling in Italy for 30 years and ran her first cooking tour in Italy in 1995, so if you'd like expert advice or help, just contact her. We're delighted to help you so you enjoy a cooking & wine adventure in Italy that gives you wonderful memories you'll treasure for a life time.

High and Low of the Week

My High:
Getting to meet Mr. Marriott again and being asked to be the official photographer of his visit to the hotel. I spent about 45 minutes with him and the hotel executive committee. He did some group pictures with the staff as well as individual pictures. He was truly treated like a celebrity by most of the associates that work in the hotel.

My Low:
Not knowing how to work the digital camera and almost running out of batteries before Mr. Marriott left. The last few pictures were a little work and sweat to make sure they came out.

So how about anyone else? Highs and lows? Don't be shy

Jake's Mountain Grill

The Look:
I met a friend of mine this past Friday at Jake's for lunch and since I arrived a little early, I took a little look around. The exterior is nice but doesn't draw you in and the interior is nice, as well, but was more country feeling than giving you the look and feel of the mountain lodge or resort. The bar area had some dark colors in it and looked a little more of the rugged look that I expected throughout.
Verdict: Room for improvement but it was clean and it wasn't an eyesore.

The Food:
I had the chargrilled salmon with a baked potato and salad. Aaron, my friend and pastor, had some fried shrimp with fries. He loved his and very overall impressed with the place and I thought the salmon had a really good taste and was juicy and I enjoyed it alot. The potato was good but the salad was not the best lettuce and wasn't alot more than just lettuce with some dressing on it.
Verdict: I will try it again because I did enjoy it. I just wish we could get better restaurants and cut back on the chain restaurants in the Rivergate area.

The Service:
Our server did a very good job and was very pleasant. They weren't to busy when we were though and so the servers were all gathering around the host/hostess stand. I didn't like to see that but hey it can be boring when it's slow.

The Location:
Right across from the Rivergate Mall and easy to see. They will find lots of shoppers and church people visiting there.

Jake's Mountain Grill
909 Rivergate Parkway
Goodlettsville Tn 37072

Travel photos-links

Tennessee pictures- from tennnessee.gov (variety of things from around Tennessee)

Idaho photo contest-outdoors, travel, etc.

Los AngelesTimes travel photos-Los Angeles daily newspaper

Twang in the show tunes

Broadway Meets Country is a night when country music artists sing popular show tunes and Broadway stars perform country songs. This should be a night of memorable music! Monday, Oct. 30 at the James K. Polk Theater at TPAC

Can't get your money together to take a trip? Talk to Dave Ramsey

Dave Ramsey can and will help you learn how to save money and get control of your finances. As Dave says, "If you live like no one else now, than later you can live like no one else." Get your life together and than get on the road to Nashville or somewhere fun. Live life!

Carnival of the Animals

Carnival of the Animals
Saturday, October 28, 2006, 11:00 a.m. - Schermerhorn Symphony Center
Albert-George Schram, conductorBob Brown Puppets
Saint–Saens' playful masterpiece Carnival of the Animals — presented alongside enormous puppets on a full–scale theatrical set — creates delightful portraits of animals parading by. From a double bass that becomes an elephant and a cuckoo playing peek–a–boo to a royally robed lion and a tortoise who can Can–Can, this musical adventure shouldn't be missed. Encourage your children or grandchildren to become an even bigger part of the parade by dressing them as their favorite animal.

To purchase a subscription to the Pied Piper Series or individual tickets to this concert, please call 615.687.6400.

Just the facts on the Schermerhorn Symphony Hall

I've had this before but with alot of info about the opening festivities and such. Here it is with just some of the information about the features of the Schermerhorn.

Chief acoustician Paul Scarbrough said the design and the acoustics were inspired by three world-class concert halls - the Musikvereinsaal in Vienna, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and the Boston Symphony Hall. "The diversity and quality of programming during these opening week events will not only showcase the state-of-the-art capabilities of the Schermerhorn Symphony Center, but it will give audiences the opportunity to hear Nashville Symphony and other music ensembles in a fresh and exciting new way," said Alan D. Valentine, President and CEO of the Nashville Symphony.

Flooring and the lighting:
One of the most innovative features of Schermerhorn Symphony Center is a convertible seating system that is designed to give the hall unique versatility. The orchestra level seating of the Laura Turner Concert Hall can be transformed from rows of comfortable raked seating at classical performances, to a 5,600-square-foot hardwood, ballroom floor, typically used for cabaret-style events such as pops and jazz concerts. A unique chair wagon motorized system will lower rows of seats into a special storage space below the surface of the ballroom floor. This convertible system will give the concert hall great flexibility for numerous types of events throughout the year.

In addition, a system of 102 computerized lights will be able to focus, change color and direct their beams to any part of the concert hall rapidly and in synchronization.Schermerhorn Symphony Center could very well be the best concert hall in the world. It will bring international renown to Nashville, building on its credentials as Music City.

•An acoustical and design masterpiece, comparable to the greatest halls in the world, including Musikverein, Vienna, Austria; The Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Tonhalle, Zurich, Switzerland; and Berlin Konzerthaus, Berlin.
•Neoclassical revivalist design. Limestone exterior
•Only major concert hall in North America with natural light: 30 soundproof windows into the hall
•2” minimum acoustical isolation joint between the performance hall and rest of building to assure no transfer of vibration or noise into hall
•180’ colonnade facing an adjacent large park—responsive to the most public side of the building
•Space for 115 musicians on the performance platform; plus 140 choral seats behind the platform (which will be sold to public when there is no chorus)
•The centerpiece is the $2.5 million pipe organ.
•The hall will be one of few in the world with natural light. Windows within windows will keep noise out.

Who are the Design and Construction Teams?
Architects: David M. Schwarz/Architectural Services, Design Architect;
Earl Swensson Associates, Architect; Hastings Architecture Associates, Consulting ArchitectAcoustician: Akustiks, IncTheater Planner: Fisher Dachs Associates

Nashville Symphony's website is the BEST in the nation!

The Nashville Symphony's website has just been rated the#1 orchestra website in the country by leading orchestra consultant, Drew McManus.

For one week only —October 21 - 29 they will be offering an Internet-only, 20% discount for most tickets available on their website.

Jack Daniel's 18th Annual World Championship Invitational Barbecue

I love to eat so this sounds like something for me. I hope you all get out and enjoy the scenic drive to Lynchburg and than enjoy the festivities and watch as 60 championship U.S. and international teams compete for top honors on Saturday, October 28 for the Jack Daniels 18th Annual World Championship Barbecue in Lynchburg, Tennessee!

In addition to the selection of mouth-watering barbecue, there'll be plenty of other tasty treats to eat, as well as the chance to participate in such unique games as Bung Pitching and Butt Bowling (always crowd favorites!). For our four-legged friends, we'll once again hold the popular Country Dog Contest, where your canine companions can play "Musical Doggie Squares" or vie for Best Costume prizes. And of course, there will be Barrel Raising demonstrations throughout the day. Also returning again this year will be the highly-popular "Shade Tree Cook-Off," in which amateur barbecue chefs will vie for recognition in two categories.

The Jack Daniel Distillery is open for free tours every day from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Please click here for more information, or call 931-759-6930.
There's plenty of free parking with convenient shuttles taking to the Distillery Visitors Center and Lynchburg town square.

School of culinary art

Have you ever wanted to learn how to be a true chef? Taking this two-year course will give you the abilities to cook that changes your outlook on food preparation and allows you to be able to add a little of your own magic when in the kitchen. If you love food and would love to be able to be chef for banquets, conventions or even at your own business or home, please click HERE for further info.

Wanna hear something new and fresh?

Robert Randolph and the Family Band will bring the roof down on the War Memorial Auditorium this Wednesday, October 25 at 8pm. Tickets are $20 and expect to get much more than what you paid for. Wildly amazing and a great to shake your bones and boogie down.

Here comes Mr. King

B. B. King will be playing at his club, B. B. Kings Blues Club , here in Nashville October 26 and 27. For the price of your ticket you get a concert by the legend as well as a 3 course meal. Tickets will range from $100-175 and will sell out I'm sure. If you haven't seen this legend in person, what are you waiting for?

Friday, October 20, 2006

Music and Molasses Festival

Looking for something that the whole family could enjoy together?

The Music & Molasses Festival is a country celebration of the harvest season and will be October 21 and 22 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. This event will have feature bluegrass music, cloggers, crafts, story tellers as well as molasses making demonstrations with some cooking and tasting at the sorghum mill. Foods showcased will include homemade cakes and pies, free buggy rides, log cabin activities for children with a trail hike, pony rides and much more. A fun and relaxing way to spend a day.

Festival Details

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Crabby Cabby?

I know that when I go to the hotel that I sometimes see or hear things that I don't do or care for. My job is not to tell these people I can't help them because I disagree with them on something but to help them get where they need to go or find the information they need. I think people who get into the hospitality or customer service fields should understand that and not try to impose their beliefs on the people they are serving.

I have seen cab drivers get upset because the people getting in are not going across the state but hey that is how the ball bounces sometimes. It might work out where you do something you don't want to at the moment and later you get a perfect run or assignment. Just roll with the punches and realize it will all work out in the end.

Sometimes we just have to give a little and take a little to make the world a better place. If you don't want to do something than don't work at a job where you are going to have to do that. Basic customer service is to do what the customer/guest/client ask or needs you to do. I don't feel this is asking to much of anyone.

Here is the story of the cab drivers in Minnesota that won't drive someone with alcohol in their possessions.
Muslim Cabbies

Nashville's Downtown Walking Tour...

This provides a list of some downtown attractions but is not a list of all things to do in Nashville. This will provide a springboard into Nashville and wet the appetite to learn more.

Nashville Public Library: Downtown
This is a Robert Stern Project and one of the finest libraries in the country. Be sure to see the Nashville Room, the Civil Rights Room, Nashville Banner Archives and the library's courtyard. Inside the library there is also Provence Breads and Cafe to stop in for a nice lunch.

Downtown Presbyterian Church
Built in the Egyptian Revival architectural style and it is the oldest church in Nashville. During the Civil War it was used as a hospital. When standing at the front of the church go down 5th Avenue to the side entrance and they will let you in to enjoy a self guided tour of the church. Designed by William Strickland an architect from Philadelphia, who also designed the Tennessee State Capitol.

The Arcade
Inspired by a similar structure in Italy, the Arcade was in 1900 and was one of the first indoor shopping areas in the United States. Go for the architecture and the unique restaurants and shops.

Ryman Auditorium
Home of the Grand Ole Opry until 1974 and voted the best theatre in the United States the last two years. The tour is informative and strongly recommended.

Country Music Hall of Fame
A fun, interesting and interactive museum for music lovers. The name doesn't let you know that they have a lot of bluegrass, Americana and roots music covered in the exhibits.

Honky-Tonks on Broadway (between 4th & 5th Ave.)
Legendary bars that offer great music from around 10am to 3am. Robert's Western World has been named one of the 10 best bars in the United States and Tootsie's Orchid Lounge is a legend built upon years of having the legends visit the bar. There is a place for all taste on Lower Broadway.

Hatch Show Print
One of the oldest working letterpress print shops in the United Shops. It was built in 1879 and has made posters for all kinds of concerts, companies and events.

Pedestrian Bridge
Providing a wonderful view of the city and it is also a popular place for walkers and bikers. It connects downtown Nashville to the eastern side of the city and LP Field, where the Tennessee Titans play.

Tennessee State Capitol Building
Designed by William Strickland, from Philadelphia, and completed in 1859. Mr. Strickland died before completion and was buried within the walls. It is the only capitol with the ability to make a claim like that. A truly grand building that is worthy of being the capitol of the state. Tours of the building are available.

Tennessee Bicentennial State Mall
Tour Tennessee's history in an interesting interactive and informative mall that is similar to the National Mall in Washington D.C. while being uniquely Nashville.

Nashville Symphony Hall
Ground was broken for construction of the center on December 3, 2003. The hall has approximately 1,900 seats and is the current home of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra.
The center is named in honor of Kenneth Schermerhorn who was the music director and conductor of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra from 1983 until his death in 2005. The center was named before his death.
At the center of the Schermerhorn Symphony Center is the approximately 1900-seat Laura Turner Concert Hall. Modeled after the "shoebox" design of storied concert halls such as the Concertgbow in Amsterdam and the Musikverein in Vienna, the Hall is one of only a few such venues in the world to feature natural lighting, which streams in through 30 soundproof, double-paned windows that ring the its upper walls. Intricate symbolic motifs appear throughout the Hall and the rest of the Center, including irises (the Tennessee state flower), horsehoes (a tribute to the late Laura Turner's love of horses) and coffee beans (representing Nashville's Cheek family of Maxwell House fame). Tours of the building are available daily.

Fire Tower Rentals

In the early 90's when I was in the midst of my vagabond days of traveling around the country and enjoyed just about every variety of places to sleep. I stayed in nice hotels, little motels with lots of neon, slept in my car, slept in the grass at rest areas, camped, crashed at friends and strangers homes and many other adventures. Well, one of the things that I always wanted to do was to spend a couple or more days in a fire lookout tower. The kinds of places that you have to hike out into the forest or mountains to get to.

I felt like this would provide me with amazing views of majestic beauty and leave me in awe while also getting me out of the city and back in touch with the wonders of being away from noise, technology and all the fun stuff that comes with modern society. Alas, I never made it and I keep telling myself that one day I will stay in a lookout tower. To me it would be just another way to enjoy traveling and letting myself be amazed at the beauty you can find when you just step out and see what is "out there."

I'd love to hear if anyone has done this or if you would like to. If I ever make to out to one, I will let you all know how it goes.

Fire Lookout Towers

Fire Lookout Tower Rentals

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Relaxing at the airport?

Whoever heard of relaxing at the airport? Well...I did this past Tuesday when I read the USA Today and read about pools, nap pods, massages and much more at airports around the world. I could have used some of these amenities on my way to Vegas recently. Due to delays and other fun circumstances it took right at 12 hours to get from Nashville to Las Vegas and a good portion of that was just sitting or walking around a couple of airports. My only concern with going for a swim at the airport is, wouldn't it be to easy to lose track of time and would I even care?

Airport= Resort?

Shrine Circus

The circus will be in Nashville from Thursday, Oct 19 - Saturday, Oct 22 at Munincipal Auditorium. 226-7766. The tickets are reasonable, $5 - $15. I know the circus always seems to hold a special place in everyones hearts because of going to them one young and all and this is a way to step back and enjoy it all over again. Whether with friends or family it is a great way to spend a couple of hours.

Tickets available through Ticketmaster and the auditorium box office.

Thursday 7:00pm
Friday 7:30pm
Saturday 2:30pm and 7:00pm
Sunday 1:30pm and 5:30pm

Photos of Nashville and one of Las Vegas

The Parthenon and Lake Watauga

The eyes of the Ryman

Bamboo at Cheekwood Botanical Gardens

Train yard in Nashville

Alter in front of Caesars Palace

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Casting shadows...

Places and things

Fall Fest at the Belle Meade Plantation. Notice the bullet holes in the column? They are from the civil war.

Nashville cop patroling downtown on horseback

Meters leaving their mark on the wall (Nashville)

Kindred souls casting their shadows across the land (Las Vegas)

Steps of water (Nashville)

Monday, October 16, 2006

Ellendale's Restaurant

Dinner from Ellendale's on a Sunday night...

Mojo shrimp (entree)
4 big shrimp that were sauteed in fresh garlic, capers, sun dried tomatoes, white wine and butter. They came with a side of steamed white rice and shredded veggies and the combination of the shrimp with the ingredients they were sauteed in made for a joyous ride for my tastebuds.

My coworkers tried a few different dishes and they loved the salads as well as the taste and quantity of their entrees. What they tried:
Buffalo Shrimp (appetizer)
Shrimp Cavatappi (entree)
Cajun Chicken Pasta (entree)
Salmon & Scallops (entree)

I picked up the order and brought it back to the hotel where the four of us enjoyed a good quality meal. I have sent people to Ellendale's for a few years now and people are very pleased with the high quality food along with good service and a warm, inviting atmosphere. They also have a good lunch buffet during the week and a delicious Sunday brunch.

Jazz nightly in the the lounge.

Classic All-Star Rockers

This past Friday I met Mike Pinera, he was staying at my hotel with the rest of his bandmates, The Classic Rock AllStars. They were playing at a Festival nearby and we talked about his history in the rock music scene and who he has played with, met, etc. He has played in/with Blues Image, Iron Butterfly, Ramatam, Cactus, Thee Image, Alice Cooper and the different bands that have opened for his bands or his bands opened for are amazing. He told me about the time Led Zeppelin opened for Iron Butterfly and I could only imagine how great a concert that was to see two great bands of that caliber and than to know that Led Zeppelin opened for my band....I would be in heaven. Mr. Pinera was also the nicest guy and I'm really glad I had the chance to meet him. I was invited out to the concert but unfortunately I didn't make it but I hope to see him in concert in the future and I look forward to meeting him again.

Nashville Zoo

The Nashville Zoo is a wonderful zoo that is about half way through its growth plan, which means we will be seeing many new additions over the next few years. They currently have some visiting Snow leopard cubs and they will be at the zoo until November 1. Also Ghouls at Grassmere is a fun event through the fall and halloween season and will be enjoyed by the whole family. The Gibbons will be one of the first animals that you see and if you are patient enough you will get a hilarious show as they chase each other, hollar and scream. You better hurry if you want to enjoy it before this season is over.

The Standard at the Smith House

The Standard at the Smith House is a new restaurant that is in a convenient location and offers really good food in an elegant setting. Located inside a grand, 1840's era townhouse that has a rich and long history. I visited there this past Friday and enjoyed a delicious Southern Hot Brown. It was served open-face with thinly sliced turkey and was covered with a cheesy
Mornay Sauce and garnished with tomato wedges, julienne country ham and comes with homemade kettle chips. We also tried the appetizer of sweet potato fries that came with a ranch and chipotle dipping sauces. The sandwich, the chips and fries were all delicious. The rest of my group tried the club, hot as a wrap, and the chicken salad sandwich. They didn't care for the chips as much but thought the sandwiches were delicious. We met the owner who was very pleasant and our server, Angela, was attentive and had a wonderful personality. I recommend this restaurant very highly.

Also take note of the architecture and the elegant designs of the house. I think you will be very pleased with one of our newest additions to the Nashville culinary landscape.

Brown Hotel in Louisville Kentucky, birthplace to the Hot Brown sandwich.

Franklin Wine Festival, October 19-21

If you enjoy good wine, food, music and more than this will be an event you won't want to miss. Learn how to pair wine with cheeses, find some truly amazing things at the silent auction, enjoy some delicious vintner dinners and more. Attending this event allows you to learn alot about wine while having a really great time.

Wine Festival Info

Jenn Franklin, is a local artist, will be performing during the Grand Tasting.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Seraphim Salon and Spa

Seraphim is a wonderful Salon and Spa that has a very helpful and talented staff. I have only had the Caribbean Therapy Body Wrap but I have sent quite a few of guests from the hotel that I work at to them and they have all given them the highest praise. A great way to pamper yourself or someone you love on a special day. They offer a wide variety of services to please and cater to everyone.

Caribbean Therapy Body Wrap (This wrap is what I had and is heaven on earth)


A great local restaurant Thai restaurant,Salathai, closed its doors recently and I really hated to hear about because there was nothing like stopping in there for some Red Curry Chicken....Mmm Mmm Good!!! Well, yesterday I hear that they closed that location on West End Avenue and moved either closer into Nashville or farther out. I don't know if this is the truth or not but I will do some research and let you know soon. Keep it locked in here for all the breaking news....

Tower Records is closing

For music lovers around Nashville there were many times we would make the drive to West End for something to eat, goof around in Centennial Park and make a stop in at Tower Records. It was just a cool place to go and listen to an incredible variety of music and see interesting people. It was a gathering place of sorts and now it is going to be just another part of the West End areas' incredible history. I hated to see Tower Books close a couple of years ago but even when that happened I never saw the day of Tower Records going out of business. Ah but alas, the death bell has rung. Goodbye old friend, goodbye.......You will be missed.

Tennessean article, part 1

Tennessean article, part 2

Blue Man Group

The wild and wacky Blue Man Group will be coming to the G.E.C. on Friday, October 20. This could be sensory overload and an absolute blast. Don't be green with envy when you hear how much fun it was......Get off your butt and see something different for once!

Concert and ticket information

Wanna cook something up in the kitchen?

Learn how to make delicious meals in a hands-on class at Viking Culinary School

Viking Cooking School in formation and calender

Holiday Grazing Party and how to be the perfect host/hostess
Thursday, October 19, 6:30pm-8:30pm

Homemade Soups
Thursday, November 16, 10:00am-1:00pm

Etta James at the Ryman

The legendary Etta James will be gracing the stage of another legend on October 19. She will bring a presence to the stage that will leave you breathless and will surprise you with some of her recent song selections. She has a career that has spanned five decades, has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a three-time Grammy award winner, NARAS Lifetime Achievement, Rhythm & Blues Foundation Pioneer awardee and W.C. Handy Blues Foundation honoree. If you want to see someone who set a high standard years and years ago and continues to be vital and fresh today, this is the show for you. If you read this and decide to go, you can thank me later.



Etta James last album, "All The Way"

Track List
Windows Media Player is needed to listen

All the Way 3:36
Stop on By 4:07
Strung Out 7:11
Somewhere 2:15
Holding Back the Years 4:18
Imagine 3:38
I Believe I Can Fly 5:09
It's a Man's Man's Man's World 4:53
Purple Rain 5:45
What's Going On 4:27
Calling You 6:13

Biscuits and Bluegrass

C'mon out and enjoy some great food and some really fine music. The weather will be nice and get a chance to revisit an old favorite or make a new friend when you visit the Loveless Cafe. This is one of the legends of Nashville and I know I love to stop in for a big hearty breakfast or lunch and I hope to see you all there.

Biscuits and Bluegrass

The folks who come to Nashville as their Mecca

Gotta love the road trip especially when it brings you to Nashville......sit back and enjoy this one....Dig the pilgrims to our holy city of music.... I don't know them but hey this is what makes Nashville....Nashville......can I get an amen?!?!?!?

Road Trip To Nashville part1

Road Trip To Nashville part 2

Road Trip toNashville part 3

Burning Man...anyone, anyone.....Webbspun?

I have been to many Grateful Dead concerts as well as Rainbow Gatherings and concerts of all types and one day I will make it to Burning Man. I have wanted to since around 1990 but for whatever reason it has not been my fate to meet the Burning Man yet. Soon I'm sure we will come together and enjoy the festivities......Anyone care to go and see what it is like as well?

Here are some links to videos of the Burning Man site:

Madness of Burning Man

Dust Devils at Burning Man

Oktoberfest in Nashville

This Saturday is Oktoberfest and it is time to come on down to Germantown and eat, drink and either run a short race or tour some homes in the area. If you wanna enjoy good beer and have a good time, come on down and have a good time. Check out the link for the info.

Oktoberfest in Nashville

Lights and lots of water

Can you tell which is from Vegas and which one is from Nashville? If you can tell me the right answer for each picture...I will buy you lunch. Any takers?

These were all done without using Photoshop or any kind of tampering. What I saw is what you see.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Orange County Choppers are coming to Nashville

The guys of Orange County Choppers come to town this Friday-Sunday, October 6-8, for a three-day party of motorcycles, musical entertainment, the live OCC Stage Show, and more! The Teutuls -- Paul Senior, Paulie and Mikey along with the OCC cast and crew, including Vinnie, Rick, Christian, Jason, and Cody are going to entertain like only they can. I can't wait to see the drama of Senior and Paulie unfold live and onstage when they build a bike live in front of a crowd. Maybe Senior could push Paulie off the stage in a fit of rage and than watch as he crowd surfs. Yeah, it could happen because it would make such good television.

Prices are:
$20 General Admission One-Day Advanced Ticket
$25 General Admission One-Day at Gate
$50 Advanced Weekend Pass (not available at the gate, good for entrance on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) (Prices quoted exclude taxes & fees. Only general admission one-day tickets will be sold at the gate.)

On display for the first time in Nashville, will be the following theme bikes, all featured on an episode of American Chopper: Fire Bike, POW-MIA Bike, Comanche Bike, the Mikey-Vinnie Bike, NASA Shuttle Tribute Bike, I-Robot, Black Widow, and more!

The event will go on whether it is raining or sunny

Orange County Choppers inNashville information is here

Fall Foliage by Train

This is such a wonderful time of the year. The weather has cooled off and the leaves are getting ready to make the dramatic change before they slip from the grasp of the tree. If you would like to find yet another way to get out and see the changing of the leaves and leave the driving to someone else, than I have the plan for you. Why not take a train ride from Nashville to Cookeville and relax and enjoy the beauty of nature and forget about all the craziness in the world for a while? It is a day long excursion and if you have never taken a train trip, well than my friend, you have some living to do. Get outta that chair and get going and you can thank me later.
Sponsored By
Tennessee Central Railway Museum
Cookeville Super Fall Foliage
Excursion Trains!
Boarding at 7:30 AM Departure At 8:00 AM
From TC Ry Museum Station, 220 Willow St in Nashville TN
SATURDAY, October 14th, 21st & 28th, 2006
Come ride Tennessee Central Railway Museum’s classic traditional American
streamlined passenger train through the best fall foliage and scenery in Middle
Tennessee! You’ll travel through the Caney Fork River valley, see the bluffs at
SeboWisha, ride up and down the 3+% grade up to Silver Point and enjoy shopping in
Cookeville! Order your tickets soon as this trip will sell out quickly!
Regular Seats- $49 All Seats Are Reserved
Children Under 12- $28 Children Rate for Regular/1st Class Only
First Class Seats- $66
Dome Seats- $120 See Back for more details
Order Your Tickets NOW! This Trip Will Sell Out Quickly!
Ticket Ordering- FAX this Page or Cut Out and Mail the Completed Form Below Along with Your Payment, Check or
Money Order Payable to: TC Ry Museum 220 Willow St Nashville TN 37210-2159 Phone 615-244-9001
FAX 615-244-2120 We accept American Express, Discover, MasterCard or VISA Credit/Debit Cards
Refreshments And Souvenirs For Sale On Board The Train
REGULAR SEATING- Our regular seating is dining car table seating with up to 4 seats to a table or in our
regular seat coach cars. Windows up to 5 feet wide are on both sides of the car and provide great views of
the passing countryside.
FIRST CLASS SEATING- Ride in style in our first class coach accommodations. Coach accommodations
are spacious reclining seats with 5 ft wide windows on both sides of the car.
DOME SEATING- The ultimate panoramic view from our train is from the 20 seats in our ex-Northern
Pacific Ry dome-coach car. You will ride in spacious cushioned seats in the glass-enclosed dome that is
above the roofline of the rest of the train. Passengers have an unobstructed 360-degree view of the entire
countryside. There are only 20 seats in the dome, so make your reservations extra early – these seats always
sell out first!
CHILDRENS SEATS- children under 2 years old who do not occupy a separate seat and ride in their
parents’ laps are no charge. Children 2 and older require a seat. The $28 childrens tickets are for
Passengers in Wheelchairs - Please contact Terry Bebout at the Museum ticket office, 615-244-9001 ext 4
for special arrangements.
RESERVATIONS- All seats are assigned and must be reserved in advance. Our trips sell out long before
the trip date, so make your reservations as early as possible. Reservations are made when we receive your
payment along with the ticket order form from the front bottom of this flyer. Payment can be made by 1)
check or 2) money order payable in US funds only to TC Ry Museum or 3) by American Express, Discover,
MasterCard or VISA credit or debit card. We will mail you your tickets and a map to the boarding location
at least 2 weeks before the trip date. More information- E-mail terry.bebout@earthlink.net
DEPARTURE AND ARRIVAL TIMES- Boarding starts at 7:30 AM with departure at 8:00 AM sharp
for this trip. Arrival time in Nashville on the return trip will be approximately 6:00 PM.
REFRESHMENTS AND SOUVENIRS- Snack items are available for purchase on board the train during
the outbound trip. You can eat lunch in Cookeville or in our dining cars on the return trip to Nashville.
GROUP RATES- $40 per Regular Seat, $55 per First Class Seat for groups of 16 or more. Group
leaders must reserve their seats well in advance of the trip to ensure that their groups are seated together.


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Predators are back

Go Predators!
Thursday, October 5

Nashville will be on the prowl and looking for some fresh blood on Thursday, October 5. It is the start of the hockey season and our first game will be against the Chicago Blackhawks. Pre-game festivities will start at 5:00pm on the plaza, just outside of the Gaylord Entertainment Center. The game will start at 7:00pm and Tom Fitzgerald will drop the puck. Mr. Fitzgerald is a 17- year veteran of the NHL who has recently retired. He was the first captain in the Predators history and played here from 1998-2002.

Opening night highlights:

~All fans will receive a long-sleeved Predators t-shirt, courtesy of First Tennessee and FSN South.
~The Nashville Predators Dancers and GNASH will be at the pre-game festivities along with the interactive CMT Cross Country Experience and live music from The Lost Trailers.
~Following the game, a selection of fans drawn at random will be invited to the ice to win the Predators game-worn jerseys, right of the players backs. To register for the shirts-off-their-backs promotion, fans will need to fill out and turn in the entry form located inside their Predators Press game program.
~One lucky fan will also win a trip to Chicago to watch the Predators take on the Blackhawks on January 5 at the United Center-airfare, hotel and game tickets are included.

Dierks Bentley Miles and Music for Kids

Dierks Bentley is having a celebrity motorcycle ride that will benefit Vanderbilt Children's Hospital. Come out and ride with a lot of fun people while helping a great cause. I'm sure the weather will be great and I'm sure this will be the kind of thing you will wanna write home about and tell everyone who you saw and got to ride with.

All the cool kids will be there, will you?

Sunday, October 8
Music City Motorplex
Tennessee State Fairgrounds

Full sets by Dierks Bentley and Jeff Foxworthy
Special appearances by Montgomery Gentr, Miranda Lambert, Randy Rogers Band and more

Ride and concert $35 3:00pm
Concert only $20 4:30pm

Dierks Ride For TheKids Info <----Click here Make a donation!!!

About Dierks Bentley

Vanderbilt Children's Hospital

Harley Davidson of Cool Springs


Tennessee Highland Games Oct. 7-8

Come proudly wearing your kilt and watch the athletic competition, listen to the pipe bands or join the Highland dance competition. Aye and don't forget the whiskey tasting or to visit the food and merchandise vendors.

Credit cards are not accepted at the gate, so if you don't get your tickets now, bring cash.
Saturday $15
Sunday $12
Two day ticket for $25

Saturday $7
Sunday $7
Two day tickets $12

Fall Foliage Cruises

Blue Heron Cruises has fall cruises on the Cumberland River and is a great way to see the changing of the leaves. It is reasonably priced and something that I truly think all ages could enjoy. The only other way of seeing nature like this is on the General Jackson which is a little more expensive or if you have your own boat. C'mon get out there and enjoy the natural side of Nashville and Tennessee.


Lewisburg Goat Festival

Another small town in Tennessee that offers a unique little festival that celebrates goats of all kinds but I think the favorite is the fainting goat. They have free music over the weekend, including T. Graham Brown and Highway 101. Craft fair and food booths will be there as well so bring your goat and have a great time.

for official information

To see what it looks like when a goat faints...
Fainting Goat Video

Fainting Goat History

The origin of the Fainting goat has been traced back to the 1880s in Marshall County, Tennessee. A man named Tinsley came to Caney Spring bringing along four “bulgy eyed” goats and a "sacred" cow. He stayed long enough to marry and to help a farmer with the harvest. He sold his goats to Dr. H. H. Mayberry and then departed the community. He took the cow with him but left his wife behind. Today's Fainting goats descended from those few goats. The goats were used primarily for meat, although they were also used to protect sheep. These goats were close to extinction by the 1980s, but they are no longer endangered. Their “stiff-legged” appearance and apparent “fainting” is caused by a neuromuscular condition called Myotonia. This condition does not harm the goat.

Vegas in pictures

At the alter at Caesar's Palace

Tiger at the Mirage

Wynn Hotel

Mirage Hotel

Changes coming to the Las Vegas strip

The first of November there will a major change on the strip of Las Vegas. They will be tearing the Frontier, Circus-Circus and Stardust hotels down and building a $5 billion hotel. Changing the look and feel of the hotels on the strip.

The hotels Bellagio and Wynn are high end and absolutely the best for looking around and just enjoying yourselves. With Donald Trump coming along with his tower and more changes happening everyday you will be able to see obvious differences within the Vegas skyline soon. It is one of the few cities in the country that changes its skyline as well as the feel of the city every so often.

Click here for more info on the Stardust coming down

Click here for info about the hotels. Circus Circus, Stardust and Frontier

34th National Storytelling Festival

Coming up is a chance to tell great stories and to hear even better stories. This is an event that allows people to do what has happened since the beginning of time. Tell stories and transport people to another place for a little while. If you have the time and the ability to attend I think it is a chance to step out of our busy lives and relish the chance to hear stories and imagine being a kid again. Enjoy the wonderful fall weather as you walk around a small town while your senses are delighted with delicious foods, wonderful smells, world class stories and a chance to leave your cares behind and enjoy the simple pleasures of life for a couple days. Please check it out, you will have a great time

October 6-8 in Jonesborough, Tennessee