My goal was to make Amanda’s birthday and Valentine’s weekend trip to Nashville unforgettable because she sure as hell deserves it! In addition to making many new friends on the runs, we had an incredible weekend jam-packed with good times. On previous trips we were creatures of habit always going to the same restaurants and honky tonks. Although there’s nothing wrong with that, this time was different!
For her birthday dinner I wanted to take her somewhere the locals frequent. I didn’t want a touristy joint nor a chain we can get at home. Upon recommendation from a new running friend we went to Tin Angel, an American Bistro in the Vanderbilt neighborhood. The place had a bit of a rustic feel to it with some very nice antique decor and a warm atmosphere. The service was great and the food outstanding. The pretty lady had the salmon while I scarfed down the filet.
Friday was our day to be tourists. We started with a morning drive to the famous Loveless Café. We were told to go on Friday morning to avoid the crazy long waits they have each weekend. We enjoyed some awesome grub and their world-famous biscuits. From there we headed to Broadway St where we enjoyed some live music followed by great barbecue at Rippy’s, a place we hit every visit. The live music is always good and food is even better.
Amanda always listens to a Sirius XM Radio station called The Highway, which has a Nashville studio. They have a weekly show called Happy Hour on Friday afternoons in which visitors to Nashville can visit the studio and often participate in the show’s events. Tickets are not easy to come by but Amanda managed to get a pair. We entered the studio with several others and before we knew it Amanda and I were parked behind a microphone and live on the air with Buzz, the host. We talked about Amanda’s birthday and our time in Nashville before giving a shout out to my kids and Amanda’s dad. Our first live radio appearance under our belt. What a cool experience.
After our brush with radio fame it was time for the part of the trip we were most excited about. A joint that appears regularly on the TV show Nashville is the Bluebird Café. As fans of the show we’ve been wanting to go there every visit. The place has become so popular, tickets are almost impossible to get. Luck was on our side this time as I was able to score tickets online the minute they went on sale.
We attended their “In the Round” show that features a group of four songwriters. They sit on stage together and take turn playing songs they’ve written and sharing the stories behind them. The venue is very small which meant there wasn’t a bad seat in the house. These guys did not disappoint and so many of the songs were ones we have heard from famous artists such as Florida Georgia Line, Kenny Chesney, and Tim McGraw. Amanda was grinning from ear to ear. What an amazing birthday weekend she enjoyed.
Sunday was Valentine’s Day and it was time to say farewell to Nashville…but not without one last run. One of our East Nasty friends recommended we take a Sunday morning run leaving from Two Rivers Park which was near our hotel. It was a windy, wet morning but that wasn’t going to stop us. It would be just Amanda and me heading out for a 6 mile run.
The park had a paved path that took us through a tunnel under the highway. When we approached the end of the tunnel we came upon this massive bridge that crossed the Cumberland River. Amanda let out an “Oh Shit” the moment we saw it. She has a severe phobia of bridges and heights for that matter. I was prepared to turn around with her, but she told me she can do it and sure as hell, she did. The brave soul even stopped to pose for a couple of pictures. The scenery from the bridge was so tranquil.
After crossing the bridge a downward winding path took us to a trail which ran alongside the river. It was a path aligned with trees along what is called the Shelby Bottoms Greenway. Shelby Bottoms is just one of the many greenway trails Nashville has to offer. Along this 5+ mile paved path we can hear the flow of the water, birds up above, and critters rustling in the woods. There were no bikes on that day. We did come across some friendly locals running the path who greeted us with a smile. For the most part it was just us and nature. Like the other runs on this trip, this one ended way too soon.
We hustled back to change and get to the airport for our noon flight only to end up spending half the day at the airport due to delays. It wasn’t ideal but we found ourselves a seat at one of the bars for some adult beverage. The delays could have easily brought us down but instead we lifted a glass and celebrated what was undoubtedly our best Nashville trip yet. We can’t wait to go back!
For more info on the Nashville Greenways visit: Nashville Greenways