Homewood Suites, Nashville/Airport
Our room was exactly what the hotel name says-it was a suite. It was so spacious and nice! We loved it! It was easy to access from the Interstate. It was very easy to get downtown (huge plus for us!) and it was one exit up from a pharmacy/a Walmart/etc. And it was two exits up from the Grand Ole Opry.
Every morning they had a free breakfast. It had your usual donuts, OJ, milk, cereal, and grains. They did have an actual meal you could eat too. Saturday was ham, eggs, and homestyle potatoes. Delicious! Sunday morning was biscuits, sausage, and gravy. I didn't have the gravy, but the sausage biscuit I made myself was really good!
The room was very clean and quiet. We didn't hear toilets flushing all night. (Bonus!) And even though it was only a mile or so from the air port we didn't hear one plane in our room. I'm a light sleeper, too.
A few other advantages that the hotel offered that we didn't take advantage of that we thought were cool was the "Welcome Home Dinner" that is served Monday-Thursday. Each night is a different meal with beer and wine included. (And it's free...hello!) Also, in the kitchenette area, there was a pad of paper that you could fill out stuff you wanted from the grocery store. It gave you space to put the brand you wanted, quantity, etc. How awesome is that??
Breakfast both mornings
Homewood Suites (See Lodging review)
Jack in the Box
Yeah, we ate fast food. In our defense, we had never tried it before and wanted to give it a whirl. (P.S. Jon has never had Bojangles...CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?!) It was pretty expensive for fast food. We both got a cheeseburger meal and spent nearly $15. What the crap? It wasn't worth the money, in our opinion. The fries were good, but the burgers tasted cheap.
Blackstone Brewery & Pub
We went here with my friend Liz and her husband, Lincoln. It was so delicious! The atmosphere was great! Jon and I both had pepperoni pizzas (brick oven style). Hands down-the best pizza I've ever had. And we ate, including a beer for Jon for right at $22 plus tip. Awesome!
We picked up some chips, snacks, and some drinks Saturday morning before we headed back after our Opry tour. We heated up our left over pizza and made lunch at our hotel. Even better than the first time!
We went for a rather early dinner so we didn't have to wait. We both ordered steaks and baked potatoes. I also had a cup of their chicken and rice soup. Honestly...I could have just had that! It was DELICIOUS. And I'm a tough person to impress with rice. I'm picky about it.
The meal came with bread that had melted (read: burnt) cheese on top. We're huge bread eaters and we were pretty disappointed. But, the steaks and potatoes were delicious. I was nervous when we got our steaks because both tables surrounding us sent their steaks back, but ours came out pretty good. I say that because we're not picky. I ordered medium well and in my opinion, I got a well down steak. Jon ordered a medium and in my opinion, he got a rare steak. It takes a lot for us to complain at a restaurant and we let it slide.
Country Music Hall of Fame
First off, how awesome is this building? See the piano? SEE IT?! I love it!
It's such an amazing place! As someone who genuinely loves country music, I could have spent hours just staring at the exhibits. So much history and so much I didn't know! We opted to just do the self-guided tour. You can do a tour with a phone that is guided by different stars' voices. I didn't think it was necessary for us. I loved it though! I took about 80 pictures just in there. :)
And another bonus point-we found a cute new ornament for our tree! (We try to get an ornament every time we go on vacation.)
Grand Ole Opry
Sigh. I got goosebumps just looking at the building before we even went inside. The introductory video gave me goosebumps. Then they played a video showing different people being surprised by being asked to join the Grand Ole Opry. I cried every time. Especially when Carrie Underwood sang "I Told You So" and Randy Travis came out and surprised her. She cried. I cried. Goosebumps, people.
I have a lot of ties to country music. I love it. I find it soothing, comforting, fun, exciting, and just over all, incredible. Some people think,"Oh it's depressing." or "Hick". No...it's not. It has a rich history. Look it up. To each their own, but I think you're missing out. ;)
The coolest part of the tour? Seeing the flood line in the "family room" a/k/a green room. What flood line you ask? A few years back, Nashville had a HORRIBLE flood and the Grand Ole Opry was flooded out. The water was up to 25 feet in the parking lot. 25 feet!! That circle we're standing on in the picture? They refinished it and kept the original circle. It has such a huge meaning to country music. *sigh* I love it.
And did you know if you go to a show there, you are welcome to go up to the stage. Like really. UP TO THE STAGE!! No matter where your seats are. You can go up and take pictures and listen. Swoon. If Luke Bryan plays there on a weekend-we're going!
Sam and I went on a ghost walk in Wilmington and I loved it! This one was pretty good too! I didn't fall head over hills with Nashvegas like I did with Wilmington though so I wasn't as excited but yeah. Good stories, good architecture, and good history!
Jim Beam Distillery
This was a last minute stop but so fun! The tour took about 45 minutes and ended with a few tastings of bourbon. Knocked me on my butt! So good though! We bought a new ornament for our tree (classy, I know!). It was awesome and a beautiful landscape!