Originally, I had mentioned The Pancake Pantry as a possible breakfast spot on Sunday morning. It's God's day in the south. Surely, the popular and famous breakfast joint would be deserted, right? Oh, wait...there's a Tennessee Titans football game about 5 miles away that starts at noon. Also, there are a fair amount of heathens living in the south. So, after several minutes of reading Trip Advisor reviews and travel bloggers lamenting the hours spent in line waiting for a breakfast food that I make at least once a month, we decided maybe a plan B was appropriate here. We asked the concierge at the hotel. And the bartender. And Siri. Ultimately, we decided to try Puckett's Grocery and Restaurant, which has 2 location - one in downtown Franklin. I love it when breakfast is less than 8 miles away.
I realize that any dining establishment with the word "grocery" in the name conjures up images of 7-11 or Wawa (shout out to my VA crew) or Pic-Pac (holla back to my Frankfort posse). But I assure you it delivers on the "restaurant" side of things just as well.
Our server was decently attentive considering the Sunday morning masses and this being her first morning shift. As a regular during the dinner crowd, she could tell us all we wished to know about baby back ribs or shrimp and grits but not a single thing about the omelets. That was slightly less than helpful but we muddled through. First, the coffee, water, chocolate milk.
Dear Country Music Hall of Fame,
When you decided to include the words hall of fame in your museum name, perhaps you should have also included dedicated parking. It's just a thought. I would rather not be at the whim of local parking lots during an event like an NFL game. Although I only took 1 business class in college, I still understand the concept of supply and demand.
The girl who drove the girl who is out $10 because of the whole thing
Anyway, we made it.
As interesting as the Kenny Rogers exhibit was (I had no idea he was a photographer who studied under an assistant for Ansel Adams), I felt it was a bit squeezed into the space it was allotted. Perhaps the worst mistake a museum curator can do when setting up an exhibit, I think, is to put it in a room with doors....that close. There was a film about Kenny's life that was playing on a loop so a fair amount of people were standing around watching that, plus the artifacts on display and his photos hanging and all of the people standing, reading, looking and then walking - usually right into the person in front of them who is doing the same thing. There was a lot of "excuse me" and bumping of purses and small children. I think he deserves a Dixie Chicks-sized wide open space to display all of his accomplishments and service to others. And perhaps more on the whole roasted chicken thing...because HELLO, random...
Alan Jackson's exhibit was a bit more spread out, stretching along a wall behind a long glass panel. I had forgotten the bucketloads of amazing hits he had and vowed I would rock out to 90's country all the way home. I did and it was wonderful.
I am now going to show you a bunch of outfits worn by country music stars. These are only the ones I found most entertaining...for an assortment of reasons.
In case you accidentally mistook him for a coal miner or something...
As hot as I'm sure this made Jerry Lee Lewis look, I think if Neal ever tried to leave the house in ruffles, I would make him change immediately.
Patsy Cline was one classy lady. And the only person I know who could pull off fringe, my father included.
Is anyone going to be heartbroken if this style fails to make a resurgence?
I think if I had feathers trailing down from my sleeves, it would make my batwing arms far less noticeable.
Trisha Yearwood's boots - proof that she truly is Garth Brooks' soulmate.
Do you go to your costumer designer one day and say "I would really like something that says God bless you and kiss my ass" and this is the result?
There were also some perfectly normal ones.
I actually have shoes fancier than those red heels owned by Crystal Gale. And I would like to someday have my own flight suit.
I remember Dwight Yokum wearing this outfit. Shortly thereafter I bought my first pair of pre-ripped jeans, which my grandfather questioned me about constantly. He kept trying to buy me new ones...without the holes and rips.
A little something from the McGraw-Hill closet. Wait a minute, isn't that a textbook publisher?
I actually bought a shirt similar to the one on the left for Neal to wear. I think it might still have the tags on it. We call this look Rascal Flatts-sexy.
Dixie Chicks keepin it classy in black. I'm so sad they made one political statement at the height of their fame and now they are nowhere to be found. Come back, Dixie Chicks! We are out of Iraq now. Keep your trap shut about Syria and you can have the mic.
As I mentioned, there was much ado about Miranda which was mildly annoying. I feel like you should put in your time before an entire wall is dedicated to your blossoming career. But your rhinestone-studded Mrs. Shelton belt was pretty fabulous. And I've always wondered what those award show cards look like on the inside.
But there was also this. Elvis Presley's solid gold Cadillac, complete with installed TV and storage.
It is good to be the king.
One of the more fascinating aspects of the museum for me was the display of original manuscripts for famous songs. So often I think of a country music star grabbing a piece of hotel stationary or a bar napkin and jotting down a chart topper when most of the time it seems to be a piece of legal pad paper
Upon our arrival Friday night, one of the girls suggested a place called Merchant's in downtown Nashville. She said something about duck fried tater tots and then I quit listening because I was imagining myself backstroking through a pool of aforementioned tots. But Merchant's was booked until 9:30 PM (10:30 our time) on Friday night. So, we bid farewell to any thoughts of tots. But then Sunday afternoon rolled around. The game was still on and the early birds had eaten their fill. We rolled into Merchant's at 3 PM with duck fat on the mind. (Somewhat related, "duck fat" is one of those tricky phrases if you are the least bit dyslexic.)
And while you're at it, I'll have the fish tacos. Because I have a long drive ahead of me and something must get me through the next 120 miles.
As a sidenote, those tater tots are also delicious warmed up several days later. Even better if they are devoured in the pantry after you've distracted your toddler with Rio 2.
Merchant's and Puckett's definitely lived up to the hype and I'm thrilled I didn't have to stand in a 2-hour line for a pancake. The Hall of Fame was fascinating and I wish I could have seen more about the musicians that I adore but I understand that they must rotate their collection due to the sheer volume of it so I'll just have to plan a return trip.
Thank you for re-living this little music city getaway with me. I don't think I'll be able to wait another 8 years but maybe these posts will get me through until the next one.