ahhh nashville. city of cowboy swagger. the grand ole opry. the neon signs of broadway. the ryman auditorium. the legendary letterpress shop, hatch show print. the loveless cafe. (OH THE LOVELESS CAFE!) what can we say – we loved our time here in early september! ( i know, it's november. we're playing catch-up on the blog and trying to post cities in order of visit.)
we had the good fortune to grab a last minute spot at a corps of engineers campground
(and those places are always such treats) on lake percy priest. wow. did i mention we got lucky? not only was the campground pretty much full, but the spot we were able to snag was right across from the water. love those water sites. our drive into town was only about 10 minutes to the heart of broadway.
|love us some percy priest!|
|sunset just across from our site.|
we had so many great recommendations from friends about must-visit places that it was nearly impossible to fit everything in, but we definitely managed to have a full week. i think my absolute favorite stop was at the awesome hatch show print
, the country's oldest letterpress print shop. kind of a mecca for me – and it did not disappoint. these folks are the real deal of letterpress and have been cranking out posters for everyone from johnny cash to modern day alternative rock giants. the studio is filled to the brim (literally, the ceiling) with old wooden type, plates and posters. i could have spent hours in there just shuffling through the magic.
|all hail hatch show print.|
|a treasure in every corner.|
|a feast for the eyes!|
|floor to ceiling. i do not kid.|
|hatch show print security patrol.|
|old posters cover the walls.|
|classic circus type.|
|american trailer prints drying on the line.|
|a letterpress plate for the grand ole opry.|
|a vandercook printing press, ready for action.|
i know. lots of pictures from hatch. i couldn't help myself. on to other things...
you can't visit nashville without taking in some of the neon from broadway, and let me tell you, there were some really fantastic signs. after having some tasty BBQ from jack's (another legendary BBQ joint) it's fun to walk up and down broadway and take in the honky tonk bars and tacky souvenir shops.
|pigs fly at jack's.|
|magoo takes down some ribs at jack's.|
|love that neon.|
|betty boots! one of my faves.|
|ya dern tootin'.|
|when in rome...|
|hunka hunka hubs.|
|not only is elvis alive, but he lives in this |
fortune-telling machine on broadway. who knew?
you can't come to nashville without taking in some good eats. having no shortage of places to choose from, we settled on a no-frills visit to rotier's
, which has been in business since 1945. it ain't for fancy folks, and it's a classic.
|get the burger on french bread. trust us on this.|
our absolute favorite place to eat was the loveless cafe
. good gracious, where do i start? this gem is a little bit of a drive out from town, but it is well worth the drive AND the wait you will likely encounter once you get there. in fact, we ate two meals here and it is HANDS DOWN the best southern meal we've ever had. the loveless cafe is known for many culinary treats, but the most famous is probably their biscuits. praise the lard and pass those biscuits around, people.
|love the loveless.|
|stars lines the walls of the loveless.|
|little circles of heaven.|
the cafe itself sits on a few acres of land which also houses a "hams and jam" shop where you can buy their famous country ham, bacon, jellies, jams, t-shirts, cookbooks...just about anything branded with their iconic loveless logo. there's also an old motel that used to house road-weary travelers, but nowadays, it houses some artist galleries and a bicycle shop. we absolutely loved this place. it's the real deal, y'all.
|carol fay, the biscuit lady.|
|love the folk art at loveless.|
we were fortunate to be around while the tennessee state fair was in town, and while it was a little disappointing, it's always fun to walk the fairgrounds and take in the sights. and sights there were. hot beef sundae booths (no, that is not a typo), a bluebell ice-cream eating contest, agriculture and livestock shows and the expected midway rides.
|sweet little cows.|
|lights on the carousel.|
we had a full week and still didn't get to see every single sight...the opryland hotel was still under some renovation from the floods, but i have a feeling we'll be passing through again. thanks for a great week, nashville!