Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Music City to Tire City

The past few days have been a whirlwind of on the goes and travel woes.  I headed to the airport Friday night and arrived in Nashville, Will's hometown, at 7PM.  Will met me at the airport and we drove straight to the newly renovated Opryland Hotel.  The legendary hotel underwent a $225 million renovation after the flood that left half of Nashville underwater.  Opryland boasts over 3,000 guest rooms, 8 restaurants, 3 pools, a nightclub and most notably, a river boat that floats through the hotel's indoor gardens. 

We made our way to Solario for dinner with Will's parents, his brother Matt, and Matt's girlfriend Maggie.  We enjoyed authentic guacamole, queso and fajitas. After our delicious meal, we roamed through several ballrooms and lobbies admiring the beautiful Christmas decorations.  

Maggie, Matt, Me and Will
Family Photo

On Saturday, I could hardly wait to take a tour of the city.  Hoping I could catch a glimpse of Nashville royalty, we went to Hillsboro Village and had breakfast at Fido's Coffeehouse where Taylor Swift and Jake Gyllenhaal were spotted last week.  Although there were no celebrity sightings, I did enjoy a filling breakfast and a delicious coffee concoction called a Milkbone!

We drove downtown, uptown, to Germantown and all around. Nashville has such an expansive variety of architecture from modern music halls, to quaint row houses, to ancient world replicas. Will showed me his high school's campus, a few of the celebrity houses I was dying to see, Belle Meade's Percy Warner Park, and Nashville's very own Parthenon.  

A typical home in Germantown
The Parthenon
Parthenon Walkway

Will's High School

Some Guido's Dream Home
Percy Warner Park
Reese Witherspoon's home

Saturday night we had dinner at a small Italian restaurant then drinks at the most interesting place ever! The Patterson House is a very small, upscale night spot inside an old governor's home.  From the outside, the bar looks like a home with heavily shaded windows.  There are no flashy signs or bouncers outside, or smokers on the porch, just a small sign on the front porch.  Upon entering, I felt like I was in a library. Law books filled the shelves from ceiling to floor with the exception of the following sign:

The bar itself was hidden behind a thick velvet curtain.  We had to put our name on a list and 15 minutes later, we were escorted beyond the cloaked entrance to our seats.  They weren't kidding, there was no standing allowed which I LOVED! No being shoved around shouting your drink order, being stepped on, spilled on, shouted at, just a relaxing dimly lit atmosphere and a bartender that greets you the moment you are seated.  

Will ordered one of their specialties, a Bacon Old Fashioned.  We thought maybe it was named for someone but after one sip it was clear that the mixologist had in fact infused the drink with bacon flavoring.  We were not fans, but apparently it's all the rage so we had to try it. Fortunately, the presentation of the drink was enough to divert our attention from the displeasing taste. The Patterson House molds each ice cube into a sphere, a process that takes 5 minutes! Behold!

The Bacon Old Fashioned

Sunday morning, the snow began to fall as we headed to church with his family.  We went to Germantown for brunch then took a tour of Belmont University.  Will's grandfather was the President of Belmont for years and his parents met there (his Dad proposed to his Mom on the steps of the Belmont Mansion, awww) so the campus is a very special place to his family.  By 3 o'clock, the roads were already icing over so we headed back to the house, and relaxed by the fire.  

Will's home at 4PM
And 8PM
Snow :)
As suspected, my 7 o'clock flight was delayed to 9 o'clock, then cancelled.  After a few quick phone calls, I was rescheduled for the first flight out in the morning.  By 9AM Monday morning, I was in the air on my way back to Raleigh where another travel dilemma was awaiting.  I was on my way to work when I got flagged down by a concerned driver. To my dismay, my tire was dangerously flat. I cautiously made my way to Tire City, waited 45 minutes to get the tire patched and then sped to work.  Apparently, the technician working on my wheel slept through the "Tire Patch" portion of his schooling because when I got in my car after work, the tire was flat, AGAIN! 

Not willing to take chances, I called my lifeline, AAA. Two hours later, I was finally home, after the gain of a spare tire and the loss of  what I had hoped would be a relaxing evening.  Not the ideal way to end an enjoyable weekend but I should have a new tire by the weekend, restoring my car's stability, and ego!

.....Must Have.....

There is nothing better than a glass of red wine on a cold winter night. Riedel's Crystal Ultra Wine Decanter adds body to your wine and aesthetics to your dining room table.  I am far from a wine connoisseur, but you don't need to be a sommelier to differentiate between a good glass of wine and, well...sour grapes! So the next time you are entertaining, pour a bottle of your favorite red into this glamorous glassware and let the wine breathe before your guests arrive.  The difference may be difficult to detect, but if nothing else, this snazzy centerpiece will look more elegant on your table than a bouquet of flowers.

.....Must Hear.....

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