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This is Why I’m Not a City Person

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Over the weekend, I posted this picture to THIH’s Facebook page and asked for guesses as to where I might be:

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Most guesses were for Rome, which is not too far off … in a way. Although I have to say, despite my 26 hour trip to Paris, I think a weekend trip to Rome may be too much even for this enthusiastic traveler. Christina‘s guess of Springfield was the closest – as a fellow former East-Coast-girl-in-Illinois myself, I’m not surprised! This exotic-looking structure above is actually the Parthenon – in Nashville, Tennessee.

Here are a few more pictures:

whole Parthenon

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According to Nashville Parks & Recreation, the Nashville Parthenon is the only life-size replica of the original Parthenon (in Athens). It certainly looks quite impressive, albeit not endowed with millennia of history. As I ran by, people were setting up the white tents out front for an upcoming wedding. The fact these same people were installing an enormous white elephant made entirely of white flowers at the entrance suggests Parthenon weddings are quite fancy.

Why were Peter and I in Nashville? Peter had a conference at Vanderbilt, so I packed up some work and went with him to share the driving. Nashville is 5.5 hours south of where we live, and 5.5 hours alone in a car is enough to turn the most mild-manner professor into a kitchen-appliance-loving version of the Hulk. Of course, 5.5 hours (6.5 with traffic) in a confined space with a gal who insists on listening to “Wait, Wait” instead of whatever board game nerd podcast he currently listens to could be just as trying to said professor.

We did stop once or twice on the way, including a stop in Metropolis, IL (this pic is for you, LeQuan!):

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Check out those biceps.

We arrived in Nashville a day early so we could take in a few sights (the rest of the weekend Peter attended his conference and I worked in the hotel room). This is when I gathered further evidence that I’m not a city person. Despite the diverse and sprawling nature of Nashville (seriously, you could drive an hour and STILL be in Nashville – and we did), the city felt confining to me. I apologize to the Nashville fans out there – the city is quite lovely, and in many places doesn’t even feel like a city. But it’s still too much city for me. Peter and I would rather walk with the dogs in Vermont miles from civilization rather than take in a show at the Grand Ole Opry.

Speaking of which … during our day of tourism, we visited the country music hall hoping to tour backstage, but were turned away because they were setting up for something, presumably a show. At least the outside of the hall is impressive, although the Taylor Swift song blaring over the loudspeakers sure didn’t sound like country music. No pics, sadly. Perhaps disappointment had rendered my photography arm senseless.

The best part of the day: checking out the incredible gardens at the Opryland Hotel, just a hop, skip and air-so-humid-it-envelops-every-inch jump away from the Grand Ole Opry. Seriously, if you’re ever in the area, check these out. Peter described the gardens as the “Disney of Nashville”, which is quite a compliment considering he’s tried to get us to visit Disney World since we were in college. Yes, college.

The next two pictures are rather dark; apparently I’d forgotten how to use my flash on this trip.

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We visited a few other places in Nashville, including Andrew Jackson’s home The Hermitage. The only two pictures on my camera from this excursion are the following:

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The picture above is Peter’s reenactment of his disappointed face when we found out the line to tour Old Hickory’s mansion was 45 minutes long. I particularly like the bright orange lanyard hanging casually from his neck.

The grounds are gorgeous, but we didn’t end up staying long. I think we were both feeling the heat and humidity at this point. According to a few locals, the conditions are much worse in July and August.

We also visited Cheekwood, an estate funded by a relative of the Maxwell coffee creator. The grounds are beautiful here as well.

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Setting up for a light show:

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Nice job with the flash again, Jessie.

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Finally, I’ll leave you with a few food pictures. The hotel had a fridge, so Peter and I enjoyed Bircher Muesli with banana every morning.

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We went out to eat once at the Loveless Cafe, which is an institution in Nashville. Friends recommended this place to us, plus the online reviews are glowing, so we were excited to try it.

That's a lot of beige.
That’s a lot of beige.

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I may gain a few more enemies with the following statement, but here goes: I didn’t like it. The Cafe is known for its biscuits (heck, they even have a signed picture of Kenny Chesney hanging in the front of the restaurant in which he raves about the biscuits), but I found them tough and slightly cold for some reason. The rest of the food (meatloaf, pulled pork, fried chicken) was bland, despite hitting all the salt, sweet and fat spots you could ever want. Even Peter found the fried chicken lacking (although he’s particular about his fried chicken).

And that’s the truncated version of Nashville, as seen through a jaded, non-city-loving gal’s eyes.

Flower pic of the week! Peter brought this curry plant back from the aphid-chomping dead and it’s now covered in gorgeous little flowers.

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Zombie curry, anyone?

Enjoy your week!

Q: Are you a city or country person?

20 Comments

  1. Nashville!! I could’ve sworn you were in Rome from that photo. When I first saw it and read that you were there for the weekend, I thought in my head, “Jessie’s up to her one day Europe adventures again.” Haha. Sweet of you to keep the hubs company on his trip. Was that Peter in the Superman photo? HAHAHA! Loved it. I didn’t recognise him the first time. Maybe cause he bulked up. 😉 Teehee. Good on you for giving your honest opinion about that restaurant, my dear. Loved the shot of those Orchids and photo of you two lovebirds. Hope you guys had a fun and lovely road trip. Thanks again for the Superman photo! Biggest hugs always!!

  2. ‘an estate funded by a relative of the Maxwell coffee creator. The grounds are beautiful here as well.’

    Nice coffee pun. Pete’s shirt looks like it dries very quickly in the heat and humidity. Fashion meets comfort.

    1. Wow. I did not mean to do that. Just call me Jessie, UG (Unintentional Genius).

  3. I saw the pic on FB but had no idea where you could be.

    I’m not a city person either.

    Have a great week!

  4. I think I’m a 50/50 person…also, it depends on the weather. Now there’s nothing I want to do more than go and play outside haha 😉 Spring is the best!

    Hopefully your next travel adventure will be more satisfying!

    1. I completely agree with you about the weather! 🙂

  5. I would have guessed Athens I I had seen it sooner!

  6. How fun! We also went to Nashville a few years ago (for a work conference too!) and it was definitely one of our best trips. The food is just so good there! I didn’t realize it was so pretty though!

  7. Ohhh I knew it had to be a midwestern area! I don’t think I’ve ever been to Nashville, the furthest west we did (of Tennessee) on family trips growing up was Knoxville.
    I’m definitely, definitely a country girl. Not even suburb. Country. When J and I go back to IL now it’s actually like a culture shock. The lights, the cars, how big the stores and roads are, and all the people! Bleck!
    The light show looks like fun though! I don’t mind DAY TRIPS into the city, but that’s my limit now 😉

    1. We’re so much alike!

  8. I do love the city…but more for visits than for long-term living. I would have never guessed you were in Nashville from that first photograph! I loved seeing pics of all those blooms (and I often find that the most talked about restaurants are also the most overrated) Thanks for sharing Jessie! I loved that last pic of the two of you!

  9. Nice biceps indeed Jessie! Exercise has paid off, hasn’t it?

    It looks like you had good fun in Nashville, even though you’re not a city gal. 🙂 Never knew there was a life-size replica of the Parthenon anywhere…

    How can food be salty, greasy and sugary and still be bland? If that’s the case then I think you’re right not to like that restaurant. Stick to that other restaurant with that scrumptious-looking chocolate ice-cream then! 🙂

    1. I know, it’s amazing isn’t it? I guess loads of salt and sugar just aren’t my thing 🙂

  10. I’m not a city person either. I lived in Toronto for a while and it was just long enough to make me an angry person, like most other cityfolk.
    This weekend Matt and I went to New York. It was our first time there and I wasn’t too impressed. We ate a lot of cool food but other than that, the inescapable crowds of people really got to me.

    1. Peter and I are the exact same way in cities. When we lived in Cambridge, I would turn into the worst impatient driver whenever we drove into Boston. It was a little scary.

  11. I LOVE Wait, Wait! You two should come visit us in our totally-not-a-city. Mike and I are not city folk, and we are happy with our location because it has a rural feel but in twenty minutes we can get to most things that we need/want.

    Also, my younger brother visited the Hermitage a few weeks ago and loved it.

    1. I’m glad he liked it! I hope to get back there to visit the mansion sometime. And yes, I hope we’ll be able to visit and see your new home! 🙂

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