Saturday, September 13, 2008

Home from Nashville

My husband and I went to Nashville, we flew out on the 11th and returned on the 12th. It was not a pleasure trip, but a fact finding mission. He had an interview out there, and being a girl from the Northeast, I was not too sure if I could survive the heat down south. IT WAS HOT! 90º on September 11th and 12th. Meanwhile in the mountains of NY it was merely in the low 60s. But, I must say, Nashville is a pleasant metropolitan area. I do not think I would mind living there at all. As far as the interview is concerned, it was rather strange. The interviewer suggested Mr. Thorns contact another company, put him in touch with a person and now we are pursuing a different direction. Boy, if everyone in Nashville is that nice, we are going for sure!

Nashville is a gorgeous city set up like a wheel with spokes on it. The road system is so well designed that you can get from one side to the other VERY quickly. Of course, I will be the first to admit that we do not have a full impression, being there only 24 hours with appointments to keep us busy for much of that time. We ate in a couple of really interesting places. Breakfast was in THE WAFFLE HOUSE which reminded me of Mel's Diner on that old television show from that television show, ALICE, from the 1970s I think. The waitresses had to stand on a mark and yell the orders to the cook, who yelled them back to confirm. The language she was speaking? Pure diner-ese, we had no idea what she was saying when she ordered. She said things like...hash browns, scattered, capped, and smothered, and this was the only thing we could remember because it made some sense. We were laughing. Add in the accent so unique to Tennesseans and so vastly different from New Yawkas and it becomes clear, we were highly entertained trying to comprehend and translate dinerese. We wanted to try the WAFFLE HOUSE because they were literally everywhere we drove around; we figured it had to be good. And, we love waffles. Surprisingly there was only one waffle selection on the menu, so how the restaurant ended up with its name remains a mystery to us. I kept waiting to hear, "Kiss my grits" which were, by the way, on the menu. It was a fun breakfast, the food was good, the bacon was piled high on our egg and cheese sandwiches. We couldn't complain.

We had dinner in the Gerst Haus, which is a German pub style restaurant. It is right across from the coliseum in Nashville. I enjoy a nice mug of dark beer. Guiness has always been a favorite of mine but can claim nothing on the Dinkelacker which I had in a fishbowl! A fishbowl is actually only a pint, and took me through my entire meal. Mr. Thorns and I shared a combination dinner of Weiner Schnitzel (pan fried and breaded veal), Stroganoff, and Sauerbraten (roasted marinated beef). For the side dishes we had hot German potato salad and spaetzle. It was quite a tasty dinner. I'm not a big fan of German dishes on the whole, but I did enjoy this meal. Or maybe I just enjoyed being out with Mr. Thorns, in a real restaurant, which we only manage to do once every 2-3 years. I would definitely recommend a visit to this place if you happen to be at the coliseum in Nashville for a game. I would go for happy hour alone, which we were there for. The aforementioned fishbowl of excellent draught beer was only $2.50 during happy hour. They also had a selection of half price appetizers but we didn't have any, we were there for dinner.

Now we shall wait and see if Nashville will be our new home. Never did this New Yawk girl ever think she'd end up there, especially since we have moved out of metropolitan areas for the quiet life in the mountains, but we shall see. An interesting note about the landscape in Nashville is the fact that you can live suburban or even rural and still be less than 30 minutes from the city. What a neat place to be, if you can take the heat!

One final comment about the south, and a striking difference from the northeast in particular, would be the manners of Southerners. They have it all over us in New York. It was a pleasant experience to see people on their best behaviors, and to find that mothers are still raising gentlemen who mind their manners, to the point of insistance. I did enjoy my visit.


The Digital Hairshirt said...

Aw, Lily, and you did not even get a chance to drive east and see Knoxville, which, IMHO, is a nicer geographic area than Nashville.

But Nashville is lovely. Next time you go, you MUST be sure to have a meal at the Loveless Cafe (plenty of love - and biscuits! - and only gets its name from the surname of the original owners). And sit in some honky-tonk along Broadway, listening to blue grass and hilbilly country music. Oh, and visit The Hermitage, Andrew Jackson's home - gorgeous!! Oh, and skip Waffle House - and head to Cracker Barrel.

Listen, the heat you can get used to - why, honey, that's why they done made air conditioning! The charm of Tennesseans will make up for any problems with the weather!

Lily said...

I wanted to go to the Loveless Cafe, we just couldn't figure out how to get there! If we were going to be there longer we would have spent more time planning the sites. I had mapquested all of our appointments, so thankfully, we didn't get lost to and from those. We did not plan where to eat. Next time I will plot out some interesting restaurants on our path, we just sort of left it up to fate that we'd find someplace to eat. I do regret missing the Loveless Cafe, I really wanted to go there...the brochure was in the lobby where we stayed.

It seems in Nashville, once you have an overall understanding of the roads and how they all relate to each other and the city itself, you can really make your way around easily. For an outsider, however, we were a little overwhelmed by all the exits we had to take, and thankful we had used mapquest at home, before we left.

About Knoxville, I always wanted to go there. About 12 years ago I tried to convince my husband to relocate there. I did a lot of research on different cities in the US and that one came up as a city we would like. Maybe someday I will get there, if we end up in Nashville we will go there for sure! Then I will contact you for recommendations.

I did get the distinct impression the charm of Tennesseans would indeed make up for the weather. We had stopped at a little mart to get some bottled water at one point, and being from NY I paused in front of the refrigerated case to let a man pass by before I opened the door and blocked the aisle. He looked at me and said, "No, m'am, I may look like a scoundrel but there is no way I'm gonna pass in front of you, y'all go right ahead and I'll wait." LOL, that is shocking behavior to a NYer.

Alexandra said...

I know what you mean about Southern manners, although SE.Va is not as "Southern" as Tenn. It is still better than where my parents live up near Philadelphia. I prefer living down south for this very reason, but the heat is dreadful. I've learned that trees are my friend.

Alexandra said...

I know what you mean about Southern manners, although SE.Va is not as "Southern" as Tenn. It is still better than where my parents live up near Philadelphia. I prefer living down south for this very reason, but the heat is dreadful. I've learned that trees are my friend.

Lily said...

Thanks for stopping in, Alexandra :-) Southern manners are definitely a pleasant experience. We really enjoyed our brief stay.

deb said...

The heat is terrible! I have no idea how our humans lived in the southeast before the invention of air conditioning. The humidity is much worse then the heat, at least it is here in the sandhills of NC.

Lily said...

Yes, thank goodness for air conditioning. The humidity was thick in Nashville when we were there, and I agree the humidity is worse.