While in the car on the way to Nashville, Dad had managed to make us reservations at Etch. It was late when we arrived, so after putting our stuff in the AirBnB, we immidiately hopped in a Lyft and headed downtown. The dinner was absolutely delicious! After dinner, we walked through Broadway, which is the main party street in Nashville. It was incredible. There were live bands (sometimes multiple!) in every bar and huge lines of people (no masks) outside to get in. The cacophony on the street was unbelievable. Party busses, party tractors, and party barges were driving around filled with people dancing. Also, since it was Halloween weekend, people were wearing costumes too! We did not stop anywhere here – our plan was to catch some more relaxed, sit-down-while-you-listen music on Saturday.
On Saturday morning, we ate a huge and delicious breakfast at Tenn before taking a sight-seeing tour of the city on a golf cart. We saw quite a bit of the city and learned that the main things to do here are eat, drink, and enjoy music! We drove through Centennial park and our driver explained out the different areas of the park symbolize East, Middle, and West Tennessee. Our driver recommended that we go to Printer’s Alley to check out some music.
After the tour, we headed to Printer’s Alley and went into Bourbon Street Blues and Boogie where we caught the end of one show and most of the next. It was early afternoon, so the venue was reasonably empty. The music was excellent and the bands were really fun.
We stayed until it started getting packed as evening crept in and then headed off to find some dinner. We hadn’t made any reservations anywhere, so we picked a random eatery that still had space and had a mediocre dinner of tacos with Hot Chicken and other meats. After dinner, we found a whiskey bar called Gertie’s and enjoyed some fantastic cocktails.
On Sunday, Dad had arranged a Whiskey Tasting Tour. We were picked up at our AirBnB, and then taken to Nelson’s Green Briar first. We learned about the history of this distillery – that started before the prohibition, grew to be one of the largest distributors of Whiskey in the nation before completely shutting down during prohibition. Several years ago, through some amazing luck, the great-great grandsons of the founders discovered this piece of family history including the original recipes and decided to resurrect the business.
This distillery was in a revitalized industrial block called Marathon, named after the primary original occupants, Marathon Motor Works. They were a small volume custom car company in the early 1900s, and there was a small museum for its glory years. The rest of the museum had wine and whiskey tasting rooms, where we ended up buying some port and whiskey from the locals.
Throughout the day actually we learned a lot about the impact of prohibition on the Tennessee Whiskey business (it killed it for generations). Most of the distilleries are quite young and it was only recently that distillers other than Jack Daniels were even allowed to begin in Tennessee! We also visited H Clark which was started by the lawyer who helped pass laws allowing Whiskey to be distilled and sold in counties other than the one where Jack Daniels is located. Our last stop was Leiper’s Fork. Throughout the trip, we drove through the rolling hills of Middle Tennessee and got to see some absolutely beautiful fall foliage also.
The tour took most of the day and we decided to have our driver drop us off at a place for barbecue for dinner. Although David and I had planned to spend one more night in Nashville, we decided that it made more sense to drive home on Sunday evening so that we would be back on the boat for Monday, so after dinner we headed back to the AirBnB to pack and say goodbye. We had a great week on the boat cruising the Mississippi and Ohio rivers with Mum and Dad, plus a fantastic weekend in Nashville to cap it all off!