Friday, September 20, 2013

Nashville, TN 9/13/13-9/20/13

We always enjoy Nashville.  This trip was dedicated to new adventures in Nashville.  Home was Seven Points Corps of Engineers, which was enjoyable, especially with the lake. 

We headed towards Vanderbilt University for a new BBQ find.  BBQ was great and we also walked outside the Parthenon located in Centennial park in Nashville.  The Parthenon was originally built for Nashville's 1897 Centennial Celebration.  It is touted as the only full scale replica in the world of  the Parthenon in Athens Greece.  Of course we needed to ask why.  Well in the 1840's educator Philip Lindsay presented the idea that Nashville, by encouraging the ideals of Classical Greek education, should become known as the Athens of the West.  While that never stuck, the nickname Athens of the South did, that is until Music City and the Grand Ole Opry arrived. We only saw the impressive outside of the Parthenon and will visit the inside on a return visit.

Day 2 and we were off to the local Farmer's market (wow, wonderful) including great food at Jamacaway (reviewed on Drive-ins and Dives).  Teri the adventurer had Ackee and Salt Fish and thought it was quite delicious.  On review it is the National dish of Jamaica.  Across the street from the Farmer's Market we took in a Vintage Base Ball Game. 

Vintage Base Ball (yes 2 words in the 1800's) is not only a reenactment of Base Ball in the 1800's but also a competitive sport.  Besides Vintage rules, all players use vintage equipment, and wear period specific costumes.

At the top of the rules, players do not use any gloves in the game.
A few more of the Vintage rules we observed (not experts by any means):

A striker, aka batter is out if
  1. A bated ball is caught on the fly or on one bounce.
  2. 3 Balls are swung at and missed.
A Base Runner is out if
  1. Forced out at base
  2. Tagged out at base
  3. Runs 2 or more feet out of the baseline.
  4. A base runner may advance at his own risk when a batted ball is caught on one bounce, but return to base on those caught in the air.
All pitches are underhanded with an arc.

Of note, we did not observe any quantity of "balls" that result in a walk, although there well may have been some number.  To us it seemed like batters could wait to swing until a good pitch came in.

During the game one batter launched a high line drive to right field, over the trees, over the wall, over the road and hit a horseless carriage, aka auto. At first we assumed it was a home run, however, in Vintage Base Ball this is a foul ball as all out of the park balls are.  At some later date the rules were obviously changed to reward the finest displays of hitting, rather than penalize them.  The game was fun to watch and we found the uniforms, the spirit and the atmosphere all enjoyable.

Whle in Nashville we made it to Arnold's for lunch.  Arnold's is our favorite Nashville location for good Southern food.  Owners Jack and Rose Arnold have been serving Country Music stars and locals in this very small diner since 1981.  More on Arnold's (and following a dream) can be read at:

And of course we had time for a couple of nice bike rides along the both the Stones and Cumberland rivers. Lots of trees but surprisingly we did not see much wildlife (other than the snake Teri almost hit on the trail).

One evening we headed out to Cheekwood Botanical Gardens, which is surrounded by numerous Country Music star mansion estates (that we did a bus tour that included on a previous trip).  In the 1880's Christopher Cheek began a Wholesale Grocery business.  His son Leslie would later join him in the business.  In 1896, Leslie Cheek married Mabel Wood (Cheekwood) and by 1915, Leslie would become president of the family firm "Postum" (now General Foods).  Meanwhile an elder cousin, Joel Cheek, had developed a superior blend of coffee (Cheek-Neal Coffee) and was marketing that coffee at the best Hotel in Nashville-the "Maxwell House".  Eventually Postum would buy Cheek-Neal Coffee and market that Coffee as the Maxwell House brand.  Cheekwood Botanical Gardens is the former home of the Cheekwood's country Estate.

While at Cheekwood we visited the museum on the grounds and also toured the Bruce Munro Exhibition of Light-An outdoor light exhibition by British Artist Bruce Munro. More on Bruce Munro can be found at:  It was a beautiful evening-the lights, the weather and a full moon too.

Last, but by no means least, we were off to Lower Broadway, home to the vast sea of hopeful up and coming Country Music stars where one can take in venue after venue of great and free Country Music performances.  We popped in and out of a few places but finally settled down for a burger and music at Robert's Western World.  On tap during our meal was "The Don Kelley Band".  They had an 18 year, named Daniel Donato on the guitar , who took to playing shortly after turning 12, that was quite incredible.  You can go take a look for yourself at:

Nashville's Parthenon
Meatball (the pitcher for the Farriers), up to bat
Pitcher from the Nashville Maroons, Old Hoss
Bruce Munro Exhibition of Light
Bruce Munro Exhibition of Light
Bruce Munro Exhibition of Light
Seven Points Corps of Engineers Campsite
Early Morning Campsite Visitor


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