How many times has Tom said that? Well we really found that out last Wednesday. We started out to see what downtown Nashville had to offer the tourist trade. We drove first to the Capitol, easy to find on our Garmin Nuvi. We circled the Capitol looking for parking, but there were no parking spaces for the public around the Capitol. We saw the big ‘P’ marking the PUBLIC parking garage only 2 blocks away. We pulled in and parked in space 106 on the 3rd level. We went to the Ticket Purchasing machine and that’s when things started to go downhill.
I tapped in the numbers ‘1’, ‘0’, ‘6’, put in my American Express card to pay for the 4-6 hours of parking time and the machine grabbed my card and captured it! Oh NO! What now? We looked around for a phone number to call, but no number. I didn’t want to leave the machine with my credit card in it so Tom started to look for an official. In the mean time a friendly janitor walked by, sweeping up, and I asked him what could we do? He told me where the office was located then he asked, “Do you want a phone number?” “Perfect,” I said. I called and the gentleman said he would be right up. In the mean time Tom returned. He had not contacted anyone yet. Just then Lorenzo Tesfay, the General Manager for Republic Parking, walked up with another staff member and opened the machine door and retrieved my credit card. What a relief. We were so grateful for the exceptional service and courtesy. We had quite a nice chat before leaving for the Capitol.
We decided to take the steps up the front for a better photo op.
There are 106 steps up to the Capitol. This was the hottest day of the year for Nashville, 94* and very high humidity. We stopped at each of the levels, three of them, to rest. When we got to the top this is what we saw, 'closed for renovation.’
There were signs on all four sides of the building – at the top of all the stairs. One side of the Capitol there were 190 steps up to the Capitol!
We ran into a young staff member walking around the corner and when he asked how we were doing, I told him!!! “Why couldn’t the signs be put at the bottom of the stairs?” This nice young man, who was from Monterey, CA, said the renovation had just started today (timing is everything?) and he would go right then and tell the Building Manager. Success, I think. Unfortunately we missed this exceptionally beautiful and historic Capitol.
We had to cool off at Dunkin Donuts with a chilled coffee back at the parking garage with 4 hours parking for the Jeep paid for. We checked out the bus routes to the Visitor Center located about 1/4 mile away since we did not want to move the car.
We found the FREE Music City Metro bus that tours around town. We did the circuit twice before getting off at the Visitor Center.
In addition to being a great resource and wealth of information it is the most beautiful building. It is where Sirius Radio Country Western radio is broadcast from. We learned where to park all day for $7 just up the street at the Baptist Church parking lot, we picked up several brochures, learned NOT to visit on Friday because the Predators were playing hockey at the Bridgestone because it would be a ZOO downtown, and convinced Tom to go to Grand Ole Opry on Thursday. Nice day.
Thursday we parked in the Baptist Parking Lot, paid the $7 at the machine. In the background the Nashville new very big convention center much like the Kemper Area in Kansas City is being built.
Downtown Anywhere is not our favorite place to tour even if it is Nashville.
Instead we caught the free bus to the Tennessee State Museum. Lucky us, again our timing was perfect… 6 school tours were scheduled. These kids were everywhere. We did have a wonderful time in spite of some very rude students. Where were the chaperones?
We ate dinner at a highly recommended restaurant, Demos’. If EVER we get back to Nashville, I will have the unlimited soup at Demos’. The best ever! Then the best ever performance at the Grand Ole Opry (we heard people who had been before saying this as they exited).
These are a few pictures of announcer, Eddie Stubbs; host Larry Gatlin who was funny and sang many songs; Ronny Robbins, son of Marty Robbins, who also was a wonderful singer; Jim Glaser, who sang the high parts on the Marty Robbins song El Paso and is also a song writer; a couple of new singers; and the star of the show, the Charlie Daniels Band. All I can say is the show was out of this world. We paid for the least expensive seats and they were still great seats.
We couldn’t have been happier, UNTIL we got back to the car and found a ticket for $40 on the windshield of the car. What!!! We had forgotten to put the payment receipt on the dash. More to come on that situation.
Friday we visit the Hermitage.
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