I traveled a little closer to home this past weekend – a little over six hours by car. I went to Nashville, Tennessee – a great place to visit – even greater if you have two daughters living there like I do. Most of all, I spent time visiting with my daughters, but also enjoyed a bit of Nashville and went to the Stitches South fiber festival.
I arrived with another daughter late Thursday evening (or maybe it was Friday morning). We were able to stay with my oldest daughter so we saved the cost of a hotel room for the three nights we were there.
There is so much to do in Nashville, it would be impossible to cover everything in a week, let alone a weekend. Check out the city’s website for more information. Here are a few highlights of things we have done on past trips:
Nashville has many great historical sites. The Carter House and Carnton Plantation are important Civil War sites – both offer tours and information about battles fought on the properties. Tours of the Belle Meade Plantation show the prosperity brought through slavery and tell of the plantation’s demise after the war.
The 1400-foot Pathway of History traces Tennessee’s state history. Nearby, the 200-foot granite Tennessee map, a 95-bell Carillon and the World War II Memorial also draw visitors to Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park.
Nashville has a large variety of restaurants – reservations or a long wait is required on the weekend. There are so many places to choose from – most of these were new to us.
We checked out a couple of places for lunch on Friday – one daughter joined me at The Wild Cow (delicious vegan and vegetarian), and another daughter had lunch with her friend at Calypso Cafe (healthy Caribbean themed food).
Friday evening, in preparation for our upcoming trip to Japan, we made a chicken stir fry at my daughter’s home. Although we can all eat with chopsticks, we practiced etiquette with chopsticks and pouring tea.* On Saturday we continued the theme at Otaku Ramen. We shared Duck Confit Buns and Gyoza for appetizers and then had Shoyu (not listed on the menu) and Tonkotsu ramen dishes. Everything was delicious!
Before we left for home on Sunday afternoon, we had brunch at the Sky Blue Cafe – one daughter’s favorite. Famous in our family for their “Banana & Nutella Stuffed French Toast Pancakes,” the restaurant serves breakfast all day.
Nashville is known as “Music City” and everywhere you turn there are opportunities to enjoy music of all varieties. Concerts, performances, or other musical presentations are available every day of the year.
The Nashville Symphony Orchestra provides an array of classical concerts at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. The Grand Ole Opry, 3rd and Lindsley, the Bridgestone Arena and the Ryman Auditorium host concerts by famous and familiar talents.
Honky-Tonk Highway (Broadway), Lower Broadway and several other places throughout the city offer singers and songwriters opportunities to perform and be discovered – free to the public, but tips are welcome.
The main reason we chose this past weekend to go to Nashville was that we wanted to attend the Stitches South fiber festival. I had heard a lot about the festival, but had never been able to attend. This event is held once a year and has been held in Nashville the last couple of years.
Stitches South is a four day event offering classes, demonstrations, and a market with around 100 vendors. Since we had a limited amount of time we did not participate in any of the classes. The list looked interesting, so this may be something I’ll try if I go next year.
We walked through the market to check out everything and then walked it again to make our purchases. The vendors included farms, spinners and dyers – many who otherwise sell on Etsy – local yarn shops and a few suppliers of related merchandise. I was surprised there were no large yarn companies, but I appreciated the small ones who sell directly to consumers.
It was easy to see the trends in yarn and knitting – we saw many gradient shawls and sweaters on display in the booths. There were balls of gradient yarn and packages of four to seven skeins of gradient colored yarn for sale everywhere. Yes, I purchased some – I’ll post a picture of my project when it’s completed.
The event took place in the Opryland Hotel and we found a great burger place there for lunch. We wandered the gardens for awhile after we left the show – a treat itself.
Stitches presents shows throughout the states, with the next one coming in August – Stitches Midwest. It’s in Schaumburg so it will be closer to home – I’ll let you know if I am able to attend. Then, there are shows in Texas in September, New Mexico in November, and California next February. Wouldn’t it be fun to go to them all?
Overall, we had a lovely weekend. We had great food and good times – especially at Stitches South. We spent a little time discussing our plans for Japan, which will be the next time I see my Nashville daughters.
*A couple basic rules: Never point with chopsticks or use them in a communal food bowl. Standing chopsticks upright in a bowl of rice symbolizes death. Do not pour yourself a cup of tea, but pour for those dining with you.