Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Nashville Notes

The theme of this blog sometimes I think...
Last week, I had the amazing opportunity to go to the Temporal Bone Dissection Course at Vanderbilt University.  The course program was amazing and I feel really lucky that I got to go.  Actually, I feel lucky that I found it online and all the stars aligned that allowed me to go.
This place seems classy, but only 4 M&Ms!?!

After the OR Wednesday morning, I had a quick lunch with SMS before heading to the airport.  I thought that San Jose airport would be sleepier than it was and I had a mild amount of alarm when I saw the TSA line but it all worked out.  I arrived late in the evening and since the course started at 11 the next day, I was able to sleep in a bit.
I went for a ~4 mile run from my hotel to Music Row.  It was great to multi-task: exercise and sight-seeing.  Then it was off to the showers followed by walking over to Vanderbilt for the course.  The entire course was amazing but probably of limited interest to anyone reading this except me, but I included the link above if you're interested!  Afterwards, I walked over to Jeni's ice cream where I had a brown butter almond brittle and bourbon salted pecan cone.  Yum!  Because I am an adult, this was my pre-dinner amuse bouche as I headed over to Edley's BBQ.  Yes, I'm the epitome of sophistication!  I use French words incorrectly!

Fan-girl-ing Dr. Galsscock.  Please note, the dress code said jeans and I believed it.
 Never again!
I wasn't very hungry but that was ok since I ordered the ribs (so-so) and was informed later that one does not order the ribs at Edley's, one orders the chicken wings or brisket :(  I also had the pickle chips which I shared with my neighbors at the bar, who were an interesting and fun bunch.  I was sitting at the L-shaped part of the bar so got to talking with several people.  There were two women who were insurance adjusters/artists and the mayors of the bar.  Seriously, they knew everyone.  Then there were two guys next to me, one a drummer with a famous band and the other a well-known producer.  None of us talked about work too much but it was really a fun time.  I also talked to a Nashville historian who was pretty interesting as well.  Then it was off to the Extended Stay so I could rest up for another awesome day of class and dissection!

Friday was all business, mixed with a little fun.  The course continued to be incredible.  That evening, Dr. Haynes and his wife hosted a dinner catered by Hattie B's hot chicken.  Oh my word.  The food was everything that Thursday's was not, Jeni's and fried pickles excluded.  The chicken was amazing and the sides delicious.  There were different heat levels of chicken, collard greens, macaroni n cheese and an incredible key lime pie bite at the end.  Oh my goodness.  I am hungry just typing this! The company was also great.  The Vanderbilt department are my new professional idols- they are so smart, accomplished and personable all at the same time.  They were so nice to put on the course and share their expertise.  I was really impressed and very grateful to be there!
Queen B!  Ok, this picture is zoomed in but not by much!
On Saturday, the course finished up and I walked back to the hotel after getting my second Jeni cone. This time, I got darkest chocolate and honey chocolate with smoked almonds.  I thought I would take a nap since I was tired from the time change but I went to Centennial Park instead because I heard live music.  The Americana Music Festival was finishing up that day and they had a stage/food truck event going on.  I wasn't hungry but hung out for the music and heard a great band called the Carmonas.  I also listened to several musicians during a Les Paul tribute.  The music was great but I headed back to the hotel to change before heading downtown because I wanted to go the Ascend Amphitheater and see the final Festival show, which featured Loretta Lynn!  Yes!  I ended up seeing Loretta Lynn and she was absolutely fantastic.  Her voice was amazing, her stage presence intact and it was really awesome.  I also lucked out because as I was walking in with my lawn seat ticket, a woman gave me her Ticketmaster printout for a seat 8 rows back from the stage!

Other artists that I saw included Steve Earle, Gillian Welch and Valerie June.  It was pretty spectacular.  The concert ended around 11 and although I wanted to check out the Bluebird Cafe, I didn't think I would get in so I took in the S. Broadway scene for a little bit.  There are so many bachelorette parties in Nashville!  I went to Acme Feed and Seed before grabbing a piece of pizza, where I met even more new friends including a guy who loved his nickname Sandwich (his given name is Reuban).
Breakfast of Champions!
On Sunday, I ran ~6 miles to the 12 South neighborhood, which is a very cool part of town.  Edley's is there as are many cute restaurants and shops.  After showering and checking out, I bought a pass to the Nashville bike program and biked over to Hattie B's for chicken and waffles.  Yum!  Then I headed back to 12 South and bought a coffee and looked in several of the shops.  Next, I took an Uber ride to Parnassus Books, the shop co-owned by one of my favorite authors, Ann Patchett.  No Ann sightings, but I did buy a signed book!  At that point, it was time to start thinking of heading back.  I made a quick stop in the Hillsboro area to check out a shop I thought had an awesome dress when I ran by it the other day but I couldn't find it.  I called Uber and after stopping by the hotel to pick up my luggage, we went to the airport and I headed back home to see SMS!

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