Wednesday, May 16, 2018

IMG_20180516_180937_247.jpgWe got going at around 9:00 and headed out for breakfast. The place we found was called Another Broken Egg. I went for a twist on a southern classic and got chicken and sweet potato waffle Rachel had peach pancakes with bacon and eggs. The chicken and waffle was amazing! It had a chipotle honey and pecans over the top of it.

We were planning on going to the Tennessee State Museum, but we had some time before they opened so we walked over to the capital. The capital sits on top of a huge hill and the views of the city are pretty good. There’s a lot of statues and monuments around the capital building. There’s a huge monument for the 7th U.S. president Andrew Jackson. The 11th president of the United States, James K. Polk and his wife Sarah are both buried on the grounds around the capital.

We walked back down the hill to the Tennessee State Museum. It turns out the museum is closed because they’re moving in October. It would have been really great if they had a sign outside letting us know that it was closed, but they didn’t. A couple blocks over there was a Starbucks, so I got an overpriced iced coffee while we waited for our Lyft out to Belmont Mansion.

IMG_20180516_104719513_HDR.jpgBelmont Mansion is on the campus of Belmont University. The house was built in 1849 on one of the tallest hills in Nashville. It was built as a summer home by Joseph and Adelicia Acklen. Adelicia was quite a woman. Her first fiancé died shortly before their wedding. She swore she would never love again, but just five years later she married her first of IMG_20180516_113836436.jpgthree husbands. Belmont was built with her second husband. Before their wedding she asked him to sign a marriage contract stating that she would maintain ownership and control of all the property she brought to the marriage, and he agreed. In that time, traditionally any property that was hers would become her husbands at the time of their marriage. The home was occupied for two weeks leading up to the battle of Nashville in December of 1864 by a union general by the name of Thomas J. Wood

IMG_20180516_180941_501.jpgThe home was beautiful! This home was a little different from the rest at the time having been built in the Italian Villa style. With this style of home all the doors and windows at the front and back of the house could be opened allowing breezes to cool the house. Since it was intended as a summer home the staircase was originally open to the outdoors. The family eventually needed more entertaining space so the back porch was extended and enclosed. Keeping with the style of the time the walls of the space and up the stairs and the landing on the second floor were wood, but painted to look like marble. The wood floors of the second floor landing are also painted to look like black and white marble tiles. The tour was about an hour long, and very informative.

After our tour of Belmont we walked over to the Parthenon. It’s a full size replica of the Parthenon in Athens, Greece. The Nashville Parthenon was built right around the turn of the century. The first floor is an art gallery featuring some incredible paintings from the late 1800s and very early 1900s. there’s also a temporary exhibit in the west gallery about Harry Shepherd. Shepherd was a very successful and nationally noted African-American photographer from St.Paul, Minnesota around the turn of the century. The second floor of the Parthenon has a 41 foot tall statue of the goddess Athena the was completed in 2002. The statue is covered in so much gold leaf it’s unbelievable!

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After we finished at the Parthenon we walked about 20 minutes to a Nashville “must go” for a Nashville “must eat”, Hattie B’s for Nashville hot chicken! I was told that Hattie B’s is always busy with a line out the door, and it was indeed at 3:00 on a Wednesday afternoon. We waited in line for around a half hour before ordering, but it didn’t take long to get our food once we ordered. They have six levels of heat from “southern” (no spice) to “shut the cluck up” with hot being right in the middle. Rachel went for the mild and I got the medium. The chicken was great. It was spicy, but it was a good spicy, it had good flavor and caused pain. The pimento mac and cheese and the slaw I got were both really good too. I kind of wish I would have gotten the hot, I will next time.

Our last museum of the day was the Frist art gallery. We got there an hour and a half before close and we were there until they kicked us out five minutes after close. On the main floor, there was a photography exhibit about the civil rights movement that I thought was really great. Upstairs there was a really interesting exhibit by a Chicago artist. There were a lot of found object things, entire “outfits” made of found stuff. There was a really amazing installation of a bunch of pieces of painted bamboo that had been strung on cords and hung from the ceiling. Depending on where you stand you see different things in the installation. There were quite a few animals hidden within it. That exhibit is only there for a few more weeks before it moves on to the next city, and I’m really glad I got to see that one.

That was it for our first full day in Nashville. I will have the rest of the Nashville adventure in the next few days. Until next time, safe travels!

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