West Baden Springs Indiana

West Baden Springs Indiana
Inside of the AMAZING West Baden Springs Resort in Indiana.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Holston House in Nashville TN.

We were very lucky to find ourselves at the Holston House in Nashville for this trip!

This is a newer Hyatt hotel that opened late last year I believe, though it is in a building that went up in 1929.  So, they are kind of going for a VERY new feel, in an attractive, old building.

PLUS, this hotel was walking distance from everything.  Broadway, The Country Music Hall of Fame, Third Man Records and other places were all a short walk.  This was a very convenient place for us to stay.

The hotel is very unique, and I am not even sure of what I could compare it to.  There is a swimming pool on the roof, along with a bar.  This was a popular area.  It was also a great place to look down on the rest of the city.

We did have a nice lunch in their restaurant one day.  We had tasty burgers and fries.

Like I said, this is a newer place, and we just had a nice time hanging around here.  Check out my photos!

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Parnassus Books in Nashville, TN

Parnassus Books is one of those very cool little indy book shops you should get to for many reasons. 

I think it is fascinating because an actual real author owns the place.  This is Ann Patchett's store.  I personally don't read a lot of modern fiction, but I did make a point to pick up one of Ann's books while we were here (it seemed like the appropriate thing to do).  You can get any of her releases here and each one is signed!

My wife and I ended up spending a good chunk of time here.  We arrived one morning just before a children's story hour.  We saw a LOT of young kids coming in with their parents.  The story hour here attracted a large crowd.  I must say too that, though the back area/children's section was crowded with children, they were all VERY well behaved and pleasant.  It is nice that this book store offers story time.  It is also nice to see so many parents taking advantage of this.  What a valuable free service they are providing!

While here, I picked up a SIGNED Al Gore book for my Presidential (or, almost Presidential) collection.  My wife found a cute shirt with the bookstore's logo on it for a reasonable $15 or so.

I noticed on their website that they do a TON of author signings, and they stock a lot of signed books.  I love that sort of thing.

I also noticed by the counter, that they sold small matchbooks with book covers on them.  The display showed a "Fahrenheit 451" matchbox.  I checked, and they were sold out of this one.  I really wanted to buy that one though- just because of the irony of buying a F451 book of matches...  at a bookstore.

Anyway, we ended up having a very pleasant conversation with the staff there as we paid for our items.  These are people that care about books.

This is definitely the kind of book store to splurge at if you visit.  Pick up a signed  book for yourself that you can't find anywhere else.  This is a special bookstore where you can still find a special book.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Edwin Watt's Golf Handprints in Nashville, TN

In the parking area of Edwin Watt's Golf in Nashville, there are some concrete tiles, signed, hand and shoe printed by various celebrities.

There had to have been hundreds, with an emphasis on country music legends.  We did see a lot of people stopping to check it out with us.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Mosaic Dragon Sculpture- Nashville, TN

We are fortune in that we have an old friend who has lived in Nashville for several years now.  He took us on a very nice tour of some of the more odd places and sites in Nashville.

It was dark as we were ending our evening with him, but he wanted to make sure we got to visit the recently restored Mosaic Dragon Sculpture.

Again, it was late so my photos aren't the best, but this is a very unique piece of art that I am glad we got to see.  Check out the elaborate tile work!  My photos do not do it justice.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Third Man Records in Nashville TN

I FINALLY got to Third Man Records in Nashville Tennessee!  This has been a place high on my list for some time.

A buddy went some time ago, and brought me back the plastic, "Mold-A-Rama" style guitar available here.  I love that sort of thing.

And I love the fact that Jack White has a record store in Nashville.  That alone is just pretty cool.

We had heard that the store was in a questionable neighborhood, but we walked to it from the Broadway area (it was maybe a 20 minute walk) and we felt safe.  I would say it was a nice, pleasant walk too.

The store itself is small.  Definitely think cool old independent record store you remember from a couple of decades ago.  Don't think about the large cd/record shops that used to be in the malls.

The thing that I really wanted to do here was record an actual song in the "Third Man Recording Booth."  For $20, you can actually record for a couple of minutes onto an actual piece of vinyl.  Think about that.  It is a VERY rare opportunity.

The booth is from the 40s... and it is a bit moody.  I noticed on their website that they suggest calling to see if the booth is working before coming in.  THAT is authentic vintage technology!

A very friendly fellow working there helped us get ready to record, explaining the process.  You pretty much press a button, hear a vacuum sound, that ends, a light comes on... and you go!

We debated what to sing.  I felt that Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart" might be a nice choice.  My wife felt something more traditional would be right.  "You Are My Sunshine" ended up being the song we went with.

We actually had to record it twice, as there was an issue with the needle the first time around.  AND, somehow, we ended up recording on the B-side...  So our only, one of a kind single is literally the B-side to nothing.  That feels appropriate.

The staff played our record at the store to make sure it sounded right (more bragging rights- my one record has been played at Third Man Records).  To my wife's relief, they did play it low, so we were really the only ones who could hear it.

The whole process was a lot of fun.  Our record is on clear vinyl too, which I like.

The staff at Third Man told us that a lot of big names have actually recorded in the booth including Neil Young, Willie Nelson, and Weird Al.  She told us that Hannibal Buress stopped by to record in it recently too.  And now we have.

After we recorded, a guy went in to record himself rapping.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Dunn Brothers Coffee Downtown Nashville TN.

I wanted to give a quick mention to Dunn Brothers Coffee in Nashville.  It was a very short walk from our hotel, and we ended up stopping by here a couple of mornings.

This is a very cozy and roomy coffee shop, especially for a happenin' downtown area.  There were plenty of seats, and some nice secluded areas too.  I mention this because a lot of chain coffee shops, especially newer ones, have limited seating and space.  A LOT of newer shops have a "get your coffee and leave" vibe.  Dunn Brothers has a very welcoming feel.

The staff was friendly, we had good coffee, and there were some interesting breakfast options here too!

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Union Station Hotel, Nashville, TN

ANOTHER beautiful, historic and simply amazing hotel that we saw for a bit on our Nashville trip was the Union Station Hotel.

This place was just ridiculously perfect.

Here are a few photos.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Hermitage Hotel- Nashville TN

We stopped by the Hermitage Hotel in Nashville briefly while we were on a walk.  I know Presidents and celebrities have stayed here for years, and we just wanted to stick our heads in for a second to check out the lobby!

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Goo Goo Shop and Dessert Bar- Nashville TN

The Goo Goo Shop and Dessert Bar in Nashville is right in the popular area of downtown Nashville, right off of Broadway, next to the Johnny Cash Museum.

Everyone said we had to go here and it was worth a stop.  They do have a nice dessert bar and Goo Goo Cluster merch.

This was a nice place to stop for a treat after a while of walking around town.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Fort Negley- Nashville, TN

We spent a couple of hours at Fort Negley just outside of downtown Nashville on our recent road trip. 

I won't get too much into the history of the Fort, but it is a very significant Civil War site.  When the Confederates pulled out of the area during the war, the Union moved in pretty quickly and set up defenses, including this fort.

Over the next 150 or so years, the Fort has been neglected, restored, etc., etc.

The site has some very interesting history, in addition to it's use during the Civil War.  During Reconstruction, the site was a meeting place for the KKK.  In the 1930s, the WPA made efforts to restore it.  It seems that only over the last decade and a half have realistic efforts been made to restore, preserve, and interpret the Fort.

I am almost embarrassed to admit that we were here back in 2010 to see a minor league baseball game at the now abandoned Herschel Greer Stadium.  At that time, we really enjoyed visiting minor league ballparks, and our interest American history and the Civil War wasn't what it is now.  Anyway, here is what I wrote about that park in 2010.  I have included a photo of the abandoned and vandalized ballpark now, taken from Fort Negley right beside it.

There is a very peaceful mile or so walking trail you can take around Fort Negley.  We noticed several walkers and cyclists enjoying the paths.  We also noticed that there are some farm critters here (they are fenced in).

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Random Photos around Nashville Tennessee

Nashville is a town that I feel like I know well.  Even during my high school days, we would take trips to the area.  It was only a 2 hour drive from Owensboro, and it was just a nice, easy place to get to for some fun.

I remember spending a lot of time downtown, on and near Broadway.  It had been some time since I had visited Broadway though; in fact, I think it has been 6 or 7 years since I last went downtown.  We probably find ourselves in or around Nashville at least once a year, but we just hadn't bothered with this area for some time.

AND, there is good reason.  This area attracts a younger, more festive crowd.  It attracts a crowd that enjoys...  well, lots of bars.

I'm not criticizing, but drinking and going to lots of different bars is not my thing.  Still, on this trip we wanted to check out a cool new hotel near Broadway.  We spent most of several days in the area and we had a lot of fun.

Even though we aren't "bar people" we had a lot of fun in this area.  The vibe is friendly and festive, and it is happenin'!

Its funny, I did hang out here one night as part of a pretty tame bachelor party in my college days.  I told some friends and co-workers about our trip to Nashville, and I had several people bring up being part of a bachelor/bachelorette party here.  I think just about everyone has gone here before a wedding.

So, we ended up spending an extended weekend in Nashville.  We found some very nice places to eat, some good coffee shops, and we ended up actually having a very relaxing trip!