Nahville Biscuits, Country Music, Grand Ol' Opry, Porter Wagner's Boots, and Amazing Storm Clouds!

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June 12th 2005
Published: July 2nd 2006
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Welcome to The Loveless Cafe!
Did you know that even if it's HOT outside and you get stuck in a rainstorm without an umbrella you could still catch a cold? I didn't. I figured it would be refreshing....a break from the heat....nice and cool. It was cool al' was downright COLD! My throat is scratchy. April's throat is scratchy and I have been cold since 9:30pm yesterday evening! 😞 However, in some weird sort of way I feel kinda connected to Alison Krauss who had to cancel her appearance at The Grand Ole Opry and several concert dates due to "losing her voice/being sick" from this week's Bonaroo Festival just outside of Nashville (more on that later). I am a huge Alison Krauss fan so for some reason being sick from yesterday's rainstorm is somewhat I will get more into that later.....

Last time I wrote April and I had attended the Thursday night CMA Music Festival and had fixed our jeep's a/c. We had planned on going to Friday night's show to see Blake Shelton and Sara Evans but it was raining out and we really wanted to go to the Opryland Mills before we leave on Monday. Friday afternoon we had

Loveless Cafe sign.
a true southern dinner at the world famous Loveless Cafe. The Loveless Cafe is a Tennessee tradition. The cafe opened in 1951 as part of the Loveless Motel. Originally they set up picnic tables in the front yard and sold chicken from the front door to travelers driving up and down US Highway 100. Just one tenth of a mile down the road from the Loveless is the start of one of the most BEAUTIFUL drives in the South, the Natchez Trace Parkway. The 444-mile Natchez Trace Parkway travels through Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama. The cafe became world famous for their fried chicken, homemade biscuits and country ham. The Loveless "biscuit lady", Carol Fay, was recently on the Ellen Degeneres show and Today! Almost every famous country celebrity dines here. It's regulars include Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, Garth Brooks, Blake Shelton, Trace Adkins and more!

I was so excited to eat here because of the "history" it had, not to mention how adorable it looked. I love the old vintage Loveless Motel & Cafe sign. The motel rooms aren't "rooms" any more. They have been turned into cute suvinier shops. When we pulled into the parking lot at 4:30pm

Inside Loveless Cafe.
(on a Friday night) I thought for sure there would be a wait, but we got luckyt and were seated instantly. The second you walk in you are struck by the amount of autographed celebrity photos hanging on the wall. The cafe was recently renovated in 2004 and has a quaint, comfortable, country shack feeling to it. The table cloths are red and white checked and the floors are wood and make that wonderful wood squeak sound when you walk. Before we even blinked their world famous biscuits were on our table with their homemade preserves and soft butter. My oh my oh myyyyyy............I have never been big on biscuits. They are usually very doughy and dry.....but these, oh boy....these were perfection. They were piping hot and cut perfectly crumbling or broken pieces. I put some butter on mine and drifted away as I took that first bite. I now understood why they were voted best biscuits in the country. The biscuits had this "taste" to them.....a light, airy taste. April loved the preserves, especially the peach. I don't really like jellies so I stuck with the butter. I could taste them now (it is almost 1pm and

Inside Loveless Cafe
we still haven't eaten so I am very, very I would've been nice and content with the biscuits and my ice cold soda, but we HAD to order dinner, I mean THIS was The Loveless Cafe!! April ordered their famous fried chicken and I their pit-smoked turky breast dinner with cranberry bbq was as good as it sounds. Our dinner came with caramlized sweet potatos (mercy!) and mine mashed pototaos and april cream style corn. How do people stay skinny in the South? LOL! I was already so full from the biscuits I was only able to have some of my turkey and a few of the sweet pototo squares. April too just had some of her chicken, corn and sweet pototaos. The food was OUT OF THIS WORLD GOOD.....we experienced a NEW kind of It was a full I think I could only handle once or twice while visiting the Nashville area. But once again --- a memorable dining experience. We have been having a lot of those. The food in the South is just incredible. Between the bbq, biscuits, and salad word.....or shall I say, my wasit! By the time we had gone as

The most delicious biscuits you'll ever eat!
"far as humanly possible" with our dinner, the waitress (who was very excited we were from the north and loved our accents), offered us dessert and April and I almost fainted....."NOT THIS TIME," we said! I wonder who actually DOES make it to dessert?? WOW!

After we left The Loveless Cafe we took a drive to Franklin, TN. This extremely scenic drive was one of my most favorite things we did during our stay in Nashville. We drove past Tennessee ranches, farm land, and homes of the rich and famous (well, at least rich). Many celebrities live in Franklin including Naomi and Wyonna Judd, Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, Vince Gill and word has it Keith Urban and Kenny Chesney. I can see why. Not only are you a hop and skip away from Loveless Cafe, you are a short 15 minute ride to downtown Nashville and the town of Franklin itself is adorable. It is a SMALL the kind John Mellancamp sings about.....This ultra-conservative, all American town is very attractive. The drive however, was the best part. There were many side roads we would've liked to explore if we had more time or it was sunny out --

My delicious turkey dinner!
maybe next time.

After our little excursion to Franklin we decided to go to Opryland Mills to see a show. We wanted to see Mr. & Mrs. Smith but ended up seeing High Tension which was a very HIGH TENSION movie. The subtitles and voice overs were a bit strange however (the movie is French), but it was scary. More like an artsy horror movie. Before the show we walked around this VERY cool Mill "shopertainment" of the best we have ever been to. The Grand Ol' Opry is across from it and the mills has a 22 screen cinema, lots of fun theme restaurants, a huge Tower Records (bought the new Cold Play CD which is awesome), a Gibson Guitar Factory (loooooved that), and lots of great stores. We were lucky to see this adorable young bluegrass group play in the Gibson Factory while we were there. They were SOO young (maybe 11-16) and SOO talented! I was upset the manager of the store broke up their jam session and told them they were done. They had gathered a nice crowd and a manager from RCI Records was even there listening. I so wanted to join in

on their session. I watched the rhythem guitarist closely and could've easily jammed along! SOOO, SOOO nice. I would die if I ever saw something like that happen at a guitar store in Rhode Island. It's usually middle age headbangers playing electric guitar! 😞 We desperatly need a good roadhouse/honkytonk/country music club in Rhode Island -- DESPERTLY!! Anyway, it was a great day.

Yesterday we were lucky enough to go to The Grand Ol' Opry. Our sole purpose was to see Alison Krauss and Union Station, however when we arrived we were told she had to cancel due to a cold she caught at The Banaroo Festival the day before. I was SO bummed out but felt worse for her. I hope she feels better soon. We have tickets to their concert at Red Rocks Amphitheater (the one where the video for U2's Sunday Bloody Sunday was filmed) in Denver, Colorado this upcoming Wednesday.

Our approach to the Grand Ole Opry was similar to our approach to Graceland in Memphis. We thought it was going to be silly/tacky but fun. BOY WERE WE WRONG! It was NOT TACKY at all!!! It was awesome! The newly renovated Opry was

Outside the Loveless Cafe.
packed with people from all over the world -- seriously. Music was playing, people were selling souvenirs, and we were lucky to see Matt Lindel, a finalist on Nashville Star TV Show (the guy with the blond hair, red baseball cap, farmer jeans and washboard) play prior to going inside. The Opry House is a beautiful building. It's history can be felt throughout. There are beautiful, HUGE, black and white prints hanging in the halls throughout the auditorium of Patsy Cline, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Hank Snow, Lefty Fizzel, etc., --- It was so moving to see. Not to mention the hall itself. The seats are benches, like pews in a church...with cushy seat pads....VERY comfy. We were so happy to be close to the stage. I believe it was 6 rows from the front, on the right hand side. People were eating hotdogs and hamburgers, nachos, candy, etc., and they were playing some old fashioned type commercials on the three large video monitors. Then the "Hooooooooooooooooooooooooowddddyyyyyyyyyyyyy" lady came out and was doing a stand-up comic skit. There was a video announcement by Vince Gill explaining the Opry's history and the fact that we would be on national TV and

You can eat outside if you'd like!
national radio throughout the entire show (2 1/2 hours of nonstop music and comedy). The countdown came and on the count of one the red velvet curtains went up and that familiar barn background came into view with a "WELCOME TO THE GRAND OLE OPRY," and Little Jimmy Dickens came out....and boy he IS little....maybe 4'10? 4'11? He was this adorable, cute , little old guy with a huge guitar and cowboy hat singing some honkey tonk! The crowd went wild. It was SO cool...or rather SO! I remember watching episodes of The Grand Ole Opry on CMT years ago. It's unfortunate it no longer airs on CMT and only on the GCM (Great Country Music Channel) -- We don't get that up north. The evening was full of great performances, the best being the incredible 18 year old Blaine Larson who I am sure will be around for MANY years to follow. He sang two songs. His hit, HOW DO YOU GET THAT LONLY and his new single THE BEST MAN. Wow, his voice is amazing and he is a doll! The crowd went wild for him. Other good performances was Keith Anderson (Picken Wildflowers is his current

Heading to Franklin, TN.
single) and Craig Morgan (What I Love About Mondays and Red Neck Yacht Club). Although, Craig Morgan made some of the strangest faces I had even word.....he sometimes looked like Lyle Lovett's love child! We also saw Porter Wagner in a bright pink, rhinestone cowboy suit that NO ONE, I REPEAT NO OOOOOOOONE should ever, EVER be caught in. Just the thought of the polyester count in that suit gives me chills...WHOAH. They had square dancers and comedians and one of the coolest things were the LIVE commercials! Just like "the old days" they had this guy and woman read the commercials. It was so cute! The Grand Ole Opry has members of all ages. We went from the young 18 year old Blaine Larson, to a woman in her 80's who, God bless her, sounded great for her age. You certainly get your full money's worth with an Opry show. If I lived in or near Nashville, I would go every Saturday night. To me it is worth the $37 it cost. You never know who is going to stop by. Kenny Chesney? Garth Brooks? Toby Keith? Trish Yearwood? Dierks Bentley? Keith Urban? Martina McBride? Faith Hill? Tim

Beautiful scenery on the way to Franklin, TN.
McGraw? You just never know!

When we left the Opry it was POURING OUT! It was the remnants of tropical storm Irlene. We parked waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay, way down and had to walk to our car. The first few minutes were fun. The next 10 minutes were not. The rain was ice cold and it was only 72-75 out. Ape and I were soaked. When we got inside the jeep we put the heat on to try and dry off but it didn't help too much. When we arrived at the hotel the a/c in the hall hit us like a ton of bricks as did the a/c we left turned up in our room -- ouch -- brrrr!! It felt so good to have warm cloths on but we couldn't get warm. Who would've thought getting caught in the rain, in the summer, could cause so much trouble?? Hmmm.....It was all worth it though. The Opry was an experience we will never forget and something we will do each time we are back in Nashville.

That brings us to today. We both woke up kinda sick. Not like a full fledged cold or anything -- but icky. Slight sore

It reminded me of Vermont.
throat, stuffy head....tired. So we worked and just hung out in the room. We are going to take it easy since we are leaving for Denver, Colorado tomorrow morning! 😊 I can't wait! We get to drive through smalls part of Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri and through all of Kansas. I hope we stay clear of severe weather & tornados. We have to arrive Colorado by Wednesday for the Alison Krauss concert at Red Rocks Amphitheater (if she doesn't cancel). It has always been my dream to see a concert at Red Rocks. The thought of hearing Alison Krauss and her AMAZING voice in that venue gives me the chills just thinking of it. The concert was sold out last week. No ticket brokers even had tickets. For "the heck" of it, I tried Ticket West Thursday night to see if any tickets were released for this upcoming Wednesday's show and low and behold, they were! They are close 3rd section or something like that. WHAT LUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anyway, April and I are getting ready to rent Million Dollar Baby so I will end here for now.

Till next time....

Happy Travels! 😊

Des & Ape

Additional photos below
Photos: 54, Displayed: 31



The area was full of beautiful homes.

Lots of farm land as well.

And of course there were ranches!

How cute were these?

Welcome to Franklin, TN.

Small town USA.

Even in small town USA they have their BBQ!

I wouldn't mind this home!

Welcome to The Grand Ole Opry!

12th June 2005

Hi girls, glad you enjoyed Nashville. I've lived here 30 years and have never been to the Grand Ole Opry or the Loveless--I think I'll go after your glowing report! - TN import

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