Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Tennessee, otherwise known as The Weekend of Amazing Luck
Ahhhh, what a trip.
Let me start off by saying, TN is a terrific state and I really do recommend everyone giving it a chance. The people are so kind, and their state is just beautiful. Everyone should visit, especially Nashville to support them as they rebuild after the flood. But more on that later...
My boyfriend and I decided at the last minute to hit TN, because he had once driven through Knoxville and thought I might enjoy a proper weekend there. We spent 2 days in Memphis and one in Nashville. It just was NOT enough time! We got there early Friday morning, and tried our hand at Cockadoo for breakfast (so new, they don't even show up on Googlemaps yet). We had somewhat slow service followed by an incredible barbeque pulled pork omelet, catfish and grits , and sweet potato with marshmallows. Incredible food. The price to us, for our wait? Free. (Hope I didn't just sink Cockadoo with that, but I mean it as a proper rave review.)
We followed up by wandering into the annual BBQ festival, where teams compete from around the world, and display their pig paraphernalia along with names like "Butt-oh-dacious" and "Ribbed For Your Pleasure". And my god, the food was good, and confirmed when we later visited the award-winning Pig's on Beale ("Natural Born Grillers"). We also checked out Neely's (Down Home With The Neelys) for extraordinary wings and pulled pork, and even went back for more before our flight. On a detour from bbq, we enjoyed fried burgers and twinkies at Dyer's on Beale St.
Mind, not everything in Memphis is food (although even if it was, it would still be worthwhile). On a whim, we followed signs to the Civil Rights museum, only to discover that it is the actual site where MLK Jr was shot and killed, on the balcony of the Loretta Motel. It was so worthwhile to see, we went back a second day to spend time in the building where the shot was fired from (now used to showcase the forensic evidence and following criminal case). We also got to see "The Witness", the oscar-nominated documentary, and the guy that it's based on was even there that day! We also checked out Stax Museum for the history of Memphis blues music. All I can say is, if you love gold-plated pimp-mobiles or anything Isaac Hayes, this is a MUST VISIT.
We scooted our way into Nashville, which sadly does not have nearly as good food, but makes up for it in sheer talent. Nashville was recently flooded due to bad rains, and is now cleaning up the mess. To help, several crazy-famous country stars came to do a benefit concert, which we managed to sneak into at the last minute, and land terrific seats. My god, I did not know that country music could be so good. The lineup included Lady Antebellum (I nearly cried), Brad Paisley, Keith Urban (I WILL marry him, Nicole Kidman be damned), Martina McBride, CeCe Winans, Sheryl Crow, Kellie Pickler and several others. It was just so good, and meaningful. It was also kind of fun to see how a live televised event is organized, since I had never been to one. And now, I am a converted hick.
More to come, as I am completing this post the day after graduating and want to write about that experience as a separate thing. But basically, Tennessee was a hit and I recommend it to all!