On a whim, we thought it might be interesting to travel for the Christmas holidays. I had always wanted to travel to Nashville. Why you ask? Well, I had driven past it one year in college when I drove from Annandale-on-Hudson, NY to New Orleans for Spring Break. I admired the Nashville skyline from afar. “That’s Nashville”, I thought. “Someday I gotta check that out”.
In October I pitched the idea to my family and they liked it, saying, “Let’s add Memphis to the trip”. And thus, a vacation was born.
Christmas morning we rose early and headed to the airport to fly Alaska Airlines direct flight to Nashville from Seattle. We arrived in the afternoon, picked up our rental car, and drove to the majestically over-hip Union Station train station that was recently renovated into an Autograph Collection hotel.
After checking in we took a concierge recommendation to walk to “The Gulch” and find some dinner. As it was Christmas day many businesses were either closed or packed. We stumbled upon a Southern seafood restaurant called Marsh House. They were full up for the night and as we didn’t have a reservation we were relegated to the bar. After realizing the pre fixe menu was going to be awkward to eat at the bar we bribed the hostess with a box of Almond Roca and suddenly there was an open table for us. We had a lovely Christmas dinner eating innovative and exotic dishes before finding ourselves stuffed like a Christmas stockings. We waddled out of the restaurant and into the streets of The Gulch in search of Music City.
We headed to the famous Station Inn to catch some live bluegrass. The Station Inn didn’t disappoint. It is a vintage honky tonk dive bar, complete with pimento cheese crackers served on a paper plate. There was a full-on bluegrass jam session happening when we arrived with musicians rotating in and out between songs and trips to the bar. It was gritty, grimy, and a little bit sticky, but overall an excellent way to spend Christmas night and a great introduction to Nashville and bluegrass. I could tell this was going to be a great holiday week.