Monday, April 30, 2018

Nashville Part II: The Hermitage, Vanderbilt University and a little bit of Honky-Tonk-ing

Outside The Hermitage in Nashville, home to Andrew Jackson, seventh president of the US

While we loved our visit to the Grand Ole Opry and the Country Music Museum, there's also a lot of American history to soak in at Tennessee's capital city.

During our short stay in Nashville, we also toured The Hermitage, home to president Andrew Jackson. A strong-willed, self-made man, the 7th president of the US still remains a controversial figure in history. His home in Nashville, however, is beautiful as are the furnishings. There was an exquisite silver teapot on display  that Jackson bought for his wife, Rachel, during one of his trips to Philadelphia.

Silver teapot from Andrew Jackson to his wife, Rachel

Hermitage blue toile mug

In the gift shop, (yes, there was one and yes, I had to go there), I purchased "The Hermitage" Earl Grey tea, from one of our favorite tea companies, Oliver Pluff (see our Key Lime and South Carolina tea blogs). Also picked up a china mug whose blue and white toile design is a replica of the wallpaper inside  the Jackson home.

Rachel and President Jackson
The Hermitage Earl Grey pairs well with history

Another "must see" Nashville destination on my list was Vanderbilt University. This school of higher learning was originally financed by Cornelius Vanderbilt. Also known as the "Commodore", he built a shipping and railroad empire that made him one of the richest men of 18th century America. That sizable fortune lead to some of the most extravagant spending and lavish lifestyles of the Gilded Age by the Commodore's grandchildren.

On the campus of Vanderbilt University with The Commodore

We've been to some of the homes of Cornelius Vanderbilt's decedents: Vanderbilt Mansion in Hyde Park, Biltmore in Asheville, and the Breakers and the Marble House, both of Newport. (Spoiler alert - in May, we'll be visiting another residence that was enhanced by the Vanderbilt money, Blenheim Palace in England. More of that to come!).

Honky Tonk-ing on Broadway, Nashville's main street

Of course, no trip to Nashville is worth its salt (on a Margarita at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville on Broadway) without a stop along the town's main drag, lined with bars and honky tonks, all filled with local color and amazing musicians. We hit three on Broadway, the city's main street, and listened to a variety of bands, from country to blues to rock and roll.  

Chris inspired by the cool country sounds at Puckett's

We spent our last evening at Puckett's, a restaurant that serves up fine Southern food and hospitality with live entertainment to boot. We indulged in fried chicken and cornbread while listening to a host of talented singer/songwriters. My husband was inspired!

Although this concludes Part II of our vacation in Nashville, we hope we'll be taking in Part III in the near future. We loved this city, full of history, music, good eats and good times and we hope to be back very soon!

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