I forgot to actually post why we were in Tennessee! The main reason was just to get out and go see new things…a little carefree weekend. Loretta Lynn was playing at the Opry and I thought it would really be something if everything worked out and we could see her (I didn’t buy tickets beforehand because I didn’t want us to have to rush to Nashville to see the 6:30pm show if we stumbled on something really wonderful, and we would still be able to see the 9:30pm show if we did)…when I checked earlier, there were still plenty of seats so I planned to just call them when we got closer to N’ville and pick up the tickets at will-call.
When we were talking about how we wanted to drive up there, which roads, etc. I was telling Av that it would be really nice if we could go through Bell Buckle, TN, which was a place my friend Cotton (hi Cotton! I want to see you next time!) has been telling me that I really must visit. From what I understand, it’s a really wonderful place with lots of Victorian homes, a lovely downtown with shops carrying local handmade items, and a restaurant called the Bell Buckle Cafe which also has live music weekend nights. They also have a monthly newspaper (and if you like, read their front web page) called the Echo. Here is one article I read about Bell Buckle that makes me want to get back in the car right now and head up there.
One of the most wonderful things is that Maggie Vaughn, who is the Poet Laureate of Tennessee, lives there. I haven’t met Maggie (yet!) but I am already excited about it. I looked online for some of her work and found the her poem, Who We Are, which is the official poem of the Tennessee Bicentennial. There’s a post here about a writer meeting Maggie, and he has another of her poems, Porch Pickers, posted here.
When I wrote Cotton later this week about having to miss Bell Buckle and Maggie on this trip (it would have been after 5pm so we decided just to head on to Murfreesboro and Nashville, and plan a whole new trip up up there), she wrote me back that it was so interesting that we were planning on seeing Loretta Lynn because just last year, Maggie put some of her poetry to music, and Loretta helped with it.
Av and I are already trying to figure out when we can make a trip back to Bell Buckle. I am hoping that it will be really soon, but something I know I don’t want to miss is their annual RC & Moon Pie Festival in June – there are pics of it on Flickr here. *That* is a festival.
We really didn’t know where to go for supper in Murfreesboro…City Cafe looked like it was mostly a breakfast/lunch place, then we saw signs up for Demos’ which stated that they had been voted “best in Murfreesboro” for several years. Sure enough, when we got there, the parking lot was just about full and there was a half-hour wait to be seated.
I had the beef filet (which was *so* good) with a side of garlic spaghetti, and Av had the ribeye. I was still a little full from the 1/2 sandwich I ate so Av got lots of my steak and wound up eating most of it rather than his ribeye. One thing that was different about this restaurant is that when you order tea, it comes unsweet, but they bring a small carafe with sugar water inside, so you just pour that into your glass to sweeten it (it’s in the pic below).
What was probably the very best part about having supper there was how super-nice everyone was – from the manager who checked on us a couple of times to the waiter to the cashier. Just very, very nice.
We left Murfreesboro for Nashville and listened to the Opry show on the radio – we caught all of Loretta’s performance – she was soooo good – and heard the part where she was presented with an honorary doctorate by a university while she was on stage.
We thought about still making the 9:30pm show, but I was getting tired…I have had insomnia (which is supposed to be really common during pregancy) nearly every single night the past two or three months. I don’t have trouble getting sleepy but I have a hard time staying asleep past 3am or so. We figured it was best to go ahead and check into our hotel and make plans on seeing her next month at the Alabama instead. We’re definitely going – I can’t wait!