Today has been a lovely Nashville day – and it’s not even over yet! It’s a little warmer today than the last couple days, which is nice. But really, it doesn’t matter that much to me since I am just glad to be somewhere that the cold air is just cold, not actually physically painful.
After the songwriter’s showcase that I attended at the Listening Room Cafe last night, I had a relatively early bedtime (though it was still midnight). This was nice because I had lots planned to do today!
I woke around 8 AM and proceeded to attempt to climb off of my bunk without waking any of my roommates. I quickly looked up Nashville bus information and crept around to get dressed. This morning I was determined to get to the Pancake Pantry for breakfast! Now, if you’ve been following this blog for awhile, you might remember the last time that I visited the Pancake Pantry. It was one of my favourite meals I have ever eaten, so I was quite committed to making it there.
It was certainly a bit of a struggle because I can’t even figure out the bus system in Edmonton, but I did it. I found the bus stop at 6th and Church (which was a whole lot more difficult than it sounds because there wasn’t even a sign. I asked a random guy and he told me that it “usually stops at that lamp post”. Thanks Nashville). I painstakingly counted out five one dollar bills and a quarter into the fare collector machine for a day pass (have I mentioned how much I hate one dollar bills?), all while the bus driver couldn’t move because I wasn’t seated. I have to hand it to him though, he was nice about my fumbling, and so was everyone else on the bus.
I sat down and tried to figure out where we were heading so that I would know where to disembark. I counted off the stops, but got confused somewhere past Vanderbilt Medical Centre, and didn’t pull the cord until I actually saw the Pancake Pantry. Luckily, I think the bus driver knew it was me (you know, the clueless tourist) and he just opened the door right where we were stopped in traffic so I could hop out.
I crossed the street and before I knew it, I was at the Pancake Pantry! I sat at a table for one and pulled out my newly-acquired public transit map to study it further and figure out how I could use my newfound bus knowledge to get around to other places. The waitress came over and poured me a coffee and handed me a menu, which I looked at briefly before ordering the same thing I had the last time I was there. It was unavoidable. This was a meal I had been dreaming of for over a year – Georgia Peach Pancakes and hashbrowns.
It was just as delicious as last time. I absolutely love this place. After I finished eating, I settled in and pulled out my iPad to read while I was finishing my coffee. I’m currently reading I Am Malala and it is fascinating.
Anyways, after I had finished my morning coffee, I decided to walk around the area and check out a few shops. At the first place I walked into, the girl who was working was very friendly and we ended up chatting a little bit. When she found out I was from Canada, she started asking all sorts of questions. It was a nice conversation. I browsed a little and then left to move onto the next place. In the next store, I was greeted by another very friendly girl working. She was there alone and we ended up chatting for ages, and she even invited me out to a gig that her duo is playing tomorrow night! I will definitely have to see if I can check it out. She also gave me a few other recommendations for places to go if I can’t make it all the way over to where she is playing.
After I left that store, I started wandering towards Music Row. I’ve walked it before, but I figured I may as well just wander around and walk off some of that meal I ate this morning. While walking along Wedgewood Avenue, I had a random man on a bike ride by and wish me a Happy Valentine’s Day. A little early, but nice sentiment I suppose. Oh Nashville, you are so friendly.
I became sidetracked by a sign for Belmont Mansion, so I did a walk by of that. It was very lovely, and they do offer tours, but there was a giant group from a school or something doing a tour at the time and I decided I’d rather not deal with that. I walked through the Belmont University campus and back towards Music Row.
I’ve been on Music Row before – you can ready about my experience last time here. I really love how quite and quaint this area is, but you know that some great behind-the-scenes action in the music world is happening right there.
While on Music Row, I decided that it couldn’t be that far to walk to The Gulch. I remembered this area from last time, and there was a store I wanted to visit, plus I knew that I could catch the free MTA bus from there back downtown. So I continued my wandering down Music Row and towards the Gulch. It really wasn’t all that far, and before long I was at the store I wanted to visit. I walked in and the girl at the till looked at me and was all like “Welcome – you’ve been here before, right?”. In fact, I had, over a year ago. But recognizing me from that was farfetched so I just assume I have some sort of doppelgänger here in Nashville. Or maybe I just look so much like a local that I was mistaken for one yet again. Regardless, I had yet another lovely chat while I browsed the store and purchased a few items. As I was checking out I asked for a recommendation for where to go for coffee in the area – at this point I needed to sit down and put my feet up for a little while!
It turned out that her recommendation was for Bond Coffee Company, just two doors down. The coffee was great, and I really appreciated the ambiance, including this faux fireplace:
They also had free wifi, so I immediately pulled out my phone. After some time going down the social media rabbit hole, I stumbled upon the information that ABC’s Nashville was filming at 4th Ave and Union downtown. At this point, I realized a few things: 1) That I actually knew where that was; 2) That it was actually back in the direction of the hostel; and 3) That I wanted to go in that direction. So I left the coffee shop, found the free bus stop, and headed back downtown.
When I arrived at the alleged filming intersection, unfortunately nothing was happening. So either I missed it or the information was faulty. Too bad! It would have been really neat to pass by the filming of a show that I am a big fan of. I looped back around toward the hostel, but took a small detour to stop at the court house and take a couple photos. It is a beautiful building!
After this I returned to the hostel and am just sitting here blogging and getting ready for my evening. After some more research on the internet, I’ve come to the realization that ABC’s Nashville is looking for extras for filming tomorrow for a concert scene. For awhile I harboured the idea of trying to get selected, but upon further delving into the information it seems that as a Canadian it is impossible to do so. I am so, so sad about this!
But on to other things – have I mentioned how much I LOVE hanging out at this hostel? The common area is absolutely beautiful and there are almost always people milling around. It feels a bit like hanging out in a trendy coffee shop. There is a small stage in the corner with a piano on it and various guitars available for use around the room. Sometimes people will pick up the instruments and just start playing. I like that the best.
Anyways, that is my day so far, and it’s about time to start getting ready for my evening – I am heading to the iconic Bluebird Cafe for a pair of shows. This was pretty much the number one thing I wanted to do on this trip, so I’m ecstatic that it is actually happening. More on this tomorrow!