Grace Wu

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Stop #27: Nashville, TN

My friend Tien-Tien’s parents live in Murfreesboro, just outside of Nashville and they were kind enough to host me while I was there. I arrived to their house in the early evening on Thursday, and was introduced to their menagerie. There’s Wynter, the husky/german shepherd mix, Toro, a 14 year-old orange tabby, Charlie, a slightly chubby black cat, Mei-Mei, a tiny, slim black cat with a white belly, two turtles named Large and Medium, and two fish tanks filled with a variety of fish, goldfish, suckerfish, and snails! I knew instantly I could get along with Ms. Chao and Mr. Yu. 😊

The next day I headed into Nashville to check out the city. I started by walking down Broadway where each bar and restaurant had a live band on stage or were playing music loudly. Boot stores were mixed in where tourists lined up to buy cowboy boots. Nashville has many museums centered around country music. I had to stop in the Goo Goo store, where they sell locally made Goo Goo Clusters, the world’s first combination candy bar, invented in 1912. I might’ve spent so much on candy that I got a free cooler. Oops. Next stop was lunch at Puckett’s, a local restaurant. I tried famous Nashville hot chicken. and it was definitely very spicy but very delicious.

Since I’m not a huge fan of country music, I wasn’t interested in the country music museums. But the real reason I wanted to go to Nashville was to check out Hatch Show Print. Back in college, Jim Sherraden, from Hatch Show Print came by and did a workshop with my class where he brought select woodblocks and letters from the studio. It was a great experience and I had always wanted to go to the actual letterpress studio. So I was excited to walk into the Country Music Hall of Fame and head straight for the Hatch Show Studio space. There’s a large store showing all of the posters they sell along with books, t-shirts, cards, etc. The actual studio space had woodblocks lining the walls and poster printing was in action that you could see through glass windows. It was hard not to want to buy every poster! After spending some time at Hatch Show Print as well as some $$$, I headed back to where I had parked to meet Ms. Chao and Mr. Yu. They were picking me up to have dinner at Peg Leg Porker, one of the best BBQ places in Nashville. Afterwards we went to the Nashville Symphony, where they were playing Shostakovich’s 4th Symphony.

The next day Ms. Chao and Mr. Yu took me and Wynter to the Sam Davis Home and Plantation, which tells the story of Sam Davis, a Confederate soldier who was hanged after refusing to give up a spy on the Union side. We were headed there for a dog friendly event and we strolled around the grounds viewing the various structures on the grounds. The weather has been unseasonably hot (lower 90s for late September!) so we headed back to the car to drop her off at home before she got too hot.

Afterwards we headed to Miller’s Grocery, which is not actually a grocery store, but a restaurant specializing in Southern food. Antiques and memorabilia lined the walls. The food was delicious! We stopped in nearby Bell Buckle, a tiny one-street type of town that is known for its antiques, Southern food, and a nearby boarding school. We looked through a couple antique shops and of course, I had to buy a box of Moon Pies. a dessert made in Chattanooga, TN.

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