For those of us who are Generation X, Guns N’ Roses calls up memories of a skinny Axl Rose slithering across the stage like a cobra, mesmerizing his prey with Slash creating magic with his guitar – complete with top hat, curly hair all in his face, and a cigarette popping out of what could only be his mouth. They were awesome. So it was a bit heart-breaking when they started having problems. Fast forward to 2016. They are BACK. Of course we were going. Road trip!
This was our first little trip together so we made a few stops during our Guns N’ Roses weekend.
Our first stop was at Merridee’s
in Franklin, TN. Franklin downtown is sort of like Anytown, USA. It’s cute, it’s quaint, and it’s got tons of little shops. Some shops are new, some have been there for years. Merridee’s is tucked away on Fourth Ave and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We had lunch and it was fabulous! I highly recommend the curry chicken salad sandwich.
Next stop was dessert! We wanted to try another local place so we stopped at Kilwin’s
. This little shop is another Franklin original. They’ve been around since the late 40s. I wish I had taken a photo of the shop itself, but you can click the link and take a look around. I can honestly say that is the best ice cream I’ve ever put in my mouth. We chatted with one of the workers while we ate for a few minutes and she let us try some of the salted caramel fudge. *drool*
We made it to our hotel and got settled in. We had overheard one of the staff talking to a guest about good sit-down places to eat and he mentioned Darfons
so we thought we would try it for dinner. Darfons is a neat little place – good food, great service, and a weird cross between up-scale and casual. If you want awesome food, but have rolled into town and don’t have time to change, this is the place. They have a great wine list and their steaks make my mouth water now just thinking about them.
We had a whole day to have some fun before the concert. We rummaged through the stack of brochures at the hotel and came across Belle Meade
. We love old houses and history so we decided to check it out. We missed the first guided tour so we signed up for the next one which was $20 for a basic tour of the house. While we waited, we walked the rest of the grounds and viewed the smokehouse, the last of the slave quarters, the gardener’s house, the mausoleum (the family had been moved and re-interred elsewhere), and a neat little nook where we could rest at a table underneath a magnolia tree and stay until the tour started. We had to take a picture of the front of the mansion. After a few takes (“Why can’t I see the mansion?” “Your finger is in the way.” Oops.), we got a good photo:
Our tour guide was dressed in period clothing and was an encyclopedia on Belle Meade Plantation history. She pointed out the columns where the home had been fired upon during the Battle of Nashville in the Civil War. We could see the marks. Then, we wandered through the rooms, studying the portraits and other items placed around the house. The tour lasted about 45 minutes and at the end of it, we got to experience a free wine tasting. Out of four wines, we picked two as our favorites:
We had to have these in our lives so we bought a bottle of each.
For dinner, we tried another place that isn’t native to Nashville, but still pretty cool – Rainforest Cafe
. We had about an hour wait, but it was in the Opry Mills Mall
so we just wandered around until we were called. Y’all remember Showbiz Pizza Place? That’s what Rainforest Cafe reminds me of. When were seated, we were surrounded by automated gorillas, tigers, and a very curious elephant whose trunk kept swinging a little too close to my food plate (y’all really need to feed these animals more often). They have a gift shop, too. I have a cute little coffee cup to add to my collection:
Then it was time for the concert! The venue was Nissan Stadium
and around 55,000 people were expected to attend. Parking was at a premium and the cheapest we found was $20 for a little place tucked away close to other businesses. We got our t-shirts –
– and we were ready to go.
One of the most amusing things we saw were the guys sitting in front of us. This drunk fan was so happy to see Guns N’ Roses that he had to fistbump everyone around him, repeatedly. The concert started and it was just like the old days with the exception of the guys being a little older and Slash nixing the cigarette. I felt like I should’ve been apologizing to them for the humidity. Those poor guys were dripping within minutes, but they played for over 2-1/2 hours. And guess who paid us a little visit? Steven Adler! He came on and played through a couple of the songs.
Needless to say, we didn’t wake up early the next morning, but on our way home, we had to make one more stop: The Pharmacy. This little hipster place has AWESOME food. They’re known for their phosphate sodas (we got chocolate and maraschino cherry). AND we managed to somewhat beat the crowd. We only had about a ten minute wait.
So the Nashville trip was a success. We came back home with our Guns N’ Roses fix, a few souvenirs, and enough food in us to last a few days. Thanks, Nashville! Until the next rockin’ concert!