Day 5: The Hermitage and Nashville

Trip Start Sep 08, 2005
Trip End Sep 25, 2005

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Flag of United States  , Kentucky
Tuesday, September 13, 2005

After spending our first night near a big city, we were up and ready to see what Nashville had to offer. First stop: The Hermitage, Andrew Jackson's home. The house is set on about half of the original acres of plantation Jackson owned, and looks like a typical southern grand ol' plantation house. Before getting the tour of the house we went through the museum and saw a short movie about Andrew Jackson's life that were very informative and interesting. The house itself is beautiful, inside and out, with high ceilings (for those hot southern summers) and fancy furnishings. Most of the items in the house have been preserved or restored to exactly how they were when "the general" (that's what Jackson preferred to be called) died -- down to the four or five items that were on the table in his room when he passed away. Also very interesting was the amount of information about slave culture on the plantation, including stories about a slave, Alfred, who was born on the plantation and lived there until his death in 1912. Alfred's last request was to be buried next to 'the general,' and he was.
Next stop: The Counry Music Hall of Fame and Museum. It's a fantastic museum, and you really don't need to be a fan of country music to enjoy it. There were two special exhibits, one on Earl Scruggs (which Winkie loved), and one on the connection R&B made with Nashville, called "The Night Train to Nashville." The museum is exceedingly well organized, exploring all the different genres of country music, from rockabilly to bluegrass to folk, southern rock, and so much more. There were these great glass cases highlighting each different musical movement, with a paragraph about the movement and its influences and reactions to social movements, pictures and information about the main artists in the movement, and a wide variety of memorabilia belonging to said artists. There was Elvis' 'solid gold' Cadillac and more rhinestones than you could shake a stick at, so how could it not be great?
Content with what we'd seen, but wishing we had a whole week to spend exploring Nashville, we headed on our towards Paducah, KY, so that we could take a nice slow mosey on to St. Louis tomorrow.
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