Thursday, March 12, 2015

A Warmer New Year's Eve in Phuket, Thailand

The opposite of spending New Year's Eve in Lapland was spending this last one in tropical Thailand. Specifically we were on the very south tip of Phuket Island, in the town of Rawai. That morning after breakfast at our villa, we met our hired longtail boat driver (who we reserved the day before), and had a quick ride out to Bon Island.
Our driver let us off after we agreed on a pick up time for later in the afternoon. Bon Island is tiny and uninhabited except for an outdoor restaurant that sets up daily for lunch. Every day the owner Dawn, a British transplant to Phuket, comes over by longtail with her crew. They bring everything they'll need to open and run the restaurant for lunch; fresh fish, beverages, ice, etc. The island has no electricity- they have a generator for some kitchen equipment- and the open-air restaurant is the only building so nothing is left after hours.

There were a few people when we arrived but they left shortly after, and a small group on a tour came a bit later. But all in all it was incredibly peaceful. We just had to share space with the Hermit crabs.

The island has two beaches, one quite rocky but also protected from the wind and waves. The nicer beach had a larger surf that day but was less rocky and easier to swim in. We sunbathed a bit, swam a bit, dozed under the coconut trees, and then grabbed a table in the restaurant when Dawn and her team were set up.
Our lunch was made up of piña coladas, beers, fresh fish with garlic, chilis, and herbs, green papaya salad, and prawns. Everything was simple but quite good. It's really just a little beach shack and a nice place to get away to for a few hours.

After lunch our driver came and picked us up for our short ride back over the bay. If you're looking for a spot for a casual, toes-in-the-sand kind of quick get away, I'd recommend a ride to Ko Bon. (Ko means island in Thai)
photo courtesy of Forest Collins
Back on the main island we had planned to check out Karon Beach for the afternoon, but after circling the town multiple times in search of parking we decided it was too busy and we headed to the smaller beach Kata, just south of Karon. This was absolutely perfect! We easily found street parking and on our way to the beach passed a banana pancake vendor- it was our first taste of the completely addictive snack on the trip!

The beach was beautiful, busy but not over run. We swam in the warm water and soaked up some sun. Forest and I decided to go have an hour foot massage at one of the places just across from the beach (which cost us 300 Baht or $9). We met the guys back on the beach and bobbed around in the surf as the sun started to sink.
photo courtesy of Forest Collins
We drove back at our villa and had aperos with champagne in the pool. Well I was in the pool! Fireworks were going off all around in our neighborhood. Then we got cleaned up and headed to Rawai beach for more champagne, grilled skewers from a street vendor, and fireworks at a sea side restaurant called Nikka.  It was warm, the breeze smelled of the tropics, and there was sand everywhere. We headed home to drink more champagne, so that part is not totally the opposite of Lapland!

All Phuket photos here

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

New Year's Eve; A Chilly Story

We try to vary our New Year's Eve trips between cold and warm weather locations. Some wonder aloud to us why we would want to hang out in the dark and freezing cold, why we wouldn't always want to be on a warm tropical beach. But honestly, it is fun to get all bundled up! And the snow and the cold add a certain light, a certain serenity to places. Now a beach ain't a bad situation either!

For New Year's Eve 2013 six of us were in a log cabin in the tiny town of Äkäslompolo, Finland. This is an area in Lapland 110 miles north of the Arctic Circle. The town boarders a lake by the same name. Here it is, the red dot on the map, you can see that it is about as north as you can get before you fall into the Barents Sea. So yeah, it was cold. And beautiful.


The morning of New Year's Eve we were all picked up by bus and taken about an hour north to a reindeer farm. I don't think too many people have typed that sentence before! The family who owns the farm has had it and their herd for many years, and makes their living off of all things reindeer. This was no tourist show, although they host many, even the traditional Sami dress is something they still wear. We booked our tour through Destination Lapland


We started the day with a sled ride, ours pulled by Rocky, and each couple got their own sled. The reindeer were harnessed together with one being the lead so there was no need to drive or do anything except for enjoy the ride. As they got to running, Matt & Vio's reindeer who was behind us, tried to pass! We were all laughing and having a great time!

When we finished our ride we were invited into the owners' home for lunch. There was homemade reindeer soup (don't be the slow sled puller!), fresh baked bread, and blueberry juice. The owner told me she also grows her own vegetables for the soup. It was all absolutely delicious. 

After our lunch it was our turn to feed the reindeer. The eat dried moss and the farm owners buy it in bulk. They get pretty excited when those bags of moss come out!

With both people and reindeer being satisfied, we gathered around a toasty fire, the logs covered with pelts, and were offered coffee and cookies. They passed around some horns so everyone could feel how heavy there are and then taught everyone how to throw a lasso, practicing around some mounted horns. There was a traditional teepee to check out and also a little museum they had put together of their family history and artifacts of the Sami culture. It was all so interesting, cool, and fun!


Once we got home Forest and I walked (with sleds) to the grocery store and returned to make a nice dinner for everyone. We stared with some lovely foie gras that Forest & Thibault had brought from France, as well as some patė, and elk sausage we had bought in Estonia. And cocktails of course! Then we cooked a nice baked salmon dinner with roasted potatoes, cucumbers in yogurt, and green salad.



After dinner we all walked down to the frozen lake, armed with champagne bottles and flasks. The streetlights were turned off and luminaries were lit and lining the snowy sidewalks. We gathered with the rest of the town and lined up to purchase paper lanterns. At midnight everyone lit and released their lanterns, and we all took our turn setting ours upward. 

We watched as the lanterns floated peacefully up into the sky, little lights twinkling (mine crashed and burned in a tree!), drank our champagne, and then walked home through the snowy night.





Photos here

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Napa Weekends, Part 2


Earlier this month, Dave and Rachel invited Dayne and I to join them and their two girls for the weekend at their house in St. Helena. I'd been last summer but this was Dayne's first time at their new place. The six of us grabbed a late afternoon flight down on a chilly Seattle February Friday and landed to a balmy evening at the Santa Rosa airport.

Being that the weather called for mid 70's all weekend Dayne had reserved a convertible for us but when he went to the Avis counter they said they were all out of them! We slid over to the Enterprise counter and not only did they have one but they matched the price. I'm going to remember that in the future.

Once we got to their house, Dave opened some champagne and built a fire in the outdoor fire pit, we grilled some pork loin for dinner, I opened a nice bottle of Leonetti that I had brought down with me (like coal to Newcastle as a friend of mine says), and we spent a little time in the relaxing hot tub.
The next morning Rachel and I took the convertible and drove to Round Pond where I'd made us a tasting appointment. The winery also makes their own olive oil and you can book a tour to see that, as well as actual cellar tours. We didn't have a lot of time so we just did the wine tasting in their Zinc Bar. It was an absolutely gorgeous day and it would have been fabulous to spend time on their patio but that was reserved for another type of tasting event.
The wines were quite nice, so we finished up our tasting with some purchasing, and then headed off to meet Dave, Dayne and the girls for a tasting at Wicker. Ron Wicker produces wine from his Howell Mountain vineyard, where his house is also conveniently located. We arrived at his home where his wife Laurie and he poured their Burgundy style Chardonnay (fantastic!) and also a selection of his Cab Sauvs. They are incredibly nice people who are very generous with their time, Ron walked us out to the vineyards for a bit; so small and on such a hill. Ron also demonstrated the Coravin for us while opening an older vintage bottle for us, that cool gadget is going on my wish list! Anyone else have one? Thoughts?

Our appointment at Wicker ran quite a bit longer than we expected and we were all starving as it was about 3:30 in the afternoon by this time. Dayne and I took the girls in the convertible and we all headed to downtown St Helena for a late lunch/early dinner at Cook Tavern.
I had a nice cocktail, and Dayne and I shared some tasty fried pickles. Dinners were all good and the staff was great at helping us find things for the girls to eat. Headed home after dinner for some pool and hot tub time, wine, fire pit, and a movie. Perfect Valentine's day!

The next day all of us drove up to Spring Mountain to Newton Winery for a reserved tour and tasting. The vineyards, views, and winery are all gorgeous. The tour was very interesting and the wine tasting was held afterwards in a private room with views of the valley. Very nice! Dave and I had gone in on a case of their unfiltered Cab years back so it was great to see where it had come from and also to pick up some more.

At lunchtime Rachel and I left the guys and the girls at Gott's Roadside as we had spa appointments across the street and the line to order was taking too long. But after our massages the two of us headed back over and had a late lunch of tacos, burgers, and wine outside on the picnic tables. There is something just so RIGHT about being able to order wine with your roadside burger! The line was still crazy long when we left at about 3:30pm. *I've got a special secret hint for my friends when going here to bypass the crazy line. You know how to reach me ;)

We had a nice walk back to the house and joined our gang in the pool. Later that night, after some hot tub time, the boys went out and brought back pizzas for dinner. We had a great time relaxing, making s'mores on the fire pit, and then chilling with wine and movies.

The next morning we woke up to another 75F degree day so Dayne and I spent an hour sunning ourselves by the pool before packing and leaving our friends to a day on their own. We stopped in Calistoga for a casual lunch of fish tacos at Palisade's Deli enjoyed al fresco on the way to the airport.

The drive to Santa Rosa was lovely and warm, we were so happy to have the convertible (in February!!). We boarded the little prop plane and headed home  to some sun of our own (but no where near 75F!) Big thanks to our friends for a wonderful weekend!

Recent Napa photos here

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Napa Weekends, Part 1

Friends of mine, who recently bought and remodeled a house in St. Helena, have been generous in inviting me down for relaxing, and hot, weekends in wine country. The first time was in August of last summer, we had a girls trip when Rachel's husband was away.

Gail and I flew on a tiny (by my standards) prop plane into the tiny (by anyones standards) one-airline Santa Rosa airport, right in the heart of Sonoma. From here it was a quick and gorgeous drive to St. Helena.

One day we loaded into the car and drove to the town of Napa, not for wine tasting but to visit my friend Steve and his awesome retail store Rancho Gordo. Steve started this business years ago at the Napa farmers market when he sold tomatoes, lucrative in the summer but not so much in the winter. He decided to try selling heirloom beans in the off-season and this local chef, Thomas Keller, you may have heard of him, pronounced the beans not only incredibly delicious but also gorgeous! When they startied using them at The French Laundry things really took off.

I "met" Steve online via eGullet.com way back in the day, and had the pleasure of seeing him in person while he worked the farmers market in San Francisco outside the Ferry Plaza. Now he has a retail shop inside the Ferry Plaza and another fantastic shop in Napa. The shop is overflowing with an amazing selection of his heirloom beans, gorgeous clay cooking vessels, cookbooks, hot sauces, spices, etc. Steve was a fantastic host, taking us into the processing and packaging areas, as well as helping Rachel's young girls pick out some special beans that they could plant on their own.

Our next stop was Monticello Vineyards, where Gail knew the owners, always a good thing! The grounds here are gorgeous and as the name might hint, there is a recreation of Jefferson's Monticello home. Gail and I tasted through some very good wine while Rachel and the girls played in the gardens. One or more of the Rancho Gordo beans may or may not have been planted somewhere on the grounds. Let me know if anyone spies a bean stalk.

Lunch time! We drove up the Silverado Trail to the very beautiful Solage Resort and had a delicious lunch on the patio. This place is popular with locals and tourists so I'd suggest booking a reservation as Rachel had. They have a great selection of wines (natch) including a "neighbors list". Our wine, a Burgundy blanc style, came from the vineyards directly across the street. Two little girls may or may not have also planted a bean or two here...

We swung next door to Lava Cellars for another quick tasting and it was quite a party as both the guys behind the counter were taking a break to give a little live music concert on their guitars.


Temperatures were soaring so we decided it was time to head home, hit the pool, and cool off. The only problem with our plan turned out to be that the night before, as we relaxed in the hot tub, which is built into the pool, we inadvertently increased the temp of the pool to the same 102F of the hot tub. Off to the store Rachel and I went to purchase 100+ pounds of ice cubes and blocks which melted almost immediately upon dumping them in. On the plus side, the hot tub was a perfect temperature that evening.

The next morning Gail and I had an incredibly enjoyable walk into downtown St Helena for massage appointments at the Health Spa Napa. We didn't take advantage of all the amenities -- yoga class, lap pool, sauna -- but we both had fabulous massages. On the way home we stopped at St Helena Olive Oil Company and picked up some interesting sparkling white wine vinegar and olive oil.

Right down the street from Rachel's house is the amazing Spottswoode Winery and that weekend they were having their summer wine club garden party. The grounds are absolutely stunning with the family mansion looking out onto the vineyards, lush lawns and gardens, and a pond style pool. Live music, fresh shucked oysters, a pizza oven, and a huge cheese stand accompanied the wine pours. It was a lovely way to spend the afternoon.

This time when the temps soared the pool was a better temperature to help us all cool off. And chilled bottles of champers didn't hurt either.

The five of us had a good dinner in the town that night at La Condesa, an upscale Mexican inspired eatery, although I will say that service was almost painfully slow.

Gail and I wrapped up our Napa trip by missing our flight home. TSA lines at the tiny airport were crowded with passengers because of delayed and on-time flights all queuing at the same time. The ground crewman literally closed the gate as we ran up, even after the Alaska Air desk called to let them know we were stuck behind a wheelchair passenger. Oh travel, how I love you.

A quick car rental, a scenic drive through Sonoma and Napa, past an accordion festival, up to Sacramento for the next flight to Seattle. You can't script those kinds of experiences.

And on your next trip to Napa, keep an eye open for some random bean stalks...

All photos here



Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Hyvää Joulua From Santa's Village

Hyvää Joulua, or Merry Christmas to you!  Last year we spent Christmas in Helsinki, Finland and a few days later boarded an overnight train heading north to Lapland. After depositing our luggage in our private sleeping compartment -outfitted with bunk beds and a nicely stocked vanity and sink- we made our way to the dining car for some snacks, drinks, and games. Since our sleeping car was at the exact opposite end of the dining car it was a really long hike, we decided to hunker down for a while.

Finally turning in, we were rocked to sleep by the train traveling through the dark and awoke some hours later in Rovaniemi. It was VERY early in the morning so we had a bit of a wait before things started to open. We stored our luggage at the train station, had some coffee and rolls at the connected cafe, and then grabbed a bus which took us to the very outskirts of the town. Rovaniemi sits right on the Arctic Circle and is home to Santa Claus, not the North Pole as you may have been led to believe.
In our excitement we exited the bus at the wrong stop - Santa Experience theme park in Joulukka which is literally next door- we grabbed a taxi and arrived at Santa's Village. The sky was just starting to lighten up and as we walked outside we saw our first snow of the season. Huge fat flakes fell in the village decorated with Christmas trees, snow men, and lights. It really was magical.

And touristy! Santa's Village is made up of numerous shops selling everything from magnets to fox fur coats. There were reindeer rides, a traditional Lapland teepee, sledding hills, firepits, etc. The reservations to see the big man himself are done on a timed basis and we had a while to wait. We decided to have lunch inside the main building. Delicious salmon soup for me and a reindeer burger for Dayne. The owner was really interesting and told us how his family had been in the reindeer industry for generations. He explained that farmers notch the ears of their herds so that they are identifiable. The chairs in his restaurant showed off the different styles of notches.


Next we visited Santa's Post Office which to date had received around 16 million letters from around the world. We bought some cards and sat down at tables stocked with pens to fill them out. Then you choose to mail your letters either on that day or you can place them in the special red mailbox where they will be held and delivered at Christmas, even if you are there in January. Crazy little elves!
Finally it was time to see Santa! We got in line and expected to see him as we were ushered through the huge doors. But instead we were led to a coat check room and instructed that we weren't to use our cameras as Santa doesn't like you taking free photos it turns out. Then we joined a huge queue that snaked through an almost erie multi-level building. It was kind of dark, meant to resemble the interior of a clock, with gears and wheels rotating and ticking. The walls were decorated with photos of famous, and not so famous, folks meeting St Nick. 

After quite some time of inching through the building it was our turn. He welcomed us in both French and English (Santa speaks five languages fluently) and invited us to sit with him for a photo. 

Ho, ho, ho! Merry Christmas!!!

All Santa Village photos here


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Eh-eh-o eh-o ... Pompeii!

I woke up this morning and that damn song was playing on the radio. It's in my head and it refuses to budge. "...And the walls kept tumbling down
In the city that we love..."

Ahhhhhhhh! We went to Pompeii once, about a million years ago, and I will tell you that there were no boy bands bopping about. We went for a day trip while staying in Sorrento, it was an easy 40 minute ride on the Circumvesuviana train,with lush scenery of the coast on one side and Mount Vesuvius on the other.

Walking around it was quite eerie to be visiting what was once a thriving Roman empire city, now just ruins left by the volcano we were so close to!

It had rained pretty hard that morning so many of the streets of the ancient city were puddles. We used the large rock steps to cross the street just as the locals would have back in 78AD or so.
We had audio guides so that we could go at our own pace, listening to interesting tidbits about various buildings, streets, neighborhoods, etc.

This bath was beautiful and so well preserved. I remember the coolness of the interior and how pretty the color of the walls were.

There is so much to see, it's quite amazing really. We couldn't get over the architecture, the city grid, the streets and "cross walks". All of it.

This was a food stall where locals could come and get some Italian take out!
This is the decorative door step of a now non-existent home, an ancient welcome mat of sorts.

I wouldn't miss visiting Pompeii if you are in the area, that is for sure! It is fascinating!

"...But if you close your eyes, Does it almost feel like, Nothing changed at all?..."

We jumped back on the Circumvesuviana for a 30 minute ride to Naples and made our way to Da Michele for what is arguably the best pizza in Naples. We had to take a number and hang out with the rest of Naples until a table was available. And then we had the most delicious Margherita pizza (for $5!) paired with cold ($1) beers.

We spent the rest of the afternoon just strolling around Naples, it's a big gritty city but that is its claim to fame. On top of the normal grime, they had been having trash strikes on and off since the 1990's. Piles of garbage striving to reach the height of Vesuvius itself were everywhere, we even witnessed a few being burned right on the main streets. 

But just like any large city there are also very pretty neighborhoods, parks, churches, etc. I'd like to do a bit more time in Naples if I'm ever in the area again.

We got back on the train to Sorrento but accidentally chose the wrong one- not the first time this has happen in Italy! So we literally circumvented Vesuvius as our train went all the way on the other side of it. A 90 minute train ride turned into about a 2 1/2 hour experience. We got back in Sorrento just in time to see the sky light the buildings up a lovely color and to have a martini.
All Pompeii and Naples photos here

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

From Honky Tonk to Hipsters, Nashville

I had been wanting to go to Nashville since I read about The Patterson House, a speak-easy style cocktail bar that opened in 2009. Then during Tales of the Cocktail in 2010 I had the opportunity to meet Josh Habiger who was heading up the cocktail program there, and he told me about a lot of cool things happening in his town, which made me want to go even more!

For the last few years it has seemed like I couldn't pick up a magazine without seeing an article about the Nashville food scene. I just had to go! I had to get a reservation at The Catbird Seat!

So finally I talked my girlfriend Judy, who lives in Indiana, into joining me for a long weekend. We got ourselves this cutest Airbnb and I cashed in some miles and flew out to the Music City. On a whim, my brother decided to come out for the weekend as well!

My flight arrived late so our plans to go out that first night were squashed but thanks to the traveling bar Judy had brought with her we were able to catch up over cocktails in our comfy living room. Our Airbnb was in East Nashville, you definitely need a car to get around as the city is pretty spread out, but everything seems to be about 20 minutes from each other. And they have Uber and Lyft services too!


On my first full day, we dove into Nashville mouth first!

Hot chicken, a Nashville invention of fried chicken painted with varying degrees of spicy pepper sauce, was my inaugural lunch. We lined up at Hattie B's, amongst locals and other tourists, all hungry for crunchy, spicy, fried chicken. There's an art to ordering, we picked it up by listening to others and were rewarded by compliments from our cashier. The south is full of politeness! Small dark, medium, baked beans, coleslaw, extra pickles, unsweet tea, for here. Thank you very much.


Oh yeah! We grabbed seats at a communal picnic table outside and dug in. The white bread on the bottom is great for soaking up spicy juices. The pickles are great for cutting the fat and the heat! One of the guys next to us was having a piece of "Shut the Cluck Up" which is the spiciest. He was sweating pretty heavily!

After lunch we headed to the Nashville Farmers Market. The market is open daily and is a collection of farm vendors, small stores, craft booths, and food stalls. All the farmers displayed their goods in baskets on low tables; rows and rows of peaches, tomatoes, corn, etc.


We wandered the market for a bit and then headed home but not before Judy introduced me to the best coffee drink ever at Crema. Serious hipster baristas mixed us coffee sodas of iced, carbonated coffee, simple syrup, and orange zest. Sounds fine but tastes divine!!!! The coffee at Crema was absolutely amazing hot and iced, I bought some to bring home. Like coal to Newcastle...

We enjoyed a little rest, relaxation, and rosé on our Airbnb's front porch before getting ready to head out for the night.


Pinewood Social, everyday should start and end here! Pinewood is a huge restaurant, coffee shop, bar, bowling ally, outdoor game space, taco truck in the yard, plunge pool, you name- they are it- kind of place. Over the course of our days we had coffee, brunch, and on this night, cocktails here. Oh, and a special behind the scenes tour by Josh who is heading up all that awesomeness!

Our next stop was Rolf & Daughters, a great restaurant which is housed in a cool old industrial looking brick building. R.A.D has a very respectable cocktail menu also, but we were focused on the excellent seasonal small plates. And since Judy knew a few folks in the kitchen, and we just happened to bring them a little liquid refreshment, we got to try all the desserts as well.

We found our way to The Patterson House after dinner for nightcaps. You enter and check in with the host and if there is room in the speakeasy style jewel-box they will seat you. It's dim and cozy and there are bartenders wearing vests. If the drinks weren't so damned awesome it would be easy to judge, but instead we just enjoyed our cocktails in the hipster zen-den. Besides cocktails, my brother and I decided to do a little drinking from their impressive aged whiskey list.


Day one in Nashville was pretty damned good, so Judy and I had to really get day two off with a bang in order for it to compete. Excellent lattes made by uber cool kids at Ugly Mugs in East Nashville, followed by ice cream for breakfast at Jeni's Splendid (Bangkok Peanut!).

Thoroughly fortified by caffeine and sugar we drove out to meet my brother for lunch at Jim N' Nicks BBQ. Hello meat!

Next up we headed to the Belle Mead area, a lovely neighborhood filled with jaw-dropping mansions. Turns out that Nashville is the healthcare capitol of the states and the homeowners here earn considerably more than most. Some mansions have well known personalities who own them, like Al Gore, and others are owned by Bob Falk, local healthcare entrepreneur and CEO of Healthcare Corp. of Tennessee.
We had a nice little drive by of these giants on the way to Cheekwood Botanical Gardens, where we went to see Andy Warhol's Flowers exhibit. The grounds at the gardens are absolutely lovely and an additional exhibit of Big Bugs was great too.
That evening we started with cocktails back at The Patterson House before having an absolutely spectacular meal at The Catbird Seat. Sometimes when you've had a place in your head for a while the actual experience can be a let down, but that was not the case with Chef Trevor Moran, who took over the helm in January after being the sous chef at the much lauded Noma.

As we sat around the 21-seat open kitchen, it reminded me of the dining experience at Momofuko Shoto in Toronto. Each member of the team was in charge of executing and delivering a different dish of the the 12-course line up. We were presented with things like Beer Cheese, made with raclette and PBR, and a salad that resembled more of a bouquet.

Both Judy and I felt the only clunker was the potato dish which is purposely cooked a little less than what most of us are use to. We also agreed that the potato cake dessert, which was served in a brown bag and was a mash up of a choux pastry, marzipan, chocolate sprinkles, and cream, was fantastic. 

And as we were still there when the staff finished the evening, we were invited to partake in a Fernet shot with everyone.
So I'd say day two in Nashville held its own!

On my final full day we started with a lovely brunch back at Pinewood Social. They have this great art installation of funny paint cans that they use to create a full wall mural in the bowling ally and we were there to see them change it out. We couldn't tell what it was until we stood all the way on the other side of the room... in a nod to their outdoor pools opening.

We walked off our waffles and fried chicken by strolling around Lower Broadway and the Downtown area. There's quite a bit to see here, live music venues, the convention center, the library, museum, the historic Hermitage Hotel, and the very cool Union Square Hotel which was the old train station and still has a large schedule board over the front desk.

We invited my brother and our Airbnb host for drinks on the front porch that evening before heading to dinner at City House. On Sundays they have a different menu called Sunday Supper, shared plates and all superb!

Judy decided to head home after dinner while Mark and I headed back to The District for a night of music. We started in Printer's Ally at Bourbon Street Blues where the Stacy Mitchhart band was playing, an excellent band! We then headed down to Lower Broadway to Robert's Western World where we had a hell of a good time listening to honky tonk.
We continued bar crawling and checking out bands at Tootsies, The Wheel, and Second Fiddle. To be fair I was drinking whiskey throughout the entire bar crawl so I don't actually remember Second Fiddle, but I have this photo so I know it's true.
It was such a fantastic time hanging out with my brother, listening to music, drinking whiskey, and people watching. Absolutely a great last night in Nashville!!

And although Judy and I originally had plans to go have meat and three the next day, I opted to sleep off all that whiskey until it was time to head to the airport. Luckily the BBQ join at the airport had that option on their menu!


Nashville photos here y'all!