Exploring Nashville

Art of Love & Money Exploring NashvilleSpring Break in Nashville, TN

Spring has finally arrived here in Illinois.  I’m hoping it will stay around this time. Winter kept holding on until well into late April.

Our daughter came home from college for Spring break in mid-March and we promptly loaded up the van for a road trip to Nashville.  It’s an eight hour drive and we left Thursday evening right after work and arrived at 2:30 am.  The weekend flew by, but the 3 of us fully enjoyed every minute we spent exploring the city together.

It all started just over a year ago…

We had planned to visit my husband’s brother and his family in the Indy suburbs.  We had would leave Friday evening after work and stay through Sunday.  We have a pretty solid routine for road trip prep so by Wednesday afternoon, we had the dog’s kennel boarding booked, the suitcase  packed, and the van gassed up with the oil changed.  Thursday we got the call that my sister-in-law had the flu.  We were still welcome to come visit, but they wanted to let us know.


We were so looking forward to seeing everyone.  But the flu?  Not so much.

We were all in agreement that ain’t nobody want that, and none of us wanted to chance it…so we decided to hold off for a few weeks and visit when everyone was feeling better.  Mario and I were saying what a bummer it was that we were all packed and ready with no place to go, when he said, “Oh, we’re going somewhere!”  So we started tossing some ideas around and I mentioned Lexy had always wanted to go to Nashville.  Mario’s not much into the country scene, but Lexy and I are.  I thought, well, maybe Memphis?  Both ideas sounded good to the 3 of us, so we decided that we would flip a coin on Friday afternoon.  Heads Memphis, Tails Nashville.  Memphis won the coin toss and we had an amazing whirlwind weekend there.  But there has always been this little curiosity tickle – what would it had been like if Tails would have taken the toss?

So this year, it was Nashville, Y’all.

Sheraton Music City

We stayed at the Sheraton Music City by the airport.  The place is huge – it felt like we were walking a whole city block to get to our room at 2 am.  The hotel lobby is gorgeous, the staff was friendly and the place was clean and updated.  There was a beautiful pool in the courtyard that would be awesome for warmer months.  We were there in mid March, so it wasn’t quite warm enough to sit outside but it looked like there were fire pits and cozy spots to lounge.  The price fluctuates with the tourism activity, so the summer is a high month, but it would be a lovely spot to relax in between the hustle of day time sight seeing and late evening on Broadway.

Hollar & Dash Biscuit House

Ooooooh.  The biscuits.  I should have been a Southerner.  I can tell you this from my love of Southern food.  You can’t get biscuits in Illinois like you can in Memphis or Nashville.  Hollar and Dash has a delicious variety of entrees centered around their biscuits.  Mario and I had the Hot Chicken Hollar and Lexy went for the Hollar Back Club, featuring bacon and a fried green tomatoes.  See?  Should’ve been Southern.  We ate at the Hollar & Dash located in a shopping mall center in Brentwood, TN; there is another location in Nashville as well.

Dave Ramsey Show Live Radio

When I heard we were going to Nashville, I knew I had to meet Dave.  Ramsey Solutions is located in Brentwood, TN which is just a hop skip and a jump from Nashville.  I’ve been listening to Dave on the air since about 2003.  Mario and I bought the Financial Peace University at Home Study kit and took the course by watching the DVD’s.  Since then, we have taken the course with a group twice and taken our teenagers through the course once.

My parents had taught me how to live below my means by way of example and I had always admired that and wanted it for myself.  But, as you become an adult and come into your own in the world, there is every choice opportunity to pick up a little debt here and a little debt there.  Soon, we owed $13,500 in student loans, home appliances, wedding bands and a honeymoon, not to mention the new mortgage.  It was all very manageable.  But the day that I sat down to tally up our debts, and tracked our an amortization chart of how long it was going to take us to pay that amount off at the minimum payment – and found out I would be 42!  (At 23 the idea of being 42 was not appealing to begin with, but to be 42 and still paying for this stuff I already was hard to stomach.)

I had always had this plan of retiring at 50, so becoming debt free at 42 didn’t jive.

The Art of Love and Money Meeting Dave Ramsey
Meeting Dave Ramsey

Dave became my voice in my head when it came to living like no one else.  I listened to his 3 hour podcast daily while I was at my desk job.  You could say I drank the Koo-aide.  Our investments, insurance, and tax advisors are all ELPs, Endorsed Local Providers.

Mario and Lexy know all about Dave Ramsey and his plan and how it helped us to get debt free, save, and invest, live and give like no one else, but they’re not stark raving fans like I am, so I was truly grateful that they agreed to spend the day with me in his lobby watching the Dave Ramsey Show live.  Dave’s staff is top-notch.  You will be greeted at the door as you come in.  There are seats and tables to watch through the glass, there is a book store behind the lobby that houses a complimentary coffee shop with baked goods.

George Kimmel is walking around talking to people in the lobby for the show’s live interviews, the entire staff is warm and inviting.  There is a clock on the wall that counts down the next time that Dave will come out of his office to sign autographs.  You can sign up ahead of time to take a tour of the studio or to scream “I’M DEBT FREEEEEE!!!!!!!”, you should also check ahead to see if Dave will be live on air in the studio when you’re in the area.

Madame Toussade’s Wax Museum

We had entirely too much fun taking selfies and posing for snap shots with these exquisite wax figure creations.

Art of Love & Money Nashville Wax Museum Minnie Pearl

This is a fun and interactive way to see all the history of Nashville in a brief amount of time.  Although it is no a full museum, there are plaquards strategically place so that you get just enough information to know who is who of the most famous and well known stars in Country music, and other genres as well.

You’ll be introduced to the radio stars of the 1920’s through the 1950’s before television existed, the recording studio of the legendary mid-50’s quartet, the stars of the Opry Stage at The Ryman Auditorium prior to closing its doors in 1974, Rock and Roll, Soul, Jazz, and Blues, and The Bluebird Cafe.

Art of Love & Money Nashville Wax Museum Bob Dylan

If you have young kids that would be impatient with a whole tour of the Country Music Hall of Fame or if you just don’t have the interest of the full immersion on the details of Country Music, but you do want to feel the presence of the History of the music in Nashville, this is a great way to get it all in.  It’s also a ton of fun for taking goofy picture poses, endless Instagram and Snap Chat selfies.

Art of Love & Money Nashville Wax Museum Billie Holiday

Madame Toussade’s is located in Opry Mills shopping mall in Nashville, TN.

You can save 30% off the price of admission if you buy online or show the coupon code from your phone at the register.

Claim Jumper

We mostly don’t eat chain restaurants when we travel.  We like to explore local mom and pop eateries, something that is unique to the area.  However, after a really long day at the Ramsey Solutions Studio and a few hours of taking endless selfies, we settled on eating at this restaurant just across the way in  the Opry Mills Mall (you can see it from the entrance of the wax museum).  We were pleasantly delighted from the cocktails, the bread basket, our entrees and dessert.  I highly recommend if you just want something in your stomach before heading back to the hotel for the night.

Two Old Hippies

The next day we headed to downtown Nashville.  We were on the prowl for something to eat and when I first saw this sign on the red brick building, I thought it would be a cool old pub.  Nothing could be further from the truth – but this was a happy accident.  I loved browsing the interesting merchandise in this quirky fun vibing shop.

Art of Love & Money Nashville Two Old Hippies

Peg Leg Porker BBQ

We had plans to indulge in  more biscuits while we were in town, but Biscuit Love had a line wrapping around a waiting Que and The Pub we found had an hour and a half wait.  We wanted something delicious, but we also wanted to get on to the site seeing part of our day, so after spotting several cycling pubs, checking out quite a few restaurant wait times, admiring the hippie VW bug peddling flower bouquets (Nashville, could you BE any cuter?!) we settled on Peg Leg Porker BBQ.  It was really delicious, a short walk off of the beaten path and we must have got there just in time, because by the time we sat down with our order, the line was wrapping around the restaurant.

Art of Love & Money Nashville Flower Truck

We enjoyed pimento cheese spread with half a sleeve of saltine crackers, mac and cheese, ribs, smoked greens beans, potato salad, and pulled pork.

Country Music Hall of Fame

We enjoyed wandering through the displays at this museum honoring legendary and iconic Country music.  While we were there, the special displays were showcasing Loretta Lynn, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.

The Art of Love & Money Country Music hall of Fame Records on the Wall
The Country Music Hall of Fame

Music on Broadway

After a much needed nap at the hotel, we took a shuttle from our hotel to the Broadway district to check out the music scene. Plenty to see, eat, drink and hear along this walkway.  Our daughter had not quite turned 21 yet, so there were some venues she could not get into.  We had hoped to eat at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, but they were carding at the door, and we could see through the windows they were asses to elbows in there!  Next time this is a must see!  Even if you don’t get inside of any of the establishments, Broadway district is full of sights, sounds, and talents and is worth a nighttime stroll.


There was a great band playing upstairs and downstairs, as you make your way up the piano painted steps, the space increases and is a welcome respite from the crowds below.  I had never been to a Margaritaville, again, we usually skip over the chain restaurants while traveling, but they didn’t card us to get a table to eat at and the Margaritas were delicious and we all enjoyed our food.

There is a shuttle that you can take for $10 round trip from the local hotels to the Nightlife on Broadway.  I highly recommend that so you don’t have to navigate the traffic and pedestrians, or worry about where to park.

What We’ll Be Back For

Nashville, you are a lovely, Southern city and we’d love to come back and hit all of the things we missed including the Blue Bird Cafe, The Johnny Cash Museum, The Patsy Cline Museum, The Grand Ole Opry, Studio B, Biscuit Love, and so much more.  We love y’all!

Also –  I’d be psyched to move to Brentwood,TN and work for Dave Ramsey some day!

Actionable Step: Check out the Dave Ramsey Show Archives today.