With my three-day weekend, I escaped to Nashville, Tennessee.  Since I’m a native, I don’t usually play the tourist when I visit a new city in my home state.  While I mostly spent my time catching up with a childhood friend, I made an attempt to get acquainted with the city on this trip more so than usual.  We spent Saturday at Oktoberfest, a street festival that was completely Americanized except for the German beer.

German food, German beer and German music filled the blocked streets of Germantown in Nashville, attracting people all day.  Like most street festivals, food vendors lined the sidewalk tempting passerby with everything from BBQ to Thai cuisine.  Sticking with tradition, I avoided the American vendors and opted for a Bratwurst with sauerkraut.  My dessert choice was not as original, but I’m a sucker for a good root beer float with homemade ice cream.

However, the real reason so many people come out to these festivals is to people watch.  I was surprised at the number of people dressed in lederhosen and dirndls (and of course the weird outfits just because they can).  One of my favorite sites was a woman in a chicken hat as she danced the chicken dance (which I could not figure out the German relation).

On my last afternoon in the city, we went downtown and walked around, eventually eating a late lunch at Broadway Brewhouse.

While I have made several trips to Nashville in the past, I’ve never really had a chance to see the city as much as I did on this trip.  Nashville has a fun atmosphere with constant live music.  Luckily not all country, as my Saturday night proved true.  We went to McNamara’s, an Irish pub where the owner performs Irish music with his band/friends.  While the closest I’ve come to Ireland was watching P.S. I Love You, McNamara’s transported me to the lush country with its authentic music and Irish food.  It’s ironic that I travel to Nashville to taste German and Irish culture.

The city is a victim of urban sprawl, but the surrounding suburbs are beautiful and green making the it feel less like a city and more like the country.  As a woman who has always had one foot in the city and one in the countryside, it is an idyllic location.  The drive from Nashville to Chattanooga is mesmerizing, it took me through farmland and mountains with leaves starting to change colors.  When I look upon scenes like these, something inside me is calmed – it’s the closest to nirvana I’ve ever experienced.

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