Road Trip Day 3 – Wytheville & Nashville

Sorry about the long gap in another Road-trip post, but this is quite some effort. We took over 1000 pictures which I now need to sort, compile and then post. I last left off on a post about Day 2in the fantastic Trinkle Mansion.

After a refreshing night’s sleep and a fantastic homemade breakfast we headed off to Nashville at 9.30 AM. We reached there around 4.30 PM, which was actually 3.30 pm. I completely forgot about the time zone difference which game me an extra hour. This was the time I made my first post on Day 1.

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It surprisingly got dark quite early. it was pitch black by 5 PM! That did throw us off schedule a bit on the sightseeing but we found a great place to visit at night. The Gaylord Opryland hotels, resort & convention center. Yeah, the first thing that came to my mind was ‘Meet the Fockers’ too …the name Gaylord does that to ya ūüôā

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Our first reaction was , why would we come all the way to Nashville and see a hotel/convention ctr? Obboy where were we wrong and awfully glad we went there. This place was like Disneyland, in sheer size and in fun! This place was HUGE, as big as a little town!

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It was beautifully lit, decorated like a little town in Venice! With a river and a boat and all. Yeah, all inside running around the hotels and its rooms. All indoor! It took me a few minutes to wrap my head around the sheer size of this place. We took a great riverboat ride and this 30 min ride was filled with gorgeous waterfalls lit so festively, and breathtaking views of the whole place.

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It’s hard to capture more about this place in words¬†or on camera! It was a bit dark and there was just so much happening that I didn’t know what to get on picture. We were in there for 5 hours which ofcourse went by in¬† a few minutes. I would strongly recommend anyone visiting Nashville to definitely drop by this place. It is surely a must see place.¬†

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I ¬†couldn’t wait for the next day because I wanted to visit the music row which is where RCA studios, Elvis’s first recording studio is located among a few hundred other music recording companies! Every inch in Nashville had a musical touch and I loved that about the city.

After the 7 hour drive, 5 hours on foot we had a great dinner at Sunset Grill.  We went back to our hotel and Zzzzzzzzzzzz.

Road Trip Day 2 : Washington DC & Wytheville

I last left off blogging about Day 1 of our trip with a great few hours in Philly and our drive to DC. Now on to Day 2 of our trip :

This day was all about seeing DC. I have been there a few times before but never spent this much time on foot! We walked around for almost 7 hours and covered quite a bit. DC was gorgeous with the fall colors still intact. Flaming red and orange leaves with the bright green lawns and gardens, crisp and cold 40 degree weather made the walking more pleasurable.

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We  started at the Washington monument, went over to the Smithsonian, then the white house all in the morning part of the day before it gets too crowded. Otherwise finding parking is a nightmare beyond 11 AM.

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The grand Union Station :

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And of-course the white-house:

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Here’s something interesting happening right in front of the white house. You should most probably understand what these posters say wherever you are in the world, they seem to have covered most languages!

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Here what it says in my native language of Tamil; Translation – Stop the War.

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We then moved on to see all the memorials, Lincoln memorial, Jefferson memorial and the Roosevelt memorial. I found them all so fascinating. An interesting though crossed my mind, irrespective of the country, all the founding fathers and the early contributors to the beginning of the country have always been such idealists.

The words inscribed on each of these past president’s memorial proves their idealism, when you try applying it to today there isn’t a shred of reality in there. Just all rosy idealistic words.

I wonder how we digressed from a world where such idealistic leaders wrote down and made rules and constitution so perfectly to create a perfect world and somewhere down the last couple of¬†100 years we took a MAJOR detour. It’s definitely something to think about.

It’s also quite freaky at how some of their words have relevance even today. You’d think they said things during the great depression or the world war, but today it’s all oddly very relevant.

Here what I mean. These are Jefferson’s words from the Jefferson memorial. See how freakishly relevant it is amidst all the crap happening in this world recently?

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I found more really ironic and fantastic words in the Roosevelt memorial :

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This reads : ” More than an End to war, We want an end to the beginnings of all wars”
See, yet again, so much relevance to today. I only wish the words of the great forefathers and their idealistic statements had more value today. Our world would be a much better place.

Keep reading ……..

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Does the current white-house resident think this way ?

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Once again, how ironic is that ? This especially strikes a chord if you’re American or if you live here in America.

Here’s some from the Lincoln memorial

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and George Mason

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Just a beautiful English mastiff we came across while walkin around. He was so friendly and just adorable. I had to get a picture.

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Who does that look like to you? Just some random sculpture I found while walking around.

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After an exhausting¬†7 hours on foot, we landed for late lunch at a great Italian place called Maggiano’s. Of-course you can find out more about that on my food blog.

We headed out of DC around 3 PM and drove to Wytheville, Virginia (Pronounced Withville)

Why Wytheville? Well that town is mid point between DC and Nashville, TN.

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We couldn’t drive directly to Nashville because that’s a 13 hour drive, hence the break in Wytheville.

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The stopover there started as basically just a pit stop but it turned into so much more. We researched a bit on this town and came across a true jewel in a bed & breakfast inn called the ‘Trinkle Mansion’.

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It truly was an experience of a lifetime staying in this place. It goes to prove that some of the best things are found in the most unlikely places! This place was of-course a mansion. It was literaly a palace fit for a king, which made us feel like royalty! It had very thoughtfully done interiors with a lot of attention to the intricate details.

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The lovely Patti Pizinger who owns and runs the place made it a very personable experience, something you can never find in any hotel. She was hospitable, warm which truly made our experience better. Her passion and love for what she does resonates a lot in that mansion and in her food. That is what we loved about our stay there more than anything else. It is always endearing to meet such genuine people. And this is the lovely Patti.

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They have a fantastic story behind how they came about to become owners of this place.¬† Patti and Bernie Pizinger the owners of the house stumbled upon the house when they pulled over into this town to fill up on gas ! They have always had a retirement dream of moving down south and opening a bed & breakfast and planning to do so probably after at-least 5 years of research on how-to. They drove around quite a bit in the south with Virginia not even remotely in they list of places to start this. But that’s how life always plays out things doesn’t it? Read more of their fascinating story :

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The rooms were impeccable. The furniture, the linens, the bed, the amenities and everything else like the whole experience was just perfection. At the end of a long drive it was the perfect place to get refreshed and energized.

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Forgive our luggage kinda spoiling the picture but our room was gorgeous nevertheless.

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After all this, we couldn’t wait for her breakfast the next day and start Day 3 of our road-trip. Keep reading for more………

Home Sweet Home

We are finally back home from our whirlwind trip! I am totally spent, exhausted and awfully glad to be back home. Although, quite sad the week has¬†come to an end. I’ve had the most exciting, exhilarating, eye-opening, insightful and fabulous time this past week.
It was worth every extra hour of sleep lost and all the exhaustion! I would do it again in a heartbeat ; meeting new people, seeing new places, experiencing southern culture and its cuisine, it was the MOST interesting week I’ve had this year.

I did write about it in a couple of posts before¬†but I really couldn’t write more. Very spotty internet connections and ofcourse extreme fatigue by the end of¬†every day!

I have many pictures and lots of stories to share. Now that I’m back home and back to schedule I will be quite regular with it and for the next few days you will be reading all about everything I did this past week.

Road Trip Day 1 : Philly & DC

Phew, We just reached Nashville!¬† It’s Day 3 of our road-trip. I just drove 350 miles from Virginia to Tennessee, my first time driving 6 hours at a stretch. It¬†is by far the most gorgeous¬†drive I have ever been on, just unreally picturesque and¬†some stunning views!

Its 4.30 PM or so I thought…..It’s 3.30 PM since we are now one hour behind¬†ET.¬†And I finally got the extra hour and thought it’s the best time to blog!

Day 1 :

We started our road trip on 11/17 from Framinhgam, MA headed to Philadelphia, PA.

Our first stop was PetsHotel¬†a kennel started by Petsmart, the pet store chain. It was a gut wrenching experience dropping off Sushi (our cat) for the week.¬†It’s been around 10 months since we adopted her and this is the first time she has been away from us for more than 2 days. It makes it harder than she is in-fact a dog in a cats body. It’s really interesting to see how much she is like a dog, and has very little of the usual cat characteristics. Be it playing fetch with us, or how much she is emotionally dependant on us. She communicates with us, she is literally stuck to us whenever we are around. That sure made this harder….Sigh, I miss her as I am writing this !

We reached Philly by noon, in time for lunch and a few hours of sightseeing downtown. We passed through extremely crowded roads of NY and NJ.

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An interesting, unmissable mammoth of a landmark as you enter Philly!

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We had a picked a Mexican restaurant called Copabanana in South Street, which was much like the marketplace called Pondybazaar in my hometown of Chennai, India. It was overwhelmingly crowded, quite dirty and very busy. We inched our way through to find parking after 20 minutes, Walked up and down the street to explore and then reached Copabanana. Click here to read my moderately okay experience there.

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Right across from where we had lunch, we noticed this hole in a wall type of eatery with people lined up to¬† mile outside. The foodie I am, I had to find out why. It apparently is the ‘world’s’ best place to eat Philly cheese steak sandwiches. It’s called Jim’s Steaks.

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¬†The crowd there and the amount of time they were waiting out there for a sandwich was just mind-boggling! Being a vegetarian, I couldn’t really appreciate the smell or the quality, but hey they have been review by Food TV and with a few hundered people lined up for miles outside, they have to be good !

From there we headed to Market Street. This was markedly less crowded and less hip, more historic ; but not as interesting and culturally vibrant as South Street.

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We entered all the historic landmarks. The usual suspects like the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, National Constitution Center and with a a little bit of view from the Delaware river.

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How could I go to philly and not visit Chef Morimoto’s restaurant? That was my next destination. It was not open, it was mid PM, but hey, it was still worth a picture! My husband has actually been there for dinner and he says it’s an experience that’s worlds apart from your regular dining. Hopefully the next time around, I can plan to go there for their acclaimed dinner menu.

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It was 4 PM and we had to over to DC to make it in time for our hotel reservation! We hit the road and I drove us into DC in under 3 hours. We checked in Hamilton Crowne Plaza in the intersection of 14th and K Street NW. In chaotic downtown after much frustrating navigation in the night, we reached our hotel, checked in and the receptionist was very pleasant as you would expect them to be.

Once we got to our room a mini nightmare awaited us. There was a tiny bed (they say Queen, but I say full) in our room. I had reserved a king size bed with a little seating area included. They tried to push a queen bed on our heads thinking we wouldn’t notice or we would assume king is not available. We talked with CJ the guy in the front-desk who then sheepishly moved us to a room two floors below which was the actual size room we paid for. We were dog tired and too exhausted to step out and it was already too dark to do any sightseeing, so we decided to stay in the room and order dinner from¬†the 14K Restaurant in the hotel.

Too tired for pictures of the hotel, although we did get some interesting pictures of dinner.Click here to read all about the 14K restaurant and the food we ate.

And that’s what we did, ate and relaxed for the rest of the night. Keep reading for updates on Day 2 and more….

Road Trip

Hey All! 

Here‚Äôs the excitement for the week. I am going on a 8 day road trip, a 3000 mile trip covering 8 states!¬†¬† Framingham, Massachusetts – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – Washington DC – Wytheville, Virginia ¬†– Nashville, Tennessee – Atlanta, Georgia – Savannah, Georgia – Charleston, South Carolina ‚Äď Virginia Beach, Virginia ‚Äď Lewes, Delaware ‚Äď Cape May, New Jersey ‚Äď Framingham, Massachusetts………..Phew!¬†

This trip is going to be all about exploring new towns, experiencing southern culture, feeling the music in Nashville and finally, as you know me by now, drink in the food culture in every state. I am so looking forward to¬†the authentic southern food that I‚Äôve heard and seen so much in the years I’ve spent here!¬†

I will be good and try to blog everyday J About my day, places I see, things I do and of course things I eat. I will be connected and available by email and through my blog. Check both my blogs for daily updates and  Happy Holidays!