I SPY: Tennessee

Sep 25, 2014


Do you love Elvis?  I do!  He inspired our dog and kid friendly adventure this summer through Tennessee.  My kids and Eddy's 1st road trip.  YEE HAW!

Publicity Photo: Jailhouse Rock @1957

1st stop: MEMPHIS
It's a sleepy town.  To be fair we were there last week of August, and in that area kids were already back in school so there wasn't a lot of action going on or tourist.  Luckily we only stayed for 2 days!


If you do nothing else, this is a MUST.  It's really cool to walk through the mansion and see where The King lived.  Each room is ornate and so stuck in the sixties.  The interior, from the glitz to the upholstered pleated ceilings and mirrored walls had me STONED!  At the entrance your given a iPad with headphones that gives you a narrated walk through so you can explore at your leisure.  Here is a peak of what you can look forward to.  Pity ELVIS bedroom was off limits.



Living Room
Parents Room

Dining Room
TV Room

Pool Room

Jungle Room
Lisa Marie 1st Play Set
Vernon's Office
Trophy Building
Costume Exhibit

Priscilla Presley's Wedding Gown

Meditation Garden

3765 Elvis Presley Boulevard
Memphis, TN 38116

Walk along and you'll find bars, food, music, nightlife and impressive street acrobats.

The home of NBA team Memphis Grizzlies.  Catch a game, watch a concert or show.

Guitar haven.  Factory tours available daily.

Gladys Knight was performing there while we were in town.


Hands down the best restaurant!  I wish they would open a place in NY!  Italian food with a southern flare, made only of the freshest ingredients.  Tapas sized plates served family style.  Seasonal menu that offers produce from their local farmers.  Industrial decor.  Loved the sporadic yellow chairs.  We pigged out and tried as much as we could!  Everything was super yummy.  If only we had an extra day to go back and try the rest of the menu. HA!

Crab Claws: Lemon, Parsley, Butter

Red Eye Pizza: Pork Belly, Egg, Fontina, Celery Leaf, Sugo
Compressed Watermelon: Heirloom Tomato, Peach, Onion, Basil, Ricotta Salata

Short Ribs: Buttermilk, Corn, Shitakes, Green Onion, Turnips
Carol's Delightful Smile: Oreo Crust, Malted Chocolate Mousse, Whoppers

The Beauregard: Graham Cracker Hazelnut Crust, Blueberry Curd, Orange Marmalade
Hog & Hominy
707 W. Brookhaven Circle
Memphis, TN 38117
T: (901) 207.7396

Located on a tree lined street closed to traffic.  Good place for lunch.  Basic pub grub.

Fish Tacos

95 S. Main Street
Memphis, TN 38103
T: (901) 473.9573


We stayed at The Peabody hotel located in downtown Memphis.  Close walking location to many attractions.  A traditional hotel with live piano music in lobby bar nightly.  Best of all they're known for their daily Peabody Duck March open to the public.  This is a unique experience!  Sign your kids up to be honorary Duck Masters!  Their job entails helping the main Duck Master round up the ducks that are housed on the rooftop of the hotel in the Duck Palace.  They will escort the ducks across the rooftop into the elevators.  Once the elevator doors open in the lobby the ducks will walk along the red carpet into the lobby fountain.  This is a tradition they've been doing for close to 80 years.  There is a whole story behind how this started that you can read on their website.  You will get a kick out of just watching even if you don't participate in the duck march!  Only down - my kids wished the march was longer.

Another plus about this hotel is that they are pet friendly and have a gourmet room service menu offering dog food and treats.  Eddy approved!

The Peabody
149 Union Avenue
Memphis, TN 38103
T: (901) 529.4000

2nd stop: NASHVILLE
On the road again.  Three hour drive East from Memphis to Nashville.

Nashville is a hip town with a big music culture.  Much more happening then Memphis!  You hear live music everywhere along the streets coming from the open air cafes and bars.  It gave the city a very upbeat mood.  Also spotted some great graffiti around town.  Don't ya LOVE it?


Worth checking out all the music memorabilia even if your not a country music fan.  You may surprise yourself and leave a fan!  I found out Taylor Swift has an education center.  What?!  Yeah, thats what I thought to.  She's just a kid!

Missed this because we didn't plan in advance.  UGH.  Would've been fun to catch a show.  This is where so many of the famous country music stars made their first debut.  Maybe you will catch Taylor Swift there!

Photo Credit: www.fanpop.com

Great place to burn the kids energy and your own!  You can literally bounce off the walls!  I played dodgeball with the kids and realized after what a great cardio workout jumping on a trampoline is.  Why don't they have this at my gym?  I would actually be motivated to go then!

Sky High Sports
5270 Harding Place
Nashville, TN 37217
T: 1866. 701. 5867

Feels like your in Greece!  Amazing structure, park grounds and museum.  Great place to walk the dog, and have a picnic.

As seen on Duck Dynasty.  Now thats the way to do a bar crawl!


Beautiful campus.  Made my boys take a photo with sign.  Who knows - maybe one day they'll attend university there!


We saw Sinbad the comedian and his entourage there!  Not that it makes any difference, but just had to tell you!  HA.  It's a popular joint so make reservations before.  You have to try the award winning deep fried brownie a la mode topped with BACON.  How can anything with bacon be bad?  Muy bueno ya'll!

Piggy Mac - Smoked Pulled Pork, Gouda Cheese

Cajun Chicken & Waffles

Redneck Burrito -  Cherry Wood Pulled Pork, Baked Beans, BBQ slaw 

Deep Fried Brownie

Pucketts Grocery
500 Church Street
Nashville, TN 37219
T: (615) 770. 2722

Perfect place for breakfast, brunch or lunch with the kids.  You cook, they clean up - EASY!  We made omelets, grilled cheese sandwiches and pancakes.  Kids had a blast.  I want to get one of these tables in my kitchen!

P' Funky Griddle
2800 Bransford Avenue
Nashville, TN 37204
T: (615) 298. 2088

We stayed at a convention center hotel.  I didn't realize this when booking!  Turns out it was a nice, new hotel, with cozy library fire place lounge areas in lobby.  Good location, next door to Country Music Hall of Fame Museum and rooms had a good view over looking downtown.

Omni Nashville Hotel
250 Fifth Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203
T: (615) 782.5300

Last leg.  About 3.5 hour drive from Nashville to Walland, TN.  All I heard in the back was ZZZZzzzz…including Eddy!  So much for good company BOYS!

We arrive at Blackberry Farm and can instantly notice driving into the property that this is the icing on the cake.  Our real reason to trek it to Tennessee!  My boys enjoyed Glamping so much at Paws Up in Montana last year (as I've previously posted) so we wanted to try something similar.  Blackberry Farm is not glamping perse, more upscale I think, with beautiful grounds set in the Smoky Mountains, and known for their culinary fare and wine.  But like Paws Up there are plenty of outdoor activities for the family. Great place to be spoilt and get some R&R!


The barn where you dine for dinner looks like a page out of a Restoration Hardware catalogue.

Their wine cellar holds approximately 195 thousand bottles of wine.  Got to walk down to basement to take a peek.  No fear of going dry there!

The food was scrumptious and innovative!  Menu changes daily.  Here are photos to make you HUNGRY.  Now you've just got to go taste it to believe it.

Blueberry Thyme Lemonade

Charchuterie & Cheese Plate - Everything made at Blackberry Farm

Poached eggs with Carolina gold rice

Seasonal Melon Salad

Slow cooked farm egg, Mushroom broth, Green Onions & Wood mushrooms

Fried Black Eye Peas

Caramelized Diver Scallops, Charred Zucchini Puree, Squash & Basil

Turbot, Caramelized Cauliflower, Spinach, Oyster Mushrooms & Ramp Bearnaise

One afternoon they held a BBQ cook out by the lake for lunch which was a pretty setting.  More yummy food, and old fashion fun for the kids such as apple bobbing, petting zoo, and face painting.


Luckily there were plenty of activities to help burn the bulge!  So many activities to do, but so little time.  This is what we were able to squeeze in.



Horse Riding


Rock Climbing


Crawfish Catching


Truffle Dogs

Working Farm

Not forgetting to mention - their KIDS CAMP with dinner and a movie while Mama disappeared to the SPA for a few hours was a blessing!

We stayed in their Song Sparrow cottage.  Cute and spacious.  The staff were super accommodating and really dog friendly.  They supplied dog bowls, HOME MADE dog treats, a toy, poop bags, and a bed for Eddy.  Yup, he got spoilt rotten too!

Blackberry Farm
1471 West Millers Cove Road
Walland, TN 37886
T: (865) 380.2260


It's 45 minutes away from Blackberry Farm.  When we exited the freeway at Pigeon Forge my lil' guy exclaimed 'Where are we? Clown town?' HA!  It felt that way because for at least a mile stretch before you reach Dollywood you drive along a strip thats set up like mini Vegas for kids. Mini amusement rides, grand prix, mini golf - you name it they had it all for kids entertainment.

But we were there for Dollywood and it was also a HOOT.  Besides the typical amusement park rides and water park they had everything Dolly Parton.  You'll find her old tour bus, Dolly museum that has her old costumes and wigs on display, and tells her life story, and a store to buy Dolly Parton look a like apparel.  I thought about buying something to wear for Halloween!  Would make a funny costume no?  But need to find the 40DD boobs first!!! HA.

2700 Dollywood Parks Blvd
Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
T: 1800. 365. 5996

Our 1st road trip successful.  PHEW!  Between Elvis, Dollywood, marching ducks, Blackberry Farm and all the eating it was enough to keep us city folks full.  Is this trip too country bumpkin for you?  C'mon gotta try something different every once in a while!

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