Nashville, August 2021

I recently returned from a trip to Nashville where my father and I met to see the Chicago Bears play the Tennessee Titans in the third preseason game of the 2021 NFL season. With only a couple of nights together, we packed in the fun and had a great time. I am going to post several pictures from this trip, but do not be alarmed that my father isn’t in any of them as he requested that I keep his internet presence low.

Bookings

For this trip, I paid cash for my airfare and for the preseason tickets while using points for our lodging. My goal was to maximize the amount of time we were together while keeping the trip relatively short and to ensure that our return to live football was an awesome experience. I splurged a bit on the tickets so that we had good seats.

  • 297.96USD per person for LAS-BNA-LAS on WN Y
  • Two rooms for two nights at the Grand Hyatt Nashville for 20,000 World of Hyatt points per night
  • 394.74USD for two game tickets inclusive of taxes and fees

My friend Paul graciously booked our lodging using Hyatt’s Guest of Honor program. As such, we had access to all of the Hyatt Globalist benefits like complimentary breakfast and parking fees waived on award stays.

I flew from Las Vegas on the first flight of the day and landed in Nashville slightly before noon. My father picked me up and we were off to the hotel. After giving the car to the valet, we checked in and were informed that one of the rooms was ready.

The standard rooms at the Grand Hyatt Nashville are well-appointed and comfortable with a stylish and functional bathroom, a large and comfortable bed, a settee, and a desk. There is a coffee maker in the room and it was one of the best I’ve ever used, producing a delicious cup. The only downside to the property, in my mind, was the level of street noise that propagates to the rooms. We were on the 23rd floor and it was so loud at night that I had trouble sleeping.

We dropped our bags in the room and then were off to grab some hot chicken at the recommendation of the aforementioned friend. We walked down Broadway to Hattie B’s Hot Chicken. As a fairly famous tourist stop, we knew ahead of time to expect a queue and we were not disappointed. After waiting about 30 minutes, we were able to place our order for “take-out” with a hostess walking down the line.

My father and I both ordered the hot chicken sandwich (medium) with coleslaw and cheesy-bacon grits. We took a seat at a picnic table and waited patiently for our food to be ready. I collected our meal about twenty minutes later and we enjoyed some traditional Nashville fare.

After finishing up, we walked down Broadway towards the Cumberland River. I can only describe the sound as cacophonous as we passed by all the bars with live music and through the crowds that were already quite dense, even early in the afternoon. We reached the river and took some photos with the stadium in the background before exploring Fort Nashborough.

Afterwards, we walked up Demonbreun Street to avoid the hustle and bustle of Broadway before stopping at Shake Shack for a pair of chocolate malts and to cool off for a couple of minutes before heading back to the hotel. We spent the rest of the evening chatting on the Lifestyle Deck on the fifth floor of the hotel before retiring and deciding to meet up when breakfast opened at 0700.

The next morning we enjoyed a delicious breakfast at The Nashville Grange. I chose the omelette with a side of bacon while my father selected the biscuits and gravy. After breakfast, we attempted to burn off the calories by walking past Vanderbilt University to Centennial Park. Once we reached the park, we walked around The Parthenon, admiring the statuary in the park and waiting for the centerpiece to open up.

At 0900 we went inside the building which currently operates as an art gallery and Centennial Exhibition history museum. There was a good mix of impressionist, realist, romantic, and modern art. The true showpiece, however, is the Statue of Athena situated on the second floor of The Parthenon.

We walked back to the hotel after finishing our tour of the Parthenon, but not before stopping at Parlor Doughnuts to enjoy some gourmet treats. I tried the French toast doughnut, their specialty, while my father chose the maple pecan doughnut and a cup of cold brew, his first iced coffee ever. The French toast doughnut was absolutely incredible and I’d recommend it to anyone in the area.

We stopped at the hotel for a short break and to dry some of the copious amounts of sweat we generated, before heading off to figure out our path to the stadium that night. At this point, we were trying to burn off the calories from the doughnuts instead of breakfast.

We walked south along 6th Ave S before turning east on Korean Veterans Boulevard and walking over the river. We decided this was not the path we should take to the stadium later in the day given how far out of the way it was. We looped around and walked back to the hotel over the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge. When we arrived back at the hotel, we discovered that the Chicago Bears were also staying there and were getting ready to depart. Given this information, we decided to wait in the lobby for some of the players to head out to the bus.

After about an hour, they started making their way to the stadium and we got to see Justin Fields and Allen Robinson II, among many others, come down the escalator, pick up their obligatory surgical mask, and then head to the team bus. It was pretty cool to see the players focused and excited to see the fans who had gathered to see them off.

I ordered some tasty fare from Oscar’s Taco Shop which we ate on the Lifestyle Deck before heading back to the stadium across the previously discovered pedestrian bridge.

We made our way to our specified entry gate and encountered a huge mess of a situation where various ticket turnstiles were out of order, metal detectors were being moved around, and then we, and about 300 other people, were forced to scoot backward and then merge with another entry line. After 45 minutes of waiting, we were finally inside the stadium and at our seats. I was very pleased with the view as we were close enough to have a great look at the players but high enough to see all the action.

Luckily for us, the Chicago Bears were victorious and provided us with some awesome plays to get us excited about the upcoming season. Justin Fields, the team’s first round draft pick in 2021, looks like the real deal. After the game, it was back to the hotel for some much needed rest after a sweaty day in the heat.

The following morning, we both enjoyed the malted waffles with coffee before retrieving my father’s truck and heading to The Warner Parks. We spent several hours hiking through the forest and chatting before returning to the hotel. We decided to head back to Parlor Doughnuts for another French toast doughnut, this time fresh out of the oven, before returning to shower, pack up, and then head to the airport.

We had an excellent short trip. We walked all over the place, ate some delicious food, slept in a comfortable hotel, and got to see the Chicago Bears win a close game in thrilling fashion. It was a real treat to see my father after so long.

Most of my travels are fairly lengthy and I’ve previously shied away from weekend trips like this, but I think I’ve changed my mind about the feasibility and excitement involved and am considering future trips of two nights or less.

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