A lederhosen-clad fellow at the Germantown Festival in Nashville, Tennessee, plays a hand-cranked Raffin street organ.
Behold Ryman Auditorium, home of the Grand Ole Opry from 1943-1974. We took a self-guided tour around the National Historic Landmark, which first opened in 1892 as the Union Gospel Tabernacle. Now, the popular Nashville music venue plays host to myriad performances and events. On this Saturday afternoon, the crew prepped for a sold out Lumineers show.
The scene looked a lot like this on Saturday morning as we arrived in Germantown. Men and women in lederhosen and dirndls lined up beside us for the annual 5K run/walk through the historic streets and farmer’s market of Nashville. At the finish line: A commemorative bier mug and complimentary Oktobefest brew. Obviously.
That’s Alice. She plays the canjo. Its long neck is made from reclaimed wood, then fitted with a single Banjo string and a can of SPAM. An empty can of the potted meat apparently produces better sound than, say, Campbell’s. In fact, each canjo is tuned to the key of D. I found Alice selling the instruments at Oktoberfest in the Germantown neighborhood of Nashville on Saturday morning.
On our way outta Dodge on Sunday, we drove past the now-notorious 40-foot neon Playboy logo and, er, Dodge Charger in the middle of the desert. The art installation went up quietly in June on the outskirts of Marfa, and it wasn’t long before disapproving locals filed a complaint, calling licensing and permits into question. Is it art or advertising? Stay tuned for the bunny’s fate.
We decided to cut the drive home in half with a stop at the Caverns of Sonora, a National Natural Landmark about 8 miles west of Sonora, Texas. There, we descended 155 feet into the damp cave on a guided tour through over two miles of passageways. The “show cave” was discovered at the turn of the 20th Century and opened to the public in 1960. On our hour and a half hike underground, we admired an impressive combination of live stalagmites, stalactites and helictites throughout a maze of dripping formations. Go there. It’s spectacular.