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Monday, March 3, 2008

Monday Mug Shot (2/4/08)

The Broadway Dinner
Train Nashville,Tennessee

Mom and I had dinner on the Broadway Dinner Train at the end of our 2-week tour of the south in 1989. She and I had taken off in my Camaro for our journey in October. When planing the trip, we decided where we’d go and our routes. We decided that we would choose two cities to be our “spoiling destinations.” We stayed at the nicer hotel and went for some really nice dinners in Atlanta, Georgia ad Nashville.

The trip took us to places in the south. We spent the night and saw the sights in Lexington, KY; Chattanooga, TN and Atlanta, GA on the 1-75 from Detroit. Then we went west to Columbus, GA, making stops at Andersonville, Americus and Plains on the way. After Columbus, we crossed the time zone line into Alabama where we visited Birmingham, Cullman and Huntsville before heading back into Tennessee where after a stop in Lynchburg, we made our last Southern stop in Nashville.

In Nashville, we visited Music Row and went on a bus sight-seeing tour. We also went to the Country Music Hall OF Fame where I learned about the longest song title ever in the Billboard Country Top-Ten, “I’ve Got Tears In My Ears From Lying On My Back Crying My Heart Out Over You.” Also, since it was our final “big spender stop,” we stayed at the Sheraton Music City! On the first of our two nights there, we ate at the very nice hotel restaurant where we were attended to by David, one of the many fantastic Southern Gentleman who absolutely spoiled two women traveling together! I mention David specifically because when we were in the restaurant the night before we left, he sent a note to our table, not his that night, thanking us for the generous tip and wishing us a safe trip back to Michigan! The tip was not overly generous, but it was well-earned. His note made us even more sure it had been deserved.

The reason we found ourselves back in the hotel restaurant the next night was dessert! After a wonderful meal, we were too full for dessert, but at the Sheraton restaurant, in 1989 at least, dessert was a pay one price full dessert bar spread! (Yes, that FABULOUS dessert bar was the eventual inspiration for my Christmas tradition!) We resolved that the following day, we’d go very light on lunch and after our planned dinner return to the hotel restaurant for the dessert bar!

Dinner on that last night was out pre-planned trip on the Broadway! Dinner train dining is an elegant evening with usually at least three-star food on fine china with a fairly strict dress-code. The meal itself is an experience! This was our second dinner train of the trip, having enjoyed hobnobbing with the Metro Atlanta upwardly mobiles on the New Georgia Railroad.

The one thing that set the Broadway above the New Georgia was the scenery! The track ran along the Cumberland River for most of the trip with the lights of Nashville shimmering around it. Dinner trains seat four to a table, so if you are a couple, you usually end up sharing a table with another couple. We shared our table with a man who was treating his wife for her birthday.

After the meal, it was retiring for a while to the dome car to watch the lights and enjoy the train ride. We also chattered about the great two weeks and lamented that they were coming to an end. It was also talking in anticipation of the dessert bar we’d had salad lunch to prepare for! I tried the chocolate cake and the cheese cake and, I confess, had a full lice of the pecan pie and went back for seconds!

The Broadway mug is a wonderful memory of that trip with my Mom, an elegant evening that ended with a to-die-for dessert experience and notching three new states onto my traveling journal!

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