Today hasn't exactly gone as planned. I got to the caves reasonably early only to find all the morning tours sold out. I finally got on the Historic Tour of Mammoth Cave at 10:30. The tour was pretty good, except for the non-stop crying of a couple infants, and the non-stop whining of the rest of the children.
When I got to Opryland USA (Nashville, TN) I found that my tourbook was once again wrong and they don't start matinees until late June, so no Grand Ole Opry for me today. I decided to hang out in this area a couple extra days, so I have a 3rd row ticket to the GOO this Friday. In the meantime I'll go to Graceland, maybe the Jack Daniel's Distillery, and try to get a reservation for the Wild Cave Tour (6 hours, off the trails, most of it on your hands and knees), back up at Mammoth Cave National Park.
Now I've got an afternoon to blow, should I go do the Opryland Theme park? I opted for the filming of TNN's Prime Time Country. Today's guests where Tracy Byrd (Big Love), and Johnny Paycheck (Take This Job and Shove It). It was mildly entertaining, and it got me into the Opryland theme park for the afternoon for only $7. Tip: if you're going to visit Opryland, get a ticket to Prime Time Country ($7), which will get you into the park at 3:30pm, then blow off the filming, and do what you want until the park closes at 7. I found that the 2 hours I had there were more than enough (but then again I did all three Disney World parks in one day). The best ride was The Hangman, a suspended roller coaster with lots of loops. Second is Chaos, a Spacemountain like roller coaster, except without the special effects, but with the advantage that you really can't see the track (basically it's in the dark). The rest of the rides were unnoteworthy. Like I said, a couple hours was plenty, of course when I was there there were no lines at all (bad weather, early in the season, ?).
Downtown Nashville (2nd & Broadway) was pretty fun. I tried to avoid the chains (Hard Rock, Planet Hollywood, Spaghetti Factory, etc.). Instead I had a pretty good dinner, and OK beer at the Market Street Brewery definitely stick with the darker ales (the cask conditioned stout was slightly disappointing, but still pretty good). After dinner I wandered around the bars listening to live music. I heard ok country, bad rock, and horrible blues. Actually for free bar music all the performers were pretty good. This is definitely a great place for someone who likes live music. Besides live music the other thing Nashville has going for it are a slightly civilized (well more so than WA or CA) last call time of 3am. Besides the 3am limit on alcohol Nashville also has after hours clubs. These are generally clubs with live music (and unfortunately a cover) that stay open until well after dawn. The catch is they're BYOB. The convenient thing is that most of the bars have package license (they can sell unopened booze).