Tag Archives: Nashville

Flashback Friday: Our First Time Flying Southwest Airlines- I’m Impressed

FlashbackFriLast week’s Flashback post was related to Southwest Airlines so I figured it was best to follow up with one about our first time flying with them.

Many people would rather not step foot on Southwest but Kim and I feel quite differently about the airline. We find them to be a bit quirky and different in the way that things are done… and we like that!

Since writing about our first trip on Southwest, we’ve flown with them 3-4 more times. We’ve had positive experiences and find them to be a great option for domestic flights.

Here is the post:

  • Our First Time Flying Southwest Airlines- I’m Impressed

This post was originally published on January 14, 2013

Flashback Friday: The Oddest Checked Luggage I’ve Ever Seen

FlashbackFriA couple of weeks back I posted about a museum featuring medical oddities and this week I want to share a different kind of odd post from the past for Flashback Friday.

I can’t recall seeing anything odd ever get checked at the airport up til our trip to Louisville and Nashville last December. At the counter next to ours, a man was trying to check two 50 pound dumbbells!

Here is the post:

  • The Oddest Checked Luggage I’ve Ever Seen

This post was originally published on December 29, 2012 Continue reading Flashback Friday: The Oddest Checked Luggage I’ve Ever Seen

An Incredible Breakfast: Pancake Pantry- Nashville

During our trip to Nashville we read about a place for breakfast that we had to try.
The Pancake Pantry sounded pretty amazing due to offering 23 varieties of pancakes. A couple of the options are pretty typical but the bulk of the options are really interesting and somewhat odd. All I know is that once we looked over the menu, it was not easy to make a decision on what to order. Oh the problems we face at times…

We made two attempts to eat at the Pancake Pantry and ended up eating there on day 4 of our trip. We drove by the previous morning but didn’t bother to wait due to the ridiculously long line.
However, we were determined to eat there so we arrived a bit earlier the following day and still waited on line about a half hour.

The wait didn’t end up being too bad since everyone on line seemed to be in a good mood and patiently waited to get inside. We spoke to various group of locals and the consensus was that the pancakes were well worth the wait.

Besides pancakes, the menu was full of all of the regular breakfast items like eggs, waffles, french toast and hash browns. Many of these items sounded great but I couldn’t go to a place called Pancake Pantry and not order pancakes!

We looked over the menu for a while and had some hard decisions to make. A few options caught our attention. We both usually like chocolate chip pancakes but at the Pancake Pantry we both had to go with options that were a bit more unique.

To help with our decision we decided to check out what Adam Richman had while visiting P.P. for his show Man vs. Food. It just so happened that the pancakes Kim planned to order were one of the varieties that Adam had during his visit.

So what did we order?

Santa Fe Cornmeal Pancakes

I went with the Santa Fe Cornmeal Pancakes aka the Village Smithy. The order of pancakes are made up of three stone-ground cornmeal pancakes with chunks of bacon, cheddar cheese and roasted green chilies cooked inside. It’s served with hot maple syrup, hot picante salsa and sour cream.

The pancakes were really odd but also really good. The dish seemed like a great Tex-Mex creation subbing out a taco shell or tortilla with pancakes. All of the flavors seemed to work really well together. The pancakes and syrup were sweet, while the chilies and salsa added just a bit of heat. I’d definitely recommend this dish to anyone planning a visit to Nashville.

Kim decided to order the Sweet Potato Pancakes. They are made with real sweet potatoes in a fluffy batter, sprinkled with powdered sugar and cinnamon. Cinnamon cream syrup and butter was also added.

Once Kim tasted her pancakes she knew that she made the right choice. She loved the pancakes due to the fluffy texture and the sweet (but not overly sweet) flavor. A favorite part of the dish was the cinnamon cream syrup which added a lot of flavor.

I’d definitely recommend a visit to Pancake Pantry if you plan to visit Nashville. Just remember to show up early and expect a bit of a wait.

Find out more about Pancake Pantry by visiting their website here.

Review: Peanut Butter GooGoo Cluster + Winner Announced

Last week I wrote about GooGoo Clusters, a Yummy Regional Sweet. In the post I ran a giveaway of a Collector’s Tin of Assorted GooGoo Clusters. I also mentioned how I was looking forward to trying out a GooGoo flavor that I could not find anywhere in Nashville- Peanut Butter.

When I wrote GooGoo Cluster, they were kind enough to offer to send me some of the peanut butter variety and also offered a GooGoo Cluster Commector’s Tin for me to give away to one of my readers.

My Peanut Butter GooGoo Stash

I was really looking forward to trying the Peanut Butter GooGoo Cluster and couldn’t wait to tear the box open when they arrived. I was sent a box of 12 PB GooGoos. This seemed like a generous amount for Kim and I to sample. (At the time of this review, we had not finished the box of GooGoos yet.)

I immediately noticed that the Peanut Butter variety seemed much smaller than the Original.
I checked the packages and saw that the PB was 1.5 oz and the Original was 1.75 oz.

The Peanut Butter GooGoo came out in 1991 and is a real treat- “Peanut Butter fans have celebrated the piquant combination of peanut butter, peanuts and real milk chocolate for two decades.”

Check out the thick layer of Peanut Butter

A review of the Peanut Butter GooGoo Cluster:
Kim and I are huge fans of peanut butter fans so we were really looking forward to trying out the PB GooGoo.

From the moment you take a bite, you can taste the thick and rich peanut butter which takes up a huge portion of the cluster. The milk chocolate also stands out and goes really well with the peanut butter, making for a great taste. Although there was a fair amount of peanuts on top of the cluster, I felt they weren’t as noticeable as in the Original variety.
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I also felt like the Peanut Butter GooGoo seemed a bit small. When eating an Original Cluster, it feels heavy and filling while the PB doesn’t feel so substantial. With that being said, both Clusters are still incredible and make for a tasty snack.
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If I was to compare it to another peanut butter candy, a good comparison would be Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. I think that the PB GooGoo is much better than a Reese’s. All of the ingredients in the GooGoo are better than those mundane PB cups. The peanut butter seems to be tastier and the chocolate is richer in the GooGoo. The peanuts on top add a nice texture and add a bit more flavor.
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If I had to choose  between an Original or Peanut ButterGooGooCluster, that would be a harder decision. Overall, the Original stands out more to me, with all of the layers of flavor working better together. If I was looking for more of a peanut butter taste, then I’d go with the PB GooGoo. Either way, you can’t go wrong!

I want to thank GooGoo Cluster for sponsoring the Collector’s Tin Giveaway and everyone that entered. A couple of ways to enter were by following me on Twitter and Facebook. If you don’t currently follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you can do so by clicking the links above.

Kim and I have had a chance to enjoy a Yummy Regional Sweet and now it’s time for one of you to get to do the same!

And the winner is… Amy W. (no relation to Michael W., many last names begin with W!)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Our First Time Flying Southwest Airlines- I’m Impressed

Kim and I were pleasantly surprised by our flights on Southwest. We found the airline to actually be very good! (We flew SW on our recent trip to Louisville & Nashville.)

I earned Companion Pass status with Southwest which allows Kim to fly for free on any flight I book with points or cash. This will allow us to take (most likely) 2-3 more domestic trips with SW during 2013.

The employees just might be the friendliest out there. From the ticket counter, to the flight attendants to the pilots- they all seem to have a smile on their face.

Continue reading Our First Time Flying Southwest Airlines- I’m Impressed

GooGoo Clusters: A Yummy Regional Sweet + Giveaway

Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant

Make sure to enter below for a shot at winning a Collector’s Tin of GooGoo Clusters!

In February I wrote about a Budget Travel article mentioning 15 of America’s Favorite Regional Sweets.

There was one item from the list that I really wanted to try. If I ever made it to Tennessee, I had to get my hands on a GooGoo Cluster. Luckily, on my recent trip to Louisville & Nashville, I was successful in my quest.

GooGoo Clusters were invented in 1912 in Nashville, Tennessee. They are the world’s first combination candy bar. GooGoo’s are “made of luscious caramel, smooth creamy marshmallow and fresh roasted peanuts all covered with a thick coating of pure milk chocolate”.

GooGoo Clusters come in three varieties:

  1. Original- described above
  2. Supreme- with fancy pecan pieces instead of peanuts
  3. Peanut Butter- replacing the marshmallow filling

When we started planning our trip , I remembered that I had to find a GooGoo Cluster to taste when I made it to Tennessee.

On the shelf at Dollar General

The first GooGoo Clusters I bought were just outside of Nashville. We stopped at a gas station for a snack and a fill up. While Kim waited in the car, I went in to buy the snack and spotted them in two varieties. I bought one of the Original & Supreme. They each cost .99 cents. We both enjoyed the Original variety but didn’t love the Supreme as much.
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We expected to see the GooGoo Cluster for sale all over and planned to try it a few more times. The next morning, at breakfast I noticed a display at Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant selling Original GooGoo’s for $1.99 each. Wow! Talk about pricey. I wasn’t going to pay double what I had payed the day before. I hoped to find more Clusters for sale before we left Nashville.

A photo with the prized GooGoo Cluster

After finishing up breakfast we needed to buy some water and spotted a Dollar General right down the block from Puckett’s. We stopped in for the water and decided to wander down the candy aisle. Well what do you know, Dollar General carried boxes containing 3 GooGoo Clusters for $1.99! This seemed like a great price so I bought a couple of boxes to take home. (I kind of wish that I had bought a few more!)

Piggly Wiggly

We didn’t see GooGoo Clusters for sale anywhere else in Nashville until the last night of our trip. I went into a Piggly Wiggly (a Southern supermarket chain- I had to mention the name) and spotted a display selling Original & Supreme Clusters for .99 cents. This seemed like a fair price but we decided to pass. If they had the peanut butter variety available I would’ve bought a couple.

A GooGoo and its wrapper

A review of the GooGoo Cluster:
Kim and I are now big fans of the GooGoo Cluster. We both appreciated that it seems to be just the right size- not too big, not too small and just the right thickness.  These lumps of tasty goodness smell great too! Kim told me she could smell the peanuts and chocolate from a few feet away, not knowing I had opened the package.

Layers of yummyness

To show all of the layers of flavor, I cut one of the GooGoo Clusters in half with a sharp knife.

You can see all of the ingredients present in the cluster. They don’t skimp on anything. There are lots of tasty peanuts on top, followed by a nice layer of caramel. They sit on a thick pillowy bed of marshmallow and then the whole package is coated all around in tasty chocolate.

A nice thing about the GooGoo Cluster is that you can actually taste all of the elements working together. What stood out most for me was the peanuts and chocolate. The marshmallow added a nice, light texture and the caramel added just the right amount of sweetness. It is a perfect mixture of smooth, crunchy, sweet and salty.
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I’d love to try out the Peanut Butter variety in the future. Maybe I can hunt it down in a candy shop in the NYC area.

If I could recommend one thing to the Standard Candy Co. (the makers of the GooGoo Cluster), I’d suggest that they consider making a dark chocolate version!

Find out more out Goo Goo Cluster and order some online HERE

***Giveaway: Win a Collector’s Tin of GooGoo Clusters***

I decided to contact Standard Candy Co. to let them know how much Kim and I enjoyed the GooGoo Cluster. I mentioned how I really wanted to try the peanut butter variety but had no luck finding them in Nashville.

I received a speedy response from Standard Candy Co. and they were very kind and generous. Not only did they offer to send me some Peanut Butter GooGoo Clusters, they also offered a little something for me to giveaway to my readers!

The Prize: One Collector’s Tin of GooGoo Clusters

  • Collector’s Tin filled with 8 Assorted GooGoo Clusters: 4 Original, 2 Supreme and 2 Peanut Butter. (value: $19.95)
  • Contest ends 1/15/13 at 12:01AM
  • Enter in the widget below. The more ways you enter, the better your odds are for winning!
    a Rafflecopter giveaway 

 

Louisville & Nashville- Day 4 Recap

We spent the last day or our trip in Nashville doing a variety of things. We ate some unique foods and visited a few historic sites. We also took some time to walk around Broadway to check out preparations being made for the New Years Eve Bash.

Here is a recap of Day 4:

  • Breakfast at Pancake Pantry
  • Toured President Andrew Jackson’s home The Hermitage
  • Checked out the amazing posters at Hatch Show Print
  • Tried a unique kind of food- Meat and Three
  • Stopped for a quick jump at the State Capitol
  • Visited the New Years Eve Bash On Broadway stage & surrounding area

Louisville & Nashville- Day 3 Recap

We spent all of Day 3 in Downtown Nashville exploring various Country Music sites. Neither Kim or I are Country Music fans but the sites we visited seemed like must sees. If we skipped them it would’ve just seemed wrong. I couldn’t come to Nashville and not see why it got the nickname Music City.
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Here is a recap of some of what we did during our first full day in Nashville.

Day 3: Nashville

  • Visited the Ryman Auditorium- “The Mother Church of Country Music”
  • Had a drink & heard some music at “Honky Tonk” Bar- Legends Corner
  • Toured Historic RCA Studio B
  • Wandered around the Country Music Hall of Fame
  • Had one of the best burgers in Nashville at Brown’s Diner

Happy New Years From Nashville

Kim, Lucas and I want to wish everyone a Happy & Healthy New Year!

Hopefully 2013 will bring great mileage earning opportunities and plenty of travel for all.
We already have flights booked for three trips with more to come. I’ll be mentioning where we’re going in future posts. We’re planning our trips early this year!
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This year we got to spend the last days of 2012 in Louisville & Nashville. Check out my posts about Day 1 and Day 2. I’ll be posting about Days 3 & 4 very soon.

Nashville hosts a big event called Music City New Year’s Eve Bash On Broadway. The event features performances by some bands and they countdown to midnight with the Music Note Drop. Streets are closed all over the downtown area and vendors are out selling food, drinks and souvenirs.

I had hoped to check out the Bash on Broadway but it wasn’t the best idea due to my little man Lucas. The weather has been chilly in Nashville and it’s been drizzling/ raining on and off all day. (Lucas also needs his beauty sleep way before midnight!)

My last jump of 2012

We decided to walk to the end of Broadway to get a closer look at the New Years Stage & Music Note.

During our stop near the stage, we figured it was a great time to take some photos. The area had lots of activity going on. Last minute preparations were being made and many others seemed to have the same idea as us- get some photos before the crowds showed up.

Nashville’s Broadway

Once again, I want to wish everybody a Happy New Year from the Michael W Travels Family!

Louisville & Nashville- Day 2 Recap

Image edited from mapquest

The second day of our Louisville & Nashville trip was a very long and busy one due to a good amount of driving. Driving from Louisville to Nashville directly would take around 2 hours and 45 minutes but we decided to break up the drive with a stop at Mammoth Cave National Park. This added a little under an hour onto our drive with traffic.

Regardless of the time we spent on the road, we ended up having a pretty productive day. We got to visit some interesting sites, Lucas had a lot of fun playing in a museum and we got stuck waiting (for what seemed like) forever for a famous chicken dish created in Nashville.

Here is a recap of some of the things we did.

Day 2: Louisville to Nashville Continue reading Louisville & Nashville- Day 2 Recap