Mammoth Caves & Nashville

This one is a weekender in true Travel Squad style. We fly to Nashville for a honky tonk good time on Broadway, southern food, and a day trip to the amazing Mammoth Caves National Park for some large cave exploration on Mammoth cave tours.

Highlights of Mammoth Cave National Park & Nashville- Episode Transcript

3 (56s):
Welcome to this week’s episode of the Travel Squad podcast. Today, we are recapping our trip to mammoth cave national park in the state and Kentucky, as well as talking a little bit about our time in Nashville, Tennessee, utilizing it as our hub, before our ventures to mammoth cave national park. We also have some of the best squad tips to give you guys so that you can do this trip yourself.

1 (1m 23s):
We took this quick weekend or trip back in February to Nashville, and we drove up to Kentucky to visit mammoth cave national park. It’s the only national park in the entire state of Kentucky. And it’s the longest cave in the entire world.

2 (1m 39s):
Wow. I’ve been wanting to go to Nashville for a couple of years now. I was supposed to go there in 2020 for my birthday, but we all know what happened, what

3 (1m 48s):

2 (1m 50s):
But mammoth caves looks really cool. Caves in general are just amazing. So interesting. So now as I look ahead to this year’s birthday or next year’s birthday, I’m definitely going to be adding in mammoth caves. So since I wasn’t on this trip, why don’t we dip in with the tips

3 (2m 7s):
And dip in with the tip? I like that Kim.

1 (2m 12s):
So one of my favorite tips and I’ve probably given it on most of our episodes is to download the offline maps or going from Tennessee into Kentucky. There are some rural areas and when you get into the national park, there isn’t the best service. So it’s always nice to have offline maps already downloaded so that you can just keep to your route.

3 (2m 32s):
Yeah. And another tip is to reserve your cave tours in advance, through the recreation.gov website. You don’t get this through the national park website or anything. You have to do it through recreation.gov. It is a cave. They do have guided tours. They have so many different tours that you can do when we went. It was earlier in February of this year, still coming outside a little bit of COVID. So they had reduced tours than their normal capacity, but depending on when things fully reopened a plethora of tours to do and choose ranging from, you know, one hour to four to five hours in there, and even going further into the cave, then we went,

1 (3m 10s):
Yes. And so we had some goals for this trip. One we wanted to knock off another national park. Part of our bucket list is to hit them all. And so that check mark this box, it wasn’t a far trip from Nashville. It was like an hour and a half drive. So super close. And we well not, we, I have a love and newfound love for barbecue. I have

2 (3m 32s):
All does it?

3 (3m 33s):
No, I love barbecue, but Brittany, like, she’s been really on a hankering for barbecue everywhere we go. Now it doesn’t even matter if barbecue is part of the cuisine of that area. She’s looking for barbecue. So when we, so when we were in Tennessee and they’re known for their barbecue, she’s like, fuck barbecue. Like we’re going, which is fine, but she’s wild.

1 (3m 50s):
You know, Kim and you’re anywhere go. Where’s the Thai food, where can we get tired? Or do they have high Chi let’s do hi to you somewhere. But like mine right now, I’m on a barbecue kick hard. And so I love going to new places and trying out their barbecue and visiting spots and trying it out. And Tennessee seems to have a thing for dry rub, barbecue ribs, probably not my favorite style, but of course, I just want to try it in general.

2 (4m 16s):
Also Nashville hot chicken. Was that on your goals list?

3 (4m 19s):
It was, you know, when we went originally, it wasn’t, but then when we were there, we realized, how do we forget hot chicken? Like they’re famous for it here. So we made sure that we included the hot chicken on the list. That is for sure. So glad we tried it. I’m thinking about having to attempt to make it myself here. There’s been a couple menu item times when we’ve been planning our meals at home where it’s almost made the list, but for whatever reason it hasn’t. So I need to get on it,

2 (4m 45s):
Save it for our next recording day. And let’s have that

3 (4m 48s):
Hot chicken for Kim. I got.

1 (4m 50s):
And if you don’t know what hot chicken is, it’s fried chicken coated in hot sauce. And it’s usually paired with white toast and pickles to balance out that heat. Or you can try it on a sandwich. So, which is my preferred way to have Nashville, hot chicken. And then another goal, because we were in Nashville was to visit a honky-tonk

2 (5m 9s):
And line dance,

3 (5m 11s):
No line dancing, just visit the honky too. I have no rhythm whatsoever. I can’t even dance. Even something as simple as lion dancing, I’m sure I would fail miserably at however, that was not on the list we were there. We’re like, all right, people go to Nashville all the time for the honky-tonks the live music. It has that scene. I’m not in a country music. I’m not a hater on it, but when you’re there, you can’t not go right. I mean, it’s silly not to. So we definitely wanted to do that.

1 (5m 36s):
I just want to know how did you grow up in Woodland, California and not like country music?

3 (5m 41s):
Well, I just want to say I was not in FFA. Like you two ladies over here. So maybe that’s where your love of Washington say, love your acceptance. And like of some country music came into play.

2 (5m 52s):
I am not a country music fan, but I will get down to some Shania Twain.

3 (5m 57s):
I have twins country. We’re not really country. I like Schneider 20 place United way. And I’ll get down tonight. No, but I’ll respect and love the song. I could tell you that.

1 (6m 7s):
Yeah. Jamal just gave out some secrets about Kim and I. We were both in FFA. We both did vegetable crop judging. I’ve actually driven a tractor. Can you believe it?

3 (6m 18s):
So this was right up Brittany’s alley then was the honky-tonk.

1 (6m 21s):
Yeah. And Kim and I have even raised some animals for show at the fair,

2 (6m 28s):
Looking at this now living in a big old city.

3 (6m 31s):
So this was just a quick little weekender for us. We flew out on a Friday after work into Nashville and we got there in the evening. We knew the next day that we were going to be going to mammoth cave national park, but we decided, fuck it. We’re Nashville. We need to hit the ground running and get barbecue and get some honky-tonk action in.

2 (6m 52s):
Hold on. We got to go back.

3 (6m 54s):
Let’s go back.

2 (6m 56s):
I have a question about the flight. What airline did you fly in? Do you remember how much you paid or cost?

1 (7m 2s):
We flew Southwest San Diego to Nashville. And I want to say our ticket with about $128

2 (7m 10s):
Round trip, or just there

1 (7m 12s):
W I want to say each way, but I do have companion pass. So although I paid for my tickets at Jamal only paid for the taxes.

2 (7m 21s):
Okay. So it was about then 2 40, 2 50 for each of you because of this companion pass, which tell us how you got that.

1 (7m 29s):
So I got an offer in the mail to sign up for a Southwest credit card and that they would add companion pass for a year’s time. I got it at the end of 2020, and they said that they would honor companion pass through 2021.

2 (7m 43s):
Cool. So now every time you buy a flight, Jamal gets his flight or Kim or anyone else you want to bring kids their flight for just the taxes

1 (7m 51s):
For just a tax. That

2 (7m 52s):
Is a killer,

3 (7m 52s):
It’s a killer deal. So they offered that as one of the signup specials for that credit card for Brittany, you can actually earn companion pass with Southwest. You obviously have to do so many flights in a year or a cruise, so many points and you can get it. But every so often they’ll include that as one of their perks for a credit card sign up. And we obviously had to take advantage of that. I mean, we fly in rep Southwest all day, every day. I mean, it makes it a really good deal that way.

1 (8m 19s):
So Jamal, why don’t you tell us what we did to hit the ground running on Friday?

3 (8m 23s):
So after we landed and got our rental car, we went to our hotel. We checked into the Clarion hotel. It was in downtown Nashville across the river from those main side of downtown, but we were pretty much right there in the thick of it. We just had to cross a bridge and we were pretty much there

2 (8m 40s):
Walking distance to the honky-tonk.

3 (8m 42s):
It was walking distance. We did not, because it was fucking cold. We were there in February. We literally left on a Sunday to come back home to San Diego. The day a storm was coming in, we just barely miss it. So it was already cold and it got even colder. So it was within walking distance, but we opted not to do that because it was so cold.

2 (9m 2s):
And do you remember what that hotel went for and would you recommend,

3 (9m 6s):
I mean, I would recommend because of its proximity, especially if during warmer times you’re going to walk downtown, which I would recommend because once we get to it here, when we tell you where we tried to park, it’s ridiculous how much it is to park downtown in Nashville. Like ridiculous. So I’ll save that price to the point when we get there. So I would recommend for the proximity decent hotel, nothing great, but it did have a breakfast buffet, but because of COVID and stuff, it was closed, but they did give you a pre-packaged breakfast in the morning, which made up for it. Pretty good biscuits and gravy, some eggs and sausage. Yeah. Yeah. It was pretty good. Pretty, I mean, you’re kind of in the south in a sense, they’re giving you Southern comfort food for breakfast.

3 (9m 48s):
So would recommend that.

1 (9m 50s):
So to answer your question, Kim, in terms of the cost for the hotel, we paid 200 for both nights. So about a hundred dollars per night, and we redeemed our points through chase rewards. And so we didn’t pay for it really.

2 (10m 4s):
So your other credit card, a chase credit card, you have accrued points and then use those points for this hotel. Yes. Damn. Did you even pay for this trip?

1 (10m 13s):
Just barely, right.

2 (10m 14s):
Okay. Okay. I like it. You’re fucking hard.

3 (10m 17s):
Yeah. Fucking them hard. So we checked into the hotel as we were checking into the hotel, when you are going to hit the ground running, go get barbecue, go to honky-tonk.

2 (10m 25s):
And did you already know what barbecue place you were going to go?

3 (10m 27s):
Yes and no. So the reason why I say that is when we checked in, we had asked the person, checking us in for a recommendation. She gave us three places. One of the places that she gave us was actually the name of a barbecue joint that somebody else had given us, who was from Nashville, who we met when we were hiking in Sedona. So we ran into them and Sedona, we were telling them was we were waiting in line to take a photo on the iconic devil’s bridge area that we’re going. I asked for barbecue recommendation. He gave it, it was called Martins barbecue. And so that was on our radar as one of the possible places. She mentioned it, checking into the hotel. Martins is like, well, that’s it, that’s two people.

3 (11m 9s):
We’re going to that place. And we ended up going there and I’m not going to lie to you. Completely disappointed with Martins. There’s like three or four locations. He advised us the person that we met in Sedona to go to one specific location. Like it’s the best one. I forgot what it was called. What’s the specific location was called, but I didn’t find it to be very good. Didn’t think Brittany thought it was very good. Either the Mac and cheese was dry, the meat wasn’t very good. And the ribs, the brisket, like everything, like nothing of it was good. I’m not going to lie. Now we could have gone there on a completely off day. If multiple people that are locals are saying that it’s good, barbecue.

3 (11m 49s):
I mean, probably it is. I think maybe we just had an off day, but our experience was like, oh, this is trash. So we were not satisfied with our barbecue experience, but that was our dinner. And we’re like, well, now it’s time to go downtown and get some honky-tonk action in.

1 (12m 5s):
We had been seeing ads for a honky-tonk called nudies and it features a rooftop area. So we were like, well, you know, we keep seeing ads for it. We saw it well, as we were driving down. So that’s where we decided to go for our first honky-tonk experience.

3 (12m 23s):
Let me just say something real quick. Before we talk about the honky-tonk experience. I know everybody loves to go to Nashville. Supposedly it’s one of the biggest bridesmaid spots to go to these days.

2 (12m 35s):
Bridesmaids, bachelorette,

3 (12m 36s):
Bachelorette. That’s what I should say. The bridesmaids go with the bachelor ride. Yeah. And I knew it was famous for the live music and it’s basically on Broadway street there. And I was just expecting like a whole big stretch of honky-tonk places. And then I get there and I’m not exaggerating to you. It was literally two blocks on one street. And I’m just like, everybody’s coming here for this. Like, imagine you go to Vegas and find out Vegas is only like two or three hotels. You know? Like, this is what happened to us. When we went in here, I

2 (13m 10s):
Was like, you’re going for Vegas, but you got Reno. Yeah.

1 (13m 13s):
That’s exactly how we

3 (13m 14s):
Felt. I, my mind is blown how this place, and I’m not trashing on Nashville. I just had such an expectation of like, oh man, like this is a big area. It’s going to be packed, which it was packed, but I thought it was going to be blocks and blocks of it. And it just wasn’t. It was in such a small area that it was really shocking to me. But before we talk about getting into new cities too, I want to bring this up because we talked about the walking and I said, ah, it’s better to do it than driving. Take a guest came on. How much you think it costs to park for about like one hour in downtown Nashville,

2 (13m 48s):
One hour parking? Hmm. I think something reasonable and a big city might be like 10 bucks an hour. So if you’re saying it’s crazy, maybe 25,

3 (13m 57s):
The highest one that we saw really close to Broadway was $40 for the hour or

2 (14m 2s):
One hour.

1 (14m 3s):
It was crazy. He,

3 (14m 5s):
We were lucky to find a parking garage and walk away paying like 20 bucks for two and a half hours, like a couple blocks further away. But even that I’m just like, this is crazy talk right here. So yes, I would recommend our hotel and walking across because parking down there, unless you’re going to catch an Uber or Lyft or something is absolutely ridiculous. You’re going to be drinking anyway. You’re going to be bar hopping from honky-tonk to honky-tonk all two blocks a day. Yeah. But I mean, it’s going to be happening. So if you can avoid parking downtown, I would recommend it. But tell us about nudies, Brittany.

1 (14m 39s):
So we went to nudies because one, the name’s kind of interesting. I don’t

2 (14m 44s):
Know. I know what you’re looking for.

1 (14m 46s):

3 (14m 46s):
I want something up top.

1 (14m 49s):
And so we wanted to go to the area which looks down onto Broadway, which is like the main scene area. The two blocks that you can see side to side with the rest of the honky-tonks people walking up and down the street area. And it was a fun experience. The drinks were a little overpriced

3 (15m 6s):
Substantially overpriced. And

2 (15m 8s):
What were they

1 (15m 8s):
For two drinks? I got a cocktail. Did you get a beer or a cocktail? Jamal.

3 (15m 13s):
I ended up getting a cocktail and a lot of beer also. I forgot what I got

1 (15m 17s):
For two cocktails. It was $34.

3 (15m 20s):
Whoa. And they gave it to you. I don’t want to say they were like the red party cups, but they were like smaller than red party cup size, but like the clear plastic ones, you know, the water cups that they give you for free, like at fast food restaurants, that clear plastic ones. It was that size. Yeah.

2 (15m 37s):
Okay. That’s crazy. And I think he, I remember you texting me while you were on this trip while you were there. And I was like, should gone to Austin. Cause over there you can get two double red bull vodka sodas for $16.

3 (15m 50s):
That’s actually a pretty good deal considering what we paid. But again, mammoth cave is not an Austin. Kim. We were stuck in Nashville. I shouldn’t say stuck. I enjoy the time, but it’s still a little different than I know.

2 (16m 1s):
And I’m wondering if you saw so many ads for nudies and it’s clearly a large venue, right on Broadway, big attraction or tourist trap. I’m wondering if prices were like that everywhere or if this place was,

3 (16m 14s):
And they were, because this wasn’t the only honky-tonk that we went to. It was the only honky-tonk we went to that night, but we went to a couple other ones, just checking them out in that area and pretty much online for the prices, but what really kind of disappointed me. And again, I’m not a big country fan, but when you walk in, it was a kind of like excited and I’m just like, Ooh, everyone’s in here. The one they didn’t care about. COVID I’m just throwing that out there also too. Cause it was in February before really a lot of people had had vaccines and they weren’t really social distancing in that

2 (16m 44s):
Respect. COVID didn’t hit red state.

3 (16m 48s):
I could see that when I was there, but you go in and it was exciting. You know, I don’t like country music that much, but they’re playing the country music. It’s cool, but there’s no space. We have to go up a level and then you get to the second level and it’s kind of country music live that they’re playing, but a little bit more like poppy style music. And then we get to the rooftop bar. And then if I didn’t know, from walking in that they were playing country music. I would think I was at any other club. It was like rap music. And like they were playing NBA, all this like crazy stuff. I’m just like, so that kind of took away from my experience a little bit because I saw it passing through, but there was just no space on any of the other levels to really experience like the country music aspect of it.

2 (17m 31s):
Okay. Question nudies or hawkers on

1 (17m 36s):
For sure. But what our entertainment for the night was, was there was a group and one of the girls was fucking wasted. And while we were there on the rooftop, you’re supposed to sit in one area and if you got up, you’re supposed to wear your mask. And she was like up dancing over like the railing portion. And then the security guard would come by and tell her to like sit down and calm down and then she would start rubbing her ass on him.

3 (18m 3s):
Yeah. She was like trying to grind on him and then he would like go away and then she would start dancing on her stool kind of like hanging over the bar edge, like three, four stories up. Right. And so he would have to come back and forth and it was a, quite the battle between them that we were watching and it would made for good entertainment. I saw her on me a little bit though. I don’t think she minded that Brittany was there. She, she gave me that look, I kind of felt it. You

2 (18m 27s):
Know what I mean? Over and start grinding on

3 (18m 29s):
YouTube. I think so. I think so.

2 (18m 31s):
When does it turn into new duties

3 (18m 33s):
While she was getting close to that level? I think if we stayed longer, we could have seen her get a little bit more wild and really experienced nudies. As you

2 (18m 41s):
Guys left too early,

3 (18m 43s):
We left a little too early because we had an early morning.

2 (18m 46s):
What time do they stop serving alcohol?

3 (18m 49s):
That I don’t know. We didn’t make it until that time. I can’t tell you go experience all two blocks or self giving. And then you could tell us what

2 (18m 56s):
To am. And it’s only two blocks.

3 (18m 58s):
I have to imagine a place like Nashville is like, I don’t want to say it’s like Vegas where it’s 24 7, but I bet you what goes well into the more out thing is like California. 2:00 AM. I think it’s longer.

1 (19m 8s):
But like Jamal said, we had a wrap up the night because we had to go to mammoth cave national park in the morning. And like I mentioned earlier, it’s only an hour and a half drive from Nashville, which is amazing. And truly there’s no entrance fees to enter the park. So mammoth cave, national park doesn’t have an entrance fee. And the reason why, and I learned this on this trip is because this was private land previously. And there are so many cemeteries on the grounds that they can’t charge an entrance fee because a lot of people actually go to visit the cemeteries on the national Parkland.

3 (19m 43s):
Yeah. So no entrance fees to get into that area. It’s very beautiful, nice green forested area, even though it was cold. And in February it was still kind of like green. There was still bad color change of the leaves that weren’t falling onto the ground yet. So it was really, really nice and majestic, but obviously as beautiful as everything is around it, the main reason why you’re going there is for the caves. And I didn’t really do so much research and history on the cave itself. I thought to myself, oh, this is another cave. Probably like Carlsbad caverns national park in New Mexico. I’ve been to other caves. Yeah. There’s still ag mites, Stalag tights.

3 (20m 22s):
And I didn’t think it wasn’t going to be fun because even though I’ve been in multiple caves each time I’m in one, it doesn’t get old. It’s still so breathtaking to see all of that. And I thought that’s what we were going to be seen, but I was sorely mistaken. Like I went to a cave and I didn’t know I was in a cave. Really? It was wild.

1 (20m 40s):
Yeah. And like Jamal mentioned earlier, we did book cave tours on recreation.gov. They ranged in price from anywhere from like $8 up to $66, depending on the length or the activities that you were doing there. But they only had two tours operating during COVID during non COVID times. They have 14 tours running. Hey travelers, let’s take a quick detour to talk all about our travel itineraries that we’ve created just for you. We now have six different trip itineraries one week in Kauai

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1 (23m 57s):
But mammoth cave was really, really interesting because it has a lot of history. It’s actually not only just a national park, it’s also a UNESCO world heritage site due to how much history it has an inside of it.

3 (24m 10s):
Yeah. And as Brittany said, it’s the longest cave system in the world that has over 400 miles traced and actually mapped out. And it’s so massive. I mean, that’s why it got its name, mammoth cave. And like I said, when we first got in there before we did our tour guide, obviously they give us the briefing of what we’re going to be going through, what we’re going to be seen. And then that’s when they hit me with the big news where I said earlier, it’s not like any of the other caves. This is the only like major cave system in the world where there are no stalagmites and stalactites when you’re in there, it’s almost like a carved out tunnel. So that totally threw me off. I’m just like, well then what the hell am I going to be going in here and seeing like, why do I want to see a tunnel? But then they hit you with the history of that cave specifically itself.

3 (24m 54s):
And you’re just like, oh my God, like my mind’s blown away.

1 (24m 57s):
And in a sense, it is a huge carved out tunnel carved out by underground rivers. That’s how the cave was formed. And you know, Jamal said it has over 400 miles traced. Well, they’re still currently tracing it. So the cave just keeps expanding and expanding every time they go further and further into the cave and do expeditions. So the cave was actually discovered about 5,000 years ago by native Americans. And they don’t know how or why it was discovered, but they found artifacts within the cave to help date back to that time, like would they have found a bundled sticks that they believe were used as torches they found choose? In fact, they’ve even found a dead man’s body that was completely preserved because the cave is really, really a dry environment and it stays cool all year round.

1 (25m 49s):
And so his body was perfectly

2 (25m 50s):
Preserved. And how old was the body did they tell you?

3 (25m 54s):
They did. I don’t really remember how old they said that the person was. They said that they’re able to tell that they think like when he was in there that a rock fell on him and he had gotten stuck and trapped in there, but I don’t remember the age in which they said they were, they even went as far as to say, at one point they removed the body, put it on tour and took it like a few places on display. And then they realized, oh, he was starting to decay. And they figured it would be best to re put him back in the cave. So they put him best as best they could in the original spot and which they actually found him. But for a while they took the body out and then they put it back in to honor the fact that it was the final recipe.

3 (26m 39s):
I know, but think about it when they discovered him. I mean, this was like the early 19 hundreds, if you will. And you know, they did things a lot differently back then, right. I mean, it’s not like now if they found it where they would take into consideration, like, no, this is this person’s final resting place. Let’s leave them. Let’s do that. Let’s preserve the fact that it is what it is.

2 (26m 57s):
So were you able to see it or you didn’t go to that portion

3 (26m 60s):
Of the case? They said that it’s kind of behind in this area, but no, we weren’t able to go and actually see it. Yeah. That would have been cool. Yeah. But like Brittany was saying, because it’s so dry, like, okay. In the past water ran through there and that’s what created the cave itself, but no waterfalls through the rocks to create the stalagmites and stalactites. So that’s, again, going back to what I was saying, where it was really, really unique in that way. There’s not really any other cave system in the world. That’s like that where there’s not like water dripping through the rocks. And because it was so dry, it was able to preserve it and mummify that indigenous person’s body, but the history that they started telling, and actually how this cave, they were going, as far as to say, if it wasn’t for this cave, we really wouldn’t be an independent nation anymore.

3 (27m 49s):
And why don’t you tell us a little bit about that, Brittany, do you remember what they were saying?

1 (27m 52s):
They said that they used the salt pewters and that helped make all of the gunpowder for the war of 18, 12. Oh. And so they still have artifacts of that still preserved within the mine. And so, because of that, we were able to win the war.

3 (28m 8s):
Yeah. Because we were fighting the British in the war of 18, 12, and that’s really where we got most of our gunpowder from and why would our enemy sell us gunpowder to actually go and fight them yet? The only place that they really knew of to get the materials they needed to make the gunpowder was actually there, the salt pewter that they have naturally like within those caves. So it became a whole mining operation and I forgot what they said the statistic was, but they said something like 95% of the shots fired by Americans came based out of what they had mined out of that cave itself. And so you can still see remnants of all the old mining operations, like through there of what they were doing when they were mining.

1 (28m 51s):
And we were able to see all of this on the Broadway tour that we took at the time that we went, it was about $11 per person. And it’s a really cool cave tour because they don’t brightly, light the cave. It’s just a very gentle light light. And so it gives a nice ambience. And then you’re going through, and they’re talking about all of the history, the war of 1812, you’re seeing the salt pewter mining. And then you go by some structures that are still standing. And they actually used the cave as a tuberculosis hospital because they thought that it might cure tuberculosis because of like the climate inside of the cave. And it’s also the oldest cave tour in the United States as well.

1 (29m 35s):
So it just has all of that history. And they tell you all about that all throughout this tour.

3 (29m 40s):
And going back to a bit of what Brittany was saying on the lighting, you know, and other caves that kind of just have it very subtly lit, but the whole thing is lit the area in which you’re seeing and walking through. Right. And I don’t know if they do this differently because we went kind of during COVID times versus non COVID times, but each interval that you had gone through, cause you could only get in the cave. If it’s guided is not free for you to walk around or do anything, they would turn on the lights to the next section and then turn off the lights to the section that you just came from. So they only had one section at a time lit up. And so it really gave you a sense of just that darkness in there. Right. And it’s always humbling when you’re in a cave. And then at one point our tour guide turned off all the lights and he lit just an old school style lantern that they would have had.

3 (30m 25s):
And he said, this is what a lantern of light would have gotten. You, you want to make sure this doesn’t go out. And then he prefaced it to say like, look at these stick bundles that we found here from the native Americans when they came and we saw how far they’ve explored back, they’ve explored miles back. Imagine if their light went out or them coming down here, what was their purpose? What were they doing? We really don’t know. And so they just tie that whole experience from the natives in there to the war of 1812. And it just gives you an amazing perspective of that cave and the history that took place there. It’s so unique. I loved it.

1 (30m 58s):
Yeah. And earlier we were talking about the artifacts that were found inside the cave. And they talked a lot about that during the other tour that we took, which was called the mammoth passage tour. That to her was only $8 per person when we went and you can actually see the artifacts that they left behind, they have them on display and you just get to see some of the biggest rooms inside the cave system. And so it’s really good for people that don’t like tight spaces. Sometimes when you think of a cave, you might feel claustrophobic, but in this cave, it’s mammoth. It’s huge. So you really didn’t ever feel that way while walking through this.

2 (31m 34s):
That’s cool. So you did two tours.

1 (31m 36s):
We did in one day.

3 (31m 37s):
Yeah, we did the two tours. We did one and then we exited and then it was like 30, 45 minutes later was our second tour that we did. And these tours are good beginner tours. And that’s all that they were actually doing because of COVID. They said the other tours that they do have, again, one they’re longer, they require you to go in tighter spaces. Some of them even crawl, so they’re not conducive for kids, but they said because of COVID they’re not trying to compact everybody into those areas. I don’t think if we had gone during normal times, these would have been any of the ones that we did maybe, maybe not. But one of the ones Britney was looking at, I know it was like four hours of just straight crawling in there and doing stuff and exploring what

2 (32m 17s):
He wants to do.

3 (32m 18s):
Yeah, absolutely. I think that would be fun too, but would I have gotten all that history that I got on this too? And it was prefaced in such a way that just made it really exciting.

1 (32m 26s):
There was another tour that I was interested other than the one that crawls into like tight spaces where it’s kind of like at Dawn and you have to carry a lantern through. And so I felt like that would be really cool to

2 (32m 38s):
See. Definitely couldn’t have been out at nudies till late night for that one.

3 (32m 42s):
Oh, he definitely couldn’t have been. And by the way, you are in a cave at stays 54 degrees, approximately like year-round in

2 (32m 49s):
The case,

3 (32m 50s):
You need to be warm that’s for sure.

1 (32m 52s):
So although we really explored the cave, there are other things to do in the area. There is hiking. Can you imagine we didn’t go hiking while we were in this national park?

2 (33m 1s):
Why not?

1 (33m 2s):
Well, again, like the name of the park is mammoth caves, national park. So I really wanted to focus on the cave and not so much on the hiking outside of the area. I feel like we can go hiking anywhere

2 (33m 14s):
Who’s talking right now.

3 (33m 15s):
I wasn’t complaining, but yeah, that shocked me that she didn’t try to pull that one. You know what? It was Kim, I don’t want to get too far ahead of herself. She wanted to go back and reattempt barbecue at a second place. So that’s why no hike was a on the list. She was like, I need to go get barbecue.

1 (33m 29s):
And we’re like, we got to redeem the barbecue scene out here in Tennessee. So when we had asked the receptionist at our hotel, her recommendation, one of the places she recommended was called peg leg of pork.

3 (33m 44s):
And so after Martins were like, like, you know, can we trust this one? But

2 (33m 50s):
You go and look at pictures and like check out the moistness of the Mac.

3 (33m 54s):
Well, we did go check out some pictures for peg pork. Cause she gave another location to, I forgot what it was. But we looked at the photos for peg leg porker and we saw their actual menu sign, like when you order. And it’s one of those old school signs where like you literally put up the, the letters on the board and it’s lit from the back. This has potential to be like a real solid mom and pop like this has to be good. We’re going to go try it. And we did. And let me tell you something great. A prime barbecue.

1 (34m 25s):
It redeemed the barbecue scene for me out in Nash.

3 (34m 29s):
And I was a little concerned about that because in the name peg lake porker they only sell pork there. So you’re getting ribs, pulled pork, other stuff. And as much as I love pork with barbecue, Britney and I love brisket, well brisket’s beef. And so I was like, ah, but you didn’t really have a good brisket experience, but we were like, no, no, no. We’re going to go to peg leg. Porker tell him what we got printed. I mean, it was so good. Brittney. And I still talk about peg leg porker amongst ourselves now.

1 (34m 54s):
So we got the ribs, we got a pulled pork sandwich. We got the Mac and cheese and the Mac and cheese was nice and creamy and rich. It wasn’t dry at all. We got a site, a green beans, and to top it all off, we got a cup of banana pudding,

2 (35m 10s):
Banana pudding,

3 (35m 11s):
Banana pudding. It’s a barbecue thing in the south. That’s like one of their desserts banana.

2 (35m 16s):

1 (35m 16s):
Yes. 10 at a 10 would recommend peg leg.

3 (35m 20s):
And then the banana pudding, they crush up some like Nilla wafers that they put in there too for the texture. Like it’s a, it’s a whole ordeal. And it is,

2 (35m 28s):
I think that the day that we have Nashville hot chicken, when we record, we should also make three, create this pudding.

1 (35m 35s):
Yes, that would be so good. And then Jamal was like, you know what? I haven’t gotten my fill on honky-tonk experience. So we had to go back out and hit honky dog scene.

3 (35m 45s):
So we explored the other block of Nashville and Broadway

2 (35m 50s):
Saw the whole thing we

3 (35m 52s):
Did. It was an ordeal of trying to figure out which one we were going to do. Honestly, people are waiting outside to get in. And obviously, like I said, they really didn’t have restrictions in terms of like people that they were letting in. But I have to imagine during non COVID times, it’s a lot more crowded and meaning a lot more people like waiting in line. So since there’s only so few places to go to, like you could really probably be waiting in line for a while. Like we waited in line to get into the next one for about what like 25, 30 minutes to get in. And this was kind of like mid day, not even in the evening Saturday yet, you know, it was still wasn’t sundown at that point. And we went to honky-tonk central, like I said, we had to wait to get in line another three story and they have the live bands more.

3 (36m 36s):
So at the bottom, this one, we were lucky. They kept the country theme going all the way to the top. So they put us in the top one. We didn’t have space to get our own table. They put us at a bar surrounded by everybody. It’s a big round bar in the middle tables on the outside stage at the front, they were actually doing covers Shania Twain speaking to Schneider earlier, actually, and this is where I got my honky-tonk feel kept the real country vibe, two drinks. We got one mixed drink and one beer, $17 here. But I think it’s because I got the beer. If I got a mixed drink, it would have been probably close to what it was at nudies Brittany’s was that big end of that mixed drink cost.

2 (37m 16s):
Did you guys wear cowboy boots?

3 (37m 19s):
I don’t own a pair of cowboy boots, Kim.

1 (37m 22s):
I wish he did. And a cowboy hat, but

3 (37m 24s):
Yeah, at a balmy one out there, Brittany,

1 (37m 26s):
I should have, but no, we didn’t wear cowboy boots, but it was really cool to be inside the honky-tonk and just like hear all of the live music and their covers and you know, it’s just a really fun environment.

2 (37m 38s):
Maybe it’s only two blocks because everything is three stories

3 (37m 42s):
That could be true. I mean, I’ve said it and kind of made a joke about it, but I’m really doing that because that totally blew my mind. I know it’s really a very popular place domestically for lot of people to go, I would say without the gambling, it might even be the Vegas of the east coast in terms of like a place to go drinking and do. Yeah. Yeah. And

2 (38m 2s):
Because of the south,

3 (38m 3s):
Right. I do celebrations for like bachelor, bachelorette, et cetera. So that’s what just shocked me with the limited size of only like a couple of blocks. So I’m knocking on it, but you know, it is what it is the

2 (38m 15s):
Biggest little city in the south.

1 (38m 17s):
Yeah. And so I think also too, during like, COVID times everyone is sitting at a seat, but I imagine that in non COVID times, that place would be packed with people just standing in between going up to the bar and you’d probably be able to transfer levels a lot more easily. So I just imagine it being a lot more busy.

3 (38m 38s):
Yeah. So, I mean, that was our honky-tonk experience. I got my fill. I’m not even going to lie a little bit. Brittany at that point had already had her first vaccine. I had not, you know, she was part of first phase as a nurse. And so I was in there and I don’t mind being inside, but really they were giving no shits whatsoever in terms of capacity and people around each other. So we were in there, but I, I was feeling a little nervous. I ain’t going to lie about that

2 (39m 3s):
While you live to see,

3 (39m 5s):
I live to see another day. That’s what I lived to see both vaccines in my arm.

1 (39m 10s):
So after we finished up at honky-tonk central, we called it a night and the next day we were flying out since it was just a weekend trip, but we had to still eat some in Nashville, hot chicken . So we went to a place called party foul, and that’s where we got our Nashville hot chicken.

3 (39m 27s):
So we were in a real dilemma where we were going to get our hot chicken. Cause there was a couple of famous places that you can actually go to. And so we ended up settling on party foul and the party foul that we were originally going to go to was really, really crowded. By the time we got there, they told us it was going to be like an hour and a half wait. And we’re like, well, we’re on our way to the airport. Like we can’t wait that long. By the time we eat, interestingly enough, there was another party foul outside of city center, closer to the airport. So we went to that party foul. But do you remember the name Brittany of the other place that’s highly, highly recommended.

1 (40m 1s):
I want to say it was called Hattie

3 (40m 3s):
B’s Hattie B’s that’s right. And so from what I read online, Hattie B’s is a hit or miss, like people either really Raven review about it. And then other people really say like, it’s not that good. I’ve

2 (40m 13s):
Even heard

3 (40m 13s):
Of it. And I wonder if it’s like a Martin situation for the barbecue people that we talked to were all about Martins and we had it it’s like, eh, so, but what I saw more recently about Hattie B’s was that they are inconsistent. Like that was the reviews that I saw online. And so we were like, all right, we’re going to do party foul tens,

2 (40m 30s):
How much they were at the honky-tonk the night before, I guess

3 (40m 33s):
I, that could have a lot to do with it, I think makes it better.

1 (40m 36s):
So Jamal ended up getting a beer. He fell and they had these really cool beer cups where there was a hole in the bottom and there was a magnet. And instead of pouring the beer from tap, like from the top, you would place the glass cup down and it would fill from the bottom up and then automatically stop. So it was really cool to see. And then, so Jamal was like, he was so intrigued by this new invention that he’s never seen.

3 (41m 3s):
I’ve never seen beer filled that way on draft. And it just totally blew my mind. And you kind of already gave it away, Brittany, that it was a magnet. My thought was like, okay, like these are special cups. It has some sort of like hole at the bottom obviously to fill it. But I thought that whole only opens when it’s on whatever nozzle at the bottom is filling it, like it seals into it. And then like, because of that, like it open. So I thought, well, if it’s not on that, it’s closed. So I’m like halfway through my beer, maybe a little bit more than halfway. And then finally, like, I’m just like really looking at the bottom of my glass. I’m like trying to figure out how the hell did they feel this from the bottom? And so I poke up at it. Cause I think again, it’s part of the glass and it turns out to be that magnet and I lost the placing on it.

3 (41m 49s):
And my whole rest of my beer just spilled all over it onto my lap. We were at party foul. That’s a party foul.

2 (41m 57s):
Yeah. Crazy.

3 (41m 59s):
But let’s talk about the hot chicken though. Yes.

1 (42m 1s):
Oh my gosh. The hot chicken was so good. I got a Nashville hot chicken sandwich and it was delicious. Perfect kick pickles on this side, on the white bread. It was really good.

3 (42m 13s):
Yeah. The hot chicken here was absolutely amazing. As much as I love Peglegs porkers. I think the hot chicken for me really stole the show. Like I enjoyed this.

2 (42m 23s):

3 (42m 23s):
Know, I know. I enjoyed it very, very much. It was

1 (42m 25s):
Up to its name.

3 (42m 26s):
So when you go to Nashville, got to get some hot chicken, got to get some peg porkers, maybe skip Martins. Just going to say,

2 (42m 34s):
Okay, so a question for you on barbecue. Remember the ribs and Mac we had from what was it? Fourth hole.

3 (42m 43s):
The fourth hole,

2 (42m 45s):
Fourth hole in Jackson, Wyoming. It was something whole big whole rebel, something like that, that ribs macro bomb. So that or peg leg porker

3 (42m 54s):
Well the Mac at peg leg porker was better. I will say

1 (42m 59s):
Banana pudding.

3 (42m 60s):
I do love our barbecue experience that we actually had when we were in Jackson. I think that’s what recently got Brittany on her barbecue kick was having a barbecue there. I will say this though. Brittany touched on it earlier in Nashville. They really do a dry rub. So they don’t cook the ribs with sauce. I like ribs with sauce. Not that you can’t get the sauce on the side and dip. That’s just not really my thing. So the ribs in general, I would say like, eh, they were decent at peg porker, but not my favorite, but the pulled pork that pulled pork sandwich that we had with the coleslaw. I mean, it was just absolutely dynamite. All the sides and the fixings. So a little bit of each, I can’t say which one was better, but overall barbecue.

3 (43m 43s):
Maybe Jackson, just because of the way I like the ribs and I had brisket too.

2 (43m 48s):

1 (43m 49s):
Yeah. I would, I would have to agree with that. I think that peg leg porker though, that banana pudding man just was so good, so good. And that Mac and cheese, but it really was Jackson that confirmed my love for barbecue. And I think of that place often. Okay,

2 (44m 5s):
Good to know.

3 (44m 6s):
Yeah. This was a fun little weekender. I mean, we flew out on the Friday. We went to the park on the Saturday. We’re able to fit in local food, local activities with the honky-tonk and then just flying back on that Sunday here. And I’m glad you actually mentioned this earlier and we’re saying the stuff like, oh, cheap trip and you know, utilizing the credit cards, whether it be the Southwest or the chase Sapphire. When we were at the Nashville airport, chase Sapphire reserve, lounge, access, many suites, Brittany and I, before our flight, we’re able to check into those mini suites, pull out the bed, take a little nap and relax and do stuff in there. Well, you don’t want to know cam

1 (44m 43s):
Let’s tell you off the podcast.

2 (44m 45s):
All right. So we’re in luck this week. We got a question of the week And this one is coming from June, from Boston and June is asking, what is the biggest foodie city in the us?

1 (45m 6s):
I would like to say it’s Chicago. Cause I feel like there’s a lot of really good restaurants in Chicago. They have the river walk with a whole bunch of rooftop bars and really good restaurants. They have some Michelin star restaurants there as well. My pick would be Chicago.

2 (45m 23s):
I think everyone says New York city and sure every big city is going to have massive amounts of food. Right. But what are those hidden gems? I’m trying to think too. And obviously LA has so much good food.

1 (45m 36s):
So to San Diego, really

2 (45m 39s):
Orange county actually. So I have never really explored orange county, but I have a coworker of mine who is a huge food. He’s actually a starred Yelp person. They send him to events to taste

3 (45m 51s):

2 (45m 51s):
He reviews so much food. And he swears by orange county, especially for Asian food. Interesting.

3 (45m 58s):
I knew orange county was big for Asian cuisine, all types of Asian cuisine. Mind you? I do know that, but we’ll have to check out orange county, one county up. That sounds exciting. You know, when you asked that question, Kim though, I was racking my brain. Not for an answer, but what did that question mean? Right. Are we talking like a city like Austin that has like lots of mom and pop stuff? Are we talking a city that has its own local cuisine in a sense with something like, for example, like San Francisco with clam chowder or new

2 (46m 30s):

3 (46m 31s):
Yeah. Right, right. So I don’t know what that question means. The, my first thought was actually Las Vegas. But then yeah, I think so because you can get anything you want at a high level, Michelin starred, cheap eats good stuff. But it’s not really, I don’t want to say authentic food cause it is, but it’s like, it’s not of the city. It’s because it’s Las Vegas. Right. So I don’t know the answer to that. Actually. That’s a, that’s a really hard question that I, I, like I said, I’m still trying to decipher the question. That’s really tough for me.

2 (47m 1s):
I think new Orleans too, because it’s so known for their Southern food and the Cajun Cajun food, Asian food. But you know what I mean? There’s obviously tons of great cities with tons of great food. But since we were talking about orange county and all of us kind of lights went off in our heads that we haven’t really explored orange county or their food scene, I would love to do a day trip where the goal of our trip is to like have this food tour where we go and get like one or two or things or whatever, and just keep moving on.

1 (47m 33s):
I would love to do that. That sounds like an all day event. I couldn’t

3 (47m 36s):
Do anything with eating food all day is a good plan for me.

2 (47m 39s):
And we have to do it. Like if we’re going to go to this ice cream place, we get one ice cream and we all eat it. Go to the next place, get one app,

1 (47m 46s):
Go get it like top us. Yes. The county

3 (47m 49s):
Sounds like a good time.

2 (47m 50s):
All right. Well, thanks for this question June and thank you all so much for tuning into this week’s episode to keep the adventures going with us. Please follow us on Instagram and YouTube at Travel Squad Podcast, tag us in your adventures and send us in your question of the week.

3 (48m 5s):
If you found the information in this episode to be useful, or if you thought we were just playing funny, please be sure to share it with a friend that would enjoy it too. And as always guys, please subscribe, rate and review our podcast and tune in every travel Tuesday for new episodes,

1 (48m 19s):
Stay tuned for next week’s episode, we have some more amazing adventures and tips in store for you.

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