* Our Season Two episodes were filmed in Fall 2019 with editing completed early in 2020. We’re airing them as we filmed them…me interacting naturally with people. It may seem strange to watch now in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, but we hope you view the shows with open eyes, hearts and a love of travel past…and future.

Leslie and 100 Days Team

Season 2 - Episode 1

Nashville

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Show Notes

I’ve wanted to do an episode on Nashville since the beginning of this series. Along with Normandy (coming soon), it is one of those destinations where I have close friends and therefore, special ties to the place. I’m not the only one with a desire to experience Nashville. So many people have said to me over the past few years how much they want to visit, too. Why? Bustling Nashville is a mesmerizing place. Dubbed “Music City,” it’s the perfect intersection of music, food, drinks and fun. There’s no other place like it in the world.

My friends who inspired me to showcase the electric energy of Nashville are Anastasia Brown and Dawn Soler. I’ve known these fabulous females for years. Both are powerful figures in the world of music, television and movies, but are two of the nicest, most supportive women I know. Anastasia lives in Nashville and Los Angeles-based, Dawn, might as well be a Nashville local as she was key in producing the famed television series, Nashville.

When I reached out to them early last year as I was trying to get the Nashville episode off the ground, they immediately jumped in with suggestions, ideas and contacts. To determine what to film, we took their advice as well as reaching out to other colleagues. We tapped into my social media brain trust to pose the same question. Where would you go in Nashville? We had pages and pages of recommendations, but with only four days on the ground to shoot, we had to narrow it down.

Certain establishments kept getting mentioned again and again including Robert’s Western World, The Southern and Edley’s. Some places like Prince’s Hot Chicken, Nearest Green Distillery, and the Ryman Auditorium were on our list, but we were unable to film there for a variety of reasons. Other spots we filmed and couldn’t use in this episode, but they will appear in upcoming ones. It takes a lot of juggling to film a show. We shoot long days and nights resulting in approximately 27 hours of footage for a 27-minute program.

Now, Nashville has been called a “drinking town with a music problem,” so our goal was to highlight music as much as possible. Due to licensing regulations and a very limited production budget, we could only include snippets, though. Thanks to Dawn and Anastasia’s connections we got introduced to incredible musicians at The Bluebird Cafe. Anastasia and her friend, David Byerly, also generously hosted a party where rising star-singers shared their love of music with us. The performances were incredible, so please make sure to follow their careers at the links below.

One of the best parts of the episode for me was getting to spend time with Kathie Lee Gifford – such an inspirational person. I’ve had the pleasure of appearing on NBC’s Today Show with her for years. She’s always so caring, engaged and joyous! We talked about her music career, her wine label, Gifft Wines, and her film directorial debut, The God Who Sees.

No visit to the Nashville area would be complete without talking whiskey. I chose to film at the iconic Jack Daniel’s Distillery in Lynchburg. I’ve spent time there before and it’s not only picturesque and historic but offered a visual way to follow the whiskey-making process up close and personal.

This is only a tiny taste of what to do when journeying to Nashville and its surrounds. I hope after watching the episode you get thirsty for more, though, and plan a trip to visit. There’s so much to see and experience.

Cheers! Leslie


Acme Feed and Seed

What a great spot. Owner, Tom Morales, is a Rockstar…such a charming and smart human. His memories of the historic building were touching, but his commitment to preserving Nashville’s past as it barrels into the future is too. We visited each floor of this raucous venue for some hot chicken and beers, games, and music from The Cowpokes. What a treat, also, to sit and talk to the legendary soul singer Charles “Wigg” Walker – a character with a past as rich as his voice.

Edley’s Bar-B-Que

What fun to get in the kitchen with Chef Bret Tuck to learn about hot chicken’s history. After making it, we had a feast. Fried pickles, jalapeno ranch Hot Chicken sandwich, pulled pork, biscuits, and the best damn bread pudding I’ve ever had. Along with a boozy milkshake, the Bushwacker, I was wacked out. And, no, I did not eat all that food and drink all those drinks! In my job I’d be 300 lbs. if I did that. I taste…describe, try something else…describe, sip…describe and then push myself away from the table no matter how good it tastes.

Downtown Sporting Club

This is a Nashville hot spot. A hotel, multiple-restaurant venue, and hub for a sport I knew nothing about – axe throwing. When Anastasia said we had to meet her friend, owner Max Goldberg, and toss some axes, I laughed. Then we did it. Dawn was the first to nail it. What a blast! It looks dangerous but isn’t. I recommend axe-throwing highly.

Robert’s Western World

Packed with lines out the door, Robert’s is a must-stop in Nashville. The night we went, The Don Kelley Band played and we danced and danced (and danced). Even for music industry veterans like Dawn and Anastasia, it still tops their list. And the fried bologna sandwiches….OMG.

The Southern Steak & Oyster

Grits, girl talk and wine with my friend Kathie Lee Gifford was one of the show’s highlights. The Southern Steak & Oyster is a delicious eatery and I met KLG there for some noshing, sipping and chatting. Make sure to follow her latest television, music and wine projects.

Noelle

In Nashville, one of the most beautiful hotels and properties to stay and play at is the Noelle. An historic building with a hip and modern vibe, we got access to the speakeasy Hidden Bar tucked away in the basement. Our bartender, Lee, won my heart by whipping up one of my favorite cocktails, a Boulevardier (whiskey, vermouth and Campari). We tasted another favorite of mine, Bib & Tucker Bourbon. Yes, you can have Bourbon made in Tennessee and this is the one to try.

The Bluebird Cafe

If you ever watched the television show Nashville, you know The Bluebird Cafe. It’s where all the new talent was discovered, and that’s true in real life. Musicians get a crack at fame by singing at this place. (It’s also got delicious food so go hungry.) Located in an unassuming strip mall outside downtown Nashville, you know you’ve arrived when you see lines out the door waiting for a show. If you enjoy music, The Bluebird is a must-visit destination.

Jack Daniel’s Distillery

We headed to Lynchburg to visit Jack Daniel’s Distillery. I love Jack. They make some delicious whiskey. Having been to the distillery before, I knew it was an ideal filming location to tell the story of how whiskey is made. We showed the process of charcoal mellowing – the step that makes Tennessee whiskey unique.

JOIN IN THE DISCUSSION:

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RESOURCES:

(Visit places highlighted on the show)

Photos:

(Go behind the scenes)


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