Nashville Nights

When I see the title “Nashville Nights” that song from Grease starts playing in my head…”oooh, those summmmmmmer nights…”. You know the one! LOL That is about where I would put the nights we had in Nashville. I am 43 years old and I am still a little kid when I discover the fun that is to be had out in the world when I loosen up a little and just let go. On one hand I hope I always have that naivety as it brings appreciation…on the other damn I wish I could let go more often.

Holland Gray of Whiskey, Cash, & Roses

We arrived in Nashville on Monday. We spent Monday evening at The Stage listening to a newfound fav band called Whiskey, Cash, & Roses. Lemme tell ya – the lead singer Holland Gray? That girl has some pipes. Didn’t matter what the audience threw at her as far as requests…she nailed it. One of my favorite things to ask of these singers is Fred and I’s song – Pat Green’s ‘Wave on Wave’. I’d never asked a female singer to sing it before but I was so impressed with this lady I requested it. She moved me it was so good. My Fred would have been “leaking” as we call it.

Now I can’t even tell you who the next band was because at that point the evening got even better. Somewhere in all that a group of people showed up and started talking to Bev and I. I got pulled out on the dance floor – without time to do my usual “I have two left feet”. Before I knew it I was literally doing the old “whirling and twirling to a steel guitar”. We were having a blast. At 1 am Bev insisted it had been a long day and it was time to go. Pretty sure this old girl would have gone until closing time but ya know… 🙂

Don Schlitz – Song Writer of The Gambler (and many more!)

Tuesday night we had tickets to the Opry. Gotta admit I was excited to see it as far as it being something any country fan knows about but less than excited because I literally knew nobody on the bill for the night. I was pleasantly surprised at how the evening went. Don Schlitz, writer of The Gambler and several other songs I recognized, came out and played and it was moving to see an old man reduced to almost tears when Larry Gaitlin came out and sang with him as a surprise and the audience gave him a standing ovation. Love and Theft (a duo) had a row of friends in the row in front of us and one half of the duo came out after they sang and sat with his friends – clearly thrilled to see it from the audience perspective. It was even more cool when he was spotted during intermission and he spent the entire intermission taking pictures with fans.

We, of course, wound up back on Broadway after the show but it was a short night. A long day plus too much gin made for bedtime. LOL

Kalie Shorr (and a kick ass friend named Stephanie that I didn’t catch her last name)

Wednesday evening we hung out with these two ladies in the hotel lobby for a couple hours. It wasn’t very crowded and they asked for requests so we threw it back to 90’s female country. It was the most up close and personal chilled out evening of the week. Both of these two ladies can sing their little behinds off AND entertain with jokes and running dialogue.

Of course we made another run at Broadway hoping for more of that Monday magic but other than watching more than one drunk bridal group hit the floor (literally) it was slow evening. The bartender we met earlier in the week had already warned us that Wednesday’s were slow…she wasn’t kidding!

Cory Farley – my fav of the week!

Thursday was my BIRTHDAY 😳! I had warned Bev to get a nap in…we weren’t going to the hotel until closing. Or until I couldn’t hold my liquor respectably anymore. LOL. We had dinner at Dolly Patton’s White Limozeen in The Graduate Hotel to kick off the night. Food was good, concept was overdone. 🤷🏻‍♀️

Back to Broadway to get the music going in my veins! We bar bounced between The Stage, Second Fiddle, and Tin Roof. We wound up finally sticking to Second Fiddle. The band playing was the same one that closed Jenn and I’s weekend in February. And he is SOOO good. Now, normally, I’m the shy one. Can’t get me in front of a crowd to save my life. But when Cory called for the birthday girls I was up on stage before Bev could blink. We danced and laughed and sang until closing. I can’t remember another birthday so fun!

Broadway looking all innocent in the daylight

Before leaving town Friday I wanted one more look at Broadway. It had been such a great time in Nashville. Something about good music and a sweet spot in the South just made this Texas girl’s heart so happy. ❤️

Blessings y’all!

Those Music City Days

Nashville is rich with history – especially for one history buff (Bev) and one music lover (me). We didn’t go into the trip with a ton of day time activities planned which was a little bit of a blessing and a little bit of a curse. Having your days open to wing it is a different way to travel for me…having to make a decision on the fly when neither of you is good at saying firmly “this is what I want to do”? A bit of a challenge.

Belle Meade Plantation

Tuesday we took the opportunity to venture out to the Belle Meade plantation. While I might not be the bigger history buff of the two of us I am definitely one that love those old plantation homes of the south. I think sometimes I was born in the wrong century – I could have been a great Southern belle. Eh. Maybe not. I do like AC and cell phones an awful lot.

Our tour guide was fabulous. The interior of the home is so well preserved and the stories of how the house came to and flowed through the family over the years was just fascinating. The fact that it was a horse farm was different for me. I’ve been in plantation homes where they raised cotton or sugar. Never horses.

Minnie Pearl – WITHOUT the mask she had on in February when I was there!

Tuesday afternoon was one of our “what do we want to do” afternoon struggles. I had done the Ryman tour (or so I thought) when I was in Nashville in February. But Bev hadn’t so since it was within walking distance of our hotel we decided to give it a whirl. Come to find out I had only done the self guided tour. We managed to get in on the last guided tour of the afternoon! Seeing backstage…being in some of those dressing rooms and feeling the presence of those who had been before…it was really amazing! We were again blessed in the tour guide department and he had many stories to tell as we toured.

Slow Day in The Lucky Bastard Saloon

Wednesday after our AirBnb experience we did what girls do best. We went shopping. All along Broadway checking out all the western stores and tacky gift shops. When I was hangry we ducked into the Lucky Bastard Saloon because the music coming out of there was good and the place was almost empty. After almost a week there I never did figure out what really makes you choose one bar over another. For me it’s whether I’ve been there before and the music coming out of it. We befriended a bartender named Jazz. Sweet girl that she was she put up with me having her pick my food and drink because making choices isn’t a thing for me when I’m hangry. Spot on with her choices on both I might add. She put up with us when we talked her ear off anytime the music wasn’t playing. It was a great place to just kick it and relax and listen to music! For me it was also a bit of a personal triumph as I sent Bev back to the room when she was ready and I wasn’t – staying alone in a bar. That was a fear I conquered and harder than you might think.

For the tourist who prefers to do more than we did we missed The Country Music Hall of Fame, the Opry backstage tour, and tons of off Broadway activities. We literally could have been busy sun up to sun down. Thankfully we did something different this time and took it pretty chill. So many times in my life I didn’t take time to stop and listen to the music. One of my favorite parts of this vacation is that this time I did.

Blessings Y’all – Amy

Here’s to new experiences!

How many of y’all know that AirBnb has an “Experiences” component to their site? That almost any town you are visiting has something fun to offer that is usually some hidden gem or something you wouldn’t normally think of doing? I can’t remember exactly when I found this now favorite thing but it is something I look into everywhere I go now. My most recent vaca into Nashville was no exception!

This adorable sign was hanging in Nicole’s (our host) kitchen

Our first stop in Nashville (literally) was a biscuit making class. We left Memphis early Monday morning to make an 11:30 class where we were lucky enough to have the class to ourselves. Now, I don’t know about y’all, but I definitely was sure making biscuits is harder than it turned out be. I’ve steered clear of them because I grew up with the notion that they were a chore. Our host, Nicole, made them not only seem easy but also fun. Her kitchen is dreamy…one all us girls want…and so organized. The class flowed because she had all the prep work done. Just like you see on the cooking shows!

One of our finished products…makes ya hungry don’t it?

My favorite that we made by far was the biscuits and gravy. True southern biscuits in gravy that are the right color and not greasy or lumpy or anything of the things you get from those that just think they can make gravy. Of course, having well made biscuits under them probably helped! We got to leave with leftovers to take to the hotel for munchies. Besides the biscuits and gravy we made a flavored biscuit and some sweet biscuits and toppings. Definitely did not need lunch after…did I mention we got to have mimosas during all of this?

Probably the AirBnb experience I was the most nervous for of the week was the one we did Wednesday. We booked a Photowalk with Christy. One – I don’t like having my picture taken. Two – I definitely don’t like to do it out in the open where people walking by can stare at me. Three – did I mention I don’t like having my picture taken?

Our host Christy was AMAZING!

There wasn’t a worry to be had though. Five minutes into our experience our host Christy had us relaxed and talking. Christy took us around on foot to several of the murals down in the Gulch – including the butterfly mural that everyone is so crazy about these days. Christy gave us tons of tips on things to see and do in Nashville. Introduced us to locals and seemed to be a favorite in the area.

We are goofballs!

When we got the pictures back a few days later I was surprised by how many of them I liked! (Also by how flat and gray my hair was but that’s a story for another day!) As the weight as come off it’s been easy to see the me that has been hiding under 80+ pounds that are now gone. Still takes a bit to pull her out but she’s in there. Christy did a great job at getting us to relax, smile, and capture more than a little of the amazing time we had in Nashville. This is one experience I am so glad we pushed outside the box to do and will definitely look to do again in Nashville and probably in other cities.

Ok, here’s the links for both experiences.

https://www.airbnb.com/experiences/290704

https://www.airbnb.com/experiences/276316

Check those out! Blessings y’all!

Amy

Planning the trip….

In my opinion there are two types of people in the world…the plan every detail person and the jump in the car have an adventure type. One guess where I fall. 😂

My travel buddy Bev and I knew after how 2020 played out that our usual summer cruise was gonna be a non starter this year. So we planned a road trip. Loose use of planned. We identified the dates and the destinations. Besides that we haven’t done much more. I should add we are three weeks out from that trip.

A couple of weeks ago I began to realize I really didn’t have the fervor and excitement for that trip I usual do. We had so many stops on the road trip we were gonna be in the car every other day. Driving is NOT my thing. I have been driven everywhere but work most of the last fifteen years (thank you Lee). I reached out to Bev and said “umm how about we scale this back”. We chopped three stops off the route and got down to three cities. One of which is a fav place.

Now comes the stressful part. With it being a holiday week and with some of the COVID protocol still in place…reservations have to be made. We have to know, like now, what we want to do in any given day. Eliminating any spontaneity which it has taken me fifteen years to appreciate. (My kids can tell you stories of the early family vacations where every day was so planned it was exhausting.) Trying to identify what we want to do on any given day is 🙄. I mean what if I wake up and I am not in the mood to tour the civil war battlefield I had scheduled that day? Or what if we stayed out too late on Broadway St the night before and don’t wanna get out of bed? You see my dilemma.

I have finally narrowed it down to this. We are going to make reservations at the important-to-us-not-to-miss places for in the mornings (because one of us never sleeps past six am 🤷🏻‍♀️) and leave our afternoons free as a bird. Because in the end? It’s supposed to be relaxing!

P.S. if you have any must do’s in Memphis or Nashville send them to me!!!