Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Hi ya'll from Nashville!

Soooo we just returned from Nashville and I already miss it.

Day 1, Saturday: Trip started out great - plane on time, smooth flight, quick ride to the hotel, and a biscuit and gravy breakfast. After eating, we headed to the pool to soak up the sun. I was expecting a few families to be hanging out, but instead I saw a packed pool reminiscent of what I experienced back in college during Spring Break. I was suddenly super grateful I took the time to actually shave my legs and had kept up with my running routine :) I did find it rather ironic that directly in front of this sign:

was a security officer basically handing out drinking cups and surrounded by liquor to bring to the pool area:

Later in the afternoon we walked downtown passing so many gorgeous churches. I rocked my new mint shorts which I'm currently obsessing over. I see another shopping trip in my future to purchase all of the other colors in stock.

We ended up eating at a place called Paradise Park per the recommendation of our shuttle driver. The patty melt was A-mazing!!!! So much so, that we ended up there on our last day to eat before heading back to the airport.

Broadway was full of these pedal taverns, but having to pedal to drink just seems to defeat the purpose to me ;)

It was also on Day 1 that we met Geoffrey the giraffe who I am pretty sure probably has some type of herpes judging by all the randoms kissing him on the street. I am sorry to report that later in the evening, Geoffrey suffered a broken neck and had to be bandaged up. Somewhere in the evening two similar wooden giraffes appeared to join his posse.

We tried out the famous hot chicken from Hattie B's. Ash hated it, so I ate her's and mine. We ended the night at various honky tonks drinking and dancing, but sadly couldn't stay up past 10 (although I'm blaming our early departure time for at least part of this).

Day 2, Sunday: We did lots of pool-side lounging today. Lot less crowded today, but we did basically meet and befriend the whole Boston police force.

We did manage to venture away from the pool for a few minutes to walk to the convenient store where we passed these amazing magnolia trees.

I mean look at the size of those blooms! They were incredible.

After dinner at Whiskey Kitchen, I went in search of a Sports Bar to watch the Cav's Game. #allin. With two minutes left in the game and the Cavs up by I think ten, I made the dire mistake of predicting a win on FB, which of course then led to us quickly losing our lead which subsequently led to friends on my social media sites leaving such heartfelt messages as "you are dead to me" and "if they lose I'm holding you personally accountable." Thank God, CLE managed to still pull off a W ;)

After the sports bar, it was back to Tootsie's where Ash made a new Swedish BFF and I was excited to see some Cleveland love on the wall.

On the way home I found this gem :) I was sad to see it so haphazardly discarded and now I wish I would have saved it and put it to use somewhere/somehow.

Day 3, Monday: In the morning we went to the Barista Parlor in The Gulch which was damn near impossible to find due to construction. Although, then finding it seemed like that much more of a treasure. We ordered one bourbon vanilla latte and a caramel whiskey latte. I wish I had captured a picture of the look of sheer concentration on our barista's face as he prepared our drinks. Once they were delivered I instantly understood how creating coffee could demand such effort:

We had to do lots of sipping so we didn't spill this beautiful cup of joe. In spite of a late night on the town, Ash and I ran our normal three miles around the city. And it was hot, super hot. Hard run, but so glad we did it once we did. The number one thing I wanted to do in Nashville was to attend an open mic night at the iconic Blue Bird Cafe, but it is a small venue and they seat on a first come first serve basis so we had plans to get there a good hour and a half early. The weather had been so perfect that we thought standing in line for an a few hours to ensure seats didn't seem like a huge deal.

Here's a pic we took on our way out the door:

And then it rained. And by rained I mean it was like a monsoon.

The restaurant that we were eating at offered us garbage bags which we graciously took and we hopped in an Uber (my new favorite thing) to head to the cafe. Unfortunately, after the Uber dropped us off and drove away security at the Blue Bird said we were not allowed to be on the parking lot premises until 10 to 5 (doors opened at 5:30). To top things off they wouldn't take our names to show we were first in line. WTF?!?! Who says it is first come first serve and then doesn't let you stand in line or take names!? We did meet an awesome family from the UK who was equally annoyed. I introduced them to the store Tuesday Morning where we all bought umbrellas which classed Ash and I up just a bit as we were able to shed the trash bags. Finally we were "allowed" to line up in the blue bird parking lot and enter after the 25 performers and their plus ones. I seriously feel like there were like ten seats left for guests. In spite of being initially annoyed I was blown away after actually experiencing the venue.

All I have to say is WOW - so worth the wait and the highlight of my trip. I thought it was so cool to see all types of people performing all types of original songs - songs of love, loss, dogs, and designated drivers. Two of my faves from the evening:

Frank Hurd Band: Light

Ashley Fleener: Black Magic
We followed the Blue Bird up with a trip to Printer's Alley at the Blues Boogie Bar (and on the way I met a pet pig).

Great time. Great city. Great music. Great food. Great People. And a great welcome back to one of my other favorite cities.