Hello Dear Readers!
I’m currently located in sunny California, taking my longest break from traveling yet this year (over a week!). I’ve been hanging out with family, shopping judiciously at Target, and getting back into a workout schedule.
In short, it’s been great.
However! Before I got here, I had to move all my things cross country- from Washington D.C. to Yucaipa, CA. Since I’m a huge weenie and was also driving alone, I planned my trip across a five day span, including a couple nights spent with family in Branson, Missouri. I figured if I had to be driving, I should at least make it as un-awful as possible.
Which is how I found myself detouring an hour out of the way to stop in Nashville. I’ve been meaning to come here for years, but never managed to find the time.
Nashville is…well…I have never been to a city that was so proudly country.
I know, I know, that should be obvious, but look:
Everything is loud and musical and packed with good old American honky tonk folk. Coming as a visitor, it was really cool and also a bit absurd. I mean, do you really need that boot?
Anyway, I had planned on doing the whole tour of Nashville with the Grand Ole Opry and whatnot (no, I didn’t manage), so to that end I found myself eating at a place called The Stillery right in the middle of downtown. This place is “best-rated” in Nashville, and it deserves its title. Good food, good music, and excellent cocktails.
Afterwards, I popped back into my hotel for a bit before heading back downtown. My hotel was close enough that I could walk, so I did.
As I made my way down the road, one of the many musicians littering the streets of the city struck up a conversation with me. He introduced himself as Mike, was on his way to work, and was totally impressed at my being a travel blogger. (I’m famous!)
“You can write about my band! I’ll give you the musician’s tour of Nashville!”
This seemed really cool, so I readily agreed.
Our first stop was at the most famous bar in Nashville, called Legends Corner, where he high fived the doorman and proceeded to take me up to the empty VIP section.
Super cool, right?
I was there for about two minutes before the bartender came and informed us that the VIP wasn’t available for us and we had to leave. *facepalm*
It was a great start to the night.
The tour of downtown then turned into a nighttime search for coffee so he could play his set without falling asleep. Then, having failed at that, he settled for ice cream, and we headed back to his bar to wait for his band to start.
The conversation went downhill from there. I learned many *interesting* facts about him, until there were more red flags waving at me than at a communist rally. (I won’t elaborate here, as most things he said are decidedly less than PC).
At that point, luckily, he had to go start playing and I settled myself down to listen in safety. (What was he gonna do, jump off the stage at me?)
First, though, I grabbed myself a beer. As expected, I was carded, but this I didn’t mind.
I then returned to my seat and began drinking it. Scarcely two minutes later, the bar’s enormous bouncer beelined straight for me.
And me only.
“I’m going to need to see some I.D.,” he told me. I tried and failed to look agreeable while handing him my license. I think I even accidentally rolled my eyes.
He squinted at it suspiciously, ran his fingers across the top as if to verify its legitimacy, and handed it back, returning to his corner with the satisfaction of a job well done.
At this point I was fairly irritated with my night in Nashville, having met a crazy musician and then been bullied by the bouncer, so I resolved to finish my drink and head back to my hotel.
This woman came blitzing out of nowhere, loud and giggly, and asked me “are you here alone?”
Of course I replied that I was, and she gestured frantically back at her friend, (also named Mike), so they could come up and sit at my table. Wingman skills on point, amirite?
Anyway, we ended up having an awesome time. Shannon, who had already had a few drinks at this point, bought us each a round, which I enjoyed and Mike immediately dropped onto his pants. We then listened to the music and hung out, until Shannon, stumbling slightly, declared that she was ready to go home.
We cleaned up and I Uber’d back, because let’s be real I’m the laziest person alive.
Next up, Branson!
-Carissa “Honky Tonk” Rawson