Our good friends, Derrick and Sherry Stewart, who are QUITE brilliant when it comes to planning good times (i.e. dinner dates, camping trips, etc.) headed up a fantastic trip for the hubs and I and our good friends, Jake and Robin Marshall, to go to Nashville, Tennessee to see the cutie batootie Keith Urban in concert. Because, really, if one is going to see a country star, shouldn't one travel to Nashville to do so? (See, don't you agree with Derrick's logic for all matters?) ACTUALLY, we had all wanted to see Urban in Vegas, but sense our menfolk are dedicated scout leaders and Mr. Kidman would be in Vegas when they were at Camp Hotbox, we had to go somewhere. Nashville is clearly the logical choice.
This trip was pretty indulgent of us; not really provident, ya know, considering the whole "own our own startup" situation, but I am so glad we got away. Tyler and needed a chance to just be together without the stress of kids and work and schedules. And we so enjoy the company of the Stewarts and the Marshalls. Add a LOT of BBQ, a couple of tours, and honky tonks and it was just what the Dr. ordered.
And for the sake of recording for all posterity that I and my husband are fun-loving, concert-going, KEWL people, here's out travel log. (Scan for pictures if that sounds more appealing.)
We went to the airport where Derrick had to break up with his phone so he could focus on our good times. Just kidding. He can do business from ANYWHERE . . .
We took the night flight to Tennessee arriving around midnight. And how cozy is Nashville? There were these cute rocking chairs around baggage claim (yes, yes, we had to check bags since TYLER couldn't slim down his packing to a carry on) AND the most interesting transvestite awaiting us. (Sorry no picture of the man/woman.)
We slickly picked up our stylin' minivan and headed to our hotel. WHICH, I didn't post this picture of us, but the hotel had red cowhide walls in the elevator. I don't know if they were going for sheek, but I found it semi-creepy. But, I digress . . . Our view from the ride:
We got our rooms all situated and enjoyed a liesurely morning with NO carpools, seminary, or packing lunches until it was time to head downtown to check out the local vibe. K, I pretty much loved all the areas of Nashville we saw, but mostly because it was GREEN. It was so thick with foliage you could hardly see past the freeway to see what was beyond the roads. Awesome. BUT, we were all serious about hitting the town to find some good food:
Can you tell how serious Tyler is?
We ended up at this really famous bar and I can't remember the name since I am typing this so long after the event (happy journal reading posterity!) We had our first of many BBQ lunches here, but the highlight was the free line dancing lessons that we did not participate in. We're losers in the embracing the culture so far . . . that happened later Friday night :)
Or I guess, that afternoon. Tyler tried on this sweet leather number. We almost considered buying it, but were too caught up in the buy 3, get 1 free boot sale. Really? 4 pairs of cowboys boots is a lot for one person.
So, after we walked around for a bit we found a tourist stand with this lady selling tours. She wore SWEET black eye liner around her lips and had big blond Dolly Parton hair. She sold us on the entire tour package and we were jazzed for the famous-people-home tour. The boys loved it:
See. I took all these pictures of homes and then forgot whose they were. I think I was most impressed with Alan Jackson's house and most uncomfortble at Trace Atkins' house who lives in a cul-de-sac and our tour bus stopped RIGHT in front of his home while his daughter stood and chatted with her friend. Awkward. Being famous must be hard . . .
We rested up and changed for our hot night on the town. We hopped from honky tonk to honky tonk and enjoyed THE best people watching. The musicians were great, playing for tips and working the crowds. The places were packed and gave Vegas a run for its money as far as wild, good, fun times. We went to this one place and Robin captured this gem of a couple REALLLY enjoying their good time.
Some places we had to wait to get in. This is at Tootsies. It's famous. Willie Nelson has slept on the floor here. And that's gross if you consider how dirty the floor is in these places.
Another highlight of honky tonkin' is all the people that hit on the Stewarts. Both Sherry and Derrick were the hot items in Nashville. I think that was one of the entertaining highlights of the weekend. Well, that, and Derrick getting flipped off from the lady he cut off on the freeway.
We stayed up REALLY late and got up the next morning to look for country shirts. That means shopping. Here's Robin and Jake.
Then we had a city tour, which was pretty interesting. We ate, obviously, more BBQ for lunch. Our tour guide had no teeth, but was much more interesting than the homes tour guy who was too cranky from yesterday.
I can't remember the name of this place either, but it's supposed to remind us of Athena's temple in Greece . . . but it's in Nashville. Don't be thinkin' we went all global or anything.
I think we hit the ice cream shop a few times :)
Tyler, Derrick, and Sherry couldn't hang with the super tourists, so I 3rd-wheeled it with the Marshalls while we hit up some of the famous sites (poster shop, record shop, Ryman Theater (where Grand Ol Opry was for years)). And look who was our tour guide . . .
We went back to the hotel to freshen up for the concert before heading back downtown for dinner. Here's some of us waiting for dinner . . . it was . . . . yup . . . BBQ. Mmmmm.
The concert was AWESOME! Little Big Town opened and ROCKED it. Then Keith Urban came out and was FANTASTIC! He totally got down in the crowd and referenced being home to sleep in his own bed that night; that he loved being in Nashville. I told Robin I'd love a picture t-shirt of Keith, Nicole, and their baby, but that was not available at the T-shirt stand. All I'll have to do is remember the good times with some pictures and my memories, not a tacky shirt.
And then it was more time in the honky tonks. There were way more people and the musicians were great. I wore these boots that were NOT meant for standing around in for 6-7 hours (bad planning), so I totally scored some Old Navy flip flops that were sold at one of the hot dog stands. No joke. Tyler got a Polish dog and I got some flips before we headed to more bars.
This dress was in our lobby. Totally made out of crayons. Cool. Yeah, those are big Crayolas.
And lest you think the hotdog/flip flop stand would be tacky, I captured it before we left on Sunday.
Sunday we completed our touring at the Country Music Hall of Fame and some last minute shopping for those we left behind.
HOWDEEEEEY! Hee Haw set. (My dad used to say you could smell their bad breath through the TV. He didn't care for the show, but I liked it.)
And before we went to the airport, we had to eat, so what's one more plate of BBQ? This was actually, the best joint we ate at, and I would HIGHLY recommend it to anyone who's in the neighborhood.
All and all, I'd give the trip a resounding two thumbs up and Tyler would concur. We sooo enjoyed hanging out with the Marshalls and Stewarts and count ourselves very blessed to have such great friends. Nashville was beautiful, the people were kind, the jazz and country musicians were amazing, and the people watching was top-notch. Basically, we'd do it all again!