- Heroes: Hoop, John, Ren (from H.A.R.M.)
- Sidekicks: Tennessee overall girl, two dudes on bus, girl who kissed John on New Year’s Day
- Acquaintances: Monell’s family, all Uber drivers
2016 was a long year and needed a proper goodbye. Deciding that was easy. Deciding how to bring in the New Year was the hard part. Apples are dropping. Uber prices are surging. There’s plenty of fire parties and fireworks, but which one to choose? After some friends and I threw darts at a map, we landed on welcoming in 2017 by watching the guitar drop in Nashville, Tennessee. The Music City.
We drove north from Florida to enter the South: first Georgia and then Tennessee. All we knew about Nashville was an association with country music, so the 10 hour drive was filled with Hank Williams Jr., Miranda Lambert, and Jason Aldean educating us on what to expect.
The Music City delivered more lessons on our first night. We ate dinner at a place called Monell’s, where my friends and I sat a large table with plates everywhere. Two pairs of couples and a whole family joined us, and we proceeded to have a big feast like a Thanksgiving dinner. We passed plates and talked to strangers like we were long-lost family, all with a grandmother-esque host dropping witty lines throughout the night.
After, we stumbled onto the main nightlife road, Broadway, and immediately stopped at a bar flashing a neon karaoke sign. I ran to the DJ and requested my name to be put down with B*Witched’s C’est Le Vie (a karaoke favorite of mine), but after a couple of performances by some locals at the bar, I realized this was not the place for a late 90’s pop hit. I ran back to the DJ and switched it for the only country song I knew (Luke Bryan’s Country Girl), and when my name was called, I pulled up my pants, held on to my belt and sang my country heart hot, probably fueled by a bit of liquid courage.
The next day was New Year’s Eve and our final day of 2016. We kicked it off with a festive Nashville breakfast before taking a tour of the city’s Country Music Hall of Fame. The attached museum took us back in time and showed us the roots of not just the genre, but the culture that gave it life. Can’t say I learned everything, because that would’ve required a lot of reading, but I definitely saw the growth of guitars and boots through the years.
When the night came, we popped champagne and hit the streets again, ready to rock with our air instruments ready to be rocked. We bounced around bars, and then hopped on a bus to go see the guitar drop, but by the time we got to the park, it was too crowded to see the stage or the guitar. We were on the outskirts when the countdown started and there wasn’t enough time to make friendly with anyone around us… In other words, the three of us went kiss less as the clock struck zero, but it was a fitting way to end 2016. Only right.
Our final day was a bit brighter, hinting that 2017 could deliver so much more than the previous year (which won’t be mentioned by name again). We spent it mostly recovering and eating more good food, as all New Year’s Days should be. We had to get our Nashville BBQ fix and somehow stumbled upon another buffet style dining place to fill our bellies. We ended the day running around visiting Nashville landmarks, trying to get pics to pimp out our Instagrams. It was the final thing on our to-do list.
The next morning we jumped back on the road, reflecting on our fun times in the Music City. It lived up to it’s name, dosing us with plenty of live music, karaoke and free shows. It delivered excellent food and scenic backdrops. But above everything else, the southern hospitality seemed to shine the brightest. Everyone from our original dinner waitress to our Uber drivers engaged us with warm banter like we were all old friends. On the first night, so many random people walking the streets wished FSU luck after seeing a friend and I in Nole gear. While, looking for parking at the Hall of Fame, a couple offered us a free parking pass. It felt like good luck was constantly finding us, but I think it was us finding the many good people of Nashville.
With it all said and done, Nashville’s music, food and friendly folks made our choice a memorable one. Here’s hoping more darts are in our favor in the future.
I listened to more country music this weekend than I ever had in my life. These were a couple of the favorites not-named Taylor Swift.
I’m still in the process of figuring this one out. Trying to get my leggings in the new year before making some trip plans. March and April are looking like some clean months to pull some triggers, though. Maybe a Spring Break cruise. Coachella perhaps. Something tropical or a new city is always the question. Stay tuned! Twitter‘s the best place to follow.