Instead of doing a "My Weekend in Pictures" blog post that I always do; I figured since I've been gone on vacation for the past week, I should probably just do an entire post about my time in Nashville and talk about some of my favorite things to do. Whadya think?
I drove down to Nashville last Thursday after the show to visit Adam while he was down there for work, as well as a few of my friends that I used to intern with when I lived there during college.
Here's the thing - I should probably go out and experience new things, but I am very picky about my Nashville experiences because I only get down there about once a year (which, last year was the first year for this new "tradition."), so I want to make sure I hit my favorite spots.
Starting things off right away on Friday, I had to make sure I got to Five Daughters Bakery to pick up a few donuts. Long story short, when I went to visit friends last year, one of the girls I went to high school with who is currently living in Nashville recommended the bakery to me. I went their right after we finished brunch and was hooked. I was stuffed from breakfast, but I still ate my donut on the way home - which says a LOT. I had the "The Purist," which is basically a plain, glazed donut, and it was magnificent. I got Adam a Strawberry and then a King Kong (Maple Bacon). He said the King Kong was super good.
Here's the thing about these donuts: they're layered. That adds more than you could even imagine.
After enjoying my breakfast I knew I had to find something to do. It was a Friday, so all of my friends were working their "big people jobs," so I ended up walking down to the Country Music Hall of Fame because there was a Little Big Town exhibit going on that I wanted to catch.
Side note - While I was walking, I met this wonderful human being who was super nice (as most people are in Nashville...). We were walking in the same direction at the same pace, so we just started talking. Turns out, she was from San Diego pursuing music as a side thing, but she was in the hospitality business for some popular bars on Broadway. She eventually comes back later in my trip, but it's just a reminder to talk to people and be present in every day life.
Moving on. I've been to the CMHOF before, but it's never boring when I continue to go back. They had a special Taylor Swift experience up which was actually pretty cool, and I took more pictures than I'll post, but I had to include the fact that my favorite song by one of my favorite bands growing up was featured for Brooks & Dunn!
And of course, like I had mentioned, the real reason I wanted to go was because of the Little Big Town exhibit. So much cool stuff from outfits they wore in music videos to toys they played with when they were kids!
On Saturday night, we visited my favorite venue in Nashville: The Listening Room. It's basically a guitar-pull with songwriters that usually have at least one hit you'll recognize. Prior to leaving for my trip, I was practically shouting through text messages to Adam asking if we could go because the boys performing are some of my all-time favorites: Josh Kerr (who's written songs for Kelsea Ballerini, Keith Urban, Danielle Bradbery, etc...), Nick Wayne (his EP comes out on the 28th, and he was a #MyPickMonday! Such a good singer!!!), Justin Ebach (who's written for Brett Young, Jordan Davis and many more) and finally, Jordan Minton (who's written for Keith Urban, Dan + Shay, Trent Harmon and Danielle Bradbery).
The music is fantastic. The banter is hysterical, and the venue itself is just a lot of fun. The food is pretty good, too! Usually you have to buy a ticket (in advance - because most of them will sell out), and then you have to spend $15 per person which isn't hard to do because you're there for a few hours and have a few drinks.
On Sunday, I got to see one of my friends that I adore! I used to intern with her, and she is probably one of the busiest people I know because she's always working for an organization, writing or freelancing, making music, etc...
I had my camera, so we decided to do a little photo shoot off of music row because there's a lot of good brick there, and if you know me, I'm a sucker for some good brick. Isn't she gorgeous?! I can't wait to edit the rest of them!!
After the shoot, I did some exploring on 12th Ave South (which is where you can find that "I Believe in Nashville" sign that everyone's always taking pictures with). I thoroughly enjoyed a matcha from Frothy Monkey - one of my favorite coffee shops down there - and even perused the shops in the area, including Reese Witherspoon's clothing line, as well as this adorable flower truck.
On Monday, I was by myself for the day, so I decided to head out to Franklin and shop some of the boutiques. If you've never been to that area, a lot of the musicians live out that way. You can totally see why - so much character in the buildings. They have adorable stores, too. One for plant lovers (aka - if you've ever been to ModGen in the Third Ward, you'd be in heaven), and this place called Jondie where I got a super fly romper (yes, as if I needed another one...) on the clearance rack!
Tuesday was the day I had anxiously been waiting for. I went down to Broadway to do a little shopping and stopped by the Preds team store, but then. THEN. It was going down. Old Dominion was playing at The Ryman, and Adam had never even stepped inside the mother church.
The night started off at Burger Republic in The Gulch which has some of the BEST burgers, as well as truffle tots AND spiked milk shakes. I had a chocolate whiskey/bourbon thing that went down as smooth as ever. From there, we walked to Up Bar which is attached to a Marriott. It was supposed to be a roof top bar, but I'll be honest - The Outsider is better. I was mainly going to get a picture of the two of us anyways. I feel bad that I force him to take so many, but ya have to!
Moving onto the main event. I didn't get a chance to see Old Dominion when they came to Miller Park because I was at a wedding, so I actually extended my trip to Nashville an extra day so I could go to the show. The Ryman is so special in general. You're overcome with emotion and a feeling that I can't really describe when you walk up to the building. This is the home of country music, and I couldn't wait.
Not only was the show at The Ryman, and not only was it Old Dominion, but it was Old Dominion "and Friends." That means, some pretty important people were going to show up. People that they've written for or written with, including Kelsea Ballerini, Michael Ray, Sam Hunt....and Kenny Chesney.
Yeah, you could say I was in heaven. I didn't have a voice the next day because I was singing way too much, but can you blame me? It's Old Dominion, and every song they have on their set list is a jam.
Needless to say, it was a very fun trip to Nashy Nash, and I am already planning my next visit. If you have any recommendations on what to do - send them my way!!