Nashville is an interesting and fun town to visit. Lots of history. Lots of music and entertainment of all types. Ever-growing. A city easy to move around in. And . . . you don’t have to be a diehard country fan to enjoy Nashville.
SPEAKING OF COUNTRY MUSIC
I grew up with country music. Both my parents loved country music. From Kitty Wells to Johnny Cash and everyone in between, they played their music in our home on a small console stereo. Over and over. Grabbing one LP album after another playing endlessly. While I appreciate and enjoy many types of music, I have to admit I like classic rock a little more.
No problem! There are bars that play classic rock. My favorite was the Kid Rock bar. Here is a hint: The best bands play on the lowest level. Believe it or not, many bars are multi-levels. You can listen to three different bands and not leave the building.
Another hint: Think you have to wait until evening to listen to bands? Nope. They start playing in the morning. All the bands I heard were fantastic. I am a huge fan of live music and I loved them all.
One more hint: There are fewer people during the day. Streets and bars are very busy at night so if you want to enjoy the music and not fight the crowds, go during the day.
GET OUTSIDE YOUR COMFORT ZONE
Honestly, it’s okay. Well, mostly okay. I have to confess–I am not much of a drinker so this was going to be a stretch for me. I am fairly conservative and an introvert, but I do love music. Music is part of my family’s history. So, yes, I did a couple of things that I would NOT have done by myself. Let me share.
My Nashville trip was with my two daughters and some of their friends. That alone made me feel a bit outside my comfort zone. Ha! But I worked really hard to persevere. It was tough, you know! Ha!
Okay, normally I would have never, ever jumped on a pedal tavern. But I did! The one we rode had 12 seats to pedal. Because I was the mom and oldest (by far), I got to sit on the wooden bench seat in the back where I “encouraged” and “directed” my fellow pedalers!!
We also rode the Nashville Tractor ride. Again, outside my comfort zone. I was mostly an observer and joined in for the ride. I just couldn’t bring myself to the swag your walk. Nope. If you are wondering what I am talking about, just take the Nashville Tractor ride and you will know.
The drivers of both rides were very entertaining. It was fun!
Hop On and Hop Off Trolley Ride
I highly recommend the Hop On and Hop Off Trolley Ride. To be honest, I didn’t hop on or off anywhere. I wanted to hear and see it all. The entire ride is 1 hour and 40 minutes. If I had to do this again and if I had an extra day, I would have done the 2-day pass with the plans to hop on and hop off. The trolley stops at 14 different stops across the city.
The open-air trolley ride was wonderful. Imagine feeling the breezes and sunshine, all while listening to the driver narrate the entire trip. Within 5 minutes of the ride, I learned where one could take free line-dancing classes. In all seriousness, I loved the sites our driver pointed out, the history (I love history), the recommended restaurants and foods. He also pointed to specific country artists’ music publishing studio houses as we slowly drove through music row. Yes, I said houses because they are houses. It is the city’s ordinance.
Just so much to see, hear and learn. This was definitely one of the highlights.
RYMAN AUDITORIUM TOUR
I would highly recommend taking some tours if your time allows. I toured the Ryman Auditorium mostly because of the close proximity to Broadway (the main Nashville street with music/entertainment) and the hotel I stayed in. Again, I loved the history and the furnishings. The building used to be a church and the wooden church pews are still there.
The Ryman Auditorium used to be a church and the pews remain. Many country music greats received their start at the Ryman. I took the backstage tour where we were privy to see some of the dressing rooms performers use. Each dressing room has a theme. I loved the women of country music dressing room. They played a short video about Kitty Wells, the first female country singer to break the gender barrier. As she was singing, a flood of memories came back to me. As I mentioned earlier, I grew up with country music and Kitty Wells was one of my mom’s favorites. I struggled to hold back my tears. It was definitely a GodWink moment for me.
If or when I go back, I would love to tour Opryland and watch a performance. I would go back on the hop on and hop off trolley and visit some of the other sites. Yes, I will listen to more music. And so much more that I don’t know exists.
I must admit going to Nashville with my daughters and their friends (12 of us) made me think, “What am I doing?”. I mean, I don’t fit in. I am just a mom and I was not going to try to relive my younger years. I am who I am. But here is the thing. In the end, I am so thankful and grateful I went and I love their friends made me feel comfortable.
The biggest lesson? When you are asked by your daughters to go on trips like this, always say YES!
Even if you are out of your comfort zone.
Again, a very fun trip and I would love to go back. Pedal Tavern and all!