It turns out 2015 would the the year of Nashville. It's a lot easier to plan a trip when you have a show at the Ryman on the itinerary.
During this past Thanksgiving, my cousin, Mitch and I discovered that we both have Mat Kearney tunes buried in our music library. December rolled around and what do ya know, Mat Kearney announced he was releasing a new album and going on tour in 2015. Unfortunately, there were no Charlotte dates but I did notice that the last stop on his tour was in Nashville, TN. It was too good to pass up. Especially when I learned the show was on a Saturday. More reason to go!
April rolled around and it was finally time to pack up and head to the music city we've heard only good things about. We arrived that night and Mitch had us out on the town in no time. We ate dinner downtown and headed to the popular Broadway Street shortly after. My cousin is a rock star and literally knew everyone in the street. We popped in and out of bars while he high-fived and chatted it up with all the bands playing at each one we entered. He also took us to the pedestrian bridge where we got a breathtaking overlook of the music city. Nashville was alive and hopping all night but we were tired from work that morning and the 6 hour drive. It was time to get some shut eye.
Morning rolled around and needless to say, we woke up hungry. We headed to the Pancake Pantry, a down-home breakfast spot where the line wraps around the corner each morning. If there's a line, you know it's good so we couldn't miss out on the opportunity. It turns out the wait was well worth it. After an hour long wait, we stuffed our faces with delicious pancakes galore. You guys. These pancakes were SO GOOD. I had no shame in eating all five.
We decided to walk off our breakfast, strolling through the streets and taking a peek at the adorable boutique shops here and there. I was in heaven but knew to keep it short with two guys tagging along.
Next, Mitch drove us to Love Circle, a small park that holds a beautiful view of the Nashville skyline. It is located at one of the highest points of the city and also sits next to Mt. Richmore, the home of John Rich from Big and Rich. My photo doesn't do the view justice but Mr. Rich is lucky to see that view whenever he is home.
Centennial Park was calling our name so we drove over to find an exact replica of the Parthenon sitting in the middle of the park. Its doors were closed to take a tour inside but it was mind boggling to see how large the building was.
The Gulch, a trip to Grimey's Record Store and a ride down Music Row were checked off our list next. You couldn't help but be inspired while passing publishing houses, recording studios and other businesses along the street. My heart was happy when we passed banners that expressed their accomplishments of their song being picked up by an artist. It's so cool to see where music begins.
The clouds began to darken so we headed home for a quick nap to rest up for the evening. We ended up sleeping through tornado warnings but woke up well rested, ready for our "wild" night out on the town. We were able to hang with the cool kids until the wee hours of the morning that night. Friends, you would be proud.
The next morning we were able to meet up with our dear friends, Josiah and Heather. Barista Parlor is one hip coffeehouse. You never would have thought you were drinking coffee in what used to be a mechanics garage. The redefined space was the perfect spot to catch up and reminisce our college days at App State.
We toured the streets of downtown Nashville a little more before heading back and taking another nap. Let me remind you, we were out late the night before and hadn't got much sleep. No judging, please.
We awoke to what felt like a brand new day. Believe it or not, there were still more streets to tour before we headed to see Mat Kearney, Parachute and Judah & the Lion. We headed to 12 South for pops from Las Paletas and a pic by the "I believe in Nashville" mural. You pretty much haven't been to Nashville if you haven't taken a pic by the sign.
Dinner that night was SO GOOD. We had some top notch burgers in East Nashville at the Pharmacy. We happily ate our burgers, sipped on our old-time sodas and headed to the entire reason for the trip, MAT KEARNEY at THE RYMAN!
Ahhhh, the Ryman. Such a beautiful and breathtaking auditorium. We found our seats and were lucky enough to hear the last two songs of Judah & the Lion. This trio was at home in Nashville putting on an amazing performance. Parachute amped up the crowd next, getting everyone ready for Mat Kearney. The sold out show got on their feet when Mat hit the stage. The story-telling, spoken word artist had our attention all night with his unique beats and dance moves that he wasn't afraid to bust out. It was great to be a part of a show that meant so much to him in his hometown.
And just like that, our trip to Nashville sadly came to an end. Mitch was the best tour guide around, making us feel at home and feeding us the best of the best. He simply made this trip a 10/10! It wouldn't have been the same without him. Thanks, Mitch! You da best!