Monday, January 11, 2010

Notes from Nashville

I hope you guys aren't expecting wild tales or anything from last weekend. My entire reasoning for heading there was to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra on Sunday night. It's a trip that I planned with M back in September. There were other locations that could have worked, but the timing didn't work. And it happens that Nashville is closer to her than Indy, and flights from MT to TN were similarly reasonable. And if I were going back to Nashville, then I could meet up with all the bloggers I visited the last time I was there three years earlier!

Well, the timing didn't work well here, either. There was a lot of interest from those within a 2-hr radius, but as the time got closer, it was apparent that not many of them were going to be able to make it. Too close to the holidays, too expensive to stay in downtown Nashville, illness and that nasty cold weather that I brought down south with me. Disappointed? Absolutely. But not like I'm taking any of them off my Christmas list! If, of course, I had a Christmas list... But I digress. Anything beyond the concert would be icing on the cake!

So, on 2 and a half hours of sleep on NYE, I got up and on the road to Bozeman by 3:30AM to catch my plane (ah, the things we do to save a couple hundred bucks...). Happy New Year! If anyone tries to tell you that no one flies on New Year's Day, you can laugh in their face. I had a flight to Denver, then on to Nashville. Both flights were filled. Puddlejumpers, but filled nonetheless. As I'm at baggage claim in Nashville, I got a text from 13 Messages that he'd be there to pick me up momentarily. My initial impression of him...taller than I'd anticipated. He got me to my hotel downtown, and came back that night to meet me at Hooters. We did a lot of talking, gossiping, ogling, and generally catching up. Definitely enjoyed the evening.

Saturday was a day of exploration for me. Spent a lot of time downtown on Broadway, where all the honky-tonks can be found. Nothing like walking down a street and hearing live music in three adjoining bars. And none much wider than my living room. This is where the real magic in Nashville happens! Here is Tootsie's (looks like lots of fun can be had here!), LP Field (home of the Titans) and the Batman building (AT&T) towering over Broadway.

M got to town in the late afternoon, and we headed down to the Big River Grille for drinks and dinner. 13 met us there and we sat and waited to see who else would show. Actually, we were waiting for Summer. She finally shows up, with her DD (and temporary housemate), and we had a whole new level of fun and discussion! In the midst of the frivolity, I look up, and there's Bat! Yeah, most of you don't know him, but he was one of the early-day HNTers. We ended up closing down the place, so we headed up the hill to see where we might be able to get into trouble. I don't even know the name of the place where we landed, but we went to the top floor, where there was karaoke (with a really greasy MC), and a hip-hop dance floor. I would bet a full year's salary that I was the oldest person on that floor. Great people watching opportunities, and the drinks were flowing.

I, of course, didn't get to partake in that. In fact, I ended up leaving before anyone else because, for the first time since the hospital, I could tell that I was needing my insulin fix. The rest stayed out, closing the place down, and heading home around 4AM. Consensus says we're too old to be doing that!

On Sunday, M & I headed to Opryland to check out the ice museum. Their Christmas show, "ICE!" was closing down that weekend. This year's theme was A Charlie Brown Christmas. Last year, it was the Grinch. This incredibly cold building housed ice sculptures depicting the main scenes of the TV show. And the last room had an ice Nativity scene, and other general Christmas sculptures. Very cool. Cold, even. They provided fashionable blue parkas for everyone!

The concert was different than I anticipated, though I wasn't sure what to expect. Perhaps I expected my ears to be bleeding at the end. This was heavy metal, after all. Well, it wasn't. In fact, it was quite well balanced. Perhaps we were too close to get the effect of the full banks of speakers. But nothing overpowered the other instruments. The 8-person string section was made up of string players from the Nashville Symphony, and honestly, I don't think they were needed. I'm not sure I even heard them. Again, our position might have had something to do with that. But the lighting was amazing. Lasers, moving light scaffolding, fog machines, flames, pyrotechnics---all in the name of Christmas! And hot women. They sang, they danced, they looked good. And one of the two electric violinists reminded me of Britney Spears. Before she got trashy. And my, could they play!

After the concert, M had to head back home. Not my favorite idea, but with the new job, she didn't really have much of a choice. The next day was spent exploring some more, and doing a lot of walking. I had the great idea of renting a car and running up to Louisville to see some people, but I couldn't get a car until mid-afternoon, which would have been too late. Should have thought about that earlier... Tuesday was travel day, but I had the morning to myself. I had worked on a dinner date for my layover in Minneapolis, but that fell through due to a sick kid. Not much more to tell. Though I did take some notes, presented to you in bullets, cuz you know I love the bullets!
  • Lots of hills in Nashville. I got in all sorts of exercising just from walking around!
  • I learned that I could get away with occasionally eating poorly for someone in my condition, and I wouldn't keel over later. I don't anticipate doing that, but it's a handy tidbit of info.
  • I love the honky-tonks. I can't imagine starting a gig at noon on a Monday. And there's not a great deal of people around at that time on that day. But there were some!
  • More Spanish being spoken than I would have anticipated. I spent some time watching Telemundo, since we don't get that around here. Is it all soap operas???
  • It was colder there than in Helena for the entire time I was there. Glad the sun was out, though. You could tell who was from Nashville and who wasn't. The tourists were dressed for the weather. We saw girls on Saturday night running around outside in outfits that would be chilly in August!
  • Everyplace in Nashville checks IDs. Not used to that.
  • I expected the Nashville airport to be larger. I guess that flying mostly in and out of hubs (Denver, Salt Lake and Minneapolis), that's what I'm used to. Also noticed that the bathrooms in Nashville are nowhere as clean as those other places.
  • I flew the same basic type of plane for 3 of the 4 legs that I traveled. United's seat belts aren't long enough. Northwestern/Delta's could strap in 3 at once.
  • What's up with women traveling in skinny little heels? All sorts of women trying to run down the concourses in heels... Almost as good as the flip-flops and shorts on the couple in Minneapolis.
  • Speaking of Minneapolis, as I'm waiting for my flight, CNN reports that the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport had been evacuated, due to a bomb scare. Apparently all was well by the time we arrived there.
  • About 70 miles out of Bozeman, the pilot had everyone put their seatbelts on, due to the bumpy approach. It was snowing, but I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary with the landing. Once on the ground, the stewardess welcomed us to Bozeman, yadda yadda yadda, and then asked that we give the flight crew a round of applause for safely landing the plane. My seatmate and I just looked at each other and would have rather thought that it was a routine landing. Apparently it wasn't...
So that's about it. Some disappointment that we weren't able to get together with everybody, but totally understandable. It was fun, nonetheless, and relaxing. To those that I did get to see, thanks for the good time! I shall be back someday!


Amber said...

Wow, a bomb scare and a non-routine landing. Never a dull moment ;oD
It sucks when life gets in the way of fun, but I'm glad you didn't let it spoil your time with the others you did get to see. Maybe next time.
It's nice to see someone brought a DD with them.
Dunno that I'd ever consider TSO to be heavy metal though...

Another Suburban Mom said...

Glad you had so much fun in Nashville. Now I have to go and visit there.

Dana said...

Although maybe not the trip you expected, it sounds like a wonderful time!

Nashville is on my Bucket List - I need o get there!

Anonymous said...

It is a wonderful city. I too love the small bars, fresh music and southern atmosphere. Looks like you had pretty clear weather, even if it was damn cold.


Barefoot Dreamer said...

sounds like a great trip

kittykillkill said...

What cool pictures and a great story to go along with it. I love looking at pictures of cities that I haven't been to before.

I like the purple building.

Glad you have fun!

Ms Scarlett said...

Sounds like a great trip - glad you had fun!!

~*Jobthingy*~ said...

aww thanks for ogling 13 messages for us. youre so kind :P

glad you had fun

NY Diva said...

Glad you had fun! And no Telemundo? You poor deprived soul!

boo said...

Isn't Telemundo fantastic? Deedles is obsessed with it, much as I used to be fascinated with the Korean station when I was a kid. She was convinced she would learn to speak Spanish by watching it, whereas I just liked to make up my own silly story lines to go with all the melodrama. I'm glad you had fun on your trip, even if it wasn't quite the trip you had in your head. It can be disappointing when reality doesn't match fantasy, but I think life would get boring if it always did. TLO is always fantastic, and I'm totally jealous you got to see them live. *tongue* Happy Monday, Os!

Moosekahl said...

Ok, they have to make an ice park INSIDE a building to get it cold enough? That's wrong. It's -30 at my house right now.

Genevieve said...

Sounds like a pretty good trip! If I had to choose I'd sooo go with the flip flops, even in Minneapolis, over trying to run in skinny heels.

A Living Diary said...

Wishing I could have made it! Sounds like you had a great time! I'm glad I'm not off your xmas list...LOL

nitebyrd said...

All in all, sounds like a good trip! TSO is very cool.

Babe Lincoln said...

We were in Nashville last fall for the first time and absolutely fell in love with it. And I agree that the honky tonks were probably the best part! Nothing like being able to hear live music at noon while drinking PBR from a can at a place that serves fried bologna sandwiches : )

PS. I'm exploring your blog, so you might see some comments on older posts!