15 hours in Nashville

Every once in awhile, I get this wild hair to fly somewhere and attend a concert.  This has been going on for a couple of years now and rather enjoyable; however, this trip was pretty short, and some kind of oops, as I messed up the hotel location in relation to the concert hall.  That being said, I really did not expect anything exciting enough to post would come out of this trip, but low and behold, it was an adventure. 1. I arrived in Nashville around 3pm.  A welcoming uneventful flight and a boring 30 minute wait for the hotel shuttle (another oops, forgot to book a rental car).  I had work that needed to be completed before I went venturing downtown so I hunkered down in my room and tried to complete 3 hours of work in 1/2 the time (successful). 2. I had a few conversations with the front desk about the logistics of getting me downtown to the Ryman Auditorium (and dinner) and settled for a shuttle.  This sounded good to me at $10 a ride versus a $30 cab fare.  And so it began... 3. The shuttle pulled up and the doors swung open, I could hear all kinds of chatter erupting from the confines of the bus, but as I stepped in, dead silence!  The bus was packed.  I paid the driver my $10 and started towards the back where I picked out exactly 3 open seats and the overwhelming scent of Old Spice.  I was in the Tommy's Tour bus packed with people twice my age.  No worries! 4. Then, I was bombarded!  The chatter started back up and I was right in the middle.  "Where ya from?"  "Where ya heading?"  "You alone?"  "Ya know, Betty Sue in the back is single!" (yes, really).  So I jumped into the conversations as Betty Sue stared me down. 5. Come to find out, a few of the couples were from Ohio, and knew exactly where I grew up.  Come to find out, most of them knew the Outer Banks of NC pretty well, too.  As the introductory conversations wore off, I settled in my seat, a little more at ease. 6. The gentleman in front of me started telling this story about the last time his wife and him went to Coyote Ugly.  Apparently, not too long after she had been up on the bar dancing, a much younger lady took to the bar and guys were lining up as "Health Inspectors" to ensure her implants were "OK."  This got the bus rolling as we cruised down 40 towards downtown.  Dirty Old Men! 7. My eyes glanced up and there, hanging on the wall of the bus was the sign of all signs:

Tommy's Tours

See stars homes $25 if you like it $50 if you don't

Anyone over 80 travels free if accompanied by both parents

8. Arriving downtown, bearings off, I managed to finally locate The Wildhorse Saloon.  Music, dinner, drinks (and shots with the waitress, which is always a treat) and I was good and ready for the show.  Ryman should have only been a few blocks from where I was, but I have this problem with East and West (in NYC, too), I'm pretty decent with the North and South, and it took a little longer to navigate the streets than expected. 9. The show was excellent.  Grace Potter had a kick ass set, and acoustically, the Ryman is pretty tight.  I met a few new friends there during intermission, we talked about music, we talked about the floods that recently hit Nashville, we talked about whatever, really.  The highlight, though, was the band that opened for Grace, Carolina Chocolate Drops.  Bones players, beatbox, banjo and fiddle was probably the most refreshing new music, Blue Grass, not so Blue Grass, that I've heard in quite some time.  Don't get me wrong, Grace Potter was excellent and well worth the trip (Kenny Chesney even took stage for Tequila and You), but CCD was just amazing, you HAVE to check them out! 10. As the night drew to a close, as always, there's more than just logistics needed to get back to where you should be at such a late hour, and you have to do this in a kind of cloudy state.  With the power of the Luck Dragon, I managed to safely arrive at my hotel with just enough time to close my eyes and then reopen them for the early morning flight to NYC.

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