2015 has been a good year of being a ballsy lady. I asked a dude out, he said no, I survived. MORE IMPORTANTLY I took a vacation all by myself. Like a GD adult. Since I’m back and not dead (obviously) I’m going to tell you all about it!
I went to Nashville, TN which is a reasonable drive from where I live and full of things to do. Air BnB was nice enough to let me rent a refurbished garage from a lovely couple in East Nashville (hello hipsterville!) for a whopping $50/night. Hella cheap, I know. It was lovely, very basic with a bed and a bathroom, not that I needed anything else since I spent most of my time roaming around. I say I went alone, and I truly did, but a friend drove up from ‘bama to go to the botanical gardens with me and then I met an old coworker for dinner/drinks, so I didn’t do everything ALL by myself.
First night, I rolled in around 5pm (also, I went Mon-Thurs so that most of the traffic/tourists could be avoided. Highly recommend!!!) and went to this super cool record store/vintage shop in E Nashville. THERE WERE HIPSTERS EVERYWHERE. But, the one thing that really stood out to me was how *nice* everyone was. Seriously, the locals are some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met. That trip didn’t take as long as I anticipated so I went to the Pharmacy.
Which was a pretty cool place with a decent beer selection. Hindsight being 20/20 I should have gotten an old fashioned soda. Ah well, next time. There I made friends with my bartender, as you do, and got told to go to a district of E Nashville called 5 points. Unfortunately I overshot it by about half a mile and ended up in this empty bar with peeling wall paper and random, bleached animal skulls hanging on the walls. It was classy as fuck. BUT the two employees were super chill and even told me that I went too far. So, I had a PBR and asked them where I should go. They were full of great suggestions! Like this place. And the record shop I had already hit (I think that impressed them!). By that time it was 9ish, 10 my time and I was pooped. So I went back to my garage.
The next day I was up by 6am (what? I’m an old lady, we get up early!) and today my friend was going to meet me for some lovely nature. But first, coffee was in order, and since it was so fucking early, some reading. On that note, I took myself to this awesome coffee shop and sat outside enjoying the view and a book.
It wasn’t long until everyone on the balcony was having a lovely conversation; me, Hannah, and her crawling kid, Dave and his pitty. This was my first *real* experience with the geniality of locals. After that it was time to meet up with my ‘bama friend. Going to Cheekwood took me through some pretty ritzy sections and I was honestly concerned whether they would let me in. I mean, obviously I’m classy as fuck, but that can be intimidating….ahem. Anyhoo, the gardens were gorgeous, but it is not set up for people with strollers! Seriously, at one point we got off trail and thank the intergalactic space octopus that this stroller is the equivalent of a mountain bike. We saw lots of flowers, some big ass bird houses, some fancy ass
china, and some cool plants. After walking around and off-roading with a kid/stroller we were hungry. But, also unwilling to stand in a ridiculously long line for what appeared to be a spendy restaurant we went to the taco joint that my host recommended. Oh. My. Glob. GO THERE. Now. I kid you not, the fried avocado tacos and horchata were sooooo good. I may go back just for that place. I’m kidding. Kinda. After lunch it was time for my friend to head home so I had time to kill before dinner, where I was meeting my old coworker. So what is a person to do?
GO TO THE PARTHENON.
The Parthenon was super cool and well worth the whopping $6 to get in and walk around. Seriously, it was only $6 HOW COOL IS THAT? The statue of Athena was completely coated in gold leaf and like 4o feet tall! She was huuuuuuuge.
The final leg of that day was dinner and beer with my old coworker (who is also a friend and who recently bought a house! Congratulations!!). I don’t have any pictures of that, but it was a ton of fun!
The next day found me up by 5:30 am, I was really excited to go the Country Music Hall of Fame. But first I had breakfast at this super sweet coffee shop with killer coffee and some delicious breakfast sandwiches. But the Hall of Fame, guys and gals, it was so much fun. The displays were really interesting and there was so much music to experience. I was able to spend about two and a half hours in there just wandering around. The one thing that really stood out to me was the amount of largess when it came to that lifestyle.
People had the spangliest outfits, fucking gold plated pianos (dammit Elvis), glitter guitars, and some GD bedazzled accordions.
Actually, an interesting fact was a tailor called Nudie, originally Nuta Kotlyarenko (thank you Eastern Europe!) is given credit for popularizing bedazzling the fuck out of clothing. Awesome.
I got a little verklempt at the Elvis display, Mom love Elvis. I mean looooooved Elvis. Had a life sized poster, swinging hip clock, blanket of his face loved Elvis. So it did make me sad that she wasn’t with me to see the display, between his suits, his car with the TV, shag carpeting, and shiny exterior, and his gold plated piano she would have fan girled so hard. It did get me a bit misty eyed, but luckily it wasn’t that busy and the lighting was dim. I then proceeded to go through the rest of the displays and by 11:30 I was done. And my Hatch Show Print tour didn’t start until 2pm.
So I did what anyone else would have done, I went to the bars. Which were totally open. I started out at Layla’s (I’m pretty sure it was Layla’s) and hung out with the bartender for about an hour and a half, she was super cool AND knew my hosts! What a small world! After that I just wandered the streets, found this amazing pinup dress store and spent about an hour just looking around. Insert more people watching, more souvenir shopping, etc. Then I got to go to the Hatch. The tour didn’t take long, but it was well worth the $15
and LOOK I MADE A THING! The history was really interesting and seeing a fully functioning printing press that hadn’t really had any modernizations in decades, and that the owner could walk in and with minimal retraining operate!
The rest of my trip was just bar hopping and listening to music and that is the only part I wish I had friends with me. I heard some really good music, drank some PRB, and had a creepy dude thrown out of the bar for being an inappropriate asshat and not understanding the word, “NO!”
So all in all, it was an excellent trip and single lady traveling is definitely a thing I will be doing again! In fact, if you’ve not had a chance to go explore somewhere new by yourself, I highly recommend it.