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Throwback Thursday: Nashville 2016

Visiting Nashville for the first time will definitely rank high on my treasured list of life highlights. We traveled with a group of friends including my pregnant sister, her boyfriend, a lifelong best friend of both G and I, and friends from home who know how to make the most of our time together and never fail to make us laugh. The house we shared was so cozy and inviting that we immediately felt at home and often found ourselves sitting around the coffee table with our feet up, a drink in hand, playing Catch Phrase instead of touring around the city. That says a lot about the home, but more about the people we shared it with.

On our first night, however, we stayed at The Gaylord Opryland Hotel which is unlike any hotel I have ever seen. Big and beautiful doesn't even begin to describe it so I encourage anyone visiting Nashville for the first time to check it out, even just to walk through the extravagant indoor gardens or to eat at one of the many restaurants inside. That same night we attended the live taping of the CMA Country Christmas show which was undoubtedly the most overwhelming, magical evening of entertainment we've ever experienced. If you're a lover of all things Christmas and a fan of country music, seeing this annual production live should be on your bucket list. Like, now. Trust me, there's nothing quite like dressing up in your finest holiday wear for an evening of music by some of the best in country music with a behind the scenes look at all the work that goes into filming. The best part is you can experience it all over again when it airs in December.

On foot along Broadway we'd hop from bar to bar listening to talent that would blow you away. Robert's Western World on Wednesday night will definitely be revisited in the near future, and so will Tin Roof where G and our friend actually got to take the stage, and where my sister and I left our mark on a door in the ladies room. I know that sounds odd, but all the restroom walls were covered in autographs and love notes - so keep a pen in your purse! Other on-foot adventures lead us to The Johnny Cash Museum, Printer's Alley, Savannah's Candy Kitchen for a famous candy apple and Ernest Tubb's Record Shop where we were in record heaven. I'll have to apologize to my bank account in advance of visiting that shop again, especially now that I can't get enough of our record player.

Inside Savannah's Candy Kitchen

Inside "Tootsies"

Inside "Robert's Western World"

Inside "Tin Roof"

Listen here!

Next on my list of Music City highlights is touring The Ryman Auditorium. There are no words to describe how it felt to walk the narrow halls, step foot in the dressing rooms, stand in Johnny and June's mirror or to sit in the pews imagining all of the greats who stood in that famous circle on that famous stage. There are just no words.

Johnny & June's dressing room mirror.

Then this happened. Keith Urban, Maren Morris and Brett Eldredge at Bridgestone Arena. A night I will never, ever forget!

You Look Good In My Shirt - Keith Urban Live at Bridgestone Arena

And lastly, for now, I can't forget about visiting one of the most famous dive bars in the world. Santa's, where the boss knows if you've been bad or good so be good for goodness sake! The bar is a rundown mobile home that is covered in spray-painted candy canes and Christmas elves. It's situated in a gravel parking lot strung with Christmas lights, and the restroom is just a small closet with a toilet and without a sink. Still, it's an absolute must see because although you may not think you're seeing all that much, you just might see the likes of Kid Rock at an open mic night. At the very least, you'll have a cold beer and meet Santa, an incredibly kind man who takes great pride in his booming establishment.

This picture was taken in the ladies room at Santa's. 

The food was great, the beer was cold, the company was fantastic and the memories will last a lifetime. There is still so much of Nashville to see so I absolutely can't wait to go back again.

And again...

And again.



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