Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Bucket List Trip - NASHVILLE by Rhonda Frankhouser

 Since our move from California to Georgia almost a year ago, we've been in exploration mode. It was only natural for me, huge country music fan, to want to check Nashville, Tennessee off my bucket list as soon as possible. My thoughtful husband made that happen for me a few weeks ago, on my birthday weekend!!!
The damp air drizzled, and the cold wind blew, but it didn't stop the celebration bouncing along Honky Tonk Highway. I was romanced by the rhythm and energy of the downtown scene. Excited visitors bustled in and out of an endless line of restaurants and bars to listen to one amazing artist after the other cramped awkwardly on small stages. Every genre from blue grass, to classic country to hard rock had my booted feet tapping along, even as the boisterous crowds, often too inebriated to show due respect, cackled loudly over the music. I was in awe of the talented folks hoping to be discovered.
Naturally, as dutiful first time tourists, we visited the Country Music Hall of Fame. It was nice to see some of the great country artists honored and I appreciated how my own hometown, Bakersfield, California, was represented as the Nashville of the West, with country artists, Merle Haggard and Buck Owens high on the hierarchy of the country music dynasty.

We enjoyed going through the museum but the Songwriter Sessions show at the Hall of Fame was my favorite. We were lucky to have the undivided attention of the talented songwriter, Jim Collins, for an intimate, forty-five minute show. He was charismatic and funny as he shared his story from fledgling country artist, to superstar songwriter with award-winning songs like She Thinks my Tractor's Sexy and Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not, among many others. 

Songwriter, Jim Collins. Photo credit to owner.
A trip to Nashville would not be complete without visiting the Grand Ole Opry. All I could think as I sat through the kitschy show was how my father would have loved it. From Mike Snider's twanging banjo to the crooning cowboys of Riders in the Sky, I was transported back to a simpler time, when a goofy joke and a rhythmic hog call could bring a smile.
We were also treated to some beautiful music by Kentucky native, Carly Pearce and her darling fiancée, Michael Ray. One of my dads favorite groups, The Whites, shared a few good ole gospel songs. The Oscar nominated song, When a Cowboy Trades his Spurs for Wings, from the movie The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, was performed by writers, David Rawlings and Gillian Welsh. Country newcomer and favorite of ours, Mitchell Tenpenny, shared a few songs and sweet sentiments about his father. Then finally, the great, Steve Wariner, sang the night to a close. They packed all these artists and more into a two-hour, must see (at least once) show.

Nice visit with my cousin, Barb
On our last day in Nashville, we met up with some Tennessee based family members at the understandably famous, Loveless Café, for the best biscuits I've ever eaten, aside from Grandma's, of course. This is a must if you're in their neck of the woods.

As we drove home through the rolling Tennessee mountains, I counted my blessings. Great adventure, great man, great job, great family, great friends, great life. I had it all. Realizing it was the best birthday present of all.

If you have a chance to visit Nashville, Tennessee, you should. I'd strongly recommend an air BNB rather than the expensive downtown hotels, but it's definitely one of those places you should experience in person to understand the allure.
Thanks for listening....until next month, Rhonda. 


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1 comment:

Renaissance Women said...

What a dream come true. You can tell my your post it was a winner. Doris