When I heard we would be headed to a conference in Nashville this year, I wasn’t sure that was going to be a good thing. You know. Country music? Not quite my thing. A town dedicated to it. How could that even be fun? But I am up for an adventure and my buddy JP told me the place is legit so I was optimistic. We arrived to warm temperatures after leaving a weird cold spell in Colorado so that was nice. This conference always is hosted at the swankiest hotel in town so the Omni it was. A rooftop pool? Yes, please.
The steak house in the hotel had a valet line of cars that had me wishing I knew how to steal one. This gun metal V12 Bentley was all the rage when it pulled up. But that wasn’t the highlight. We needed to go find the local night life to do that.
We would walk a few blocks up from the hotel in the direction of music. After turning onto Broadway, we were greeted to six blocks of bars. Every 2 of 3 stores was a bar front. The rest were food or merchandise. They were selling boots as “buy 1 pair, get 2 pair free”. What kind of math is that? But I was intrigued by the live entertainment. Every single bar had a stage. Or multiple! With some band getting after it. Not just solo guys but 4 or 5 piece bands cranking everything from country to rock songs that I recognized. So I might venture to guess there were 50 bands playing music simultaneously within a one mile radius in Nashville. Wow. That doesn’t happen anywhere else. There are “Nashvegas” slogans here and there. Don’t sell yourself short Nashville, Vegas don’t have that magic.
So we did what the locals do. You drink and get weird. We took a carriage ride. Great way to get views of all the folks making their way from bar to bar. We rubbed elbows with the locals. Actually, these ladies caught me with a Coors light to which I tore the label off of and asked for forgiveness by showing my Colorado driver’s license.
My favorite local beer was this Yazoo Pale Ale. Very tasty. There were a few different local beers we selected from time to time. Definitely not the selection like in Colorado but it was decent.
I met people too. This guy was from Sudan and he and I had a discussion while I was flossing my teeth on the street. I decided to talk to him about health so we chatted about the Whole30 and the benefits of high intensity exercise. I think I set him straight.
For our conference finale, we had a live show with the Ryan Weaver band in Music City Center. Pretty cool. He played Freebird. He had me there.
Man, by this point, you have to start trying to really fit in. So we went into a boot store and tried stuff on. These were just my style. Black with music notes? But I couldn’t pull the trigger. To much vertical drop in the heel for this runner boy.
This art that we saw will forever remind me of Nashville. An oasis in a place you wouldn’t think you might find one. Cheers, Nashville. I hope to return someday.
Thanks to my buds, Tim and Marie. We did it well.