It’s New Year’s Eve and we are headed for Nashville, Music City. I must confess it was never a destination I ever thought of much before this trip but to Nashville we go.
The motel we have is awful. For some reason (we can only assume a mistake), Mr.C has booked a smoking room, this is somewhat ironic as he hates the fact I smoke. There are holes in the wall and on the sheets, we definitely do not discuss getting a bed like this one. I go into the bathroom and on the back of the door it reads, ‘Beware of the bed bugs’, let the instant inching sensation begin. There is little that can be done about it, so we put on our ‘big girl pants’ and head out into Nashville hoping it has more to offer than this room.
Our first point of call is the Johnny Cash museum. I am aware of how great Johnny Cash is. His music is iconic and I’ll never forget singing ‘ring of fire’ at karaoke with my girls in Portugal, but I didn’t realise the true reach of his music and films until this night. Walls upon walls of music discs, awards, costumes, and the ever familiar black shirts. It is an exceptionally interesting place with one of the walls actually being made of bricks from Johnny Cash’s house. The most poignant revelation for me is the love he had for June Carter. Now I have seen the film, walk the line but to actually see hand written love letters from him to her and have it all laid out, you can’t help but feel a pull at your heart strings. He would have done anything for her, perhaps it was his love for her that drove him to addictions? People do act foolish where the heart is concerned.
We leave the museum and wander toward the lights, discussing the career of Johnny Cash. Nashville feels like a combination of Knoxville and Lynchburg. The painted logo fronted buildings, and old country vibes of Lynchburg mixed with the lights and community feeling of Knoxville. I must admit the size of Nashville has shocked me and the sheer amount of people here is crazy. With Broadway filling up fast we headed for a bar that didn’t have a queue. This bar with an overbearing green door and full white brick interior, reminds me of an old fashion pie and mash shop. It’s rather busy so we circulate looking for seats, Mr.C walks through the kitchen despite me telling him we couldn’t go that way, and then we spot two people leaving and pounce on their seats. It is not until we are sitting down that I realise how low these stools are, like they are made for children or something. But both grateful and pleased we have found a spot we order some drinks.
Our server is a young guy, maybe 5ft 11 inches tall with light brown hair and glasses. The uniform is a white shirt with braces; the place has a very laid back, good cocktail feel to it. After ordering some food, a bottle of wine and several cocktails, Mr.C leans in and gently kisses me, wishing me a happy new year. It takes a moment for it to twig in my brain that it has gone midnight in the UK, but when it does I smile. We soon debate who will pay the bill. So I devise this game, we have a series of questions that we both guess an answer for, the questions all relate to Jamie our server who has been keeping us entertained for the past 3 hours. I guess he is 22, Mr.C says 25, and does he have a girlfriend? Neither of us think he is from Nashville; I guess he is from Kansas, Mr.C thinks he is in search of fame only working as a bartender to fund his music career. Once we have set our answers we ask Jamie. Turns out he is 19! This prompts further questioning from Mr.C regarding how he is allowed to sell alcohol and basically by the time we have finished Jamie thinks we are a weird (perhaps he thinks we are a couple looking to pick up an extra person for the night), but he confirms all our answers and Mr.C wins and I pay the bill. Which actually works out well for me, the ever pleasant Jamie has given us a bottle of wine and several cocktails on the house, we strike that as a win and leave.
When we exit a fine rain is drizzling from the sky onto the masses of people that are now swarming the street. All the bars are packed and lights are fully lit, creating a fun and exciting buzz. We try to find a bar with a minimal queue. The criteria is a rooftop to watch the fireworks and to have a good view of the city. So we head towards the ‘Stage’ bar. While waiting we meet this bedraggled woman called Debbie, who is all on her own, which seems strange as she is in her late 30’s early 40’s. She explains she isn’t from Nashville and has already queued once but had left her ID at the hotel, her husband and the other couple they were with had gone in and she had gone to fetch her ID. Mr.C comments that it seems a touch harsh they left her on her own and we wish her luck in finding them inside, and then we are in. The bar is full. A band is playing and the atmosphere is great. There’s yet another line to get upstairs so I get in the line while Mr.C stocks us up with G&T’s. After some tall tales of being from the UK and my friends being upstairs I manage to blag us entry onto the rooftop. There’s yet another band playing up here and the view of Broadway is epic. We are feeling very accomplished at this point. Mr.C has made friends with these two cousins when I return from the next drinks run. They are celebrating one of their 21’s. They are sweet girls and the dark haired one is extremely excitable and literally loves everything!! To the extent that Mr.C gets frustrated and is like, “is there anything you don’t love”, she aptly say no. Then out of nowhere Debbie from the queue appears, requesting a photo with us. It’s a very funny situation; we both oblige feeling like celebrities and smiling at the strangeness of it all. She then introduces us to the husband. Mr.C whispers in my ear, “he hates her” and we laugh, it seems true though. I think he is super disappointed she actually got back in the bar and found him, we sense divorce in their future.
The 2107 countdown comes soon enough, and everyone has hats and crowns on, we all join in chorus counting from 10. There were no fireworks in the sky and it felt a touch anti-climactic, especially given how big they do things in the USA. But there were streamers and confetti as well as lots of smiles and cheering. We cheers with our new friends and everyone wishes happiness for the New Year. Mr.C then cups my face in his left hand kisses me to seal the New Year and whispers in my ear, “I love you, Harriet.” He rarely says my actual name and it sends tingles through me. There may not have been fireworks in the sky tonight but I definitely felt the spark of 2017.
Quite ironically we do actually finish the evening watching fireworks back at our motel. They are shop bought by two doors down, who are setting them off in the car park. Mr.C is concerned for the rental, but I am enjoying the raw fun of it all.
We do not sleep in late, despite the hangovers we are eager to get gone from this motel. Back into town we head and it is remarkable how quickly the mess has been cleared. Broadway is still buzzing with people. Everywhere is bustling with the noise of people, some not yet made it home, others ready for round two. We head to ‘Acme and Feed’ a super cute farm themed restaurant. There’s a hillbilly band playing. The fried chicken, waffles and maple syrup go down a storm. With a fog in the air we wander across the bridge catching a look at the football game. The view is excellent from here no need for a ticket, you can see the big screen and we witness the bangs and fireworks when a touchdown is scored.
We do the hall of fame tour and immensely enjoy the interactive part of it. With my vocal skills I recorded ‘we will rock you’. Mr.C then mixed it and took all the credit for how amazing I sounded. We spent well over an hour in this museum and while it isn’t cheap it was a lot of fun.
Nashville, the surprise of the trip for me, I thoroughly enjoyed it here. If you love to sing, dance, make friends and have fun I would totally recommend it. The only thing we never got to do was line dancing, so I am sure we will be back one day to try our hand at this.