My trip to Nashville was awesome! I really feel Nashville is the place for me. I love the fact you can walk down the street pretty much anywhere and hear awesome music. It’s amazing to me. I love country music though which probably explains it. I’m not a big “club” person but if I lived in Nashville, I could see myself sitting at the corner bar listening to music every night. Enough of my rambling love, onto the trip!

I arrived Thursday night and the tour started right away and on a great foot! We started our vacation out with a stop at The Bluebird Cafe. This is where a number of country artists played before they landed their big deals. Garth Brooks was discovered here and Gary Allan, Terri Clark & Kenny Chesney have all graced the small and intimate stage. You can’t just walk in either, you need reservations to snag a seat. The songwriter/singer we saw perform was Cory Batten who did an amazing job. You can check out his Facebook here. He’s written songs for Chris Young and Blake Shelton. I could easily visit that place once a week. I couldn’t imagine being able to see someone like Brooks & Dunn there. It’s such an intimate setting! It’s great!

Friday was a long day. We had no idea that we’d end up spending all day at the Country Music Hall Of Fame. We thought it would be a half day but we arrived around 10am and finished up around 4pm or 5pm. There was a trip over to Studio B but that didn’t take up much time. The Country Music Hall Of Fame is a beautiful building. It feels very open and the architecture was amazing! The exhibits ranged from Elvis and Hank Williams to current stars like Brad Paisley and Keith Urban. The amount of history they crammed in there was mind blowing. Where else can you see the Gold Piano Elvis owned and then walk down a hallway and see the dress that LeAnn Rimes wore when she performed “Blue?” During our visit they had a Hank Williams “Family Tradition” exhibit that covered his sadly short career plus Hank Williams Jr. They had original newspaper articles from when he passed away and a whole section dedicated to Hank Williams Jr. and “Monday Night Football.” They really did cover all the bases. Here are a few pictures from that section:

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I could seriously go on and on about everything they had. They had a whole wall, actually a few walls, covered in various milestone setting records. You could find Elvis, Garth Brooks, Rascal Flatts, Kenny Rogers, Faith Hill and more next to each other. When I say more, a mean a ton more. Think I’m kidding?

I have no idea how I managed to score a photo without anyone in it. The place was pretty happening which makes this picture even more surprising. Along with records you could find various awards as well including a few that belonged to Reba, Taylor Swift and others. Of course there was no shortage of outfits either! You had the famous outfit worn by Minnie Pearl, the costume Reba wore on Broadway in “Annie Get Your Gun” and the suit and dress that Brad Paisley & Carrie Underwood wore when they hosted the CMA Awards, just to name a few. Oh and cowboy boots out the ass! You can’t have a museum dedicated to country music without displaying a few pairs of cowboy boots.

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As I mentioned earlier, we took a break and headed off to see Studio B. This is where Elvis, Roy Orbison, Dolly Parton and more recorded albums. It’s actually still in use today. We were told that Marty Stewart had just finished up recording an album there. You really did feel the history as soon as you walked in. It’s a very small studio but we were able to go into the actual studio area and into the control room. We even had the opportunity to play the piano that Elvis had used!

OMGZ! Elvis used this!

Amazing, right? Sadly I don’t remember how to play piano but two of the guys in the group tour it up. It was pretty neat to hear/see. It was a very small & short tour but worth it for the history and chill factor alone. After the Studio B tour we headed back to The Country Music Hall Of Fame and finished up checking out the exhibits. I still can’t believe we were there until 5pm.

To finish up the day we stopped by and visited the mens room at the Hermitage Hotel (Seriously, I’m going to write a post all about it), headed off to spend some quality time outside at Centennial Park and then had dinner at…Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville. Shut up! This is where I heard my first real strong southern accent. It was owned(?) by a hot cashier inside the gift shop. I almost died. As he was ringing me up he asked if I needed anything else and I totally stumbled over my words. It was awful. It wasn’t horrible but it was still lame. Man, that guy was hot. Sigh.

That pretty much wraps up Friday! I wasn’t kidding when I said it was a long day.