To be honest I never thought I’d ever end up visiting Nashville. The music and the culture from what I’ve heard doesn’t really resonate with me. My outsider perspective of Nashville has always been a bunch of white people cruising around and reiterating the same song and dance that talks about someone’s barn or love for America and the south.
What I’m saying is… I was pretty ignorant.
This photo journal chronicles my experience of being in Nashville for two days with some of my favorite people. We all piled in the car hella early in the morning to hit the road for 10 hours to celebrate one of our closest friends by surprising him with a road trip for his birthday. On this trip we didn’t go to the Grand Ole Opry, we didn’t go to the Bluebird, instead we just hung out and saw some pretty ordinary things. Looking back on the pictures from this trip, I light up and remember all the fun we had. Not because we experienced something extraordinary, but because as friends we all took the time to celebrate and make a memory with each other.
So without further ado… here’s my Nashville experience.
We all woke up and got together around 5AM so we could head over to Arian’s to surprise him in the morning. To be honest, the surprise was pretty anticlimactic since you can only yell so loud in a residential neighborhood in the morning. But it was sweet having all 8 of us together hitting the road that early. As the sun came up I got pulled over for a speeding ticket for the first time which blew, but the colors of the leaves in the peak of Autumn made up for that minor inconvenience.
We made a random stop to get gas by this Wild Wilma’s Fireworks spot where there was this pretty cool old looking Chevy so naturally I had to snap a picture.
Also this turned out to be a pretty weird gas station. Supposedly within the little store there was a random beef jerky link dispenser and someone grilling in the back. Also had an interesting conversation with a traveler around my camera since he had a Nikon camera as well. Just some classic random road trip happenings at the gas station.
After about a 10 hour road trip, we finally made it to the quaint little house that we’d be staying at. We piled all of our stuff in and the dudes took the opportunity to sit down and relax while the ladies went out and stocked up the house for the celebratory festivities.
The house had some amazing window light so I took a second to break out the camera and take a couple shots.
That night we went out to eat at a local spot nearby. Unfortunately I don’t even remember what it was called, but I do remember the amazing pasta I ordered that really blessed me after a long day of traveling.
After eating, I decided to give myself a break and leave my camera behind as we went straight to Broadway Street to check out the bars. We got down there a bit late so it was pretty busy. After spending a bit of time shuffling through a couple bars and checking out some music we finally had enough and called it a night. I’m not a country music fan so I didn’t really enjoy the whole bar scene, but what I did really like was that the night life was family appropriate for the most part. I saw kids and the elderly mixed in with all of the typical young adults which is pretty unique compared to the DC metro area.
The next morning we all woke up and got ready for our only full day in Nashville. The agenda consisted of visiting a couple coffee shops and heading to a guitar shop along with other random places. The first shop we visited was Barista Parlor on Gallatin Ave. The shop vibe was really cool but their pour over coffee was a little inconsistent that morning.
As we wrapped up at Barista Parlor, I snapped this picture of Arian and Brie. Brie planned and organized the whole trip so props to her for all her hard work! After that we stopped by this really cool second hand shop that had some really cool stuff. I took a quick snap of one of their displays.
After morning coffee, the group temporarily split for breakfast and then reconvened at Revelator Coffee. I loved the design and lighting in this shop. They had an incredibly clean bar and some really nice baristas. I took a sip of Arian’s coffee and it was on point.
After Revelator, we walked around the shops located on the strip. It was a college game day so there were a good amount of people out day drinking at the bars. After that we drove down music row and headed to a flea market which was really interesting. I have some pictures on film that I took their but I was too lazy to pull out my DSLR and take some pics at that point.
The next stop was a vintage guitar shop that Mike recommended. I must admit that this was one of my favorite parts of the trip. I’m a vintage drum collector and I understand the allure of vintage instruments specifically. I see vintage guitars on Instagram all the time and never really understood why people were into these beat looking guitars and why they sold for so much.
In this shop I played a late 60s Gibson ES 330 while Nick played a late 60s ES 335. At that moment I fell in love. The feel and sound of this guitar was just perfect. We sat in their little amp room and jammed for about 20 minutes.
Filled to the brim with joy from that guitar, we made a quick stop to Target and then headed home as the light rain came in. The long day out and about made us all pretty hungry, so we ordered in some pizza. The pizza ordering was one of the best parts of the night. The phone attendant gave us a misquote on the price so Lynnsey professionally “handled” the situation and saved us some money with her phone skills while we all listened and held back our laughter.
We had grand plans of hitting Broadway St. to check out the bars and live music again, but the pizza and boos got the best of some of us. The best time of the trip was had on that night as we all sat on the floor in this Air BnB rented house eating pizza and having some celebratory drinks. It was nothing that we couldn’t do in any other city, but it was special because we all gave of our time and money to make a memory together.
That night is my fondest memory looking back. We all went to bed relatively early and hit the road early the next day to head home. I never thought such a quick trip with so much time spent on the road would’ve turned out to be so fun. I left my hometown feeling rather skeptical about how such a tightly scheduled trip would go, but I left Nashville feeling thankful for the time we shared and the memories we made.