*Shout Out- to “The Smoking J’s Band” out of Georgia! They played at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge on June 17th*
As you know, I have been off the grid for the past week. I averaged about 3-6 hours of sleep a night while away. Therefore, blogging was not on my dating card much less my vacation schedule. I joined some friends and went to Nashville, Tennessee for our very first time. For anyone not aware, Nashville is the mecca, within the United States, for country music and opportunities to make it big within the recording industry. I first anticipated it to be a town with a few bars in it and some country music inspired attractions. Meanwhile, I left the airport, checked into the hotel, cleaned up, and headed into downtown Nashville on the first night. I was surprised to see quite a few high rise buildings!! I counted at least 25 cranes in use from the drive in the suburbs to downtown Nashville!! The amount of construction in Nashville is amazing and absolutely booming!! I didn’t get to Broadway until night two and that was another nice surprise. For about three blocks, there were bars blasting live music on both sides of the streets. My expectations of a sea of rednecks with cowboy hats and boots did come to fruition. However, there were all walks of life on the streets of Nashville- including a sizable homeless population. The army of live bands trying to get noticed within the mecca for country music was staggering. The Grand Ole Opry compound- equipped with a resort, waterpark, shopping, bars and restaurants, and a huge convention center was quite impressive as well!! I had fun with my friends each night of the week! I am back home and actually miss the place and look forward to returning in the future. Here is the street, called Broadway, in the photo below where bars, loaded with live music, played loudly and chaotically on both sides of the street:
Mind you, I am not a huge fan of country music. However, I enjoyed the great energy and lively establishments that pumped out music on every night of the week. As an avid people watcher, this city did not disappoint me. At any given time, there were bum brawls, an alcohol related emergency, tractors pulling drunks, some drunken birthday boy, a girl from a bachelorette party on the side vomiting, people making bad decisions, and much more foolery. The most crowded place and the most fun night was at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge. We hit that bar on a Thursday night. Our luck hooked us up with seats right next to the band. We got to watch obsessed fans of the band and music act like drunken fools! I honestly thought one old woman was going to flash the band. To enhance the experience, men were buying me drinks. One was getting a lil handsy so I had to slap some hands every so often. We were getting our drink on and high fiving patrons while talking smack with just about anyone who was game. 😛 We were even approached, for some reason by a stranger, to walk a super drunk fellow New Yorker back to her hotel room. Her friends abandoned her and were in the hotel room when we arrived. WTF!!!! You don’t leave your friend solo in a bar!! Apparently, she was getting groped by men (cue my face palm). While walking her to the hotel, she told us she got arrested in Paris for acting the fool. We quickly left her at the hotel and went hunting for a diner. We are used to 24-hour spots being open after a night of drinking. The only game in town was a halal truck on Broadway by 2:30AM when the bars close down. We ate the shit out of our gyros- Llmmmaaaooo!!! By the time the weekend came, the street was shut down so that all people could walk the blocks of bars aimlessly without fear of getting hit by a car. My friend chose a hotel that was in a nice neighborhood yet was 30-minutes away from the action. The good thing was a my buddy George didn’t drink so he was the designated driver for most of the week. If that wasn’t the case, I was prepared to Uber each night to the action. I believe that the noise from Broadway was way louder than Times Square in Manhattan- New York City. I loaded almost 50 short videos on our adventures, by day or by night, onto my Verbally Disastrous YouTube Channel. My favorite video captured was a guy walking around in a bar while wearing chaps with no pants or underwear much less shorts. In lieu of any clothing, he had the American flag painted onto his ass cheeks. Here is the video of that foolery on YouTube:
We witnessed a middle aged man fall out of his stool and knock himself out on Friday. He was flat out and needed to be carried out by paramedics. The band still played on- I am not surprised. By Saturday afternoon, I expected some of my family members to drive in to join me and my friends. My cousin Kristina and husband Michael live in Ohio. I learned that they were 5-7 hours away during a random conversation prior to the trip. I was happy that they agreed to come down and join me with my friends. They took the trek to Nashville to spend Saturday afternoon until Sunday morning. We broke bread and had a great breakfast before they got on the road. Although I speak with him on Facebook, I met Michael in person for the very first time. I am pleased to discover another drinking buddy. After all, a girl can never have too many drinking buddies. 😛 I introduced him to Screwball peanut butter whiskey and cranberry that he found to be very delicious yet dangerous- too easy to get a DWI. We saw angry drunks, people selling cannabis and their ass on the street, women who decided to slingshot their bras onto the stage, men rubbing their asses on my knees, dance requests, and tons of sweaty rednecks with matching cowboy boots and hats to rub elbows with in the bars. There was a NASCAR race nearby that added to the traffic on Broadway. I had one attractive man rubbing his ass on my knees with his girlfriend nearby. Here I was thinking that this jerk was going to get me into a fist fight with his old lady!! Now that would have been a total buzz kill! Luckily, she sees him for what he is and brushed it off. For every weird and screwed up person, there was a very friendly fellow patron that was willing to exchange in idle chit chat or even offer a slice of pizza. On Saturday night, The Corey Farley Band was on the stage in a bar for a four hour set. His humor and antics between songs made the night very enjoyable. I was humored that the lead singer opted to randomly sit on a stool next to us while singing the 80’s classic song entitled, Footloose. I made sure to capture the moment with a humorous selfie video. Here it is, courtesy of my YouTube channel:
My friends have made the decision to sell their home, by spring of next year, and buy their retirement home within the suburbs of Nashville, TN. I am thinking about entertaining an investment property myself. I would need to find a rental manager and figure out exactly where to buy. We are lucky to have a real estate agent who is a friend of my traveling buddies. Doug Allen, a real estate agent from Keller Williams, had given us a tour of about a dozen homes. He is going to connect me with a property manager that runs a tight ship with property rentals. Here is his contact information:
I want my investment property to be away from downtown Nashville but not too far away. I reviewed towns that were between 15-30 minutes away. I think 15-minutes away is the sweet spot. It is fun to go in and check out the foolery yet far enough away to get a restful sleep afterwards. This area is very appealing since it has nice property options, plenty of tourist attraction, mild winters, hot summers, super low taxes, plenty of stores to shop, and safely away from hurricane season. It is indeed a great location to retire since they don’t tax your pension to death either. Having good friends down in Nashville helps to periodically keep an eye on my investment is alluring as well. I would be lying if I said it didn’t cross my mind about dropping life in New York City for a calmer life in Nashville. I would most certainly be trying to drag my sons with me as well. However, I feel the need to finish my career here in New York City. For now, I shall remain a tourist and learn about the history of Nashville. We checked out the Ryman Auditorium, it was previously an old church, as it was the 5th location for the Grand Ole Opry back in 1943. Here I thought it was the 1st location. The first Grand Old Opry was started, by George D. Hay back in 1925, as a 1-hour “barn dance” on the legendary AM radio station WSM. This broadcast is the longest running in the history of the United States. Since 1974, the Grand Ole Opry show has been broadcasted from the current location that is east of downtown Nashville.
Overall, I learned a lot of history, tried out as many bars and restaurants as possible, listened to quite a few live bands, bonded with locals and tourists alike, checked out some real estate, bought some t-shirts for my peeps, and averaged between 4-7 miles of walking per day. Although it was totally expected, I am frustrated that I gained about 7 lbs during my trip. I am now fasting to get it off of me. Right now, it is just as hot and humid in Tennessee as it is in New York. The bars were packed with people with limited air conditioning. Therefore, we sweated a lot each day and night of our stay. I had brought a few sweaters and only wore one to sleep at night while I had the tundra settings on my hotel room thermostat. I flirted with a few fellas and was even propositioned for sex. Sadly, my friends are such cock blockers- just kidding!!! Although tempting, I feel like I am too old for that brand of random foolery. My girlfriend, her husband, and I all bonded and made some great memories via our various experiences. I sure as hell look forward to future adventures with my pals. My bestiee and podcast co-host Melissa had to stay home since she had to work. She has to come out on the next trip. I recommend checking out Nashville even if you are not a country music fan. This city sure is the spot for wild bachelorette and birthday parties!! We saw so many women strutting around on the streets with veils attached to their heads. It was reported, by the band, that a 21-year old was not let into the bar until she came of age by midnight. She got to go on stage and dance with the band. The various party vehicles, including a bar with pedals for propelling the structure, were rampant as well. There was even a hot tub on wheels available for partying- go figure! I wanted to get in on one of those party venues on wheels and tie one on with my friends. It looks like just as much fun as any Las Vegas party activities minus the extreme heat. I’m sure if I get a place there, my sister would actually come and visit me. 😛
I have placed many travel photos on my various social media platforms as well as the short video clips of our different adventures. I even got a foot tattoo, courtesy of Morgan from Nashville Ink, on the day before leaving town. My gf got a pendent with her two son’s birth stones on the back of her neck along with a nose piercing. Her hubby got “Truckin, Liftin, & Lovin” on his forearm. Yes, it was a challenge to get through the tattoo process on my foot. The needle hit quite a few nerves that made my foot react. It was the worst towards the end of the job. I was screaming bloody murder in my head. I fantasized about doing a horse kick to the tattoo artist’s forehead a few times. However, I refrained myself from acting out on those savage thoughts. After all, I am the one who invited her to do the work. 🙂 The foot is indeed a tender spot to get ink. Morgan said that I handled the tattoo like a champ!! She said she would have tapped out. My hip kept locking up so I asked to quickly stretch a few times. My friends even joined me in the waiting area for the tattoo session. Here is a photo of my ink:
This trip has re-inspired my desire to go back out to doing more traveling. I am working on planning a trip with my sons to Japan, on a cruise, for August of 2022. I also want to explore more locations in the United States that are a mere car ride away. For awhile, I had frozen my travel plans because of work and the aftermath of the 2008 Recession. This whole Covid-19 global pandemic has pushed me out of the travel freeze. It has given me a different perspective on life as well. Life is short so make the most of it. My sons are much older so traveling is not so cumbersome. I thank you for reading my overview of my trip to Nashville, TN. I value the time you choose to dedicate to either reading or listening to my writings. Reminding you to check out a few of my new short stories, that are on Amazon Vella, for Kindle e-book reading. Please subscribe to my Verbally Disastrous YouTube channel. I would love a podcast review- if you can offer it and I will listen and return the favor. Enjoy the rest of your day from your side of the globe. I wish you a fine hump day (read in the Geico commercial camel’s voice) and the rest of the week!
Leslie M. Jasper
-Author And Host of the #VerballyDisastrous podcast now alive on many platforms that include: Acast, Anchor, Apple Podcasts, Breaker, Castbox, Deezer, Google Podcasts, I Heart Radio, Listen Notes, Overcast, Pandora, Player FM, Pocket Casts, Pod Bean, Podchaser, Podcast Addict, Podcast Gang, Radio Public, Soundcloud, Soundtrap, Spotify, Stitcher, Tune In, and YouTube.
-The Audio Blog: Verbally Disastrous Podcast And Construction Tales Blog. Now available on: Acast, Anchor, Apple Podcasts, Breaker, Castbox, Deezer, Google Podcasts, I Heart Radio, Listen Notes, Overcast, Pandora, Player FM, Pocket Casts, Pod Bean, Podchaser, Podcast Addict, Podcast Gang, Radio Public, Soundcloud, Spotify, Stitcher, and Tune In.
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