Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Parents Only Trip to Nashville

Back in September, Mike was looking at Jimmy Buffet's tour schedule and saw that he was going to play a concert in Nashville for New Year's Eve.  He mentioned how cool it would be to go and before we knew it, we had my parents booked to babysit and our hotel room reserved for three nights and four days for NYE! 

I may have teared up when I said goodbye to Finn, but then I had a mimosa at the airport and had an uninterrupted adult conversation with Mike, so we were off to a good start! Nashville here we come!

One of Mike's good friends from high school is as much of a Parrothead as Mike is, so he and his wife joined us.  They arrived the day before us and left the day before us, so we all enjoyed some time together as well as some time to ourselves.  We met Ryan and Katherine at Nudie's (yup, you read that right! That's the name of one of the bars! And no, there were no nude people there) for Happy Hour shortly after landing. 

We hung out there for a little while before eating dinner at their hotel.  I knew going into this trip that my health was going to be sacrificed due to the amount of fried and good southern food (and alcohol) I was going to consume this weekend and I have no regrets.  I started off the trip with a pulled pork grilled cheese and it was as delicious as it sounds. 

After dinner, we had tickets to the Grand Ole Opry!!  I think I was equally excited about this as I was about Jimmy, but don't tell Mike that.  :)  The highlight of that concert was definitely Old Crow Medicine Show.  They were so great (as were all of the other performers) and it was such a "Nashville" experience.

After the concert, we all went out for a drink and Mike and I lasted about 2.5 seconds before it was our bedtime.  These old parents weren't used to being out until midnight!! Ryan and Katherine on the other hand stayed out and enjoyed the night scene.  

Can you tell we are enjoying our vacation?

The next day, we slept in.  Guys, this needs to be documented because it was a true highlight of our trip. We woke up naturally and stayed in bed until we wanted to get out of bed.  It was amazing.  In fact, we woke up, went to breakfast and then came back and went back to sleep.  It. Was.  Incredible.  We finally woke up and made our way out for lunch at Martin's for barbecue and it was worth getting out of bed for. This platter was for 2-3 people but Mike and I had no problem finishing it off.  Mike said the pulled pork was the best he'd ever had (it was reallyyyy good!) and I thought the ribs were incredible. 

After lunch, we spent the afternoon bopping around.  The best part about Nashville in my opinion is all of the bars with live music. Broadway Street is lined with them and we just wandered in and out of places for the rest of the afternoon.  Normally, bars will open their front windows and you can hear their music from streets, but seeing as it was FREEZING, there was no incentive to walk around outside and listen to music or open any windows.  We still had fun and the music was great!

We met up with Ryan and Katherine for dinner at the Tap Room before the Jimmy Buffet concert. It was nice to have a good meal that wasn't too fancy, but still felt like a celebration before the concert.  The concert didn't start until nine so we had plenty of time.  We got to the concert right at Huey Lewis and the News were beginning their opening act. I didn't know a lot of their music, but he was great!   So personable and really got the crowd excited!!

Jimmy came on around 10:30 and the crowd was pumped!!  If you ever get the chance to Jimmy Buffet in concert, you definitely should go.  He's a great performer and his concerts are a TON of fun!  This one didn't disappoint.  Throughout the concert, he had a countdown going in the background and at 11:59, we began the countdown.  Balloons dropped at midnight and the crowd celebrated!  Jimmy played for another half an hour before the concert ended. 

Mike and Ryan spent the whole concert hoping there would be a surprise guest and I think were pretty disappointed that there wasn't, but other than that, we all agreed that it was a great way to ring in the new year. I'm not a huge fan of New Years' and usually find myself feeling pressured to do something extravagant when all I want to do is watch the ball drop on my couch with a few friends or family.  This was the perfect compromise and it was a blast! 

Mike and I bid farewell to Katherine and Ryan after the concert since their flight was early the next morning.  We headed back to our hotel where we slept well and late.  I can't think of a better way to ring in 2018!! Mike and I got up and (very slowly) made our way to the gym.  It's really hard to work out with Finn and we have to take turns, so it turns into an all morning event.  It was nice to work out together and have it be an hour of our morning.  We spent the rest of the day watching college football and hanging out.  Like I said, it was FREEZING outside so our desire to walk around was slim to none.  Settling in at a bar and watching football was the perfect solution.  

Our last day looked very similar to the day before.  We had a late flight, so we took our time getting up, made our way to the gym and finally made our way out to town.  We ended our trip right where it began, at Nudie's (it's the best bar in town!) and bid farewell to Nashville with a happy heart and a little bit higher cholesterol. 

I was a little hesitant to leave Finn for three nights, but it couldn't have come at a better time.  He was eight and a half months old and getting into everything.  We are constantly pulling him off of things and moving things out of his way.  As much as we love him, traveling with him has become less enjoyable.  This trip gave us a chance to really enjoy Nashville in all of it's glory, but also enjoy time together without Finn, which I think is extremely important.  We both walked away from this trip so happy that we went. 

This trip wouldn't have been possible without my parents.  I wish I had the text message from when I asked them if they would watch him because their excitement was through the roof.  They never even hesitated and I'm pretty sure they had as much fun as we did.  They sent us constant updates and pictures of our guy and I know Finn was pleased as punch to have their attention for a few days.  Thanks Mom and Dad! We couldn't have done it without you. 

*For those of you who have been following along with my breastfeeding journey, I brought my pump with me for this weekend so that supply didn't drop.  I usually pumped every four-ish hours and right before bed.  Two of the nights we were there, I woke up once in the middle of the night to pump, but then on New Year's Eve, I let myself sleep the entire night.  

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