Thursday, July 7, 2011

4th of July Weekend...Nashville Style!

My little brother came down for a visit for the holiday weekend and I was determined to make sure he had a fantabulous mini-vacation before he starts getting into college mode.  It was his first solo road trip (yes, my mother and I were a bit worried about this) but he made it down here in one piece (whew!).  Not to toot my own horn or anything <toot toooooot!!>, but I rocked it out and should get the big sister of the year award for the weekend we had.  To sum it up: lots of music, a bit of alcohol, and explosives.  Nuff said.  He got into town Friday night and shortly thereafter we were headed downtown to the Mercy Lounge for a 90's coverband, My So-Called Band, that I had found out about from a coworker.  I had confirmation that this venue was 18+ so I was pretty psyched to get to take him out for a night on the town.  I had a fabulous time...granted that they played the music of my childhood and therefore I belted out every song with them.  It really was an amazing band though!  Ollie fell prey to the traditional ginormous black sharpie X's on his hands when entering the bar (really wish I would've gotten a picture of how ridiculously huge they were!).

 Night 1: Rockin' in Music City - Success!

 My So-Called Band.  Highly recommend!!

The next day JD joined us and we drove down to the Jack Daniel's Distillery ( comes the alcohol part!  And you thought it was in reference to underage drinking...tsk tsk!) in Lynchburg, TN.  It's about an hour & 15 min drive from my place so not too bad.  It was an impressive tour - and free!  Got to learn all about how Tennessee Whiskey is made (lots of mellowing!) so now we're all edumacated.  Of course I invested in a commemorative bottle of Gentleman's Jack at the distillery!  Now it's time to toughen up my tolerance and drink me some whiskey.

After the day smelling the lovely aromas of whiskey (yummmm), we had to jet back to town and regroup before the big concert that night - U2!!  In keeping with the music theme, I just had to make sure Ollie got to go to his first concert while in town!  (I had gotten super lucky and was presented with the opportunity to buy some tickets from a coworker last week.)  We parked over at Centennial Park and hiked our way over to Vanderbilt Stadium (into SEC enemy territory...grr).  There were tons of people camped out outside the stadium, which was smart because with their insane 360 degree screen you could see and obviously hear the whole thing.  We had GA tickets so actually got to get really close to the outer catwalk of the stage out on the football field.  I tell ya, they put on one helluva show!!

 Florence and the Machine opened up for U2

 Sweating our arses off in the 90+ degree weather, but having a blast!!

I just HAD to take video of my favorite song of theirs that they performed as part of the encore...actually one of my all-time favorite songs. The show was ridiculously good.

Day 2 - even more of a great success!

Now I'm getting kind of old.  Yep, I admitted it.  So Sunday needed to be a day of rest (after all, its God's way).  Even Ollie napped quite a bit! (Okay, so maybe I was making him watch a chick flick with me, but whatev.) So in keeping with our day of rest, we spent most of the day out by the pool.  Unfortunately there were no 'hot chicks' for Ollie there - booo.  then some Mexicano food (so maybe I was in the mood for a margarita...).  Day 3 - kinda lame, but I enjoyed it!

Well, Monday was action-packed.  After sleeping in (uh, of course - it's vacation!) we headed over to the waterpark for water slides, some wave pool action, and most importantly, the lazy river.  It's been a long time since I'd taken on a wave pool and holy cow it kicked my ass.  I definitely got to check off exercising for the day in there.  After the waterpark we headed to East Nashty for the Hot Chicken Festival.  It was a blessing in disguise that the website I had consulted that morning had the wrong times listed for the event.  We showed up shortly after it was over (to my surprise) but a few vendors were still open for sampling the spicy food.  The hot chicken pretty much crippled Ollie & JD - I saw tears, I saw pain....and then they made me try it to.  Holy hotness batman!  We came.  We saw.  We conquered the hot chicken.  I later found out people had waited in line for HOURS to get food.  In the Tennessee heat.  Wow.  Definitely glad we got there late and only had a few other stragglers still there!!

Somebody can't take the HEAT!

After torturing ourselves at the <after>festival, we headed over to the Titans stadium to park and walk across the pedestrian bridge over to the downtown Riverfront area for all the 4th festivities.  Several performers on the main stage, including the one and only Darius Rucker!  He performed some of his country songs, a few throwback Hootie songs, and a couple of cover songs too.  He was awesome!  The fireworks show was spectacular too!  I loooooove me some fireworks!

 We will see you soon, LP Field!  Can't wait for football season!!

View of the craziness and stage over at Riverfront Park from the pedestrian bridge. 

Hanging out at the Jack Daniel's tent

View from our fireworks spot.  Great view of the stage and the fireworks (aka explosives)! :) 

Super stoked about Hootie's performance!  Love free concerts!! 

Um, I got a little crispy at the waterpark earlier that day.

Day 4 - definitely a success!! So, all in all it was a freakin' awesome holiday weekend in Music City.  Hope Ollie enjoyed his mini-vacay. Now I need to go sleep for a week to recover.  ;)