Hey Guys - sorry not to post anything yesterday, but after reading my update I think you will understand why:
After a relaxing evening by myself at the Oliver Hotel in Knoxville, I Drove into Nashville, getting in around 12pm to meet up with my new travel companion and car/housemate Ivana! Getting into the South and uncharted territory, it is definitely a relief to have some companionship on the road. Nashville has lots and lots of trucks and intersecting highways, and is definitely not a walking city. Took me a little while to get my baring, but as the day progressed, I began to understand and appreciate it more and more and more.
Walked around Centennial park for an hour as I waited for Ivana to finish shopping at Trader Joe's (and pick up some jerky - my favorite high protein road snack!) There was a cool man made lake, as well as a replica of the parthenon. We embraced at the McDonald's parking lot near by and headed over to our gracious host, Anna and Dave's house. Hung out for a bit and then drove over the the famed BlueBird Cafe - which apparently became more famous recently because of the TV show Nashville! We were an hour early, and there was already a line 3 lanes long! I was ready to give up, but Ivana encouraged us to stay and I am SOOOO glad she did! We not only ended up getting in and able to play my one song (40 people in the open mic!) but also made some awesome new friends who joined us for a magical evening. Outside the venue, we met a mando-playing cab driver who told us where the party was in East Nashville. We caravanned over to 5 points and bar hopped, ending up at a new place called Treehouse. They had delicious cocktails and tapas (my drink had egg white foam in it) and shmoozed with some pretty big names in the country music biz! (Anyone heard of Pam Tillis...?) We then went back to the car to pull some instruments - coincidentally running back into our mando-taxi friend who joined us for some pickin' outside the restaurant! OK Nashville, I'm sold. What a truely magical evening :) XOXOX