I made it back to Nashville today. I managed to pick up some sort of head cold/flu bug of some kind, but I am still alive, and I am still loving this city.
Have I mentioned how beautiful Charleston is? I knew from pictures it would be charming and historic, but the pictures don’t do it justice. My first day in Charleston I decided to hit the street and find some good food and drink. My first stop was Pearlz Oyster Bar.
There I had my first oyster and shared that experience with a nice couple who were sitting next to me at the bar. I was once again, blessed, with genuinely nice people who decided to take me under their wing for a good portion of my time spent in Charleston.
Thank you so much, Kristy Smorol and Dave Smorol for your generosity, kindness, and humor. Thank you for allowing me to follow you around Charleston and check out some of the best food and drink locations in town. I had a blast with you, and I really hope we can do it again sometime. I would love to share our little inside joke on here but I know my Mom is reading this so for now, I will say this; I had to think for a second when Dave texted me the second day because for a minute I wasn’t sure what I did the night before. GF for everyone. 😉 Oh, and the butler jokes will never get old.
I am becoming quite the expert with Uber and have used it three times now on this trip. My first Uber driver’s name was Nick. Of course, it was ;). Nick is a Firefighter in Charleston (seriously I am not making this up), and he was not only my transportation but he also made a fantastic tour guide. He shared a ton of his knowledge relating to the history of Charleston on the way to the Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, and he was super friendly. Nick if you are reading this, thank you for your service as a firefighter and thank you for the great conversation and twenty-five minutes of company.
I made it back to Nashville today, and I am beginning to have a love-hate relationship with my car. I love her and all but we are spending a little bit too much time together, and she really doesn’t talk to me much.
Grand Ole Opry…..
All I can say is what an amazing time. For someone who has spent hours upon hours upon hours at country music concerts, I have to say; Grand Ole Opry was such a surreal experience. The line-up was amazing, and many of the songs performed were so close to my heart and even more so now. As I am sure you can all imagine my heart breaks that Nick couldn’t be there with me. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I can’t text him or call him to tell him how great my night was, but tonight he knows because he was there in my heart as I hope he always is.
This trip is so bittersweet. I am doing all the things I have always wanted to do, and I am having such a fantastic time, but mine and Nick’s relationship revolved heavily around country music and he would have loved this. We enjoyed so many concerts together, and some of our best memories were at country music concerts, as I have mentioned multiple times before.
Being in Nashville without Nick is so unbelievably hard, and I am not going to lie, there have been a few times I have said to myself, “how are you doing this alone?” Here is the truth; I am not alone.
When my aunt died a few years ago, I had such a hard time listening to country music. I pretty much boycotted it for a little while because every song reminded me of her one way or another. The song would either remind me of her singing, drinking beer, sitting on the couch watching Carrie Underwood belt out How Great Thou Art, or it would remind me of countless memories built at Craven Country Jamboree.
When Nick died, I told myself I would not stop listening to our favorite music, and I am so glad I didn’t. I have a sleeve tattoo dedicated to Nick which was inspired by one of Vince Gill’s songs, and I am spending my first soul searching trip in a city that does not allow for country music avoidance. I can say without a doubt; country music has been a huge part of my healing and Grand Ole Opry tonight was the icing on the cake.
My third Uber experience was with Kevin. Kevin picked me up from Grand Ole Opry, and we had a great conversation in the short distance between the Opry House and my hotel.
You know it’s funny. I was not feeling well tonight. I sent a few messages earlier to a few friends saying I hope I can make it through the night because I am feeling really ill. Maybe the travel is getting to me, but I was feeling exhausted. Tonight I did not feel like telling anyone about my story so if they asked I would respond, “just wanted to get away.”
I am a solo female. People always ask.
At some point in the conversation about my trip Kevin said something along the lines of, “I have to ask, are you doing this whole trip solo?” and I said yes. I decided to share my story as he was a person who I didn’t feel would find it uncomfortable and I knew the distance back to my hotel was short; just in case. I was not in the mood tonight for platitudes or awkward silence.
When I told Kevin my story, he said he was very sorry and then proceeded to ask me who some of my favorite artists were. Of course, I said, Reba McEntire first. I told him Nick, and I loved Brad Paisley and that we spent our last night together at one of his concerts. I also had to mention Dierks Bentley because Nick and I both have a huge crush on him but also loved his music so much, especially our would be wedding song. We love so many others, and I didn’t even know how to narrow down the list.
Kevin and I had a fascinating conversation, and he genuinely appeared amazed by my story.
Kevin, if you are reading this. I know what we talked about and all I can say is this, if you ever have the opportunity, please tell any country star you meet how incredibly powerful their music is. Luke Brian’s “Drink a Beer” makes me ugly cry every time. Such an incredibly personal and beautiful song with some much meaning behind it.
As I mentioned in a few of my blogs, I often wonder if musicians are aware of how healing their words and their voices are and how many people they dig out of rock bottom. Many of you who have followed my blog since the beginning are well aware that music feeds my soul and it has dragged me out of many dark days.
So I am going to end my blog tonight with this.
Thank you to Nashville, Thank you to Country Music, and Thank you to all of you who feed our souls with your talent. I am truly blessed to have seen so many great shows, and I have been brought to tears multiple times. Multiple times a day on this trip ;).
Goodnight everyone and God Bless Country Music.