Hi all! For those of you who haven’t seen it yet, you can catch a recap of the magical night at the Opry that KP and I had last night in her post titled The 4593rd Grand Ole Opry. It was seriously amazing. I can’t even express how great a performer Eric Church is in person. He sounded just flawless, on stage alone with his guitar. Anyhow, for all the details just click the link above. Right now I am moving on to the next day…
On Sunday, we had a bunch of touring and activities planned, so it was up and at ’em bright and early. We stopped at Starbucks for coffees first thing, of course. We then headed to the check in point for the walking tour we had scheduled. When we got there, the man at the tour booth told us that our reservations had not come in to him, and that there was no one there to give the tour. After a couple minutes of him scrambling and trying to figure out what to do, KP suggested that we could ride the hop-on, hop-off trolley instead. He agreed and booked us onto the 10:45 trolley tour. He then looked around, and realized we might be able to get onto the 10 AM tour instead (which would work really well for our very packed day of sightseeing). We went to see if we could catch the trolley at the second pick up location, but as we rounded the corner it was pulling away. “Where’s the next stop?” I asked. “I’m pretty sure it is the Ryman Auditorium,” KP answered. “We can totally beat them there”. Challenge accepted. We power walked up Broadway, coffees in hand, praying for a red light for the trolley so we could catch up. It turned the corner towards the Ryman and we were still about a block back. When we rounded the corner, we realized it was still sitting in one spot. The tour guide must have been speaking or waiting to let some people on or off. We both began to run, then stopped when it started moving. KP’s arms were in the air, trying to flag down the driver to wait for us, but he continued to pull away. But wait – he stopped again about a half block later. We both took off and ran. KP reached the trolley first and banged on the side door as the driver was readying to continue along the route. He opened up and let us on, while the rest of the passengers giggled at our unkempt appearance.
The rest of the trolley tour was rather mellow, though not unexciting. We got to learn a bunch of fun facts about some things we had already seen, and we did get to go a couple places that we had not yet made it to. Check out the list below for some fun tidbits or places we got to visit.
– We stopped briefly in front of the Nashville Farmer’s Market, which is supposed to be worth a visit. This is one of the places we likely won’t get to wander this time around, but it is definitely on the list for my next visit to Nashville.
– Any Toby Keith fans out there? Have you ever heard his song “I Love This Bar”? Well… it starts off with “We’ve got winners, we’ve got losers. Chain smokers and boozers…”. Guess what! There are a couple bars in Nashville that are side by side, called “Winners” and “Losers”. They are what he is talking about in the song. Also, Toby Keith penned that song at our favourite hangout on Broadway, Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge. Why can’t we just stumble across Toby Keith writing a song at some random bar? Click here to check the song out if you don’t know it.
– There was a building without a sign that I totally saw on Music Row yesterday and thought was important. Guess what! It’s Reba McEntire’s talent management headquarters. Stars like Blake Shelton and Kelly Clarkson, to name a few, are clients. Also, fun fact: Faith Hill was a secretary here before she hit it big.
– Did you know that Nashville has a to-scale replica of the Parthenon? It was built once upon a time when Nashville was being promoted as “the Athens of the South”. This is the only full-scale replica of the Parthenon in the entire world. KP and I were very excited to visit this place as it is one of the locations Percy Jackson visits in The Lightning Thief. Yes, that’s right – we are SUCH teen fiction fangirls. When the trolley driver asked if any of us wanted to hop off for a quick picture, we may have leapt up with an emphatic “YESSS!!!” and skipped off of the bus. This was one of the places we wanted to visit, but weren’t sure if we’d get there as it was a bit of a trek, so this was definitely the silver lining of missing out on our walking tour. KP’s luck balances out again – walking tour cancelled, but we get to go to the Parthenon. It was a good trade off.
This tour deposited us back near the hostel, so we decided to head back there for a little while to spend some time catching up on blog posts and to eat our groceries instead of going out for lunch. I know KP already wrote about our hostel in Fangirling – Nashville Edition, but I just want to throw my two cents in. I really like this place – the main area has such a nice open concept, which makes it into a wonderful gathering place for anyone who is staying there. We have always felt totally at home in the common area, whether blogging, having a couple beers, playing pool, cooking, or hanging out with some fellow hostellers.
One thing we accomplished while back at the hostel was leaving a note for our new roommates to meet us at Tootsie’s that night. Our previous roommates had moved out that morning, so we were hoping we might get someone new in the evening. If you’ve read our blog posts from San Francisco, you’ve probably heard about our failed roommate note attempt. Since then, KP and I have decided that we want to continue to do this and hope for a positive result sometime! So we wrote a note with a link to a post, which you can see here.
The next thing on our jam-packed itinerary for the day was a tour centered around ABC’s TV show, Nashville. KP has covered that portion of the day in her posts Nashville’s Nashville and Is it still stalking if you’re paying for it?, so you should definitely go and take a look at all the cool places we got to see on that tour (for example, somewhere Rayna stood that one time. Deacon might have been there too. Just kidding, I LOVED the tour). While we were waiting down by the water, we looked over at this red piece of “art” across the river, and saw someone doing a photo shoot or filming a music video. Not sure who they were or really what they were doing, but check it out for yourself:
After we finished our second tour of the day, it was off to a hockey game for us! We made a quick stop at the hostel to drop off the souvenirs we purchased, then made our way to Bridgestone Arena for a game between the Nashville Predators and the Minnesota Wild.
We had a dinner of hot dogs shortly after arriving at the game, and were in our seats well before puck drop. Now, I’ve been to hockey games in a lot of places. I even used to help run the Oiler games in Edmonton. I have to say, this game in Nashville was probably the weirdest I’ve ever been to. I swear we needed a script to understand what was going on with the crowd. Luckily, we had a nice local lady beside us that didn’t mind translating. Some examples of the weirdness:
- When announcing the starting line up for the opposite team, the entire crowd had coordinated responses. It went something like this:
Announcer: The starting line up for the Minnesota Wild tonight – Ryan Suter!
Announcer: Jonas Brodin!
Announcer: Nino Neiderreiter!
Announcer: Mikael Granlund!
Announcer: Jason Pominville!
Announcer: Marek Mazanec!
Crowd: And he sucks too!
- Whenever someone on the other team got a penalty, the entire crowd started making this gesture with their hand – no, not that kind of gesture! – the lady next to us explained that they were making their mascot’s teeth, since he is a saber-tooth (obviously).
- Speaking of mascots, Gnash was totally the highlight of the game for me. He rode in on an ATV, taking a jump onto the ice! What a daredevil! There was one point that he did a choreographed dance routine that lasted for probably at least 5 minutes, and he went ALL OUT. I tell you, there’s nothing like a mascot doing the dance from Thriller.
- Whenever the announcer let us know that there was a minute remaining in the period, the entire crowd answered “Thanks Paul!”. So polite of them, don’t you think? Especially in contrast to the way they treated the starting line up.
- The crowd booed loudly everytime Suter touched the puck. Our host sitting next to us explained that they were mad at him because he didn’t give Nashville a chance to counter the offer he took from the Wild. I’ll admit, I’ve been in buildings before when something like this happened, but this crowd was REALLY committed.
- When we hit the end of the game and Nashville hadn’t scored a goal, I had to ask our host what their goal celebration was like. After hearing her description, I am extremely sad I didn’t get to see one. Apparently they play “I Like It, I Love It” by Tim McGraw and cut to a video of him wearing a Preds jersey and singing. Then they call out the rival goalie telling him he sucks and that it’s all his fault.
Weird right? I’m sure there are other examples but I just can’t think of any more. That being said, those should be more than enough to illustrate my point. In the midst of all the craziness, KP and I found time to get another snack – a S’more Waffle. While KP was waiting in line for that, I jumped over to another vendor to grab a coffee. On my way there, I ran into a girl we had met the day before at Blush -you can read about it here. She had told us she was coming to the game, and that she was on a blind date. She joked that we may need to save her from it, but she didn’t give me the signal so I guess it was all going well. I’m really starting to feel at home in Nashville, running into people I already know! Anyhow, here is a picture of our S’more Waffle. It was magically delicious. We’ve decided we need to start eating more waffles. S’more waffles, chicken and waffles, waffle everything.
After the game, we filtered out and went to our favourite hangout – Tootsie’s! It is located right across the street from Bridgestone Arena, so extremely convenient. Also, we knew that our favourite band ever, Orio and the Goodfellers, was playing again and we had told lead singer Anthony that we would come see him once more. If you don’t already know the story, check out KP’s blog post here to read about the first night we met him. This time, we walked into the bar and within minutes had picked up drinks and somehow managed to get our same seats at the bar as before, despite the fact that the place was relatively packed. A different band was playing as it was still early, so we settled in to wait and enjoy the music. It wasn’t long before a couple of guys came to ask us to dance – one from Boston, and one from England. We discovered within minutes that we were all staying at the same hostel – instant friends!!!! We danced and laughed and KP tried to teach Tom (the Brit of course) to two-step. After a few songs, we all made our way back to our seats at the bar to hang out, but it wasn’t long before the guy from Boston disappeared for the night. Poor Tom was just stuck with us! It turned out that he was fairly nerdy, kind of an ass, a Slytherin, and (of course) British, basically making him KP’s soul mate. We ended up spending a fair amount of time with Tom over the next couple days. He totally thinks we’re the most fun ever (if he’s reading this and says differently, it’s totally not true).
Around 10 PM, it was time for Orio and the Goodfellers to take the stage. We were excited. While he was setting up his equipment, Anthony recognized us and waved emphatically from the stage. I waved back enthusiastically, and Tom looked over and asked me what was up. I then informed him that we were about to see our favourite band ever, and that we would be staying until 2:30 AM. It wasn’t long before we heard a shout out from Anthony over the microphone in the midst of sound check – “Hey Canada! How was Eric Church?!?”. We shouted back at him, trying to express all of our Eric Church related excitement in a cross-the-bar conversation over a country rock band. Throughout the night, he made a couple “Canada” and “Alberta” references… Since, you know, we were his favourite people in the room.
The night was just as much fun as the last time we were at Tootsie’s. We bought a different album from Anthony and had him sign it. Personalized, no big deal. Actually, I should say that I went to buy the album and returned with it still in plastic wrap. KP looked at it disgustedly and said “That doesn’t look signed to me”. Silly me! I turned right back around and relayed the message to Anthony. He laughed and pulled out his Sharpie for an autograph. We also got a typical fangirl picture taken with him.
One of the highlights of the night was when KP and I looked over and recognized the funny flail-dancing businessman from our last Tootsie’s experience standing in the same place he had been standing on Friday night. He was just as excited to see us again. We all chatted for awhile before he moved on to another bar. See? Just running in to people I know all over the place!
We spent the rest of our evening rocking out to the musical stylings of Anthony and his band, while Tom judged us for our country music knowledge, and for tipping Anthony $20 for our hours of enjoyment (and to hear Springsteen – we needed to hear some Eric Church to relive the previous night’s magic). We made friends at the end of the night with a random fangirl who seemed to be enjoying the band as much as we were. When I asked, she told me that her sister had been visiting Nashville 8 months before and had just fallen in love with Orio and the Goodfellers, so when she was coming to visit, she knew she had to see them play. KP and I closed out the night rocking out right in front of the stage with this random girl while Tom alternated between looking on judgementally and epically failing at country dance.
When the bar finally shut down for the night, we made our way back to the hostel with Tom in tow. The three of us spent a bit of time in the common area having a snack and drinking some water before it was off to bed. After all, there are still more adventures to come.
When we got to our room, everything was still as we left it – so despite the fact that our roommates hadn’t shown up, KP’s heart wasn’t broken like that time in San Francisco.