all it took was one weekend in nashville to fall in love with country music.
three years ago, we stopped in music city for a couple of disgustingly humid nights filled with honkytonks, lots of sweat, two-stepping, line dancing and a kind old shuttle driver lady who told us about naked karaoke while driving us down broadway. we went with my brother — who was already a self-declared korean cowboy — and had a surprisingly rockin good time listening to really talented people. my musical appreciations have never been the same ever since.
so it was fitting that we celebrated the korean cowboy’s 30th birthday with a return to nashvegas this year. and it was just as awesome as the first time, if not even better, because this time i wasn’t pregnant and it wasn’t 100 degrees! #winning
even though i’ve only spent a grand total of two weekends in this town, it has taught me much. so here i share the five things i learned in nashville:
- we all got a hillbilly bone down deep inside. remember when we were growing up, kids would always say “i like everything except country” as the answer to “what kind of music do you like?” it was like, if you’re a sophisticated semi-urban youth you were to love hiphop and possibly appreciate grunge (haha remember grunge) but NO. WAY. would you EVER acknowledge country. that was some confederate flag hillbilly crap. sometimes i still hear people talk about their musical preferences this way and it makes me chuckle. so much “new country” is straight pop and rock anyway, you probably actually do like some country and don’t even know it. i’m partial to new country myself, except when confronted by an older man with a guitar on the stage at robert’s western world carrying a gun in his holster declaring “ain’t no such thing as new country. new country sucks.” then yes, sir, i completely agree with you.
there’s just something very invigorating about live music in a small venue with charming performers. nashville has no shortage of great acts, and most places don’t even charge cover so you can pop in and out from bar to bar, even in the afternoon in full daylight, and your chances are strong that you will see a good show.
because of nashtown, i’ve discovered my own inner hillbilly bone and these days, you are much more likely to catch me listening to eric church or luke bryan in my car than top 40 (unless icona pop is on), hiphop (unless it’s throwback late 90s/early 2000s hour), r&b (unless it’s JT) or anything else. also, in case you were wondering, cowboy boots are way more comfortable than high heels.
- every birthday should be celebrated with a sash, party hat or crazy glasses. my sister-in-law decked out my brother in crazy 30th birthday gear. and i’m pretty sure that is what turned our outings into pure awesome. the birthday boy received high-fives and shoutouts throughout our nights out, and even got serenaded “happy birthday to you” by a bearded gentleman and company waiting in line at jack’s bbq for an hour for dinner. it was like being part of a bachelorette party, only with a loud chubby korean guy with bad allergies.
- monell’s really is all that and a bag of chips. sometimes what is popular is not always right, and what is right is not always popular. other times, the populaces are completely totally spot-on. in this case, the 300+ yelp reviews didn’t lie — monell’s dining & catering served up an awesome country breakfast with endless helpings of delicious pancakes, biscuits, peach preserves, corn pudding, fried chicken, sausage & gravy, bacon, sweet tea and a bunch of other southern comfort food stuff that was wonderfully filling and awesome. on top of all the tasty eats, it was also very reasonably priced at about $14 per person… whaaaaat?! yes. just yes. #thisiswhyimfat
- if you are over the age of 30 and can afford a trip to nashville, you should also be able to afford drinks that are better than the quality of pool water or sold for $2 in large cans, and also, i am not totally sure that gallon size jugs of beer are ever a good idea. just sayin’…
- we bring the party. after a decade, my husband is still my number one most favorite person to hang out with, and we buh-rang the party. despite our usual 9pm bedtime, i am proud to say that we stayed strong until 1-2am for two whole nights in a row. (major oldfart accomplishment!) no matter where i go, or what fun adventures await, i always want to experience life with my ultimate partner in crime.
shoutout to my moms for keeping the kiddos, and shoutout to my bro & SIL for giving us a reason to get out and about and shoutout to my bro’s friends for letting us tag along.
until next time…