Please pray for me.
Today I hit the road for my annual visit to Nashville, Tenn. It’s a trip I look forward to every summer, because I get to spend some time with my daughter, son-in-law and adorable granddaughter.
But this trip is different.
Over the past handful of years, I’ve made this trip solo or with TammySue, who recently became my wife. For a few of those years, the agenda included covering the KLOVE Fan Awards, but that’s been off the table recently because they have gone big-time — moving to television and not giving media credentials to small-town journalists like me (Bronx cheer).
But even though the long weekend is completely clear of anything “work” related, there is hardly much down time. Nashville can keep anyone busy, regardless of what kind of tourist they are. And there’s no way to see or do everything around Nashville in a weekend, week or month — there’s always something more.
Over the years …
We’ve been to Antique Archaeology (of “American Pickers” fame), but we’ll go again.
We’ve been to the Wild Horse Saloon, but we’ll go again.
We’ve been to Printer’s Alley, but we’ll go again.
We’ve been to the Nashville Farmer’s Market, but we’ll go again.
We’ve been to Centennial Park and the Parthenon, but we’ll go again.
We’ve been to Opry Mills Mall, but we’ll go again.
We’ve been to a Nashville Sounds game, and we’ll go again.
But as I mentioned already, this trip is different.
First, however, a commercial. A highlight of this trip is always centered around food. I mean, what vacation isn’t? One reason is that we usually will try to visit a restaurant that has been the focus of a “Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives” episode for Guy Fieri. We’ve probably been to a few of those in the Nashville area and I can tell you it’s been a mixed bag — we didn’t much care for 55 South in nearby Franklin, but we absolutely loved The Grilled Cheeserie food truck. Not really sure where we’ll end up this time.
The other reason is that Andrew, my son-in-law, is the general manager at Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint (also a DD&D stop) in downtown Nashville, and a visit there is hardly just a meal — it’s an event. The place is incredible, with inside and outside seating, often featuring live music, a huge bar and all the ambiance and character you’d expect from a Nashville eatery. For me, the coolest part of a recent visit was a quick tour of the facilities, including the cooler where the huge hogs were kept before being taken to the massive cooking pit and being turned into seriously tasty barbecue.
I’m salivating already.
But let’s get to why this trip is different … and why your prayers are so badly needed.
When I pulled out of my driveway this morning at 7 on the dot (an early victory for me), there were four women with me. FOUR. Up front was TammySue, who has become a good co-pilot on trips; and in the back was daughter Cheyenne and her two best friends, Courtney and Hayley.
Folks, that’s a serious shortage of testosterone. And mine is old.
How’d this happen? Easy. Because my existence on this earth has spanned several decades, and like anyone else on the common sense side of plastic surgery, things began to start getting …
Oh, you want to know how I ended up on a trip with four women? OK. In a moment of weakness, I had a crazy idea that, since Cheyenne had never been to Nashville, this trip could serve as a high-school graduation gift — and she could bring a friend. Well, no teenage girl can EVER choose just one friend to invite on a trip or even for a sleepover, so that number quickly doubled. Thankfully, Courtney and Hayley are awesome young ladies and a lot of fun — based on the few short times I’ve been around them.
For several weeks now, the trio of teens have been talking about what they want to see and do in Nashville. A majority of their targets are been-there-done-that places for me, and that’s OK. But there is one thing on the list that has me shaking my head — or smh, in their texting lingo.
They want to go see the movie “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.”
Yeah, they are going to Nashville for the first time, and they want to go to a movie. Can you say whaaaaaaaaat?
It’s going to be an interesting trip. You should be praying already.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached at 910-862-4163 or email@example.com.