PART THREE: NASHVILLE OR BUST
What is the one tried and true way to see if your relationship is meant to last? Plan a spur of the moment road trip less than a month after you start dating. If after the 22 hours of driving in the car, being with them for you still like the person, that is a good indication that you are a good fit for each other!
So on a random day in August (less than a month after we started dating), we were talking about places we would want to go. You know standard getting to know each other stuff. I am not sure who brought it up first, but Nashville came up and one thing lead to another and I booked two tickets to the Grand Ole Opry the weekend of my birthday. So we patiently waited for the day to come and then it was Nashville or Bust!
We packed up my car and left from my place in Decorah. The ride was filled with lots of excitement about the adventure ahead.We drove about half way there before getting a hotel for the night then we got an early start to the day and made our way into Nashville! I drove the second day, since Ethan isn’t a “city driver.” Once we checked into our hotel, we were both exhausted and ready to check out the city. We had a view of Nissan Stadium silhouetted by the Nashville skyline and yet I don’t think I took a single picture! So you will just have to trust me when I say it was gorgeous!
We were super hungry from the drive so we decided to head downtown for a little exploring and hopefully some really good food. The Hotel Desk Clerk recommended a place called Dick’s and even had a coupon so we figured why not and made the short walk to the Pedestrian Bridge and it’s gorgeous view of the downtown skyline!
The walk itself wasn’t very far, but we would be making that walk a few time that day between me forgetting my second license (my license had expired on Wednesday and I only had my new paper copy and turns out that isn’t a thing in Tennessee or something so thank goodness I still had my old one in my wallet back at the hotel. (Every bartender questioned it and I had to explain the situations more times than I care to count) Also, the boots didn’t last after that second walk back to the hotel lol)
So eventually we got to the restaurant and turns out it was that chain restaurant that is mean to you on purpose that was a big hit all over the internet…we figured that out after about 15 minutes.
So after we understood what was happening, we really liked the place. The food was good and the bartender was funny. Well except when I asked where the bathroom was and he had me open up a door that lead to a brick wall. Like I get it but I REALLY HAD TO PEE!!!
From here, everything is a blur. I guess two years and countless memories since has a way of doing that! But the day was jam packed heading from bar to bar and looking at all the city had to offer. I would say our favorite stops were Honky Tonk Central and Big Shotz (where we may have been the only two dancing to the music WAY WAY WAY to early in the night). We even made a pit stop at Tootsies without realizing it, but they did have great bathrooms. The bars were all packed because Carrie Underwood was performing that night so we lucked out, because I guess it isn’t usually that crazy on a week night!
We made it back to the hotel fairly early that night which is no surprise considering our first bar stop was at about 4:00pm.
Saturday night we had tickets to the Grand Ole Opry and it was our last full day in Nashville before we headed back home on Sunday so we did all the touristy things, like hit up the Country Music Hall of Fame, walk along the river walk and just check out all the sites. It was so surreal because at the time we had been watching Nashville, the TV show, and we were in the same spots as where some of the scenes were filmed!
Eventually, we made it back to the hotel to get ready for the show and if I do say so myself, I think the Opry was one of my favorite parts from the entire trip. It was a bit of a drive and there were a lot of people but it was just amazing to see all of the history. We saw Cassadee Pope and Chris Lane along with a host of other amazing musicians and our Uber driver was pretty cool afterwards too!
The trip went by way too quick but it was so fun to explore a new city with Ethan by my side. He inspired me to live outside my comfort zone and just be happy in the moment, something he has done from the moment we started dating. This trip was just one of many over the past couple years but it was what showed me how great of a guy he really is. Even after a long night out in Downtown, his biggest concern was protecting me from any and all harm, aka people that may be lurking in the shadows on our walk back (there weren’t any by the way, but if there were he had a game plan to save me lol) and making sure I had the best birthday weekend.
Just a few short days after we made it back to Iowa, we made our relationship “Facebook Official.” It was September 29th and never in my wildest dreams would I have thought we would be getting married exactly two years to the day. The countdown continues and I can’t wait for all the adventures that are yet to come with you Ethan!