So, there’s this company called Pop2Life that exists in NYC and LA. It is literally a pop culture company (which I didn’t know existed, but I’m pretty sure it’s my destiny to work there). They organized a sweepstakes via AMC’s “Hell on Wheels” TV show and Zac Brown Band’s “Southern Ground Music and Food Festival” and my sister won it. We were set up with a round trip flight, a swanky 3-night hotel stay (which proved to be very rewarding) and pit tickets to the festival. We also had access to the AMC tent and a delicious southern meal during the festival. Originally we were told we would get “VIP” tickets which included free food and alcohol, but that didn’t end up being the case. At first I was annoyed by this, as I spent WAY too much money on Jack Daniels, but then I realized that if the alcohol was freely flowing, I never would have made it home alive. Pop2Life, thanks for changing the rules and allowing me to return to real life without a fetus, criminal record or penicillin prescription.
Our flight left at 6:00 am on Thursday morning, which is an hour I don’t see unless I stay up that late. I forced myself to sleep for about 2 hours before leaving for the airport with my sister. We were too excited to care about being tired, but not excited enough to enjoy flying. It’s the worst. After almost missing our connecting flight in Chicago we arrived in Nashville at the early hour of 8:00 am. We had the entire day to explore the city without a regimented schedule, so, obviously that meant day-drinking. But I’ll get to that.
We were picked up from the airport by a dapper older gentleman in a chauffeur’s hat and a sign that said, “A. Williams” (cool, right?!). He mentioned that there were two other girls who would be sharing our ride and as soon as I saw them I knew I would hate them. They were two trashy bottle-blondes from Virginia who said “Shut your mouth!” about 37 times in the first 5 minutes. Their fingernails had palm trees airbrushed on them and I think one of them was wearing white eyeliner. They never stopped talking about “what happens in Nashville, stays in Nashville” and we just sort of sat there. As soon as we got to the hotel and got our bearings, we ditched the Virginia Slims and went exploring.
The explorations brought us to Broadway Street and “the strip” for lunch and wandering. We made our way to a bar called “The Benchmark” where we drank moonshine in the daylight and enjoyed a set by a singer/songwriter named Glen Mitchell. He was an adorable sprite of a man, originally from London and his in-between-song quips were hilarious. If he would have let me, I would have put him in my pocket. Glen and the Williams Sisters became fast friends during that set and discussed Grand Rapids, Frankie Ballard, tattoos and life from our respective vantage points of the bar stools and the stage. Once we realized it was still very much daytime and that if we continued to drink Yuengling and moonshine we’d end up literally trying to put Glen Mitchell into our pockets, we decided to head out. Aside from about 3 people shouting “Skrillex!” at me, not much else happened that evening. Our minimal sleep and day-drinking were catching up to us and we decided to call it a night. After picking up our credentials and goodie bags from the Pop2Life liaisons we headed up to the 7th floor for room service and Food Network.
We never would have survived Friday without Thursday night’s sleep. Never.