My Nightmare in Nashville

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So, there is one thing that Luna has held us back from doing this year…haunted houses. They aren’t exactly baby friendly and it isn’t easy to find a babysitter, especially one who can sit until very late at night. Last year we went to 11 haunted houses, this year we finally made it to one on Husband’s 30th birthday.

We went to Nashville Nightmare in downtown after the annual Birthday dinner at the Melting Pot. As always, the lines were long, the crowds were obnoxious and 97% of them were smoking. (What is that attracts smokers to haunted houses?) Since we’re awesome we managed to entertain ourselves by being hilarious and playing Heads Up. We also began reminiscing about previous years haunted house experiences. I arrogantly began saying things like, “I wish I got as scared as I used to get….I guess I’ve just been to so many Haunted Houses over the years that they no longer frighten me…It kind of takes the thrill away.” Well, you know what happens when you’re overconfident, right? The universe come back to bite you in the butt, which is exactly what happened.

If you’ve ever been to a haunted house, you’ve probably had the pleasure of avoiding the creepy costumed people who walk around spooking everyone waiting in the long lines. I have never EVER been scared by these people, ever. But, as they say, there’s always a first time for everything. First, there was the creepy guy-in-mask who leaned on me for too long, then there was shovel-dragger, then scream-in-my-ear man and scare-me-from-behind girl…all made me jump and embarrassingly scream, but it didn’t end there. In fact, all that jumping and screaming made me one big target.

During my turn at Heads Up, I was going for a record (and you know I’m very competitive), when a zombie girl came over to try and scare me. She startled me as she snuck up from behind and whispered something creepy in my ear. I tried my best to ignore her because I was clearly trying to win the game. The zombie chick did not give up. She began panting in my ear and literally breathing down my neck. Now… you must know that I hate, absolutely HATE, strangers touching me, and breathing on me might be even worse.

I wanted to throw-up and take a hot shower after I felt her hot breath in my ear. OMG, I am reliving it as I type this and I just want to curl in a ball in cry, which, ironically enough, is what I did. I tried to move away from her quickly and continue playing the game, but the more I moved the more determined she became. She got in my face, stared into my eyes, and KEPT HEAVILY PANTING ON ME. The girl would not let up. At this point, I was close to panic mode, I began running circles around our little group and was laughing/squealing as I tried to play it cool and really did not know how to react. I guess laughing is my defense mechanism?

THEN, get this, another zombie girl sees the spectacle we are creating and decides to join in on the fun. The two of them are coming at me from all sides and my only choice is to curl into a ball in cover my face. They were touching me, breathing on me, panting, whispering and making me soooooooooooooooo uncomfortable. I was trying to yell or scare them off or something, but really I was only capable of mumbling “stop” from behind my hands. That is until, zombie chic #2 decided to up the ante and bite me.

Yes, she bit me, with teeth. I instantly stood and shouted, “OMG she bit me! That’s against the rules!” For some reason the “no one will touch you, if you don’t touch them” haunted house rule compelled me to finally shake off these creepers. I felt as if she broke a commandment. I mean, really, that one rule is what has always convinced me that I’ll be okay in a haunted house. I used to constantly go over that one rule before entering to assure myself that nothing bad could possibly happen, and this girl had the nerved to break the golden haunted house rule!

Everyone in line who wasn’t already watching the little show, was now looking at us, and I was not the only one horrified that I’d been bitten. Zombie girl #1 even felt compelled to tell me that she was not the biter. Although, heavy breathing in one’s ear isn’t much better than biting.

The 2 Haunted houses at Nashville Nightmare were good, even scary, but the creepers in line were definitely the worst part. And, I will never again say aloud that I have not been scared in a very long time.

Anyone else get frightened this year? Or bitten?

Cheers!

Music City, AKA The Athens of the South

Now, you know that while my friend Sara was visiting we did some pretty adventurous stuff (of course), but we did some regular touristy sight-seeing stuff too. We like to give our guest a well-rounded experience.

Nashville is in the south after all, so eating some delicious fattening food is a must if you’re visiting. We took Sara to lunch at the Loveless Cafe. This very famous restaurant has been around for over sixty years and is known for its fried chicken and biscuits. It all began as a party house, owned by husband and wife, where travelers would stop on Highway 100 to dance on the living room hardwood floors, visit and eat the homemade preserves and biscuits that the wife made for all her visitors. It became so popular that they turned their home into a cafe and motel. Now, it’s famous for serving tourists from all over the world.

The Loveless Cafe's famous biscuits
The Loveless Cafe’s famous biscuits

steve and sara

We really wanted to treat Sara to Jack’s BBQ on Broadway in downtown Nashville, but sadly it was closed by the time we arrived and we settled for dinner across the street at Rippy’s Bar and Grill . Rippy’s has live music and good barbecue, but holy cow the service was HORRIBLE. We made up for it by ordering Jim-N-Nick’s take-out the next night.

Rippy's BBQ
Rippy’s BBQ

And, because I am pregnant and from Texas I insisted we stop for shaved ice at the only decent snocone stand in Nashville, Blue Monkey. Where I grew up there are snocone stands on every corner, and not the cheap ballpark snocones with big chunks of crushed ice and thin paper cones that drip. No sir, these snocones are little pieces of shaved ice heaven, with cream on top. I may have to take a break from writing to go pick one up…

Mmmm, nothing better than a snocone during the summer.
Mmmm, nothing better than a snocone during the summer.

Did I mention it rained every single day Sara was here? And, that it has also rained every single day since I have moved to Tennessee???

Anyways, between storms we spent a dreary wet afternoon walking through downtown Franklin. (I live in Franklin!) Downtown Franklin is one of those adorable little towns full of kitschy shops, unique boutiques, cafes, restaurants, a teeny theatre and a town square of course. Although the square is actually a circle, but whatever.

 

 

downtown

Enjoying a day in the rain in downtown Franklin.
Enjoying a day in the rain in downtown Franklin.

Have you heard that Nashville is the “Athens of the South”. No? Well, I’m not surprised. Supposedly the exact replica of the Parthenon in our Centennial Park earned us that nickname. It’s a pretty big attraction, it also doubles as an art museum. Hey, if you can’t make it to Athens, you can at least make a trip to Nashville, right? eh?

 

parthenon

The entrance to the Parthenon
The entrance to the Parthenon

Finally, we took Sara to the most impressive piece of Nashville, the very famous Bluebird Cafe. Okay, okay, now I have to brag a bit on Husband’s Aunt. She, the cool woman she is, is actually the original owner and founder of the Bluebird. I’d try to describe this magical place to you, but the description on the website is so much better than my own…

The Bluebird Café is one of the world’s preeminent listening rooms and the venue has gained worldwide recognition as a songwriter’s performance space where the “heroes behind the hits” perform their own songs; songs that have been recorded by chart-topping artists in all genres of music.  Located in a small strip mall outside of downtown Nashville, the 90 seat venue is unassuming in appearance but some of the most significant songwriters and artists have performed on this stage. Our reputation as a listening room is based on the acoustic music that is our signature style.  Our patrons repeatedly tell us that they are captivated by hearing songs performed by the creators themselves.

Most of you have probably seen the Bluebird on the TV show, Nashville, but it’s even cooler than the show makes it seem. We had a blast at the “In the Round” where we got to watch three famous song writers share their hits and their favorite songs. My favorite part is listening to the writers tell stories of why they wrote each song, what inspired them and funny stories from their musical backgrounds.

bluebirdcafe

We definitely had the best table in the house.
We definitely had the best table in the house.
Two of the famous song writers in the round
Two of the famous song writers in the round

Okay, now seriously, who doesn’t want to visit Nashville? Good times are sure to be had.

Cheers!