This past spring my younger brother hemmed and hawed about whether or not he would walk at his college graduation. A few weeks before our wedding he decided to move forward with plans to walk across that stage. Great timing! So as I continued to wrap up wedding and honeymoon planning my mom started planning for our trip. My brother went to school at Middle Tennessee State University which is close by to Nashville so we took advantage of the opportunity to explore!
Since we were pretty tapped from wedding and honeymoon expenses and getting a flight from Richmond to Nashville a month in advance in about a bajillion dollars we decided to go old school and road trip out there. This trip truly showed me just how wide the state of Virginia is. We just kept driving and driving down 81 and Mr. Young kept asking, "Are we in Tennessee yet?!!" The good thing is that it was an easy drive, we saw only a few cops, and hit no traffic on either leg of the trip.
We spent Friday exploring Nashville and y'all...I LOVE this city! I have always wanted to visit and had friends who'd told me I'd probably enjoy our time there, let's just say I'm already trying to plan a trip to go back and see more. We hit up a lot of the big touristy stops like the Johnny Cash Museum, the Ryman Auditorium, and the Country Music Hall of Fame. Even though it probably had the least amount of artifacts to look at, the Ryman Auditorium was my favorite. It's such a historic icon within country music and the music scene overall and it was awesome to be there and think about all of the legends who've played on that stage.
A good tip for the Hall of Fame is that if you go during the last hour of the day you can get your ticket 50% off for only having limited time in the museum. While there is a ton to see at there, so much of it is going wayyy back to the birth of country music and while I appreciated learning some new information I didn't spend nearly as much time looking at the first floor that we were on. So pending on what you know and what you're hoping to learn this could be a good option to save a few bucks as they have a pricey entrance fee ($30). Growing up outside of DC makes you a bit of a snob when it comes to having to pay to see a museum.
After having a late breakfast we also stopped for a late lunch/early dinner and decided to head to Honky Tonk Central to hear some music while we took a break from sightseeing. Each bar/restaurant on Broadway had music blaring out of it and I loved how there were three floors to this place and each one had a different band playing. As a pick me up on our way out of downtown we stopped at Mike's Ice Cream (which also has coffee) and I think that their Frozen Cappuccino was seriously the best cold coffee drink I've ever had. If you like coffee do not leave downtown without grabbing one of these!
The day ended at the Grand Ole' Opry house because I knew our trip wouldn't be complete without this experience. We saw so many awesome performances, discovered some new talent, and got to see teenage girls rush the stage when Hunter Hayes finally came on at the end. Y'all, he was so stinkin' adorable! While it was late and we were dragging a bit we did a backstage tour after the show and it was totally worth it. We got to see all of the dressing rooms, walk out onto the stage into the infamous circle from Ryman Auditorium, and we even ran into some of the performers who were lingering after the show.
With Friday's sightseeing under our belts we had a much more relaxed Saturday. After my brother's graduation we had a long and leisurely lunch and got to see his new house. It's crazy that my younger siblings are becoming real people which is starting to make me feel very old. But we couldn't be more proud of him graduating and snagging and awesome first job in the real world!