Hometown Tourist

You’d think with all of the belly aching I do regarding Nashville’s ever growing population that I hate it here in Music City. That’s not true though – I love this city. I just wish other people loved it the way I loved it instead of moving here and trying my once (and still to some) mini city on for size for a few years before moving on to bigger and better.

OMG. Stop moving here. You are driving me to drink.

The job market is oversaturated, gentrification is becoming a serious side of living here (especially if your income is a single lady living on her own – cannot imagine what it’s like for families), high rises have already murdered the once charming Music Row, First Mate can count 18 cranes (she calls them sky birds and for the record, she’s totally fine with the havoc wreaking taking place) from her downtown office, every.single.fucking. bro country “music” artist has a bar in the once quaint downtown (from Florida Georgia Line to Blake Shelton to Jason Aldean). My once gem of a city is turning into a bonafuckingfide bigger Branson, Missouri, right in front of my peepers.

https://cowboysandcrossbones.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/image2.jpg

Country. When country wasn’t cool.

I digress.

When pals come to town, it’s always been fun playing tourist in my own city. Due to the massive growth the last few years, I haven’t taken advantage of seeing Nashville through the eyes of others lately (and because if one more fucking to-be bride drunkenly steps on my foot, I might lose my goddamn mind and kick her Taylor Swift wearing cowboy boots with skirt outfit circa 2015 to the fucking state line).

There’s enough crazy in town already, bachelorettes.

This past weekend, my college bestie, Tdawg was in town to get her giddy up on with some of her gal pals from Denver.

It was the group’s first time in Nashville and I threw caution to the wind, swallowed $40 for two hour parking (you parking lot people are seriously horrible human beings), and trotted my ample ass down to the swanky hotel on Friday and met the crew at the rooftop bar.

Gorgeous lobby.

Intricate ceilings.

Most importantly, the bar.

The views from this spot did not disappoint.

Three ladies and an asshole.

Because I must always be up to no good, I was more than happy to oblige photo requests.

Oh. Just you three in it? Sorry. Not sorry.

They had supper reservations Friday night and I promised (after she forced me to call the studio by literally holding the phone up to my ear to make an appointment while I guzzled rosé at the bar) Tdawg I’d meet her on Saturday morning for an exercise class at Pure Barre. If you wonder who the fuck works out on a two day vacation, look no further than Tdawg. I have enough trouble sweating in my own city, let alone when I’m traveling.

Unless I’m visiting Yoga Barbie in Denver, I DO NOT workout on vacay.

Needless to say, I overslept and missed the fucking class. It ended up being OK thought because Tdawg was overserved the evening prior and spent the next several hours in her dreamy hotel bed. But she was up and at ’em for the evening and after supper, I took the gals to my fave honky tonk on the planet – Robert’s Western World to see my fave country band on the planet – The Don Kelley Band.

Recovered.

I used to frequent Robert’s so much before the besiege of tourists take over every summer, the last time I was there, Don Kelley said to me, “you don’t get out much, do you?” while I was dancing for the 4,812,654 time in front of him.

You AGAIN?!

Usually, on a Saturday night at 8:30 it’s already asses to elbows on Broadway and it was no different when we were frolicking about downtown. However, luck was on our side and when we galloped into Robert’s, there was an open booth at the front of the bar waiting for our rear ends. This kind of magic hasn’t happened since 2014.

Yeehaws all around.

Tawg was beyond impressed with the twang and spent most of her time at Robert’s on one of many devices.

 

The owner of Robert’s, JesseLee Jones, is the leader of the house band, Brazilbilly. They play every Saturday night from 10pm – 2am. In all of my years going to Robert’s, every single Saturday night, his mom comes and watches his show. Every. single. time. She sits in the same spot and drinks either coffee or Red Bull. It’s the fucking cutest thing ever.

Mama Jones.

Tdawg called it an early night but No Digity, MoHo and yours truly stayed to see The Don Kelley Band’s famous rendition of “Ghost Riders in the Sky.”

We didn’t hate it.

Upon returning to the Noelle Hotel, I tried to fill Tdawg in on what she missed.

No pillow talk for me.

The ladies had to get up at the first sign of the sun to catch their 8am flight. Meanwhile, I was able to get some much needed beauty sleep in a quiet, cool, dark hotel room.

Not so sleeping beauty.

When my lids decided to fling open, I realized that this place was a whole lot fancier than the Holiday Inns in which I’ve grown accustomed.

 

This mastery was just a reach beside the bed and I honestly don’t know how much longer I can live without one.

Controls for the entire room.

 

Parched after my previous evening’s boozefest, I sauntered out of the room to get some water and didn’t know how many choices there were when it came to H2O.

 

I couldn’t figure out where the ice machine was until I saw what looked like a fancy refrigerator drawer below the water.

 

I would have taken some ice packages if I had a bigger purse with me. Because, I’m nothing if not white trashiness at its finest.

Speaking of finest, what about my departing outfit from the fancy Noelle Hotel?

 

I looked like I was a hot mess because I was a hot fucking mess. No Digity gifted me a Robert’s Western World t-shirt that I refused to take off. When I went to retrieve my car from the valet, the dude asked me where I was heading home to (since I looked like a confused, hungover bachelorette from Nebraska).

No shame in my game.

“West Nashville.” Ever heard of it?

I had so much fun being a tourist in my town, I can’t wait to do it again. So consider this your warning if you’re coming to Music City and staying at a fancy establishment. I’m crashing your party. Until then, I’ll be riding as high as the rooftop bar I was lucky to experience.

Oldies but goodies.

Party on.

CBXB

CBXB!

 

 

 

 

How to Join the Mile High Club

How do you join the Mile High Club?

You go to Denver, CO. Get your minds out of the fucking gutter.

My birthday has been never-ending this year (sorry not sorry to those who’ve been forced lucky enough to celebrate endlessly with me), and one of my gifts was a trip to Denver from Van Waffles.

Poor, poor me.

Being the spoiled biatch that I am, the vacay commenced with bloody marys at the ass crack of dawn in the airport.

Time doesn’t exist in airports.

There’s something about the heinous Nashville airport carpet that is a “thing” to local peeps. A shop even sells t-shirts about this beautiful floor accessory. Naturally, I had to join in on the social media fun.

Upon landing, we headed to our hotel downtown (Denver, what the fuck is up with your airport being 35 miles outside of the fucking city?). It was a sunny, 70 degree day that was just perfection. As soon as we left to explore the downtown, I somehow made a wrong turn but in such a right way.

My Mothership.

Yes. I came all the way to Colorado to shop in a Target because I’ve never been in my Mothership that was located in a downtown setting with no parking lot. I mean, it’s all about new life experiences, isn’t it?

Target in the heart of downtown.

Once Van Waffles was able to drag me out of the store that I just scoured the day before in Nashville (they have the same items in case you’re wondering which I’m sure you aren’t but now you know) it was time to enjoy pink wine in the sunshine.

A perfect day for rosé.

We then made our way to a shuttle that transported us to the famous Red Rocks amphitheater for a 311 concert.

I sure the fuck didn’t know what I was about to embark.

I was warned not to wear heels to Red Rocks. I listened. I was warned that it was “quite a walk” to the venue. I practiced hills at my local park in Nashville. But I still almost died (or so I thought) on the way up to that motherfucking theater.

The worst part was being sweaty, thirsty and having to stop to take a piss in the middle of my mountain climb in a hot, humid, stank ass port-a-potty. I’d never wished I had a penis more in my whole life as I tried to stand to pee over the gaping hole of other people’s waste (you know the feeling).

Mouth breathing.

Low and behold, much to Van’s bleeding ears, after all of my bitching…

As soon as I got to the fucking top of the mountain, my iWatch buzzed. I was certain that it might explode from my activity during the climb but alas it was just reminding me that I hadn’t come close to closing my step (in red) or exercise (in green) rings. And I’d had this watch on since 4:30am.

I work out a lot. Obvies.

What I do work out on a regular basis? My biceps. And by the time I spied the wine line, all was right in the world.

Workout more my speed.

All in all the weather was perfect, the band was killer and the night was fabulous.

If you ever get the chance to see a show at this venue, GO. But maybe watch my coaching videos above for reference before you attempt to mountain climb unless of course you’re in shape. Then it’ll be easy breezy for you.

When the concert was over, I walked down the mountain like I was a 94-year-old woman recovering from a hip replacement surgery. Mostly this was due to the fact that I fall down like it’s my day job and I’m not sure how much more my joints can take before I need a true knee, hip, ankle, elbow, and wrist replacement surgery.

Me: Sorry we’re having to walk down so slowly. (Literally taking left foot and stopping. Letting right foot catch up)

Van Waffles: It’s OK. Nobody knows us here.

Me: That’s so sweet fucking true.

After consuming every drop of water in the hotel (along with every bag of potato chips and maybe a Snickers bar because I got contact high from the legal marijuana smoked at the show) I woke up Saturday hacking like I’d been a lifelong smoker.

I soon got my act together because I had told my college bestie, Tdawg, that I would take her yoga sculpt class at Core Power Yoga where she instructs. She was picking me up at 10am and being that I take hot yoga, have taken many sculpting classes, I incorrectly assumed I was up for this challenge after a night out and a mountain hike.

Pre-yoga excitement.

Upon arriving, the serene yoga room had a reminder on the door.

Just what I need after a mountain climb.

Then Tdawg came in and blasted old school Nelly…”Andele andale moma E.I. E.I. uh oh!”

Uh fucking oh was right. She didn’t teach a power sculpt yoga class. She instructed a Jane Fonda on crack cardio class with a few yoga moves thrown in here and there while the room was heated. No big deal. This was just the second time I thought a workout was going to be the death of me in Colorado in a matter of 24 hours.

Yoga Barbie and a sweaty pig in a blanket.

Keeping everyone updated via Instagram stories, Sister CBXB kindly asked if we’d be partaking in our favorite college past time.

Not drinking.

Not doing drugs.

Yes. Embossing cards. We would stay in our dorm on the weekends and fucking craft homemade greeting cards. We were beyond cool.

Obvies.

Heading to her house after class to meet her offspring and hubs, she informed me that I am doing a fabulous job educating the youth of America.

Oh be still my beating heart. This is truly one of the highest honors of my life. Teaching kids the F-bomb and S-word is basically my equivalent to winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

Tdawg’s hubs, Cdawg was celebrating his birthday and when he offered me a mimosa to start his celebratory weekend, who was I to turn him down?

My Uber descended to their house and both the Dawgs could not have been more gracious, offering me a full-to-the-brim roadie I happily accepted. “Hopefully one day you’ll come out of your shell,” Cdawg’s dad said as I doled out departing hugs.

Shyness doesn’t become her.

Next up? I showered, gussied up in my finest sequins to meet a friend who until today was only a virtual friend. She’s a fellow blogger who lives in Boulder and when I reached out to let her know about my last second trip, she was available to meet! IN PERSON! When does this happen?

It’s Viv in the flesh!

We’ve been virtual friends for almost six years and she’s known me before the twins, before Rapegate, before losing my music business career…so it’s like we knew each other because we did. It just took it to an entirely new level being in the flesh. Best long lunch date ever.

I told her I didn’t smoke at the concert the prior evening because I don’t like smoking but maybe I would try an edible while in Denver. She said if I did, to nibble on the ear of a gummy bear because peeps usually over do it (and let’s be honest, I could eat a bag of regular gummy bears, so eating just the ear off of one would seem like an underperformance on my end).

After lunch, she sent me this very ominous meme.

I chose not to edible.

Avoiding edibles proved to be the best possible thing because I wanted to keep my eyes open to meet up with yet another gal pal SS. Our mammas were sorority sisters in college and we were childhood friends. I hadn’t seen her since 4th fucking grade.

Not much has changed since we were 10…

Then we went and met up with the rest of the Nashville crew.

Hanging with the gang.

Although I didn’t get high, just mostly drunk, I still had the munchies on the way back to the hotel and it was very upsetting when passing a gluten-free bakery that was closed. I handled it like a lady.

I was just trying to fuel up for the flight home, which was occurring in a matter of hours after our night out.

Too many people before coffee, a bloody mary and 6am.

Best part about the early flying is I got to sit by the Easter Bunny and I scored her phone number!

Furever friends. For real.

Immediately upon arrival home in Nashville, I got a bloody nose that was the gift that just kept on giving all goddamn day long.

Dry Denver air don’t care.

Once the door to the Mini Manse opened, Van Waffles looked at me and said in all seriousness, “is your birthday over now?”

What the fuck do you think?

Cheers!

CBXB

CBXB!

The Bonanza

Being that I’ve taken the last three years off from celebrating much of anything, it.was.on. for my birthday this year. For those of you unaware (I have no fucking idea how you couldn’t if you read this blog very often at all), my day of gracing this planet with my presents presence is exactly three months after Christmas. And frankly, I had so much fun this year, I may just start my birthday countdown December 26. Sorry. Not sorry.

My big time celebrating did start about a week prior to the actual day because my Iowa peeps were in Nashville for their spring break.

Birthday Sandwich.

Sister CBXB, being the foodie that she is, kept saying she was my amuse bouche (which in French literally translates to mouth amuser….It’s OK, I live in the south) to my birthday. Since I frequent more hip chain style casual dining restaurants of the likes of Chili’s, I had to look the term up. Amuse bouche is served at fancy restaurants before any orders are placed to prepare diners of the chef’s style. Next time at Dalts I’m going to ask for an amuse bouche with a side of ranch before my first Skinny Pirate.

The amuse bouche of my birthday!

We went to a fabulous restaurant called Husk, where we were on a three-way (again, fine due to my region of residence) text with my foodie bro-in-law back in Iowa.  He is an expert on ordering, knows what we like to eat, drink and guzzle.

Husk Hooch.

Naturally, when two corn-fed sisters saw cornbread on the menu, it was a must.

We hated it.

Aside from the beyond our wildest dreams cornbread we wanted to stuff into our purses for a snack later, we feasted on fried dilly tomatoes with pimento cheese, chicken, steak and more cocktails, of course. BIL informed us that this was all created under Chef Brock who is on the new season of Chef’s Table on Netflix.

We so fancy.

I carried the fancy on to the Mumford and Sons concert Sister CBXB took me to after supper. I carefully selected my concert t-shirt (a must whenever I see a live show) and then promptly put it on.

Yes. I’m that girl.

My sister put her t-shirt on right away too because siblings stick together. After getting cocktails that cost more than I’m paid per hour, we sat to watch the opening act. As we were chit chatting about how lights and speakers are hung (I used to work in music production) a man in front of us was apparently on a first fucking Match.com date and asked us to be quiet. Then his date piped in and said she, “paid good money for these tickets.”

You can imagine how that went.

Take your shhhh! and shove it up your ass.

Ahmahzing sold out show.

Mumford and Sons not only sold out the Bridgestone Arena, they also broke the record for attendance tipping the people meter at over 19,000.

The following evening, First Mate further assisted me out of my culinary comfort zone and took me to a new Indian restaurant in Nashville called Chaatable. Every time I think of Indian food, I see Ben Stiller sweating (then shitting) his brains out in the movie Along Came Polly.

Beauty and her birthday Beast.

You guys, this restaurant was beyond. I didn’t sweat or shit myself (surprisingly) while dining here. The food was insane good to the point where I wanted to lick my butter chicken bowl clean (I may have).

All. the. yes.

There are 80,000 Indian bracelets used as a central piece of the art in the restaurant. Now I need one of these in the Mini Manse, of course.

Bracelet bonanza.

The eve of my birthday consisted of wine, cats, cuddles and DVR.

Purrrrfection.

On my birthday, I woke up with all four of my pussies in the bed, contemplating having a ‘sick’ day from work since my birthday fell on a Monday. However, that would have been a grave mistake on my part.

Well wishes came in all kinds of styles starting with handmade cards from the twins…

…to insane crazy sweet text messages…

…to appropriate memes sent to me throughout the day.

It looked like Christmas morning at my desk upon my arrival to work. From wine, to pink icing covered donuts, to lunch with coworkers at my fave Dalts to cake in the afternoon, the day did not suck.

Spoiled beyond.

Here I thought it would be a slight bummer having my birthday fall on the first day of the work week but boy, was I mistaken.

After a short work day (I have the best boss), I met First Mate for rosé at 51st Taproom.

Rosé all birthday.

Then it was on to a Mexican fiesta with Mama CBXB and Rasta for more vino, accompanied by some cheese dip and 4,961 chips. And then, my mom’s family famous O’Henry bars for a birthday treat.

Janie’s Junk just for me.

Due to the fact that I had years of celebrating to make up for, I welcomed wishes and reminders all week.

Double DUH.

My TGIF birthday night was another fabulous dining experience for me. Van Waffles took me to the Marsh House at the Thompson Hotel in the Gulch area of Nashville. Another menu for me to text my BIL and sister, who guided me through the ordering process of cocktails, BBQ shrimp (fucking killer) and Mahi.

The Marsh House mania.

The experience was so divine, it was dizzying.

Best photographer ever.

Saturday, Van Waffles spoiled me further by cooking a fabulously kick ass meal at the Mini Manse. I have no idea what all was in it aside from salmon and noodles but it all went into my belly. I also had no idea my kitchen functioned properly for which it was intended (not just extra storage in the oven).

THIS. WAS. MADE. IN. MY. KITCHEN.

Further spoiling came from all over the globe. I woke up on Sunday to this sweet message from my buddy, Stevie, who lives in Australia. We’ve yet to meet in person but it seems like we’ve been friends for years. Because we have been friends on social media. Isn’t that fun?

The awesome didn’t stop, as I made my way to Dalts for a much-needed hair of the dog on my day of rest.

Then capped off by my favorite relaxing ritual.

Birthday bubbles.

All in all, this was one of my best birthdays that I can remember. So much so, that I won’t ever be taking three years off from celebrating again.

Cheers until next year!

Thanks for all of the love. I love you right back.

CBXB

CBXB!

How to Be an Anybody on a Red Carpet

If you need a reminder of where you’re at in the food chain, try attending a fancy award show like I did for work a few years ago at the Country Music Awards ceremony (we’re there again this year, too).

IMG_1878

An anybody surrounded by major somebodies.

Here’s a little tutorial in being somebody vs. anybody…

If you’re somebody, you get dropped off at the red carpet in a tricked out Chevrolet sponsored event car.

Lady Antebellum, being chauffeured to the red carpet entrance.

If you’re anybody else, you get to park two miles away, fending off a Chatty Cathy parking attendant (who also happens to be from Iowa and wants to talk your face off about it) and make your grand entrance on foot.

Obviously everyone awaiting my arrival.

If you’re somebody, you wait for the photographers to shout your name before appearing on the carpet.

Begging for the celebs.

Shawn Johnson, the retired Olympic gold medalist and Dancing With the Stars alum being cat called from the peanut gallery.

If you’re anybody else, you hide in this hallway while the star you’re accompanying soaks up the flash bulbs.

Where the star wranglers hunker down during red carpet photo moments. This hallway is directly behind the “stand and pose” photo wall.

Being somebody, you don’t need any announcement when you appear on the red carpet. Photographers and fans just know you and shout your name accordingly.

Lisa Marie Presley (yes, that Presley) needs no introductions (and yes, I was dying as I was snapping this photo).

When you’re anybody, your name appears in marker on a clipboard that is held up for the photographers just before you turn the corner to be photographed, ensuring people know who the hell you are.

Courtesy applause for the anybodies, please.

When you’re somebody and you recently got caught stepping out on your high school sweetheart wife, you go to the awards show with her anyway (and they’re since divorced and he’s remarried, which sounds like a sad country love song, doesn’t it?).

Jason Aldean and his now very unforgiving ex.

If you’re anybody else and everyone knows you’re a cheat, you stay at home and watch the awards from your couch in your pajama pants you haven’t taken off for three days, a stale beer and yesterday’s pizza, feeling very remorseful.

My pussy caught in a blatant act of cheating and not giving a fuck.

My pussy caught in a blatant act of cheating and not giving a fuck.

When you’re somebody, you know you look good and work it all the way up and down the red carpet.

Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott strikes a pose in a form fitted dress.

Jake Owen pranced around in a leopard blazer that I wanted to rip off his shoulders and keep all to myself (therefore giving him a complex that I was stalking him because I literally took 12 pictures of him down the carpet due to his jacket).

When you’re anybody else, you blog about the perils of what to wear to work the award show.

Does this vest make me look like somebody or just anybody?!

When you’re somebody, you get interviewed live by TV stations.

Tim Allen being interviewed by Evan Farmer of CMT.

When you’re anybody else, you crouch down in the corner ninja-style, trying to stay out of the camera’s shot or you’ll be kicked off the carpet. The horror.

Hiiieeeee! Don't mind me. Just over here taking 4,098,461 photos and maxing my phone's memory out.

Hiiieeeee! Don’t mind me.
Just over here taking 4,098,461 photos and maxing my phone’s memory out.

If you’re somebody, you have no problems finding a plus one to be your date.

Lisa Marie Presley with her hipster hubs make one handsome couple.

When you’re anybody else, you have to hang with all of the other people who are working the show.

Workin’ it with men in uniform. Poor me.

When you’re somebody, you perform on the massive stage.

A CMA Award show stage.

When you’re anybody else, you’re perfectly fine asking a stranger to take your picture in front of it.

Anybody want to take my picture? Anyone? Hello?

When you’re somebody, your entourage follows you up on stage to get you gussied up before the live performance.

Hair, make up and wardrobe folks putting the final touches on Carrie Underwood before her performance.

If you’re anybody else,  you have to take pictures back stage to remember where the bathroom is located, so you can brush your hair and reapply lipstick.

Which way to the ladies?

When you’re somebody, you blow the roof off the joint, then head out to the after party.

Aided by the foggiest fog machine ever and blasting confetti, you would have thought it was New Year’s Eve during Carrie Underwood’s performance.

When you’re just anybody, you get to go and walk the empty red carpet before tearing it down.

Long walk to fame…and I finally arrived.

And then pose like just anybody else while no one calls your name.

**Insert crickets chirping here**

It’s rough trying to be anybody! Wish somebody would have told me.

CBXB

CBXB!