EPIC “Fredeen Adventure Weekend”!!!
Our first weekend in Nashville was a wild success. Some guy named Taylor Swift was in town. Seems to be popular with the ladies. Janet Jackson was here and Aladdin was playing to packed audiences all weekend at the TPAC. There were some conferences, races, conventions, all that on top of the regular Nashville tourism. Plus, Champagne Sunday was in town…that really packed the city…
Friday kicked it off with a call from a radio host in Colorado who works on KDNK in Carbondale, CO, and calls her show “Ape on the Dink”. April said, “Hey guys! I’m gonna play two of your songs on the radio this morning, if you’d like to listen or let your fans know so they can tune in.” So while making our breakfast, Jared and I danced and sang along with “Dressed Up” and “Heavy Love”. It was super fun!
We completed some blog business, had a three-hour discussion on how to approach the recordings we want to do while we’re here, (you know, the not-fun-but-super-necessary kind of talks) and then we got ready to head back to The Row to meet our friends, Alyson and Rory from Paramount Junction, to chat about the business side of Nashville. They gave us all kinds of tips and advice about the reality of “working” in the industry out here. It is really cool how open the people we have met have been with us. No one seems to be competitive or catty at all. We learned a ton just visiting for an hour or so, and we are so grateful for people like them.
After spending time with them, we decided we just weren’t done being out yet. Plus, it was everyone’s favorite made up holiday, Cinco De Mayo, so we went on a quest for a margarita! First we ended up at the “Lipstick Lounge”, a “Bar for humans”.
Sounds like our kinda place! It was absolutely outrageous and crazy packed in there because the Lipstick Lounge was just voted “Best Karaoke Bar” in Nashville. It was so fun to be in there with all the energy and joy in the space. We popped upstairs into the cigar lounge to check it out. It was so fun to visit with the bartender, Paige (sp?), upstairs. She gave us great tips about where to go and what to do in the East Nashville area, and she just had such a positive attitude about everything. Jared and I felt lucky to have met her!
After a couple beverages and several drunken renditions of popular tunes wailed out on stage and rowdily cheered for, Jared and I needed food and had an eye on the Mexican joint across the street (aptly-named Cinco de Mayo) . Barely making it in time before the late night rush bombarded the place, we bellied up to the bar for two HEAVILY-poured Mezcals with chips and salsa.
My favorite part of the evening was when two young men staggered up to the bar where we were sitting. We got to chatting with them about our lives, where we were from, etc. We told them we had a little boy named Rudy, they both just howled and began chanting ,”RUDY! RUDY! RUDY! RUDY!!! Please Tell Rudy we said hi!” So rudy got a big kick out of it when we told him later, “Hey dude, two drunk guys from Florida say hi.” Hahahahahaha!
Saturday was one of the most epic days Jared and I have ever had.
This is how it started: Phone call from Olympia, WA.
“Hello, Jessi? This is Governor Jay Inslee*. I am in Nashville and heard Champagne Sunday is also in Nashville. If it’s not too much of an imposition, I’d love to meet up for coffee.”
“….too much of an imposition? Jay, if we are both on this side of the country together and we DON’T have coffee, we’d be remiss. Why don’t you meet us at The Frothy Monkey?”
“Let’s synchronize our watches and meet at 11:00.”
Is this really our life?
*For those of you who know Governor Inslee just as a politician, and may want to engage in your political opinions and thoughts, either positive or negative, please either keep it to yourself or use another format. This is our personal blog, meant for anecdotes, well wishes, and our intimate stories. And for this story, we are just on here to talk about the human being, Jay, and his new song lyric ideas for us, good coffee, where to buy a Taylor Swift t-shirt, artifacts from the Vietnam War, shared passion for crossword puzzles, and mutual friends. Let’s please keep it light and kind…
Jay had just that morning been riding horses with Al Gore, discussing ways to better our planet, and then thought of Champagne Sunday as a “next stop” option. I think that, for a guy who has to be focused on the entire well-being of a state, and more importantly, what he will do with his talents as an advocate for the mitigation of climate change to help our world once his gubernatorial time is up, to want to reach out and do a morning hang with a couple musicians from Tacoma, a lot is said about his character to connect with people on a personal level. We had to wait in line for about forty minutes, so Jay split his time talking with me outside and then visiting with Jared inside. His security has to stay on their toes, as Jay is wily in his maneuvers and goes where he wants without checking in first.
We shared a wonderful hour of laughter and stories and then Jay’s security gently reminded him he had a flight to catch. One of his guys kindly snapped this photo for us.
As we sat on the little wall and watched the governor drive away, we really just kind of said nothing for a moment. Then I saw a dog and needed dog kisses. Once that was achieved, we were discussing what a cool way to begin our day that was when the trooper driving Jay pulled back up to the coffee place. A frantic Jay hopped out and ran into the place. “Maybe he had to go to the bathroom?” “Maybe he left his credit card?” Nope. We were both wrong. Jay came out waving his cell…”I blame you guys!”, he shouted and laughed as he leapt back into the already moving truck. The trooper couldn’t have been less amused. Hahahahaha!
Our ultimate goal for Saturday’s adventure was to find a cool bar to watch the Kentucky Derby in. We looked it up and found Nashville’s historic “Red Door Saloon” and saw it was about a 15-20 min walk from our place. Perfect! No need for an Über or certainly not to drive. It was a beautiful day, and we had a lot to explore. Jared and I really love hitting a new city on foot. You get a way better sense of a place when you can really smell and feel it. We got to know our neighborhood and saw so many cool things along the way!
“Glitter Bitch” is maybe my new craft personality name… This darling pop up store just had a young lady inside, glittering up people’s faces and then letting them take pictures at several “selfie” stations she had set up. Since Taylor Swift was in town for the weekend, she had a lot of business! Such a fun idea. I thanked her for making the world a little more sparkly, and we moved on. Not pictured was our stop at Fanny’s House of Music. Where we heard someone playing the “Guitorgan”, a guitar with the built in electronics to make it sound like an organ. (Jared already has one of those….kinda)
We finally made it to the bar and enjoyed a few hours of people watching, a couple rousing minutes of horse watching, and some heavy crosswording!
After these prickleback shots, this new crossword did NOT get started.
We did decide to pop into a famous vintage store next door called the Hip Zipper!
We got a few things then headed to the Lipstick Lounge for the best part of Jared’s pre-birthday celebration, a STAR WARS BURLESQUE show!!!! Put on by Nashville’s very own burlesque troupe, “The Music City F&$%-Ettes”. We arrived a bit later than it started and the house was packed, so we sat on the floor and howled and cheered our buns off, missing our own Gritty City Sirens so very much.
We were given permission by the producer to post this and to share about them in our blog. After the Vaders, C3PO’s, aliens, and droids shook their galactic bits at light speed and then rode the Millennium Falcon to the next planet, we actually got to sit and visit with the performers. (Since we’re having a hard time finding the troupe’s online presence, here’s one of the performers and founders of the troupe, who was nice enough to sit and gab with us: Abby Costello). We shared that we were also burlesquers from Tacoma, WA, and we exchanged info and stories and had a wonderful time. I suppose we could break into Nashville in a whole different way if Champagne Sunday doesn’t work out!
After that, we were starving and had been told to go to “Duke’s”, as they had the “best burgers in the WORLD”! Don’t you love that phenomena? The idea that every town in the world has this absolute, 100% guarantee that they have the “Best (insert item/place/activity) in the WORLD”…of course we had to investigate…for science.
On our way there, we saw this…
Hello! We had a friend say, “Well, I’d certainly get nothing done in Nashville because I’d spend all my time there!”
We finally made it to Duke’s…which was NOT the best burger place. It wasn’t even a burger place at all. It was a SANDWICH place, which is fine if you have not had a fifteen-minute walk to dream about burgers. Turns out, the burger place is called “Dino’s”!!! Ok. Off to “Dino’s” we went! We did find this cool mural on the way there. I’m pretty sure they were headed to the sandwich place for salmon melts…
As heavy of a smell as you may hope for at this time of night, with a line out the door, it was a hopeful site. Because we wanted to eat there, we got sat right at the bar where all the action was taking place. “Cable Guy” on the TV, potatoes in the fryer, and burgers on the grill, it was a late-night ballet of meat, cheese, beer, and fries, all dancing together in a perfectly choreographed number, ready for mass consumption.
While we waited, we harassed the bartender (who loved it, I’m sure), with our wildly funny jokes and free-spirited comfortability that can really only be achieved after a full day of beverage testing (again, for science) and we got him to slap a CS smiley face sticker onto his fridge, joining the hundreds of other band, business, and quirky stickers that have probably been there for years! We think it looked great!
The burgers, well, they were great! The “best”? I don’t know. I think that is so subjective. For our state of mind and level of hunger, they were Goldilocks approved: Juuuuussst Riiigghhht! It was a delicious and fun way to end the “Fredeen Adventure Day: East Nashville Edition”, and the perfect way to spend Jared’s birthday weekend, full of all things he loves!
Sunday morning we awoke with absolutely NO agenda. Jared’s actual birthday was upon us and, in true Jared fashion, no big fuss was needed to celebrate. As a matter of fact, we didn’t leave the house at all. Which turned out to be ok, since there was a huge lightning and thunder storm that raged on almost all night. Poor Taylor..what’s her name??? Had to delay her concert for 3 hours. But then (and this is HUGE kudos, all joking aside), she crushed a 45-song seT, TAKING HER FANS TO 1:30 IN THE MORNING! When you live by the “Show must go on” credo, STORMS BE DAMNED! We were both impressed to hear that. Mad respect.
We got in workouts, laundry, showers, a lovely dinner. We also began recording some tunes for the new album, we chatted with our sweet Rudy, Bonnie and Phil, my brother, Caanan, and we finished the night on the front porch, watching the storm and sipping bourbon. A more southern experience we could not have had unless Willie himself had been sitting next to us playing his faithful guitar, Trigger. Thank you, East Nashville for the perfect weekend to our first week here! “Tomorrow things may all apart, but tonight I’m sitting, singing with my friends…”
Happy Birthday, my angel husband.