Traveling can be stressful yet exciting. Trying to remember to pack every item needed is a huge task. I was up for the challenge and it seemed to in fact be one. I am a last minute packer, so what could go wrong? Plenty. Be sure to always check your flight times before your day of departure.
The plans were set. Nashville would be preparing for my arrival on Wednesday, January 27, 2016. I made arrangements for the kids, dogs and ride to the airport. Everything was falling into place perfectly. Then, BOOM. It is the day before I leave, nothing is packed and my four-year-old starts vomiting all over the fresh clean bedding in my room first, then his sister's, the couch and finally the hallway. How on earth would I be able to pack now? Back to the laundromat I go.
Can you feel my panic setting in? As you can imagine, once I was able to get everything into my luggage for the next day I felt a lot better. That is when butterflies crept into my hollow stomach. It hit me. I had not yet confirmed my flight time though I was sure I was not needing to leave for the airport until 9:00 am. Wrong. I needed to be at the gate boarding my plane at 9:40 am. My plan, ruined. I was a full blown crazy woman at this point, frantically trying to make new arrangements for the morning of my departure.
Thanks to quick thinking and my good friend Patrick Miller, we were out the door in time. I maybe drove a little faster than I was supposed to, but I could not miss this flight. Mission "arriving on time," complete. As I approached the gate, it seemed empty. Could it be that I was in the wrong place? No. As luck would have it, the flight was only half full. I was treated with an entire row to myself. Yes. It felt so good to relax and stretch.
The long awaited arrival to Nashville was breathtaking. I was finally back home. It is only a short stay, but I am here. I am here to do work for the magazine. I have interviews scheduled, people to see, and business to take care of. How was I to know that I would also have a huge weekend event to cover? The NHL All Star Weekend was also happening right in the center of downtown Nashville.
Four days of hockey, fun, music, ice skating and more was the decadent frosting on my already awesome cake. The line up for these free concerts, spectacular. Now, since I had interviews scheduled I was unable to attend many of them; however I was determined to see what I could. Big and Rich opened the event in what was said to be an outstanding performance. I was filming with Moccasin Creek and was unable to see it myself.
After filming the first scheduled event for the magazine, I made my way over to Legend's Corner to visit my friend Nicole Finan. She and I were talking about the artists she often sees come to the bar, as she is a bartender there. Just minutes after she told me about seeing "Big Kenny" from Big and Rich, he walked in. Finan and I were in disbelief. He is such a kind man. He spoke with me about giving back in life, about paying it forward and about loving people. I have to say that I did not expect him to say any of those things to me. Graciously he posed for pictures us. We both thanked him for being so generous with his time. I think Finan and I remained in shock the rest of the night.
On the following day, Center Stage Co-Founder Tommy Lemon and I decided to head downtown to catch Kristian Bush (Sugarland) and Lee Brice perform. I am so glad we did. Bush put on one of the most entertaining shows I have seen. Having only 45 minutes to entertain does not seem like a lot, but he really packed in a lot of fun with his animated personality. Next was Brice. Now if you have never seen this man in concert, you need to. He did not disappoint. His emotion-filled songs with perfect delivery left the crowd wanting much more than the 45 minutes given. I am still in awe of the raw emotion he showed, that he made each of us feel. It was truly a remarkable thing to witness.
Dierks Bentley was the last of the free concerts we were able to fit into our busy schedule. We quickly made our way as close to the stage as we could, knowing that he was sure to draw a huge crowd. That is exactly what he did. Looking back, all you could see were thousands of people watching and waiting for Bentley to come out. That moment soon came. The audience was overjoyed. The women next to me were shrieking with untamed excitement. His smile, his ability to seduce his fans and his energy were enthralling. I was captivated the entire time. His voice was perfect. His personality was infectious. I would hands down pay to see him perform time and time again.
I am getting increasingly saddened by the fact that I must once again leave the place that I call my home. Nashville, I will return soon. Who knows? Maybe there will be another adventure on my next flight. For now, stay tuned for all our interviews from this successful week in beautiful Music City. Until we meet again Nashville...~Missy