tennessee state sign

**Warning: foul language is used in this post. No apologies.**

My Mel came to town!

I keep putting off this post because I know it’s going to be long and I want to do our trip justice.

That being said, lemme back up a bit.

Read how Mel and I met HERE.

During the time we both lived in Seattle, there was always something going on. From birthdays to weddings to babies or just a girls night, we were getting together to do something fun on a regular basis. The group of friends continuously grew and there wasn’t ever a lack of people to make plans with.

I eventually moved to Denver where, in the year I lived there, met so many incredible people that it was like pulling teeth to get me to move. We relocated to Nashville. It’s been three years and I’m just now finding some great friends. It has been a challenge and Mel has been the recipient of my sadness, questions and excitement the whole time. Then she moves to Virginia. Same thing  happens to her. What the?

Mel and my husband wanted to surprise me with the news of her coming to Nashville but she wanted me to have something to look forward to…so she told me. I about peed. I think she might have been on the verge, too.

I set up a countdown on my phone so I would know the second she’d arrive. I mean…whatever. We just played it by ear. Super breezy.

Basically, Mel coming to town, was to bring a little springtime Christmas into my life.

Welcome to a glimpse into our communication…

text - being breezy

text - pick up from airport2

text - pick up from airport

text - find a manipedi place

And this is how it begins.

Mel gets here in the middle of the night and I’m literally jumping up and down waiting at the airport. What am I, five?

She shows up and I introduce her to Duke.

mel eating duke

I think she likes him.

Mel was planning to be in town for three days…one of those days we both had to work. So, after a restful sleep in our glamorous guest room complete with Cars 2 decor, books about trucks and trains and her choice of figurines and matchbox cars – we’re ready to start our final day of work before hittin’ the town.  When it comes to guest accommodations, we don’t cut corners. A themed room it is (you just don’t get to pick the theme).

bling eyelash curler

For someone who uses this to curl their eyelashes, I was worried it wouldn’t be good enough for Mel.

I kid.

Check out this blinged piece of machinery.

For “work day” in my office, we shared a desk. I think we’re even better friends after rubbing knees for 6 hours.

I listened in on her conference calls. I STILL don’t know what in the eff she does for a living. There were a lot of words like, “Systems,” “Implementation,” “Processes”…erm.

I use words like, “blog,” “organizing,” and “concert”. You know, the hard-hitting stuff.

mel working

We had dinner at home…but not before stopping for wine and having this greet us in our parking spot.

Fitting.

wine box

Of course we had to bring it home and do nothing with it.

A plate of enchiladas (made by Mel and my son) and a glass of wine (not involving my son) and we were in bid’ness.

colton and mel cheese

She’s fun Mel.

The next day was loosely planned and only thing I knew is that we were getting manicures and pedicures…because Mel bullied me into making an appointment. (see above texts)

Saturday morning we wake up and get ready for a kid-less, husband-less day.

mel n tawsha

First stop: Fido. If you come to town, of COURSE you have to go to a place where celebs are known to be seen. Look it up and see who it shows you. P.S. It was Country Music Marathon weekend so the streets and crowds were a sh*t show. It was awesome (and rainy).

fido

Here’s the thing about Nashville. It’s a smaller city to where you only need to know one or two people and you are connected to everyone. Few people who live here are from here and there are plenty of recognizable people wandering about but no paparazzi. Think of LA without the smog, gawking and egos. Add in humidity, country music and a southern drawl and you’ve got Nashville.

Speaking of celebrities…let’s go find some.

This is actually what was going through our minds.

Something is WRONG with us. Gee, if nobody is bothering to be paparazzi, we’ll do it!

We quickly find where Faith Hill’s house is. Okay, not quickly. I made multiple wrong turns, drove past roads and had to make a couple of u-turns. Something I hadn’t realized before is that I can be a horrible driver. It was as if the minute Mel came into town, I got dumb. I was slamming on my breaks, taking corners on two wheels. I was psychotic. I kept apologizing but didn’t improve. Bless my heart.

All that effort and it’s not really Faith’s house.

Damnit!

Next up:

Johnny Depp 2

A $17 million mansion recently purchased by Johnny Depp.

The details on how we got this close to the house will remain a secret for the rest of time. I will say that we are grateful to one of his neighbors for the opportunity. We had hot stomach the entire time we were driving by his house knowing that it wasn’t normal to do something like this on an average Saturday.

After this shot…

Johnny Depp

Mel looks at me and screams, “GO! GO! GO!” I peel out at 20mph and casually drive out of the community as if we actually belong.

I have more of the story to tell but to protect the innocent, I can’t divulge any more details.

Once we were free of our glimpse into how the pretty people live, I just start laughing.

Hard.

The thought of how lame we were for doing what we just did, how nervous we were, the panic in Mel’s voice and how we must have looked, completely cracked me up. I was laughing so hard, I wasn’t making noise. I had to hold my eyes open so I could see the road but tears just kept coming out. I couldn’t breathe and the whole time Mel was laughing along with asking why I was laughing and what I was trying to say.

I. Could. Not. Stop.

My driving was bad enough that day and I could have used a set of windshield wipers on my eyeballs.

That was all the celeb sightings for the day.

We suck at that game.

Mel tells me that we’re off to find an outfit for my photo shoot. Wait…what? She’s going to be my sugar mama and buy me an outfit?

The entire weekend, I was either crying or fighting back tears. We head on into a store and she freaking finds $30 in her pocket. I swear she sweats cash.

 mel with money

Of course, I had to check my pockets.

Lint.

Damn it!

We shop around TJ Maxx and find nothing in the big girl sizes for me but two super-cute tanks for Mel. I call that a win (and something I’m way more comfortable with).

After two wrong turns within the same block, we arrive at our mani/pedi destination.

Let’s talk about this for a second.

I basically run a salon from my home. Salon de Tawsha. I color my own hair, wax my eyebrows and give myself manicures and pedicures. This has been the case since my son was born. He’ll be 5 in August.

feet in water

Then this happened.

excited at pedicure

No, I’m not excited at all to have my feet in a heaven bath and WINE TO THE LEFT OF ME!!! I had to contain my excitement by squeezing the arm rests on the chair. I couldn’t even turn on the massager because I would have been ejected from the seat. I was completly buzzing…then add in the wine and I had myself a party.

goofy mel

This is why we’re friends.

We do pedicures and then get manicures and, for all the talk of Mel having a hard time meeting people in her new city, she freaking makes me a friend. A friend…in Nashville! I like this game.

We were wined up and socializing with the cool people at the Nail Bar (yes, bar…just like a bar) and we had plans of heading downtown so Mel could see the gritty/fun part of Music City.

downtown nashvilleWe had no schedule so we started people watching like it was our job (we’re so good at it). I kept trying to talk Mel into getting a tattoo. I want to get one, eventually, but she knows exactly what she wants. All the shops were closed. Gah! I’ve never witnessed someone getting all tatted up and I wanted to Instagram the show. Not so much.

People were on the streets drinking margaritas from Margaritaville, Jimmy Buffet had a one-night-only concert at the Bridestone arena, the streets were blocked off for partying, live music was coming out of every open-door bar and the smell of barbecue filled downtown.

We walked up and down the streets (which is, like, a 1 mile radius) looking at everything that was going on, listening and watching people perform and then eventually heading to the end of a road for dinner.

devour the salad

Salad and margaritas…that’s what it’s all about.

I wanted to show Mel different places so we went walking again. We spotted girls wearing cute clothes, found bachelorette parties (always with at least one bitter friend), girls in almost nothing, people who belonged to bands hoping to make it and super-drunk post-marathoners who would be hurting in more ways than one the next morning.

Mel’s bladder is the size of a thimble so we frequented restrooms.

One, where Mel was convinced a dude was in the stall next to her.

man feet

The other that gave explicit instructions on proper etiquette.

wipe yo bottom

In the meantime, we met really nice people…er…things.

I’m a hugger.

tawsha hugging a horseKnowing what I know of my city, after living there for three years, I take Mel around the block to show her where the flood damage was a few years back.

We head down a dark street on the waterfront and I tell Mel about the flood and that the street we’re on looks kind of creepy but there are always a lot of people walking along so it’s safe.

It was a lie, I learned.

We were the only ones.

Except for the car that pulled up and stopped next to us.

I kept cool and started thinking of what sort of weapons I had in my purse.

Mel about breaks into a run and keeps turning around to look at them.

Clearly, we deal with things in different ways.

One thing that I know to be true is that we could kill on impact if given the opportunity. We’re scrappy and don’t come from an elite lifestyle.

We made it to civilization unscathed.

At the end of the night, we headed home (me still trying to convince Mel to get a tattoo at one of the late-night places) and Mel asks about the Bluebird Cafe.

The famous one…and the one featured on the show Nashville?

This is what you see on TV.

nashville bluebird staged

This is what it really looks like.

bluebird cafe real

It’s in a strip mall in a very quiet area.

Isn’t TV amazing?

Sunday came too quickly and it was time for Mel to go home.

She swung me by Target and got me an outfit for my photo shoot (that has been rescheduled twice) and NEW YOGA PANTS!

She also left me a little surprise that I found much later…

money pocketThat girl is sneaky.

And, yes, I do carry a pack of Thank You cards with me everywhere I go. You just never know when someone needs a little pick me up.

So, there you have it. A weekend full of Johnny Depp, feeling pretty, almost being kidnapped and Mel somehow winning the lottery without telling me.

I felt so incredible. I’m so lucky to have her and I pray for a day when I can do something half as nice for her.

For that reason alone, I feel that playing the lottery is an investment. I don’t care what Dave Ramsey says about that.

tawsha connell