CMA FEST 2015: Music and Food, two of my favorite things!

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A few weeks ago I got a text from a friend that she had an extra ticket to the Country Music Association Music Festival in Nashville, June 11-14. She said if I could get there, it was mine. Well, how can I turn down that fantastic offer as well as the time to spend with a bestie?! Her generosity still makes my jaw drop.

I ended up needing to be in the Wild West earlier in the week – and not a bad way to start the journey. Hot and dusty, yes, as El Paso generally is, but mix in some good friends and Mexican food. It’s a work trip but certainly a good time.

Charles Esten, from ABC's Nashville (Character Deacon Claiborne).

Charles Esten, from ABC’s Nashville (Character Deacon Claiborne).

After ending work in ELP early Thursday, I took leave Friday and Monday so I could spend the weekend with Lindsey at the #CMAFest and then have some time to recover. Bonus, I got in some time with Aubrey and Stephanie too!

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1 DierksB

Linds picked me up at BNA on Thursday night and we headed straight to LP Field in time to see Rascal Flatts go on, followed by Dierks Bentley, Florida Georgia Line, and Jason Aldean. I was most excited to see Dierks as “Drunk on a Plane” was my jilted-but-moving-on theme song for the latter part of 2015. And FL GA Line is just incredible… we’ll let them say it best.

VIDEO – DIERKS BENTLEY DRUNK ON A PLANE

FASTFORWARD: Friday we bumped around at The Mall at Green Hills. I was hoping to see Faith Hill shopping, but no such luck and no celebrity sightings. I was able to window shop in some luxurious stores that I’ll never be able to afford, which bothers me none. I enjoy browsing. Midday Lindsey kicked my arms (yes arms, not ass) at the gym… #HurtsSoGood Thankfully, Aubrey had time for dinner at Puckett’s Boathouse in Franklin before we headed out for the night. I might say that they have some of the best hot grits…ever.

Friday night, I do believe The Zac Brown Band stole the show. They were my favorite act of the night playing my favorite Chicken Fried, but also performing an electrifying version of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. I couldn’t even get the iPhone up to record because I was awestruck. Randy Houser, Lady Antebellum, and Luke Bryan were all very good, but ZBB – just WOW.

VIDEO – ZAC BROWN BAND

A&S

We spent Saturday with another fabulous bestie, Stephanie, who drive over an hour to come shop, have lunch and just enjoy life. We started at Gray’s on Main. Upon entering the restaurant my sandal broke… seriously? It’s not like it was a cheap flip-flop, it was Guess, who said they should snap. So after explaining my odd situation to the hostess, she brought me scotch tape to make the attempt to give it a temporary fix. Thankfully our very friendly server overhead the mess and saw me examining my sandal, and he came to the rescue. It might have taken ½ a roll of tape, but it held all afternoon. We shopped the fabulous shops and emptied a bottle of wine before departing for the evening. #LiveAtGrays

World's best server fixing my sandal

World’s best server fixing my sandal

Sunday brunch is one of my favorite pastimes and there is no better a foodie to celebrate this fabulous meal with than my girl, fellow blogger, Aubrey, and her fiancé Dan (who has the best head of hair I’ve ever seen on a man). We hit up Biscuit Love Brunch. She explained the entire experience so delightfully that I won’t even try to top it, but just give you the link to her review. What I will share is what I ate: Bloody Mary, Bonuts, Hot Chicken, and Chronic Bacon. My favorites were the Bloody Mary – spicy and garnished with plenty of pickled goodness, and the Bonuts – cream filled biscuit bites with a berry compote. My mouth is watering just thinking of it now! Excellent choice Aubs!

BiscLove A&A A&L Monkey

Sunday night closed out the festival with a star-STUDDED lineup: Cole Swindell, Daruis Rucker, Eric Church, Keith Urban, and Brad Paisley. They were all incredible. I’ve loved Darius since his days with Hootie and the Blowfish, and I actually fell in love with Keith Urban. It was my second time seeing Brad Paisley and he put on a good show that started off with some technical difficulties, but he was Crushin’ It!

VIDEO – DARIUS RUCKER WAGON WHEEL

4 Daruis 4 ColeS 4 BradP

Me and Lindsey on the footbridge from downtown Nashville to LP Field.

Me and Lindsey on the footbridge from downtown Nashville to LP Field.

Me on night 4!

Me on night 4!

My favorite man of the night was Eric Church. He’s much more of a rebel rocker than I expected, and he really brought it down with my new favorite song Wrecking Ball. Yes, the term has been used in many contexts in pop culture as of late, but Church’s take is just so raw that I got weak in the knees and almost needed the smelling salts… Love me baby, like a wrecking ball. Check it out for yourself below. Thank you Nashville, Good night!

4 Eric Church 2VIDEO – ERIC CHURCH WRECKING BALL

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