It all began with a trip to Texas Roadhouse, my favorite steak restaurant. It was a Saturday night in October and my sister just came home from college to celebrate her birthday. We sat in the waiting area to be seated, surrounded by the smell of honey rolls, cinnamon butter, and delicious steak. When we finally were seated at our table, my sisters and I dove straight into the bread rolls. After I finished my second role, my parents told us they had something to tell us. My sisters and I looked straight at each other, trying to figure out what they were going to tell us. In a serious voice, my mother says, “It’s something very serious.” The table got quiet. “This is the moment they’re telling us they’re getting a divorce,” I thought. Instead, a big smile crosses my mother’s face and she announces that we are going to Nashville. I have been bugging my mom and dad about this amazing benefit concert that was happening in Nashville in November. Many of my favorite artists like George Strait, Jason Aldean, Reba, and many more decided to put on a benefit concert to help the victims of the hurricanes and victims of Las Vegas. I begged my mom for weeks to buy tickets, even though I knew it would never happen. That night, I was so surprised and excited by the news, tears came rushing down my face. I was unsure if they were from the news or the bite of hot tortilla soup I just shoved in my mouth. After my dad repeated the news for the second time, I jumped up with excitement. I didn’t care who saw in the restaurant; this was the night I will forever remember and cherish.
November 12th couldn’t have come any sooner. We woke up early in the morning, packed the car and all our luggage, and left before the sun came up. It took us fourteen long hours to make it to the music city of Nashville, Tennessee. As we drove through Tennessee, we passed over hills filled with massive trees and families of deer, all while jamming out to Beastie Boys and George Strait. Around twelve o’clock we arrived in Nashville and walked into the Renaissance Hotel. The white marble floors and sparkling, glass chandelier shined, reflecting my excitement that took over my face. We received our white key and went straight to our room that had a view of the Nissan Football Stadium. The city was full that night; people lined the streets dressed in football jerseys. November 12th was, also, the night of one of the biggest rivalry games for the Nashville Titans. The city was dressed in blue and red for the Titans and orange and black for Cincinnati Bengals. It was finally time to get dressed for the concert, which starts at seven. We dressed in our perfect outfits; I wore a pink sweater I bought specially for the concert, ripped, blue jeans, and my sister’s long necklace. We put on our final touches and headed down the glass elevators to the crowded streets. We headed straight for the restaurant five blocks away, which didn’t sound that far; however, in heels and going uphill, it was running the mile for P.E. We walked through string-lit streets and mural walls, passed music boxes blaring country music, and into the wooden brown doors of a crowded restaurant. It was now five forty-five and we were told the wait would be about an hour. Since the concert started at seven, we just moved onto the next option. Eight blocks away was a three-story restaurant with each floor serving and cooking different foods. Relieved, we made it to the counter, only to find out the wait was, again, another hour. Frustrated, we decided to sit and wait because there was nowhere else we could go. With thirty minutes until the concert, we decided to look for somewhere quick. As we walked closer to where the concert was being held, we passed this hole-in-wall restaurant. One half was a night-life bar filled with neon-lights and a live band; the other half was an old-time burger restaurant filled with counter tables, metal high chairs, and booth seatings. With twenty minutes to go until the concert, we sat at the counter watching delicious, juicy burgers with crispy, curly fries pass. Ten minutes go by and still no food. Five minutes passed in a blink of an eye and only two out of five meals came out. It was seven o’clock and we finally received our food. I have never eaten so many tater tots at one time before. My mouth filled with about ten at a time. We shoved our food into our mouths and headed straight for the concert. Walking up the street, there it was… home to the Nashville Predators, Bridgestone Arena. A banner hung down the entire length of the Stadium, reading “Smashville.” We walked into the cool stadium and ran straight into the merchandise tables. We bought our concert shirts and headed straight for our seats. Each artist came on for ten minutes, a lot shorter than we thought. After each finished, we anticipated who would be next. Little Big Town, Keith Urban, Reba McEntire, Dierks Bentley, and then finally George Strait. George Strait has been my idol and favorite country music artist since I was a little girl. As the stage turned around and his name appeared across the stage, tears came rolling down my face. That was the moment my dream came true and the moment I fell in love with Nashville.