Rebel Souls: A Nashville Odyssey with Six Unstoppable Women
Hi all, Michele here. I wanted to share my incredible story with you, about how I met six amazing women and how they changed my life forever….
We women are social creatures. We have that primal need to talk through our problems, share our successes or just laugh about the hilarious experiences we’ve been through. But it can be hard for me to make friends with girls. Last fall, my ex sister-in-law Mee Hea invited me to join her friends on a girl’s trip to Nashville. One of the girls couldn’t make it, so I would be taking her spot. All I knew about them was they were a mix of married and single women. I was hesitant to go and had a feeling I would spend much of my time alone since I did not know them. Well… I decided it was a risk I was willing to take.
So off I went. I met Julie and Eden on the way to the airport. We had to ride with our suitcases on our laps because you know, we women need STUFF! Mee Hea had to sit on Eden’s lap because we couldn’t even fit her in! She’s 4”10, so she always gets thrown around or picked up by random people, they literally can’t help themselves! It was 7am and there was already a feeling of excitement in the air. I had a feeling I had made the right decision to join them.
Shonna and Jan were flying in later, so the four of us arrived at the hotel and had to figure out how to entertain ourselves for a few hours. We decided to head to East Nashville and check it out. We spotted this sign: “I Dream of Weenie, East Nashville’s “only” Full Service WeENERY.” Someone said, “First thing I wanna do in Nashville is see a wiener.” I knew right then these girls were my kinda peeps.
It’s just the beginning, uh-oh!
After selfies with the wiener pics, we stumbled upon a bar and went in. Why not, its 5 o’clock somewhere and does it really count anyway when you’re on vacation? It was great to get know the girls and finding out I had so much in common with them. We all had kids that had left for college and we’re all just trying to figure out how to navigate our next stage in life. We walked next door all slushed and wandered into an adorable wine shop. We ended up sitting on the corner all happy with ourselves for making such an innovative purchase. Two random people sat down with us, and I laughed so hard I almost pee’d my pants… I forgot how great it was to laugh like that, and how therapeutic it is to forget about everything and live in the moment!
Still slightly tipsy, we met the girls back at the hotel. We were staying about 20 minutes from the strip and had to Uber mostly. This served as a constant source of entertainment. Our first Uber driver was a chatty fella and he played fun dance music. One of the girls posed the question, “Why do guys feel the need to send dick pics?” Without missing a beat, the driver held up his phone for all to see, and low and behold, there was his very graphic and very generous self from the waist down! Did one of us take a pic of it?? Um yeah, when you see something outrageous, you capture that SH!T!! What happens in Nashville, stays in Nashville, well until now anyway…
Halloween in Nashville is crazy.
Our trip fell over Halloween and we had a group, so we decided to come up with a costume that worked for all of us. We dressed as Taco Bell sauce packets, and came up with our own T-shirt sayings, such as, “Fire-I MAKE THE DEVIL SWEAT, and Diablo-WORTH THE BURN” and fringed them up so they didn’t look boring. We “helped ourselves” to actual Taco Bell sauces and threw them out to random people on the street, some of us rather aggressively. A rando guy gave me a hat that said “MILF” on it, so my new friends started calling me MILFchele!!!
A must to-do in Nashville is dancing on the bar at Coyote Ugly. I mean, seriously people, don’t miss this. The staff is so cool there and the bar tenders are sassy, just how we like them. We were passing out our sauce packets when one of the bar tenders grabbed some and told us she was going to make the men drink them as punishment because they deserved it! Don’t be offended guys, apparently man shaming is the underlying theme here, but it is all done in good fun.
The bars in Nashville are so amazing because most have several levels of live music, so if you need a change of scene, you go up or down. We showed up all decked out with our country boots and hats and laughed when we heard only locals dress this way. Yeah well, we felt and looked GOOD…. so we could care less.
Out on the strip, the vibe is electric, and fun is in the air. We met so many cool people, lots of tourists there to have a good time and live their best life like us. We danced until our feet where totally trashed. Pro tip: make sure your shoes are cute but can hold up! We had a few walking barefoot in the street situations…
In addition to the bars and unbelievable food, we also did some touristy things like the boozy bike tour, pics at the famous “What Lifts You” wings mural in the Gulch, walking ghost tour, and the Grand Ole Opry. We ate the most amazing Mexican food at Superica, don’t skip it! I realized that the great thing about traveling with a group is, you can split up and everyone gets to do what they want to do. One of the girls even took dance lessons by the pool!
Off the beaten path.
Luke Bryan’s club was one of our favorites and we missed seeing him by 30 minutes, dammit!! The last night we went to a local bar off the strip and ended up meeting the road crew for Luke Combs. They told us the locals tend to avoid the strip because it can be crowded. Fun fact: They told us that young guys are into older women!?!? It’s always nice to get complements, whatever your situation. I realized, you gotta get out there to experience amazing things. Life certainly doesn’t end at 50, for us it is just the beginning, and can be for you too.
We are all more alike than different.
I had no idea that these ladies would be so fun and outgoing. I was surprised to realize that I related to every single one of them and something in their life. You realize we are all fighting similar battles. I really fell in love with Eden, we had so many similarities and felt like I had met my long-lost soulmate friend. It is not often that I have met someone that I can be 100% myself with and be honest about all aspects of my life. It is amazing meeting someone that you know you can trust and yet can be completely authentic and happy in their presence… and laugh your ass off with!
These girls never once made me feel as if I didn’t belong or wasn’t included. I learned so much about myself and my wants on this trip. I learned how important it was to have women in your life that you can tell your deepest secrets and they will always have your back. This trip changed my outlook on life, my trajectory, and friendships for life. I realized I do not want to waste my life.
In addition to the amazing laughs, I learned girlfriends can provide a safe space to share feelings with and can validate your own feelings. They provide unconditional love, a fresh perspective, and give you hope. They build you up. Something we can all strive to do. I never realized the value of belonging to a group and the strong sense of connection it can provide.
This was one of my favorite trips of all time and I have been very blessed to meet these women and officially call them my friends.