You know that you are in for an epic weekend when:
Your blogger sister sends you a pic featuring a Chewbacca mask and cowboy boots.
Between the both of us, we are packing seven bottles of wine.
And the whole weekend is going to be filled with amazingly talented authors, kick ass bloggers and die hard bookaholics.
With coffee and blogger sister, Amy securely in their places, I turned the radio up and started off our five-hour trek to Nashville Tennessee. We were attending Utopia, an author/blogger conference. I can’t begin to tell you how excited we were; I know for myself I was only going on about three hours of sleep, but you couldn’t tell by the array of topics that were flying out of our mouths.
“Do you know what a jack off closet is?”
God, I love this girl, we weren’t even out of Arkansas (or Little Rock for that matter) and she throws us smack dab into an interesting, but fun topic which woke me right the hell up, but we are no holds barred kinda gals, anything goes and you know the saying “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”? Well, in this case, what happens in Nashville, the car or anywhere else for that matter…… stays between us or until Sunday when all our weekend debauchery gets put out on my blog for all to read.
Once our colorful and very tasteless conversation of jack off closets, vanilla sex and strip clubs came to an end, we couldn’t resist talking about our newest must read addiction, Malediction by J.D Lexx.
This book is sinfully delightful and I’m not even close to being finished, but the author has a way of meticulously drawing you into his world, word by word, making you slowly savor each and every confession that he unveils in a very intellectual erotically woven way.
Somewhere between Memphis and Nashville, we decided to stretch our feet and what better place to do that then at an adult sex shop. Miranda’s was right off the interstate between a couple of seedy gas stations and truck stops, but yet tucked snugly around pine trees and greenery, giving it an almost Hansel and Gretel… we are going to be eaten by a big bad wolf kind of feel.
“Do you think they have any jack off closets?” I asked with a snicker.
The place was your average adult store, vibrators and dildos of many colors, shapes and sizes lined the walls. Toys to fit every naughty woman or man’s erotic fantasy were on display only heightening my inner sex kitten…….well until I saw Amy checking out a leather clad sub mannequin with a sign pinned to his britches that read “DON’T TOUCH, YOU BREAK IT….YOU BUY IT” which in a way was pretty tempting. Could you see us carting around a mannequin throughout our two-day stay in Nashville… hell it would put that poster boy Dean to shame!
We left with our dignity in tack, well kind of. Amy did pick up a little outfit, which I ended up having to rescue her out by day’s end, but that’s a story for another time. Needless to say, we will be laughing about that incident for many years to come.
The conference was held at the Millennium Maxwell House hotel in Nashville and let me just say that the place was packed! We quickly unloaded all our belongings and met up with our good friends,Carrie Thomas and K.D Wood for a bite to eat. It was so good to finally see them again.
Once our bellies were full , we were ready to go. Once we made it back into the staging area where the event was being held, I was taken back by the energy and excitement that was oozing from everyone. I LOVED IT! There was so much to take in.
First stop was K.D Woods table it was there that we met London’s very talented Katie M. John. I’m not sure if it was her accent, my love of paranormal urban fantasy stories or the fact that she handed me some Cadbury chocolates but I was sold. I wasn’t there for more than five minutes and I was uttering the words “I will take book one and two of your Meadowsweet Chronicle series”.
One down… sixty-nine more tables to go.
Next on our list to see was Carrie Thomas, I can’t begin to tell you how flipping proud I am of her. To see her surrounded by all her creations was just heartwarming. This woman is the epitome of superwoman (not to discredit all the other hard working-multi hat wearing mothers out there) I don’t know how she does it… somewhere between working a full time job, being a mother, wife and the other 20 hats she puts on in a 24-hour period she must stop time to crank out her stories.
I will say this though, I am extremely happy that she forgot about the voicemail I left her a few months back, I was waiting for her to bust that out sometime during the two days that we were there. Seriously, there were many opportunities where she could have let every hear my tearful plea to continue the Dream Girl series. #TrueStory
We met a few other authors and walked around the conference room just taking everything in. Our plan was to fully get into our book blogger persona on Friday, today…. we were going to take it easy and prepare for a fun filled day to come.
Thursday night came very quickly and instead of taking in the nightlife that is well known for downtown Nashville we headed to the pool with a bottle of wine and our friends Carrie, Carla and Candace (who are sisters) , man I love those ladies……my cheeks hurt still from all the laughing I did!
Friday morning came rather quickly….but sleeping in wasn’t an option. Seriously, who could sleep? There’s no time for that when there are books to be discovered and authors to meet!
Amy and I were showered, dressed and down in the hotel’s restaurant drinking mimosas by 7:45 am. We went over the game plan, author must meets, purchase books that our book shelves at home were secretly desiring to hold and panels that we were anxiously awaiting to attend……oh and somewhere in between all that, find time to see the Pantheon and then rest before hitting Nashville like Rockstars.
After breakfast we walked down to the conference area in hopes to say “good morning” to our favorite ladies, Carrie Thomas and K.D Wood, but… they weren’t at their tables so, what do you think two book bloggers will do? Have a little fun and send them pictures for their viewing pleasure.
I’ve never seen Amy in total fan girl “MUST HAVE HER SIGN MY BOOK” mode until I seen it with my own two eyes. Seeing her tongue tied while standing next to Renee Carlino was priceless.
We also had the opportunity to meet cover model Nathan Weller and we shamelessly had him sign our shirts and pose for a selfie or two.
What can I say …… It’s just an average day as a book blogger, I mean… someone’s got to do it right?
But he wasn’t the only man that captured the attention of the ladies , Author Zachary Chopchinski was quite the show stopper. I wonder if Nathan will borrow his moves for his next book cover?
Amy and I reconnected with Author Evelyn Lederman and caught up with her while she spoke about her latest projects. If you ever have the opportunity to meet Evelyn please say hello for us, she’s a doll.
After attending a very informative panel on Agents of the Revolution we decided to take a little break and get some fresh air, well……if you can call humidity to the 100th degree fresh air, but we wanted to see the Pantheon. Which by the way was incredibly breathtaking, I can only imagine how magnificently stunning the one in Rome is. We posed for pictures, sweated in places a woman should never admit to sweating, lost the car and almost died of heat stroke……ok, I exaggerated the last bit, but it was hot but all in all well worth it!
Once back in our room we gave ourselves a couple hours just to prepare for the night’s festivities. We talked for months about hitting Broadway street and dancing the night away…..we were going to bust out our inner 20 something self (which mind you, have been tucked away for 15 plus years) and this was my first time ever in Nashville so I wanted to make it memorable.
Now, like the very mature responsible adults that we are, we weren’t going to put ourselves in harms way and drive knowing that we plan on drinking the night away, so we decided to uber….which neither one of us have ever done before. I will be honest with you. I was a bit apprehensive with the whole “lets call a stranger to take us to said destination and hope he doesn’t take us to a field and kill us.” We were taught never to get in a car with a stranger (shit we tell our kids this) but here we go throwing caution to the wind and playing Russian roulette with our lives.
“Ashley, I love you …. I’m Ubering as we speak, if I don’t make it I just want you to know you were my favorite” I texted my daughter.
“Nooooooo….jump out of the car now!” she replied.
Thankfully, the Uber gods were on our side and delivered us Philip who got us to our destination safely and in one piece.
The destination was Etch, this is where we dined on succulent lamb and a filet and let me tell you that the food was orgasmic! My taste buds are still thanking me and the wine….ohhh the wine was superb.
Around 7:30 pm we meet the girls down on Broadway and let me just say that one would have thought they were either on the streets of Las Vegas or Time Square if they saw what I saw. People were everywhere….lines of semi drunk people waiting to get into the top bars….. the only place without a line out to the street was Margaritaville, so we headed inside and took residence upstairs by the bar, we laughed…drank, listened to a rocking band who was so kind to sing my request, which was Jolene by Dolly Parton.
Yes, for those who know me…. KNOW you get the stink eye or a quick hush it when you start singing that song to me. You hear it for 40 something years, it rather wears on a person…..but not that night, no sir …WHEN IN NASHVILLE! and to hear my girlfriends sing Jolene to me was……..Priceless. They are the best!! I’m extremely blessed to have them in my life!
By 9:30 we made our way downstairs and out on the streets of downtown Nashville….this was it, we were going to find a place to dance the night away. The six of us squeezed our way through a herd of people, being bumped and pushed like nobody’s business.
9:45 pm: “You know they have a live band and karaoke back at the hotel” I suggested and in unison everyone was game. All of us agreed that obnoxious twenty year olds and crowds were no longer our thing. We’d take on Nashville another time but tonight we wanted to keep our sanity…..plus, we had wine and beer back at our rooms!
Now, don’t be disappointed … we tucked Nashville to bed. Amy sang Sweet Home Alabama ….we danced and I even showed the girls how to do the simple yet very cool 80’s dance move while “Hey Mickey” was being sung. Nope, there’s no video of it and hopefully the girls were too inebriated to remember, but it happened and by 1:30 am we hung up our dancing shoes and hit the hay.
Remember that Chewbacca mask I mentioned at the beginning of this post?
At god knows what time, probably 5:00 am I woke up to what I thought was her Chewbacca mask. I didn’t want to move, I could barely even open my eyes. All that was going through my head was “I’m going to kill her…..I’m going to roll over and see her with that dang mask on her face” well, I rolled over but she wasn’t wearing any mask. SHE WAS SNORING LIKE CHEWBACCA! Oh bloody hell my blog sister snores like Chewbacca. I laid there waiting ….praying for that sound to stop. Sure, I could have thrown a pillow at her head, but I was too tired to move. Somehow, call it pure exhaustion I fell back to sleep to wake up an hour later.
Sure we could have slept in and taken our time getting ready but not us, we were up…dressed and on the road within the hour.
Note to self :
We hate wine
If we lick ourselves, we will get drunk
No “going home” selfies
(Trust me, we did the online world just service by not partaking in any selfie taking)
Authors are known for creating playlists that represent the books that they wrote, well we wanted to have a little fun and create a Utopia playlist.
Amy thank you for joining me on this trip, I seriously couldn’t imagine doing this trip without you. Love you girl….thank you for all the laughs and down to earth girl moments.