Thursday, June 30, 2016

Dashville7: The Video

Hey guys!

I'm not master video editor (aside from my glorious song/video for my mom) but I wanted to put a video together of all the shenanigans from my 30th birthday trip to Nashville. It's kind of split in two parts: 1. Dancing/music/drama/fun times and 2. chill/Land Between the Lakes/singing/guitar playing! The video is 10 minutes long so I anticipate only members of Dashville7 will watch it - but enjoy!


1. Dancing on a street at 0:20
2. Dancing on a bridge at 0:42
3. Ursula's PSA to bell makers everywhere at 1:13
4. Savva broke is iWatch at 1:59
5. Bieber mania at 2:23
6. Ursula's awesome rendition of "Walk the Line" at 3:40
7. Dancing to Michael Jackson's"Earth Song" at 4:30
7. Quick second of me singing En Vogue at 4:36
8. James walking in on 4 ladies dancing to Michael Jackson at 5:00 (and we continued to dance)
9. "I'm in freaking Kentucky!" at 5:36
10. Elk and Bison Prairie at 5:42
11. Admiring the bison and wondering about it's happiness at 6:49
12. Singing Fiona Apple in the car at 8:08
13. James soloing on guitar at Fanny's at 9:11

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Land Between the Lakes, Tennessee/Kentucky Border

If you follow this ol' blog, you probably know I enjoy hiking and being out in greenery. If you know me personally, you definitely know that making parks/nature/greenery/hiking a part of my trips is a priority. Well, with Dashville7 I was lucky enough to have a group of people who all felt the same way! In planning for this trip to Nashville, I researched Land Between the Lakes, a United States National Recreation Area located in Tennessee and Kentucky. It is an inland peninsula (I didn't even know that was a phrase) between Cumberland  and Tennessee Lakes. It was designated a National Recreation Area by President John F. Kennedy in 1963.

The main road is called The Trace.
This is not the main road, but Savva led us to a cool first spot.

I want to go back. Look how much fun we are having!
It sure looks pretty, but the closer you get, the deeper you sink into the mud!
We drove by several old family cemeteries, the Gatlin family probably lived and owned land here before the area was condemned due to overflooding. Gatlin Point is named after them. Everyone died so young in the 1800s.

Gatlin Point

We found a beautiful spot near Gatlin Point Campground and, basically, had a photo shoot while Rikka explored some trails. Enjoy.
Bear Creek

Ursula! What a cutie!

The Soviet Bloc

South Bison Range

When planning for this part of our trip, I did ample research on Elk & Bison Prairie, and that is where we were heading until we came across South Bison Range and saw bison hanging out in the distance!

Hey, dudes!

Crossing State Lines

Land Between the Lakes is sprawled out on two states: Tennessee and Kentucky. So naturally, it was a big deal for me (I mean, all of us?) to get out on the state line and be in two states at the same time!

When crossing state lines, you can be in two states at the same time!
One foot in Tennessee, the other foot in Kentucky.
Gettin' it done.

Elk & Bison Prairie 

It was a very "Jurassic Park"-esque entrance. We paid a fee, rolled up to the gate,
it opened mechanically as we sang the John Williams score,
and then we drove around looking at animals.
So close to us =)
Bison straight chillin'
Can you spot the baby bison?!

This guy was checking out Stef's butt. He had the right idea.
Lone bison.

The elk were a bit more hidden. 
We found one young buck out on his own grazing some grass.
No big antlers yet, young buck!
Bison are so cool. 

Energy Lake

After the emotions and excitement around seeing bison, elk and a turkey, we found the perfect picnic spot by Energy Lake in Land Between the Lakes. It was a truly gorgeous afternoon, and I felt so lucky to be with these great people as we ate and enjoyed the sunset.
View of Crooked Creek Bay, opposite Energy Lake
Turkey and cheese sandwiches, chips, and other good good stuff.
Everything tastes great after a day exploring the great outdoors!
Dashvile7 Picnic Edition
Sunset over Energy Lake
Sibling love!
Ah yes, peace.
First swim of the year!
Dashville7 OUT

PS - The ride home was beautiful, fields of canola flowers everywhere:

A Little Bit of Music in Music City

Welcome to Music City!
Gibson guitar at the airport.
According to local oral tradition, when Nashville's Fisk Jubilee Singers performed for Queen Victoria in 1873, she was so impressed and said they had to be from Music City. Others say that Nashville was nicknamed "Music City" by a radio DJ in 1950, regardless, the history of music business in Nashville goes back hundreds of years! In 1950 Nashville was the place to be for jumping blues, R&B, gospel, and pop music. Before World War II, the big Nashville hotels had in-house dance orchestras where many singers got their start. These days when we think of Nashville, we think of country music on full blast - and that is very true, but the city is also home to all kinds of music genres.

Dashville7 consists of musicians and singers. Ursula and I went to performing arts high school and grew up singing and playing guitar. Rikka played flute in marching band. Savva is now a filmmaker (and recently filmed Joan Jett, Slash, and other rock musicians!) and also plays guitar and drums. Jess played violin in her high school's symphony orchestra. James is always in bands playing guitar or bass. So, Nashville was a perfect place for us all to gather and enjoy the musical vibes. We did not experience a lot of the music scene in Nashville, but we did get a good introduction. I hope to return one day soon to do some more exploring and maybe catching a show at Jack White's Blue Room!
Welcome to Music City, where Johnny Cash and music greet you at the airport!
Johnny Cash Museum

I am happy to admit that years ago Ursula and I watched the movie about Johnny Cash staring Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon "Walk the Line" in theaters in 2005. Ever since then I have liked Johnny Cash's music especially his live albums at Folsom Prison and San Quentin. As a result I was excited to go to the Johnny Cash Museum in Nashville! I learned a lot about the Man in Black including his belief in pro-rehabilitation/anti-punishment in prisons. This is a major part of the work that I do, and it was so great to discover that a musician I really like shared and advocated for these same beliefs!
The beamed up Johnny Cash from the grave for this photo. This is not a wax sculpture!

Third Man Records

I don't want to risk sounding like a fangirl, so here are some photos of Third Man Records, Jack White's record store/studio/venue in Nashville. It's really dope.
The other half of the building has a blue door
Third Man Records
Coolest ladies
Having a blast. Bought only 3 records. Only.
This place is so freaking cool.
White Stripes Memorabilia
Savva playing Metallica, of course.
Rikka with the 3 Men
Fanny's House of Music
We stumbled upon Fanny's House of Music in the neighborhood of East Nashville on our last day. This place is filled with musical instruments, vintage clothing, fun jewelry, and some fantastic staff members. We spent too much/not enough time here playing different things and Rikka and I listened to some music stories told by a woman who works at the store. 

Check out all these cool lady musicians and their guitars!

Is this uke in tune or am I just rusty?

The Hot Musical Mess that is Downtown/NashVegas/Broadway

Want to listen to some live music and then walk next door and listen to more live music and then walk next door and ....? Want to buy boots while some dude plays guitar on the street outside the store? Want to sing karaoke after seeing all that live music? Welcome to Downtown - find yourself on the 2-3 block stretch on Broadway that will allow you to do all of the above and then some! It wouldn't be the place I would choose to hang out if I lived in Nashville, but it sure was a whirlwind of sound and light to experience for one night!

A music venue every 20 steps.

Robert's Western World is a must-see even if it is jam packed. The live band here was fantastic.

<3 These two and their surprise
Next door was Layla's Bluegrass Inn.
The omnipresent AT&T tower.