A Trip of a Lifetime: Experiencing Nashville and the 2017 CMA Awards

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Road-tripping your way around Nashville just before going to the Country Music Association Awards (CMAs) would be an experience of a lifetime. Thanks to Chevrolet, it can be done in the comfort of a 2018 Silverado 1500 Z71 that rides like you’re rolling along in your living room! Two Texas Media Group staff members did just that this past week as the guests of Chevrolet, touring the Country Music Capital of the nation just prior to attending the much-anticipated CMAs.

Experiencing Nashville and the 2017 CMA Awards: A Trip of a Lifetime

Photo: Shannon Salas

From the moment of arrival at Nashville International Airport to pick up a shiny, red 2018 Chevrolet Silverado (including all the bells and whistles), this entire experience was one a country music fan would cherish forever and is easy to replicate. The Silverado came with onboard wifi, making navigation of Nashville a breeze! It also featured several USB ports, allowing the Texas Hill Country website and social media pages to easily be updated with all the pictures and posts direct from Music City USA!

Experiencing Nashville and the 2017 CMA Awards: A Trip of a Lifetime

Photo: Facebook/Omni Nashville Hotel

From the airport, our travelers checked into the luxurious Omni Nashville Hotel in the downtown core, where it was rumored by a staff member that the industry’s biggest stars book their accommodations in order to be close to their performance venue, Bridgestone Arena (also the setting for the 2017 CMA Awards). After checking in and relieving the truck of their baggage, it was off to hair appointments for the Chevrolet meet-and-greet affair on the red carpet!

Experiencing Nashville and the 2017 CMA Awards: A Trip of a Lifetime

Photo: Facebook/Rodney Mitchell Salon

Stylists at Rodney Mitchell Salon, located in historic Hillsboro Village (ironically, right across the street from a Hopdoddy Burger Bar location!) did the beautiful hairstyles of both Texas Media Group staff members Meg Moorhead and Shannon Salas. Offering them beverages and helpful local conversation (their salon was the location for the CMA pre-event prep by Extra’s Alecia Davis), their beauty experts created the perfect styles for the pair prior to heading out for a night of glitz and glamour with country music’s hottest stars!

Photo: Spring Sault

Following the pre-show prep, which included putting on their best formal gowns from Austin Fairy Godmother (located in Leander, TX), these lovely ladies were escorted to the red carpet for a pre-party event, featuring a huge selection of hors-d’oeuvres, drinks, and fine conversation with country music industry representatives and stars alike. Meeting great people such as Chris Janson, Darius Rucker, and even Uncle Si Robertson, the pair already had an entertaining time and the CMAs hadn’t yet begun!

Experiencing Nashville and the 2017 CMA Awards: A Trip of a Lifetime

Photo: Facebook/Spring Sault

After the pre-party, guests and attendees began filing into Bridgestone Arena and making their way to their seats for what was going to be the party of the year for country music – the 51st annual CMA Awards! A night where outstanding achievement in the industry is recognized for both broadcasters and artists, the CMAs were no disappointment for the visiting Texas Media Group members. Performances by the great Reba McEntire, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, Garth Brooks, and Alan Jackson, were dotted by entertaining presentations by the event hosts, Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley. Not only that, but special presenters made their way to the podium and Texas music and artists were well represented throughout the evening. Miranda Lambert repeated taking home the award for Female Vocalist of the Year, while her album “Weight of These Wings” received a nomination for Album of the Year, her song “Tin Man” was nominated for Song of the Year, and “Vice” also received a nomination for Video of the Year.

Experiencing Nashville and the 2017 CMA Awards: A Trip of a Lifetime

Photo: Facebook/Spring Sault

At the final presentation of Entertainer of the Year, which was given to Garth Brooks, it was clear that all those in attendance were in favor of this CMA selection. The evening’s final performance by Alan Jackson, flanked by hosts Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley, sent guests and visitors out of Bridgestone Arena and onto the streets of Nashville on a high note.

Photo: Shannon Salas

In the fashion of those famous words, “You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here,” crowds were ushered out into the hub of music city to continue their own private celebrations in country style. Many visited local bars, paying homage to those that continue to work their way up in the industry, while our Texas Media Group representatives chose to dress down in their jeans and cowboy boots and head out for a late-night meal at Sun Diner (a tribute to Sun Records). Their meals featured a Donut Breakfast Sandwich (yes, you read that right!), which consisted of a homemade sausage patty, fried egg, and cheddar cheese wedged between two glazed donuts, and of course an order of Chicken N’ Waffles!

Experiencing Nashville and the 2017 CMA Awards: A Trip of a Lifetime

Photo: Facebook/Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

Chevrolet wrapped up the trip in style for the pair by providing their ground transportation to and from the airport, the hotel, and the CMAs, as well as the opportunity to visit other great Nashville sights like the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and the Opry Mills Mall (featuring a stellar Bass Pro Shop, if you ever get the chance.) A trip for these two Texans also wouldn’t be complete without a stop at the Willie Nelson and Friends Museum and General Store! After getting souvenirs for family and friends, airport drop-offs were made, and that beautiful 2018 Chevrolet Silverado was the chariot that made it all happen. If you’re ever planning to visit Tennessee and looking to make the drive from Texas, consider the itinerary that these lovely ladies enjoyed, and you won’t be led astray. Not everyone gets the chance to go to the CMAs, but then not everyone gets the opportunity to get to Nashville either – take the trip, and enjoy the ride!