The madness that is CMA Fest (Weekly Winners)

If you could see me in this moment (and thank heavens you can’t) you’d see the picture of exhaustion. I mean bone tired, can’t stand up without leaning on something, tummy hurts, cranky exhaustion.

It’s Fan Fair (aka CMA Fest) hangover. It’s because I’ve been going non-stop for six days straight, getting maybe 5 hours of sleep each night. Yes, 5-Hour energy drinks have been my friend. Now, I am riding my couch with no interest in going anywhere but to bed.

It was a fun week though, with its highs and its lows. And I thought it was a great opportunity to combine my Weekly Winners and a CMA Fest recap.

I’ll hit the only REAL low of the week… Dear tourists, PLEASE LOSE THE TUNNEL VISION! We are glad you are here, but we really need you to remember some of us live here and work here. Open your eyes and be aware of your surroundings.

Every day, my husband and I couldn’t find parking in the garage where we have a parking permit BECAUSE OF PEOPLE DOUBLE PARKING!! I spoke with friends who have passes to other garages and they ALL ran into this problem. Tourists double parked in garages with no regard to the fact that they’re making someone go find somewhere else to park and that they’re taking money out of the parking garage’s pocket by taking up two space. Two spaces, you should have to double pay. Maybe THAT will stop you from taking up more than one spot?

If that wasn’t frustrating enough, we now have a big, deep scratch in our truck door thanks to someone not only opening their door into it, you can tell where they left it up against the door as they got in or out of the car. And I pointed out to my husband, my bet is that they never realized what they did. (Yeah, I know this is why people double park, but I refuse to be a jerk like that.)

Especially considering how many people cut me off on foot downtown. Oblivious to the fact I was there at all. Just walked across in front of me, to where I had to come to a dead stop as to not plow right into them as I walked along a straight line down the sidewalk. It just made me shake my head and sigh.

So that rant behind me, I bring you photos of the week’s fun, starting with last Sunday when we were trying to enjoy a little fun before the madness began:

207: Great American Food Truck Race
The Great American Food Truck Race was in Nashville last weekend! My husband helped me seek out one of the trucks and we actually had to sign releases since they filmed us getting our food! So who knows… maybe we’ll be on Food Network some day. Even if only a glimpse.

208: Margarita Monday

 Monday we met friends for Margarita Monday, knowing it would be our last hoorah before it all began for us. CMA Fest didn’t technically start until Thursday, but my madness began on Tuesday.

210: CMA Fest attendees

 For anyone curious… Nashvillians don’t dress this way. If you don’t want to look like a tourist, don’t dress like this and carry guitars on your back. This is just a friendly PSA.

211: Looking down
Spent every single day and night in Printer’s Alley. The days were a bit slow, but the nights were absolutely hoppin’!

CMA Fest 2012

 So I finally had a few hours to go check out the CMA Fest hub on Broadway. I remember attending Fan Fair as a fan back in 1997, and I like to go check out the free stuff and remember what previous years were like. Okay, fine, I am judging you, CMA, and how you handle this yearly festival.

CMA Fest 2012

Apparently attendance was up once again this year, though it was hard to see, to me. But we also have a lot of new bars, etc. through downtown. So maybe the crowd was up, but it was also much more spread out? Plus, the temperatures weren’t sweltering, like usual. And fans stayed outside more than usual? Perhaps? Hmmm..

CMA Fest 2012

Thankfully, Blue Bell ice cream was once again giving out free samples. This makes this little Texan’s heart so happy. So. Very. Happy.

CMA Fest 2012

But, really, CMA. What does PS3 have to do with Country Music? Unless they are sampling some new country music video game, it just makes no sense to me. I’m sorry. But it doesn’t. Same for the antifreeze booth beside this one. Whyyyyyy? (And I was not the only person asking this question.)

CMA Fest 2012

The “Jesus Freaks” were back. I’m a Christian. I believe in God. My God is a loving God. These guy’s God is judgmental and sending us all to hell for even breathing. I kinda wanted to go ask the cops if these guys had a permit to sell religion, since they were within the CMA area? (See the sign photo above.)

Side story! See that boot shop in the photo? It reminds me of a fun moment.

I noticed one of the boot shops on Broadway had a sign up about getting your SEC Team boots inside. I couldn’t resist… I went in to inquire about Texas A&M boots. The couple in front of me beat me to it. I surprised them by piping up that I was wondering the same thing, and then shaking hands with my class year as an introduction, as Aggies do after I spotted an Aggie Ring on the husband’s hand. The pair seemed thoroughly confused on why I was even speaking to him. Oh in-state Aggies, please remember that the Aggie family is world-wide. Those of us that don’t live in Texas any more find a thrill in finding other Aggies…

Ah well… still made me smile.


CMA Fest 2012

The Opry had my favorite booth on Broadway. This made me giggle, and if I were attending with friends as a fan… I’d have totally jumped in and played, too.

212: CMA Fest 2012

Gotta admit, I didn’t agree with some of the city’s moves regarding traffic downtown, but on a whole… I appreciated the task Metro Police had to tackle, and my hats off to them for keeping things running as smoothly as they did. I think I’M exhausted! Woo! Can’t imagine how all these guys feel!

CMA Fest 2012HGTV gets my award for coolest new feature for Fan Fair. I couldn’t go inside (no wristband) but this Lodge was SO COOL. Can’t wait to see where else it pops up in the future.

Whiskey KitchenMy husband and I lived on Hot Dogs and McDonald’s most of the week, eating on the fly. The last day, though, we decided to treat ourselves to a sit-down dinner at a new-to-us restaurant. Whiskey Kitchen in Nashville. TWO THUMBS UP! SO good. Worth every single penny.

Tomkins Guitars Showcase

Our last night of work, the bar hosted a Tomkins Guitar Showcase. We were over run with Australians! And let me tell you, SO NICE! All of them! And amazing artists. Sorry, but it took a band from Australia coming in to bring in some hard-core country music. Refreshing! Already looking forward to next year and this showcase again.

214: Tomkins Guitars ShowcaseAnother CMA Fest is in the books. I’m exhausted but I am also thankful for the work, and I am reminded that this city exists thanks to all those country music fans… and all of us here are here because we are fans at heart.

Thank you country music fans! We love you and you are always welcome…

… just keep a head’s up, please. ;)


Started by the lovely Lotus, Weekly Winners is a fun little thing bloggers do to showcase some of their favorite photos from the previous week.

Visit Lotus’ site and check out her various entries, and find other participants. See some amazing photos brought to you by bloggers around the world. Leave a little love when you do — its like food for the soul!

 Photos taken using my Droid Razr or a Sony DSLR A230.
View all of my photos on my Flickr stream.

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