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50 before 25 - Tennessee & Kentucky


Tennessee: The Volunteer State

State #: 27

Cities traveled to: Nashville, Hermitage 

Population: 6.9M

Minimum wage: $7.25/hr

Famous people from TN:

Morgan Freeman, Dolly Parton, Megan Fox, Davy Crockett 


Kentucky: Unbridled Spirit

State #: 28

Cities traveled to: Louisville, Park City

Population: 4.4M

Minimum wage: $7.25/hr

Famous people from KT:

Tom Cruise, Jennifer Lawrence, George Clooney Tinashe


Howdy y’all!

Nashville on New Year's Eve was an absolute blast and I'm here to spill the beans.


Miki and I embarked on our craziest adventure yet, conquering seven states in less than a month.


Talk about whiplash. 


But let's talk about the main event: New Year's Eve in Nashville with our two awesome girlfriends, Kate and Julia.

Our flight from EWR took off late afternoon on December 29th. Miki and I, desperately trying to preserve our PTO, rushed straight from work (big thanks to Tracy's dad for the ride!) Feeling daring, Miki and I did something we rarely do: headed straight to the airport bar. I mean, it was Friday night and we were Nashville bound, so we needed some liquid courage, right? So we cozied up to the EWR terminal A bar—where all the cool kids spend their Friday nights. 


Now, picture this—two little ladies who rarely drink, sipping on two cocktails before a flight. Let's just say, excitement mixed with booze resulted in a very tipsy Miki and Robyn. A sage piece of advice: hoisting carry-ons into the overhead compartments is a punishment of a task on a good day, but when the motionless plane is spinning you can’t help but laugh as your luggage almost plummets on the innocent flyer in seat 14A. 


Miki, true to form, passed out for the entire plane ride while I stayed wide awake, mesmerized by her beauty. Just kidding! It was the perfect opportunity to watch a movie, so I thought to indulge in the classic Crazy Stupid Love but admittedly I listened to music most of the flight. Seated to the right of me was Kate, absolutely enthralled in her movie the entire flight Minions: Rise of Gru. And seated to the right of Kate was Julia, the only one prepared for the plane ride, watching movies she proactively downloaded the night before. 


As soon as we landed in Nashville, we grabbed our rental car (got lost a few times),  checked into our hotel (avoided parking at said hotel to avoid the crazy valet fees), and made a beeline for the liquor store. Can you guess what we bought? Wine. Duh. 


Now, I have to admit, we didn't hit the town that night. We were exhausted from work, so we decided to stay in and rest up for our early morning drive to Kentucky. Our fearless friends, Kate and Julia, wasted no time putting on their boots and hitting Broadway!


The next morning, we kicked off Saturday with what I can confidently say was the best continental breakfast I've ever had. Everything was so delicious, I filled my plate with loads of fresh fruit and whatever potato variation they had—my go-to breakfast. 


Miki and I waved goodbye to the slumbering duo, Kate and Julia, who clearly had a blast on their own—so much so that Kate’s wallet decided to spend the night at the bar! Luckily for us her wallet awaited her return the next morning, untouched. Can you imagine the hassle of getting home without it, or the New Year's Eve disaster of being wallet-less at the bar entrance? Crisis averted, Miki and I hit the road to Kentucky, with Mammoth Cave as our first stop. 


Go. To. Mammoth. Cave.  


This place is mind-blowing. Mammoth Cave National Park is hands down one of the coolest things I've ever witnessed. It's the world's longest cave system, with 426 miles already explored and about 200 miles still waiting to be discovered. After a quick tour of the welcome center and museum, we ditched our initial plan of hitting the park's walking trails and snagged tickets for the next cave tour instead.


Go to Mammoth Cave. Hop on that tour. You can thank me later.


Navigating Mammoth Cave is a unique experience. It's dimly lit, and you'll find yourself ducking and squeezing through tight spaces, some aptly named "Fat Man's Misery." It’s like staring in your own adventure movie with echoed sound effects added to every move you made. The moisture in the air felt like a blanket and I could definitely feel the lack of oxygen. Our two-mile tour definitely required some physicality, at some points mimicking what felt like an intermediate yoga class. We left with stretched hamstrings, sore quads and a Notre Dame style hunch. And I cannot forget about the over 250 steps we climbed. Not to worry though! They have ADA compliant tours too. Our guide, Josh, was a wealth of knowledge, spilling all the tea on the cave's rich history. He left us with a motto to live by—get out there and discover! We’re taking that advice, Josh. 


Post-Mammoth Cave, we hit the road to Churchill Downs. I was more than excited to see the home of the Kentucky Derby. This place is HUGE. Miki and I thought we'd taken a wrong turn as the building is smack dab in a residential neighborhood. It's like finding a castle in your backyard. Despite its odd placement, it's a sight to see. Since it was winter, no live races were on, but Miki and I bravely embarked on a self-guided tour. We felt like pioneers, the only women in a sea of men. Inside, we found slot machines, food courts, and simulcast rooms to bet on live horse races happening elsewhere. We’re so glad we had the courage to go in and snoop around.  


After our action-packed morning, which included a road trip to Kentucky, a cave hike, and a flutter on the horses (and it was still only early afternoon)— we made our way to Louisville. We swung by the Louisville Slugger museum (pun intended) home to the world's biggest baseball bat; I dashed out, snapped a quick pic, and then demanded we stop for dinner. My stomach was growling.


We decided to try The Old Spaghetti Factory which was…Delicious! I indulged in their house famous Mizithra cheese pasta—-a heaping bowl of rich and savory pasta that, despite my hunger, I struggled to finish. 


With full bellies we journeyed back to Nashville for a fun-filled evening with Kate and Julia. We stayed up until the wee hours, trying to play card games (constantly getting too distracted by all our chatting), savoring wine, and just enjoying each other's company. Girls just being girls, can’t ask for more than that. 


The next morning we didn't wake up too early because we wanted to save up our energy for the epic New Year's Eve celebration in Nashville. And let me tell you, Nashville did not disappoint! Walking down Broadway felt like stepping into a movie scene. The whole place was overflowing with cowboy boots, bell bottom jeans, and mustaches galore. I absolutely loved the vibe (partially because I'm a sucker for a good mustache—I have to admit—but hey, I digress)!


Our first stop was a boot barn, and guess what? I scored a pair of red bedazzled cowboy boots that I couldn't wait to rock later that night. I totally killed it! And they totally killed my feet…


After getting back to the hotel and getting all dolled up, we headed to a line dancing saloon to start our night. 


Line dancing is no joke. 


It may look easy, but it's a whole different story once it's your feet on the dance floor. Picture this—four moderately coordinated friends stepping onto the dance floor, thinking, "How hard can it be?” Pan to us practically just throwing our limbs around hoping to magically pick up the rhythm. Talk about two left feet? I felt like I had three with all the tripping over myself I was doing.  But nonetheless we had an absolute blast desperately trying to keep up with the instructors. 


We grabbed an early dinner at the same saloon and then lined up outside Tootsies, a live band bar that didn't have a crazy $75 cover charge. Tootsies was amazing! Both bands that performed were absolutely killing it, playing all the best country music. Admittedly country is not my favorite genre but I am definitely here for it. But hey, when in Nashville! We danced our way into the new year and I could not have asked for a better time.


If you are enjoying keeping up with out travels, please be sure to subscribe below to be the first to know when a new article is published! For more pictures and videos of our travels, head to Instagram and give us a follow @iam.wwoman. Thank you for your support!

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