Finishing in second place in the Health Occupations Student Association Healthcare Issues State Exam in April earned me an all expenses paid trip to the National HOSA Conference in Nashville, Tennessee at the end of June. Most of the time was spent at the Gaylord Opryland Resort competing in my event, sitting by the pool, reading, and relaxing before I had to return home to Florida and begin a six-week externship in order to graduate from Pensacola State College's Medical Assisting program.
But I was getting bored sitting by the pool and getting chlorine in my eyes or sunburned, and when our chaperone, Carol, and our very kind bus driver John offered to take us to Nashville to tour around the city on Saturday morning, several of us jumped at the chance for a free trip to town to relieve us from boredom at the hotel. Laura and Pam made plans to go to the Country Music Hall of Fame and others decided to go shopping for cowboy boots or other goodies while others like me who didn't want to spend $30 for a museum or the Hall of Fame thought a good walk around town was a good thing to do. So we jumped on the bus about 9 a.m. and off we were to downtown Nashville.
Nashville is Tennessee's capital city and is known as the "Music City" and is the center of country music of America. Nashville was founded by several members of the Overmountain Men in 1779 a was named for Francis Nash, who was a hero of the American Revolution. Located on the Cumberland River, Nashville became a strategic river port and eventually when the railroad came that way, a strategic rail port. This made Nashville an important conquest for the Union Army during the Civil War and in February, 1862, Nashville was the first big Confederate city and state capital to fall to Union troops. The Confederate Army under General Hood tried to retake Nashville in what became known as the Battle of Nashville from December 15-16, 1864 but failed miserably and Nashville stayed in Union hands.
Today Nashville still is an important government, shipping, and cultural center and is also home to the Tennessee Titans NFL Football team and the Grand Ole Opry.
As I said before, I decided to take advantage of the trip to downtown Nashville and spent the time walking around the shops on Broadway, 2nd Street, and other main drags of the Music City. Not a country music fan, I just went along for the ride and watched Carol search for cowboy boots for her grandkids. There are several cowboy boot shops in Downtown Nashville, and almost all of them had the Buy One Pair, Get 2 Pairs Free deal. Carol was able to get three pairs of boots for her grandkids and one of their friends. For those like me who do not like country music that much, there is the Hard Rock Cafe where one can eat and enjoy rock n roll culture in Nashville.
After a couple of hours of walking around Nashville, Carol and I decided to round up the troops and have lunch at the Hard Rock before getting back on the bus at 2 for the trip back to our hotel and our final awards ceremony before heading home to Florida the next morning. I wasn't too impressed with Nashville but it was worth a couple of hours of my time to tour around and see what it was all about. I am sure anyone who is a country music fan would love to go to Nashville, but I think I will stay by the pool next time. HA HA!