I’m still on cloud nine from my wonderful weekend in Nashville. I made so many memories and attended the 8th Annual Josie Music Awards. This was one of the most special trips of my life, full of adventures and amazing moments. I’m beyond excited to share the highlights from my unforgettable weekend in Music City.
Traveling to Nashville
On October 21, I woke up before dawn to catch a 6:15 am flight. This was my first time on a plane since the pandemic, and I loved flying again, even though I was exhausted.
After my parents and I arrived at the airport, we grabbed something small to eat while we waited for my sister to land about an hour after us. Once we were all together, it was time to kick off the weekend in Nashville.
A Fun Friday in Music City
After a real breakfast at the hotel, we spent quite a bit of time on Broadway.
It felt amazing to be back, and my sister and I went to a ton of shops. Well, she went on a mini shopping spree. At this point, I only got one thing, a super cute Nashville hoodie that I wore off and on the rest of the trip.
Later in the afternoon, we went to see the Parthenon in Centennial Park. This was 100 percent my idea, and I was bursting with excitement. I wanted to see the Parthenon when I was in Nashville last year, but it didn’t work out.
I love Greek mythology, and I seriously couldn’t wait to see Athena’s statue. It’s an exact replica of the one built way back in ancient Greece, and let’s just say I may or may not have felt like I was in a Percy Jackson novel.
If you know me, you know I love my souvenirs, so I bought a cute little Parthenon to put on my bookshelf in my room. I’m so glad visiting the Parthenon worked out this trip.
Next, my mom and sister wanted to stop by two shops, Kristin Cavallari’s Uncommon James and Jessie James Decker’s Kittenish. I didn’t buy any jewelry at Kristin’s store, but I loved the clothes at Jessie’s.
I ended up getting an adorable dress that I wore that night for dinner. After buying my Nashville hoodie, mini Parthenon, and dress, I was feeling great about the first day of Nashville adventures.
My family and I went back to the hotel to get ready for dinner and relax for a few hours. Check out this view from the top floor of the hotel.
Isn’t the dress I got at Kittenish so cute? I love it!
For dinner, we went to a fabulous Italian restaurant called Giovanni Ristorante. By this point, I was completely exhausted from traveling so early and doing a ton of things during the day, but dinner was fantastic. I highly recommend eating at Giovanni Ristorante if you ever go to Nashville.
So, that’s a wrap on my first day in Music City. Even though I was running on almost no sleep, it was fantastic being back in the city, and I couldn’t wait for the rest of the weekend.
The Saturday Adventures
Saturday, October 22, was truly incredible. When I was in Nashville last year, I found out about 3rd and Lindsley and the Backstage Nashville Daytime Hit Songwriters Show that takes place every Saturday. By the time I heard about it, the weekend had passed. So, I made sure to put Backstage Nashville on my list for this trip.
The most special part about the afternoon was getting to meet one of my friends and co-writers, Paige Ruderman, for the first time. We’ve been writing over Zoom for months, so it was the best to finally meet her and spend the afternoon enjoying outstanding music by talented songwriters. During the show, Paige and I saw Brice Long, Marla Cannon-Goodman, Ray Stephenson, Randall Fowler, Tia McGraff, and Stella Prince.
If I lived in Nashville, I’d go to this event every weekend. I loved every song that was performed, and I enjoyed hearing the songwriters share stories. The show was such a memorable two hours, and I left feeling extremely inspired. It was beautiful to attend an event where the focus was on the songwriters. Backstage Nashville does so much to give songwriters a spotlight. There wouldn’t be music without songwriters, so I always appreciate when songwriting is recognized as the special art form that it is.
This was an afternoon I’ll never forget, and I’m glad I got to spend it with Paige. She’s become a great friend, and I’m looking forward to writing more songs with her.
After Backstage Nashville, my sister and I wanted to get photos with the I Believe in Nashville mural. I didn’t get a chance to see the mural last time I was in Music City, so I’m super happy my sister and I got to this time around.
For dinner, we went to Stony River Steakhouse. I love this restaurant so much. I went there twice last year, and I tell everyone who mentions they’re going to Nashville to eat there. I couldn’t wait to have dinner at Stony River Steakhouse again, and it was just as fantastic as last year.
Also, can we take a moment to appreciate the masterpiece of deliciousness that is this cake?
My family and I wrapped up the night by spending some time on Broadway. The Josie Music Awards were the next day, and I seriously couldn’t believe it was almost time for what would be one of the most magical experiences ever.
The Josie Music Awards
Attending the 8th Annual Josie Music Awards on October 23 was one of the most surreal experiences of my life. It was such a special day, and I’m forever grateful for my nominations and the once in a lifetime opportunity the awards gave me.
I kicked off the day by getting my hair and makeup done. It’s been a while since I got my hair styled and makeup professionally done, so this was fun. I can’t thank the makeup artist at Sephora on Broadway and hair stylist at Drybar Nashville enough for helping me get ready for my first awards show.
After my family and I finished getting ready for the awards, we had a mini photo shoot in the hotel lobby.
I honestly felt like a pop princess.
Then, it was time to head to the awards. My friend and guitarist, Luke Wood, went to the awards with me, so we stopped by Belmont to pick him up before driving to the Grand Ole Opry House. I still can’t believe that the awards show was held at one of the most iconic venues in the world.
My first red carpet was pure magic. I tried extremely hard to be as present as possible and take it all in because I’ve always dreamed of attending a red carpet event. The experience was more magical than my wildest dreams.
The red carpet interviews were absolutely surreal. After doing so many virtual interviews, it was incredible to finally do some in person during the red carpet. I must admit, the whole experience was a little overwhelming but in the best way. I got the opportunity to do four interviews, and though I was a little nervous, I enjoyed every second.
Also, Luke and I got a handful of professional pictures taken during the red carpet, so I seriously can’t wait to see those when the time comes. I kept mentally pinching myself to make sure I wasn’t imagining the whole thing. Getting stopped by photographers and being complimented for how I looked at the event made me feel amazing. Excitement sparkled in the air, and my cheeks hurt from smiling. My red carpet experience couldn’t have been more perfect.
I’ve watched many red carpet events on TV for other awards shows, but that can’t compare to what it was like to be part of one. I’m so blessed that I got this wonderful opportunity, and I’ll always remember my first red carpet.
After the red carpet and media, Luke and I went inside the Grand Ole Opry House for the awards ceremony. The 8th Annual Josie Music Awards was truly a special night. It felt amazing to be in the same room as so many talented songwriters and artists and celebrate the independent music community. I’ve heard that the JMAs community is a family, and now, I fully understand what everyone meant. I got to be part of something very special, and the awards reminded me that there are so many talented and kind people in the music industry.
Also, I’m beyond happy I got to meet my friend, Cody Murphy, at the awards. He’s such a ray of light. I’ve been on his podcast, and he’s been on mine. Finally getting to meet was an unforgettable moment.
Even though I didn’t win an award, I’m so grateful to have been nominated for Pop Artist of the Year and Pop Album of the Year. Receiving two nominations is a massive accomplishment in itself. Every nominee was so deserving, and I’m honored to have been included in such a talented group.
Not many people get to experience what I did at the JMAs. The day of the awards reminded me to always stay humble and appreciate every opportunity I’m given. The music industry is a place that requires someone to take a chance on you. The JMAs took a chance on me and gave me priceless memories I’ll forever hold close to my heart.
My weekend in Nashville couldn’t have been more special. I’m thankful for every memory. I feel so inspired and motivated to keep chasing my songwriting dreams. For now, though, it’s important for me to reflect on the weekend’s adventures and the awards and feel pure grattitude for every moment. I’m always doing so much that my mind’s often focused on the next thing, but creating this blog allowed me to embrace my magical weekend in Music City.
Thank you to my family and friends for being part of this memorable trip. I wouldn’t be where I am without all the endless love and support. I believe in my heart that this is just the beginning.
If you’d like to read about my first trip to Nashville from last November, click here and enjoy.
This trip to Nashville isn’t only a highlight of 2022. It’s a highlight of my life. I’ve come so far since I started songwriting, and I can’t wait to see what’s next. My JMAs experience makes me hopeful that my future is a bright one. Forever grateful for the memories.