If my life were told in Friends episodes, New Year’s Eve 2016 would be titled “The One Where Sarah Turns 21 and the Grandiose Misadventure That Follows.” I’m calling it a merry misadventure, because that’s exactly what it was. Nothing went according to plan, but I can’t think of spending the eve of my 21st birthday in any other way.
7pm: Claire and I get back to my house after she was gracious enough to run an errand with me. My Grandpapa got sick, so I ran to the store and picked up some soup and orange juice for him. Pretty tame beginning to what will turn out to be an eventful night!
7:15-ish: Scarlett arrives at my house, which we agreed will be the central location for us that night. The three of us have plans to use Uber or Lyft, whichever is cheaper, from my house to the Music City Midnight at Bicentennial Mall. It’s free and there are lots of performances going on, so we decide to get there around 7:30.
7:30pm: We ultimately go with Lyft, because it’s cheaper. Claire has a first-time-user discount, so we summon a driver and he appears. He was our first driver of the night, super nice, and we get downtown with swift timing, a really low price, and have some great conversation with a new friend on the way. That’s one of the things I love about Lyft–you get to meet new people, and it’s cheaper to pay for someone to drive you around than it is to drive yourself and park downtown!
8pm: It is of utmost importance to note that Nashville’s weather on New Year’s Eve was a constant miserable misty drizzle, so Scarlett, Claire, and I are bundled up and have rain coats with hoods. Not the most glamorous NYE attire, but so worth it!!! We immediately go on the hunt for food trucks, because Scarlett and I are starving. She goes with gumbo, and I chose Vietnamese tofu spring rolls with peanut sauce. I had never eaten off a food truck before, and was insanely happy with my spring rolls, especially considering how hard it is to find vegan food off a truck!
8:30pm: We stand sort of near the concert stage, but mud was so caked up and gross that we chose to stand on the concrete a little far away from the stage itself. We get lots of pictures to document how cold, wet, and giddily miserable we were just standing there with little to do but people watch and listen to some okay-ish music. After being knocked around a few times by people and Scarlett’s boots being soaked, we decide to get a Lyft back to my house and come back later, right before the music note was due to drop.
8:45pm: Cue our second Lyft driver. This lady was a self-proclaimed “Franklin soccer mom,” and about scared us to death with her driving skills. We are thankful to the Lord that she didn’t wreck. Seriously.
9pm-11:40pm: Our little trio lays in my bed, having a Snapchat war with some Super Summer camp friends, and laughing at anything and everything. My mom laughs when she sees how early we’ve come back, knowing how much trouble I have staying up late, and Scarlett dries off her boots with my hairdryer. A word of advice: Open up a window when you dry suede with a hairdryer, because the smell of burning suede is not ideal.
11:40pm: We call our third Lyft driver of the night to take us back to Bicentennial Mall. She’s really nice, and is even willing to change our route once we realize that we didn’t get our plans 100% together. We wanted to see the music note drop, then get a ride to Margaritaville, because Claire is now starving and I would like a margarita to celebrate being 21. More on that later…
12am: We get to a perfect spot with a great, clear view of the music note drop. We all take videos, and do the countdown. Also, Keith Urban is performing live, so we get to hear him and do the countdown with him and about 100,000 more people. Good times!
12:05am: We make really good time to find our fourth and last Lyft of the night (please note that we should have 5 total Lyfts–I’ll explain later). This one has a really roomy Escalade, he’s retired, and is just the funniest possible Lyft driver we could ask for. I’m especially happy we chose Lyft instead of Uber, because right as everyone was leaving the Music Note Drop, the Uber app stopped working. That means that a lot of people were stuck standing around in the miserable weather, with no way of getting a ride while we were getting out of there–or so we thought.
12:05am-1am: We spent all of this hour in traffic. What should have been a 10 minute ride took forever because of the people leaving Bicentennial Mall and heading towards Broadway all at once. Thank goodness we had the best Lyft driver ever! And, because of the traffic, we could see all the idiocy of so. many. drunk. people. I’ve never laughed harder in my life.
1am: We get out of the Escalade at the corner of Broadway and 5th avenue, right where Margaritaville is. There’s a sign on the door that says “$10 cover charge after 10pm.” Scarlett calls and asks if there’s a wait, because, mind you, Claire still hasn’t eaten dinner. He tells us that there is no wait, but that the kitchen’s closed. Again, not according to plan!
1:30am: Somehow, in the 30 minutes since we’ve last used Lyft, the prices shot up from $11 to $85, and continued to rise. Scarlett, Claire, and I are trying to figure out what the heck we’re going to do. Should we take the city bus? A cab? Try Uber instead? By the way, Uber was even more expensive: $113 for a 15 minute ride equals HECK no.
2am: Scarlett gets in touch with her dad, who comes and picks us up in front of the Omni Hotel and takes us back to my house. Mike to the rescue!!! On the way to meet him, some gross middle-aged drunk guy leans out of a cab and hollers at us to get in with him not just once, but twice. Claire yells, “BOY YOU UGLY, BYE!!” and I make eye contact with him and say “You are disgusting.” The feminists in us were delighted and overjoyed to be completely rejecting his advances in front of who-knows-how-many strangers!
2:30am: We’re finally back at my house, but the night isn’t over yet. Claire STILL hasn’t eaten, so we agree to go to Waffle House. After I change out of my bodysuit into a sweatshirt and grab my vegan creamer for some decaf, we drive to the Waffle House near Opry Mills. At this point, Scarlett and I are hungry, too. Those hashbrowns, toast, and decaf hit the spot!
3:30am: Scarlett drops me off at home. My mom is up, having slept a little bit throughout the night, but it’s her tradition on NYE since it’s my birthday. I think it’s because I was actually born at 12:04am on New Year’s Day, so her body just never fully rests on the night of NYE. We talk for a few minutes, and get ready for bed.
4am: I collapse into bed and sleep like a baby. I think it’s safe to say that I won’t be making it to church in the morning, or rather, in a few hours. What a crazy night, and there wasn’t a drop of alcohol involved!
(At least the end of NYE, because we’re really celebrating my 21st birthday tomorrow/today/in a few hours!)