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Road trips: designing the perfect music mix for a road trip with your boyfriend

You are embarking on a road trip with your boyfriend. Why not make him the ultimate music mix tape or cd for the road?

Oh, the feel of the open road and the thought that there is no specific place to go and no specific itinerary to follow. Oh, mighty road trip. A road trip, however, is not a road trip without three essential ingredients: somebody to share it with, foods to snack on and music that will make this road trip all the more memorable.

Not many people can truly grasp and understand the importance of creating a music mix tape or cd for a road trip. First, music is essential for any kind of driving, even if it is just to get you down the street to the nearest gas station to fill up. Though it may sound dramatic, music provides a soundtrack to your life and taking a road trip is no different. In fact, on a road trip, music is that much more important because not only does it provide a necessary soundtrack, it can set the theme of the entire trip itself, as well as serve other logical purposes like keeping you alert and awake on your drive.

You are about to embark on a road trip with your boyfriend and either you have been assigned the duty of providing the music mix or you just want to do something a little romantic and create the perfect music mix for the occasion. There are a few key things to keep in mind when creating the ultimate mix tape or cd.

You will either want to create a perfect harmonious combination of both yours and his style of music or make a mix that is entirely him. Either way, make sure that you always keep him in mind when making the tape or cd. If there is a band that he truly loathes but that you just adore, be sensitive and keep it off the music mix. If you two are dating, by now you should know who his favorite bands are, but if you don t, don t be shy in asking his friends or roommates or family what types of music he loves as well as who his favorite bands are. Make a mix of some of his favorite songs intermingled with a few choice B-side songs or live version songs in there from his favorite bands. He will be impressed that you took the time to seek out these new versions or new songs he might not have heard of.

Keep in mind the tone you will be trying to set. Part of you may want to convey a romantic signal to him through this music mix and while that may be fine, you may not want to overwhelm him with love ballad after love ballad. You don t want him falling asleep on you. If he likes music that pumps him up while he s driving or music that he can sing along to, try to incorporate that theme into the tape or cd you create. If he is into rap or hip-hop, it is highly doubtful that he will appreciate a music mix full of classical or easy-going jazz music. If it s powerful music he enjoys, it is powerful music he should get!

One of the worst mistakes people make when creating music mixes is the obvious lack of organization in the songs. While you may have picked 12 or 13 terrific songs, you want to maintain the flow of the mix throughout the entire playing time, so make sure you mind the order the songs go in. You don t want all of the slower, more laid-back songs playing all in the beginning and then the harder and louder songs all playing at the end. Your boyfriend will appreciate all the thought you put into creating his ultimate road trip music mix!

Written by Tammy Vela -

Destination attractions: things to do in nashville

This article covers some of the interesting things to see and do in Nashville, Tennessee, for the country music fan, as well as for the tourist looking for non-music-related activities.

Nashville, Tennessee: home of country music, right? Well, yes, but it is also the capital of Tennessee and a big city. Nashville is a great town, full of attractions that will put the traveler in the heart of the country music biz, as well as some that have little or nothing to do with country music.

A traveler will first think about where to stay in Nashville. The Opryland Hotel is amazing, luxurious and all things wonderful, but it is about 20 minutes from town, depending on what the traffic is like that day. A traveler wanting to sample more of the city itself may want to think about staying in one of the many hotels in the heart of downtown. If the traveler s primary goal is shopping, then the Opryland Hotel is probably a good choice, since it is located near Opry Mills, a huge shopping complex. Cool Springs Mall in nearby Franklin is another good shopping destination.

For the country music fan, Nashville naturally offers dozens of attractions. The NashTrash Tour is offered daily and provides a different look at the city. The Jugg Sisters and their big pink bus take in most of the major country music sites and sounds in Nashville, including the Ryman Auditorium, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Music Row. This is not a tour for kids, for the most part, but it is an entertaining look at the trashy, funny side of Nashville. See nashtrash.com for more information, including schedules and rates.

The Ryman Auditorium, in the heart of downtown, is open for tours and is a must for any country music fan. The Mother Church of Country Music has been renovated, and some of the hillbilly dust seems to have faded, but it is still a good tour.

The Grand Old Opry still has Friday and Saturday night shows at the Opry House, close to the Opryland Hotel.

The Country Music Hall of Fame is brand-new and houses a staggering number of exhibits, plaques and other memorabilia dedicated to all things country music. The museum has personal items, stage costumes, sets and more on this American music genre. Music Row is worth a look, just to see some of the names on the record companies and publishing houses.

Many fans want to know the best places to catch a glimpse of a star. Two good places are the Bluebird Caf?? and the Sunset Grill. The Bluebird has songwriters nights and many stars enjoy the food and ambiance of the Sunset Grill.

A word about seeing stars may be in order here. Country music stars, especially the older ones, are usually unfailingly gracious to fans. However, fans need to remember to be courteous and gracious, as well. Don t ask for an autograph from someone who is eating in a restaurant or has their children with them. If the person doesn t want to give an autograph, be polite and leave the person alone. They are entitled to privacy, too. If they do give an autograph, thank them warmly for their time and move on. Some of the stars may have time to chat, and many will, but don t feel entitled to the privilege. Remember: they are people, too.

Someone who has no interest in country music will also find plenty to do and see in Nashville. Cheekwood Botanical Gardens is a beautiful setting. Cheekwood is the antebellum mansion that serves as the centerpiece for the gardens, and is open daily.

The Parthenon, modeled after the original in Athens, Greece, is Nashville s art museum. The museum features a 40-foot statue of the goddess Athena, a replica of the one that stood in the original building in Greece.

Nashville has a good zoo with a wide variety of exhibits. They even have an adoption program whereby patrons can pay a small fee that goes towards the animal s feeding and care. The zoo also participates in a number of species preservation efforts that have been very successful.

More history can be found in Nashville at the Hermitage, the home of former President Andrew Jackson. The home features period furnishings and the grounds are beautiful. Archaeological digs on the grounds have produced some fascinating findings.

Not surprisingly, Nashville has an active nightlife. There are numerous clubs downtown, and a walk down Broadway at night will take the traveler by Tootsie s Orchid Lounge and other honky-tonks. The original Ernest Tubb Record Shop is also on Broadway and is worth a visit during business hours. Second Avenue downtown is also hopping at night, and has numerous restaurants.

Dining in Nashville covers everything from the usual chain places to interesting local spots. Almost anything a diner wants to eat can be found in Nashville and the selection of restaurants is dizzying.

Nashville is served by an international airport that is one of the better, smaller airports around. They have a great on-time record and the terminal is easily accessed, well-lit, organized and easily navigated. Three major Interstates 65, 40 and 24 also meet in the city.

A traveler who is flying in will probably want to rent a car, since Nashville cabs can be pricey. However, downtown is good for walking. The sidewalks are wide and in good repair.

So, see Nashville, Tennessee for the music, but also for the many other attractions the city offers.

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