Friday, October 19, 2018

Nashville Adventures: Let's Give 'Em Something to Talk About


Friends, as I've mentioned in recent posts my Sarasota life went on pause for a trip to meet five other bloggers in person, for the first time, in Nashville and I'm finally spilling the beans on this great memory. So, whether this fabulous city is on your list of places to see, or you're open to new possibilities, pull up your bootstraps and saddle up. I've got some tantalizing tidbits to share with you! Now, there's no way to hit all of Nashville's delights, but we sure did try our best. 

A little backstory...

Oh 2018, how many adventures you bring!  While contemplating the adventures behind today's post, I couldn't help but reflect over this year's events. As I did, a passing wave of emotion filled me from head to toe. You see, when an unexpected email from a sweet blogger friend appeared amongst the daily junk mail, suggesting a girl's trip with a few blogger friends, my biggest adventure to date was a gift exchange I participated in with The Blended Blog. (Ya'll it's the little things.) I didn't know that by the time this trip came to pass our family of 6 would live in an entirely different state! 

So, I thought that my life was in need of more adventure. And what better way to get some adventure than to meet up with, stay with for 4 days and a explore an unfamiliar city with 5 other women I've never met in person before?!

Now let's fast forward about 6 months to Nashville. If you haven't read up on our big move to Florida, you can catch up HERE. 

I enjoyed planning Nashville "style" outfits for the week with the slight disappointment in the predicted weather reports of a HOT week (#fallfever). And before I knew it I was on a plane, by myself, headed to TN. Side note: In the clothing line up I packed ONE pair of pants. A pair of black denim by Jones New York that I found at Costco for $7.00.

Monday: Travel to Nashville & We Meet

The stress induced by leaving town settled and my thoughts began to wander about the wisdom of taking a trip like this. Confession: I'm a procrastinator.  I was the "newest" blogger to their scene and only corresponded with two of them on a regular basis.  However, I would soon learn that those wayward, insecure thoughts were unfounded.  AND with all life the changes over the past three months, it couldn't be a better time for an adventure like this! 


Upon arrival, I leave the plane and head to the baggage claim area. It's there I meet Shelly and Laura. We hug, exchange pleasantries and before long Lisa shows up. She kindly played the part of UBER driver for the day. Now there were 4. Our first stop (as well as the rest of the itinerary) was perfectly planned by Shelly with lunch AND location in mind, as Kellyann's flight was due to arrive later that afternoon. Andrea was driving in and would meet us...

Nashville's hospitality begins with FOOD at the Sky Blue Cafe
The Sky Blue is a small corner cafe, nestled in the historic Edgefield neighborhood of East Nashville. I'm told that at peak times the wait is considerably lengthy, but we only waited about 20 to 30 minutes - it was Monday after all. When Andrea arrived the squeals were so loud that those around us looked on with amused curiosity. Andrea put this trip together and is well loved by all she meets. I'm sure of it! 



Once our name was called, I had read over the menu several times, but I was no closer to a decision - it all looked so good!  My breakfast transpired hours earlier, with only a plane-sized pretzel snack to hold me over. I was ready to eat!  Inside, I momentarily paused to check the place out. The quaint Luke's Diner from Gilmore Girls, with an added Nashville flair, came to mind. The small cafe felt intimate with a pleasing, down home atmosphere.

Decision time came when our friendly server looked at me in order expectation. "LO's Bowl" left my indecisive lips. Done!

Meanwhile, conversation continued to flow and my uncertainties melted away like the morning's applied makeup in the Nashville summer temps. #wherewasyoufall

Come to momma!

LO's Bowl:  Home fries sautéed with peppers, onions, mushrooms, spinach, tomato, avocado adn topped with parmesan cheese and avocado.

Admittedly, I was the only one out of five to down the entire plate of food AND I ate some of Andrea's delicious yogurt parfait with homemade granola. (Let's get through the pleasantries people!)  With stuffed satiated bellies we strolled through the park, passing old brick buildings until we arrived at Greg's Auto Repair on Main Street. Hey, don't knock it. He had an old, chevy truck waiting to rev up our photography practice. 



Our first mural was right across the street...but those darn cars parked for work made it exceedingly difficult to get a good shot. This was just the best I could do.

When you're hot, hot, hot...

Ok, I'm not going to overwhelm you with every detail, so let's hit the fast forward button again. We are now joined by Kellyann, settled into our quintessential air bnb on 15th Avenue South with more than enough space AND bathrooms for all 6 of us!


Dinner would be a laid back affair within walking distance...

Taco Mamacita off Villa Place



My California Club and Taco Royale tacos were delicious but the Mexican street corn was off the charts. Take me back!

Tuesday: Morning Rain Showers Means a Detour: The Mall at Green Hills

We didn't hate it. Not at all. In fact, I loved the stand alone Free People store, the pricey but fabulous Sundance store, Lucky Brand and the list goes on! I loved all those boho vibes!



The rain clears up and we head to our original destination: 12 South

12 South boasts great restaurants, beautiful murals, shopping, hot dessert spots and more charm than the butter in Paula Dean's recipes.


Draper James clothing boutique by Reese Witherspoon, where sweet tea and southern hospitality go hand in hand...



The Frothy Monkey for Early Dinner - Still on 12 South

I kept a running story going on Instagram...how could I not?

Club Royal Sandwhich, Homemade Tortilla Chips and of course an iced coffee...

 Photo cred to the fabulous Shelly. 
The Frothy Monkey is another place where you will encounter big crowds, but on that particular Tuesday, around 3 o'clock it was fine. I can see why it's a popular place and would go back again!

Yet Another Mural: The Nash.TN Mural


Jeni's Ice Cream

We passed by Jeni's icecream and I felt this unexplainable magnetic pull...

PUMPKIN SPICE ICE CREAM



Sidenote: I begged, pleaded, twisted arms and pestered the group to return so that I could try the recommend goat cheese and cherry ice cream. It.did.not.disappoint.



The Grand 'Ole Opry

Y'all it was time to get ready for the Opry. Those tickets were purchased well in advance and other than Rascall Flats, I had no idea who would be there. Ahhh, surprise me Opry! 


Sometimes I forget to take my tags off AND coincidentally I felt like Minnie Pearl and I we were on the same fashion wave length...


Once settled I felt electrified as band after band took the stage, ranging from Opry veterans to first time guests. Harmonies, solid jams and incredible talent filled the classic space and I sat enraptured - especially when Striking Matches, a new duo to hit the music scene drew me in with nothing more than their voices and two guitars. Good gracious!




Wednesday: Hillsboro Village, the Gulch & the Nightlife

We kept our mornings slow and easy, knowing the days would be packed full...

Brunch at the infamous Biscuit Love in Hillsboro Village, followed by shopping


 The Famous and Must Try Bonuts
The Lindstrom: Shaved Brussel sprouts, hazelnuts, Parmesan, lemon vinaigrette and two poached eggs...


We do more shopping and then head to the Gulch


More Murals

 "What Lifts You" 

Can I be serious for just one moment?? 


Let's try that again...(Ok we tried SEVERAL times)


Here's my favorite group shot from the whole adventure...


Ok. Now we were worn out from jumping and downright hungry so we trudged over to  LA Jackson at the Thomson Hotel for a quick snack and city views.



Dinner and a Peek at Nashville's Night Life


 Miniature Tacos and more street corn...this time off the cob
Key Lime Pie for Instagram Stories
Broadway or Nashvegas

"A sight for the eye and ears" - Chandler from Friends on the episode when Monica gets her hair braided





The cacophony produced by the crowded sidewalks and bands at every bar is indescribable, and it was only WEDNESDAY! This girl doesn't get out much at night, so the visual and sound stimulation had me wide eyed the entire time. 

Thursday: Time to say Goodbye

With the earliest scheduled flight, I quietly readied myself for the trip home. However, the girls insisted on seeing me off. I first walked to Andrea, looked at her sweet face and began to express how grateful I was for her blogging friendship and the invite on this trip. However, before I could finish tears filled my eyes and constricting emotion blocked all hope of saying more. I wordlessly hugged the rest tightly, knowing that they understood. 

For those who I had been corresponding with and reading their stories week after week, our already forming friendships were solidified on this trip. And for those I just met in and out of the blog world, I felt welcomed into their lives as well.

Andrea, Kellyann, Shelly, Laura, Lisa

Andrea of Living on Cloud Nine will draw you in with her genuine love for others, great style, and mouth-watering recipes. There's not a mean bone in this woman's body and she gives the absolute best gifts and since my love language is gifts, you know I'm over the moon for this lady. ha! But for real though. 

Kellyann from This Blonde's Shopping Bag is our comedian, will keep you guessing, bringing laughter and all the great jokes. She's stylish and makes affordable fashion look expensive. Sweet Kellyann will have you wanting more from week to week.

Shelly from Queen In Between, the tell it to you straight, witty Texan with a terrific fashion sense,  and is somehow organized from head to toe. Andrea put this trip together and Shelly planned our itinerary.  I loved bouncing ideas off of her over the course of our adventures!

Laura, from The Horton Family our veteran blogger with 11 years in the blog world, exudes southern charm and doesn't even realize how beautiful and funny she is! She's a great listener and conversationalist...

Lisa, from Coast to Coast 2, is your rock steady, laid back, deal-finding, practical and all around lovely person. There's lots to learn about life from this beautiful lady!

Thank you ladies for magnificent memories and thank YOU for reading along! Nashville has welcoming hospitality, delicious FOOD, history, SHOPPING, enough visual stimulation to shake a stick at and you can almost feel the dreams, both broken and realized of all the hopefuls passing through. If you haven't been, put it on your list. You will leave with something to talk about. Wink. Wink.

If you have been, what's your favorite place to see there?? 

Chrissy
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15 comments

  1. Isnt Nashville the best?
    When you were at the Grand Ole Opry- you were like 5 miles from my grandbabies :)
    I am cracking up at the guy in the first picture in the background - is he yawning??? :) haha
    You are my kinda people - I'm a CLEAN YO PLATE kinda gal myself - especially when traveling & trying new foods. We'd be chowing down together girlfriend!

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    1. Oh how sweet. I love it when people post stuff from Georgia. Makes me feel a little closer to home! And I just went back to see what guy you were talking about - bahahaha! I think he was and I never even noticed him - then or during layout. :) Well Rebecca Jo, I hope get the opportunity to clean some plates together some days!

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  2. Chrissy, DAHling, you did a WONDERFUL job summing up our AH-maxing adventures in Nashvegas!! I know what you meant in your IG story about your wording and thoughts not coming out the way you really wanted to express them because I was the same way! I felt like I just didn’t do the entire epic meet up justice for how truly awesome it was!! And you are amazing, too, and I am so blessed to have met you and now I get to call you my Bestie that lives in Florida!! I think the candid pics are my favorite and you take the best pics! Live ya and have a great weekend!

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    1. Awww, thank you for all your kind words my friend! You're right - it was an epic trip...no way to relay all that...well, we could write s short story book...blogger adventures! ;) However, I do feel like you did a great job on your delivery - I followed along in my memory banks; only from Laura's eyes. It was wonderful! :) Big hugs!!

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  3. Such a great recap and what fun trip!! I don't live terribly far from Nashville (eeer... 5 hours driving) and I've only driven through it... I should plan a little weekend trip with the hubs sometime! I love all of the food photos! YUM oh yum! You are hilarious with that corn cob!

    Carrie
    curlycraftymom.com

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    1. Thank you Carrie - and 5 hours is doable for sure! I know we barely scratched the food possibilities but I honestly didn't feel like I missed out - what I had was that good. Other than I will say if you don't like spicy - be sure to confirm with the servers at Bar Taco...two of the tacos I ordered were too "hot" for my style and I don't mind some spice. ;)

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  4. I was just telling Mr. Nine yesterday how good you are with words, observations and admirations. I read this on our trip up before a run into a coffee shop and had to wait a bit because emotion, Magic memories and praise for your magnificence overwhelmed me. Your ode to Nashville and our adventure captured the essence so well. I am honored, so honored to call you friend and am so happy you accepted the invite into the unknown because you brightened all of our worlds and it just wouldn’t have been the same without you! Love you, just love you!

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    1. How do I do this sweet comment any justice. Thank you for your kind and encouraging words! This post was a labor of love and it gave me lots of joy to share it. Biggest of cyber hugs coming your way my friend! Love you. :)

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    1. Thank you Nancy! Next time we need to show up on your side of the planet!!

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  6. Wowzers friend, you did a great job writing this. Such a talented writer I so enjoyed reading every word. Thanks for putting into words so eloquently how the trip felt and was! I believe it exceeded all of our expectations. I'm so glad we had time together and I look forward to more of it!
    Love you to pieces sweet Chrissy!
    xo,
    Kellyann
    www.thisblondesshoppingbag.com

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    1. Ahhh, thank you my friend. You are so sweet. I appreciate the encouragement...I work so hard on it and then find so many typos and errors when I run through it later. Why are those sentences so tricky!???? I look forward to future adventures as well...sending you big cyber hugs!! :)

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  7. Seriously cannot imagine this trip without your spark! Love that I got to meet you in person. I've loved reading all the recaps and I really could go for a Lo's bowl or the Lindstrom right now!! Love you!

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    1. Thank you Shelly. That means a lot to read your kind words! :) And yes for that Lindstrom - my favorite!!!

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  8. OMG and I thought I could write!! You did Nashville, your trip and this sweet group of ladies - justice, by how beautiful, terrific, realistic, emotional, perceptive and creative you were with your words. I loved reading this and I am happy to say that I know you and most of these ladies through blogging too. 😍 Everyone of those ladies + me are so lucky to know you.

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