I started this blog post while I sat in a hotel room in Jacksonville, Florida in November 2015, but then I got sidetracked by the ocean… Then once I got home, the holidays exploded.

But come along with me now as I regale of our recent trip to Nashville, Tennessee – Music City, USA!

It was stop 1 of a 3ish part journey. Over the next 7 days, I would spend 2,500+ miles in a Ford Escape (it was a rental… we’re Chevy people) with Travis on yet another one of our adventures! That equated to 43 hours and 19 minutes in the ol’ Escape. (We pronounced that “Escapé” like “café olé”)

Tachometer
This is seriously a pic of our console when we pulled into the driveway!

The company that Travis is an agent for offered to fly him to Jacksonville for a conference. But to be honest, we are not fans of flying and thought a good old fashioned road trip would be more fun, complete with giant bags of leftover Halloween candy, a cooler full of pop (or soda, if you please) and cheesy music playlists I had spent weeks curating!

Besides we haven’t had a really good road trip in over a year. On our last one, we nearly drove all over the entire state of Florida for his old job! We did fly for that one. We landed in Orlando where we got a rental car and drove to Ocala, FL to meet up with one of Travis’ customers. From there we went on to St. Augustine for a few days then we drove to Jacksonville for an afternoon and flew out of the airport there. We had some pretty epic times on that trip! (If you missed that adventure, you can read that post here!)

This time around, we not only trucked through Florida, we covered damn near the entire south east US! We made stops in:

  • Nashville, TN
  • Jacksonville, FL
  • Lee, FL (another natural spring!)
  • Gainesville, GA
  • Asheville, NC
  • Jellico, TN

map

But this post is JUST about Nashville!
I’ll get to the other stops in my next post 🙂

So to begin, we stayed at a BEAUTIFUL Historic Inn called The Caroline House in. This house is what I DREAM my someday-house will look like. The front porch and back patio alone were enough to make me ga-ga! The story of this house is awesome. It stayed in the family for generations, until Miss Ashley bought it and renovated it. But the great-grandson of the original owner still lives next door!

CarolineHouseWelcomeChalkbrd

We stayed 2 nights in the Coal Room Studio in the basement of the house, which really was the house’s old coal room from back in the day when they would use coal to power the house’s boiler. It was really one of the neatest places we’ve stayed!

Coal Room Key

Our Nashville run-down:

  • On our first night, we stayed up late in front of a blazing fire on the back porch with our hostess and her two nieces. We laughed and drank probably more than we should have after an 8 hour car ride on a night before we planned to visit ALL OF THE THINGS. But I fell in LOVE with a vodka for the first time in my life! (I’m a rum gal… It’s the pirate in me!) It’s a local distilled vodka called Picker’s that I CANNOT find anywhere… and I could just KICK myself for not buying a bottle while we were in Nashville! The blood-orange was amazing and I can’t wait to try the blueberry!

back porch

  • We woke up the first day to a delicious breakfast served by our hostess and then set out to check out Third Man Records Store where I bought some White Stripes vinyl, made my very own fire-engine red Mold-O-Rama miniature of Jack White’s classic Airline guitar!

MoldORama

  • The Johnny Cash Museum – where we perused the gift shop and had lunch while listening to the Man in Black!

TravisJohnnyCash

  • Big Machine Records – The record label home of Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift, Rascal Flatts, et. al.
  • Hatch Show Prints – This letter press has been open since 1879! Chances are pretty good that you have seen at least ONE piece by Hatch Show Prints in your lifetime. (They did all of the iconic band posters back in the day!) Plus, I am a graphic designer by trade, so it was SUPER cool to show Travis how things are printed and to visit the home of one of the oldest still operable letter presses in the world. We got a couple super cool prints that I can’t wait to find frames for to hang up at home! (2015 is the year we vowed to finally find some real artwork for our house, so these will be great starts to our newly established collection!)

HatchShowPrint

  • Travis bought his first acoustic guitar, which we thought was so fitting. He also learned to play his first song on acoustic while we were staying in Music City! Oh, how I love that boy!

TravisGuitar

  • After some serious coaxing, I convinced Travis to finally try Shrimp ‘n Grits with me! In our neck of the woods, grits are a sweet breakfast item, prepared with brown sugar, syrup and/or butter, similarly to oatmeal or cream of wheat. So, we’d never tried them savory before and cringed at the thought of them made with cheese. But finally at the urging of lots of friends, we bit the bullet and ordered some! Lo-and-behold, the grits they used in these shrimp n’ grits is actually more like rice. Good Lord, it was delicious!
TravisBilliards
I also actually beat my husband at pool. This never happens.

Sadly, we didn’t get to visit any of the honky tonks while in town. With it being a Saturday night, the place was a bit crowded for us. But when we loaded up and pointed the car south, we vowed we’d definitely be back!

The majority of our adventures took place in Nashville, but I’ll write a post next about Jacksonville and the rest of our trip later.

But as for now, I’m getting ready to head out the door… I’m driving Travis to a local oral surgeon to have nine (yes, nine) teeth removed. 4 of which are his wisdom teeth he never had removed when he was a teenager. They’re giving him issues now. The other 5 are teeth that have deteriorated to the point of causing him pain almost all of the time. We’ve been dealing with his toothaches for about 10 years now, so as you can imagine, we’re stoked to finally be addressing the situation. The fact that we both have stable income and decent insurance for the first time in our lives is a major blessing and we’re thankful that his toothaches will soon be a thing of the past.

I’m not going to lie, I’m kind of hoping it will result in something like David Goes to the Dentist.

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