Hi friends, Happy Monday!
Wow – it’s been a while. I didn’t intend to take a few weeks away from the blog, but you know, life. And pregnancy. And I’ve been fighting a pretty bad cold ever since we got back from Nashville last Monday.
So yeah, in case you missed it, we went to Nashville, Tennessee for Scott’s birthday! It’s a charming city known for its good food and great music that attracts more and more people to reside in Music City every day.
Scott frequently travels on the weekends for work, so we decided to book a flight for me to join him at the last minute when we got word that Nashville was on deck. He cashed in a good amount of frequent flyer miles, we figured out an extra night’s stay at a nearby hotel, and we made a weekend of it by flying in (separately) late-Friday afternoon!
It was so nice to get away for a few days, and I’ve been wanting to share the highlights with you ever since we got back. I went straight to work hours after I commuted from Newark to Brooklyn on Monday, and I must have caught a nasty cold in the process. So here we are today. But, I’ve learned that it’s better to be late than never share at all, and I’m excited to get back to blogging, now that I’m feeling human again.
Our time in Nashville was wonderful and filled with the perfect amount of fun and relaxation. We absolutely loved it there and hope to return again soon!
Friday: Birthday Dinner & The Gulch
After the trip was officially in the books for both of us, I asked a friend who lives in the area for her favorite restaurant suggestions. Sambuca Nashville was top on her list for food and entertainment, so I quickly made a reservation for two the day before we left.
I arrived to our hotel with just enough time to take a quick nap and get ready to go out for dinner. (I was tired from an early 4 a.m. wake-up call to work that morning before my flight!)
We headed over to The Gulch and arrived at Sambuca with a few minutes to spare before our 8 p.m. reservation. I could tell that it was going to be a fun-filled evening as soon as we walked in!
The bar area looked more casual while the dining area near the stage was saved for parties that were most likely celebrating something with a little more formal attire. There were a lot of bachelorette parties and birthdays!
We sat in a cozy booth on the side and had a great view of the band on stage. (For anyone interested, it was the Chris Weaver Band who is currently playing in The Florida Keys. They’re SO good!) They had us singing along the entire night.
At first, I was worried that we weren’t going to be able to chat over dinner, but the band took enough brakes to allow table conversations to happen. We took our time ordering a few dishes at a time and chose a good amount of appetizers and small plates instead of going for entrées. It’s the best way to get a taste of the menu!
We had a fantastic time and the service was spectacular. The restaurant gave us a complimentary dessert to celebrate Scott’s birthday, and we ended up staying until the band shut things down at 11 p.m.
The new “New Yorkers” in us skipped the ride home and decided to take the near mile walk instead to help digest dinner and check out the area on our way back to the hotel. We saw the famous “Nashville Wings” near the restaurant, so we walked over to take a few pictures near the painted wall before bouncing around the area called The Gulch. It’s adorable.
(oh hey there baby bump!)
We called it a night soon after that and throughly enjoyed sleeping in until about 9 a.m. the next morning.
Saturday: Martin’s Bar-B-Q, Broadway & 12 South
We packed up our stuff and got ready to go over to the hotel that Scott was originally booked at as soon as we could. He made me a decaf coffee in our room, and I snacked on a Rxbar to hold me over until brunch, so I was able to enjoy the walk over to the Nashville Mariott at Vanderbilt University. The hotel couldn’t be closer to the campus, and we took our time admiring the scenery on our way over to the entrance, which was basically located on the school’s football stadium.
As soon as we checked in and dropped our stuff off, we took an Uber driver’s suggestion and made our way Downtown to eat at the popular Martin’s Bar-B-Que for lunch. (Sidenote: all of the Uber drivers in Nashville actually talk to you the entire drive. They were so nice! It was a refreshing break from the maybe two words we get from drivers in NYC.)
We were told that there would be a line out the door (which there was), but that it moves quickly and it is well worth the wait to try the “best” barbecue in the city. Well, they were right.
We only waited in line for about 10-15 minutes and our food came to us pretty quickly after that. The inside of the restaurant is the definition of a Southern barbecue joint, and we explored upstairs to find the cutest garden patio that included an outside bar, picnic tables, and a stage for the occasional live band to play.
The weather was perfect, and we had a good time soaking in the atmosphere while listening to the country music being played overhead. We received our order within minutes of sitting down, and it would be wrong if I didn’t recommend one of their customer favorites (and what I ordered) to you — the “Redneck Taco” with a side of green beans.
My goodness. Scott ordered the brisket with mac & cheese and everything was beyond delicious. If you’re ever in Nashville and want to try amazing barbecue – Martin’s is your answer for sure!
We spent the next few hours walking around, and it wasn’t long until we found Broadway. If you can picture a country version of the Las Vegas strip, this would be it.
Once again, Bachelorette parties were everywhere and we felt like we were probably one of the few sober couples roaming the streets that Saturday afternoon. Bars were rocking and you could hear live music every few shops. It was great!
Maybe another trip down the road will prompt us to actually go honky tonkin’ — check out those balconies — I’m sure the people watching is priceless!
I was on the search for a legit pair of cowboy boots while we were casually walking around, but I didn’t find a pair that I had to have. We almost, however, walked away with a pair for Baby H!
It’s probably a good thing that we aren’t finding out our baby’s gender until he/she arrives because we would have way too much stuff and nowhere to put it!
We grabbed a coffee (chai tea for me) from a local spot and found the Music City Walk of Fame soon after. It was neat to see different artists appear, some added later than we expected.
We had about another hour to kill before meeting our friends in the Franklin area, so we took a suggestion from one of the members at my studio and rode over to 12 South for (mostly) window shopping and exploring.
There were plenty of restaurants we could have sat down at, but we did our best to save whatever appetite we had left after a filling barbecue lunch for dinner.
(look at some of those ice cream flavors!)
Instead, we leisurely strolled in and out of shops and local boutiques. Everything was adorable, and I was suddenly wishing that I didn’t just have a carry-on to take back to New York with me.
We only purchased two things, a necklace for me (keep a lookout for it in this week’s Friday Favorites!) and a gift for our friends’ newborn at White’s Mercantile. We could have definitely done more damage there.
As it started getting dark, we caught a ride over to Kings Dining & Entertainment in Cool Springs, Franklin. We met up with friends from Orlando, Karly and Chris, who now live in Nashville and also just had a sweet little baby named Nash. We almost left without taking a picture of the group, so we tried our best and failed at a selfie on the way out.
You can’t even see Nash in the photo, so that has to be some kind of record on the selfie fails. Ha!
Sunday: The Parthenon and 5th and Taylor
Scott has been working part-time for the NFL on the weekends, so we were actually there so he could attend the Tennessee Titans vs. Baltimore Ravens game on Sunday. I woke up and got ready with him to have breakfast at our hotel around 9 a.m., and then he was over at the stadium for the day until about 5 p.m.
I could have spent my day doing several other things, but I cleared my email inboxes (ugh – finally), took a nap (pregnancy life), and got a ride over to Franklin again to do some research at Buy Buy Baby.
(19.5 weeks and officially in maternity wear!)
To be honest, I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed with registering for what we really need and I’ve been trying to figure out what stroller/travel set would be best for bringing up a baby in Brooklyn. Since I had a few hours to do whatever I needed to, this sounded like the best option, and I’m so glad I knocked that out!
I finally decided what stroller set to go with (Cybex, thanks to a dear friend who gifted us a brand-new Cloud Q carseat), and I’m not sure that I would have received the same above-and-beyond service I got from a nice employee at the Franklin location named Whitney. I probably asked her thirty questions about the different brands, what they do, the differences between models, the safety features, and so on. Poor thing. I thanked her over and over for her help and grabbed Panera before going back to the hotel to meet Scott after the game.
The sun was about to set, so we took advantage of being directly across the street from Centennial Park to see The Parthenon before it turned dark.
It was windyyy, so these are the best shots I could muster up out of the close to fifty that we took.
We still aren’t sure why there is a replica of The Parthenon in the middle of this park in Nashville (seems random, no?), but it is a cool thing to see if you’re ever visiting. The inside was closed by the time we arrived, so we made a loop around the building and walked back to the hotel to get ready for dinner.
Another member at my studio suggested that we dine at 5th & Taylor, so we got dressed and made a reservation to end our night on a high note. The restaurant is located in Germantown, and has become a spot for local celebrity sightings, according to our waiter. It was a neat spot!
Speaking of our waiter, we eventually found out that he went to my high school in Orlando! How crazy is that? After reading the entire menu, we let him decide what to split for our main course, and we made sure to tell him to leave plenty of room for dessert. I was told that we have to order the apple pie before setting foot in the restaurant, so we did along with the sausage-cheddar biscuits, beet salad, and mixed grill that included venison, andouille, and duck confit.
Oh. my. goodness. y’all. Everything was delicious! Once again, the service was incredible, and we left every restaurant wowed by the Southern hospitality.
We returned to our hotel completely stuffed and turned in with early flights back to New York the next morning. It was a rushed, yet long week upon our return, but completely worth the effort to get away. Nashville is a fabulous city to visit!
Thanks so much for checking in today, and I promise to be back later this week with more LIL happenings and Friday Favorites.
Have a great week!