When Heather first asked me to accompany her on a road trip back to her college, Belmont University in Nashville, two things occurred to me:
- I could desperately use a vacation – even if for just a day.
- Wait… there’s no way to escape country music in a city like that.
It turns out that #1 was convincing enough to disregard my concern for #2, and Nashville would certainly go on to prove my skepticism wrong.
Although my stint in “The Nash” (apparently it’s a local thing) was all but brief, I got to see a small sliver of Nashville’s finest. Here’s my recap of the 24 hours I spent in Music City:
6:30 PM, Burger UP.
Three state borders, five increasingly sketchy gas stations, six Spotify playlists and eleven hours of driving later, I was more than ready to chow down on some quality American food. I’ve never met a buffalo burger I didn’t like, and the one at Burger UP proved no different. I’d recommend upgrading your meal-included house fries to truffle fries – it’s only $2 more but anything with a touch of truffle oil instantly earns brownie points in my book. Also: shoutout to the super fine lookin’ waiter in the sweater. Nothing like some eye candy to accompany a greasy meal.
Must Try: Bison Burger (medium rare or don’t get it at all) with Truffle Fries.
8:00 PM, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream.
I generally try and steer clear of dairy nowadays (except cheese, you can’t make me give that up) considering the inhumane effects it has on my stomach. Not to mention, did you know that we’re the only animal species that chooses to include another species’ byproduct in our regular diet? I pose the question: if squirrels with brains so tiny they run straight into car headlights don’t do something, why would we?
I digress. I was dead set on skipping dessert and saving myself a few calories (like it would have somehow excused the burger I had just inhaled), but as my eyes hungrily scanned the odd flavor combinations offered, curiosity got the best of me. After an extensive taste test, I settled on a coconut and dark chocolate flavor. The sweetness of the coconut base was perfectly complimented by the bitterness of the unsweetened cacao chips, making it an all-around wonderful experience for my taste buds.
Must Try: Coconut + Cocao and The Matterhorn (honey based with almonds) in a waffle cone.
11:00 AM, Shoot time.
You know the drill: see a cute wall, take lots of photos, collect lots of dirty stares.
By the way: you’d think that shoegram was taken against a beautifully tiled floor but in fact it that impeccably designed pattern was on a wall. I laid back against the floor, stuck my legs up in the air (thank you drill team for what’s left of my flexibility), and maintained a half-crunch ab position until I got the shot. You’ve never seen “do it for the ‘gram” taken to this extreme.
Shop This Look:
11:45 AM, Milk & Honey.
Brunch wasn’t even a question when it came to must-sees in Nashville. One of Heather’s spots, Milk & Honey, is situated in newly minted “The Gulch” in Downtown Nashville (think: The Domain in Austin on double the square mileage). I opted for the Green Eggs & Ham toast and it was the perfect amount of food. Also pictured: their incredible Chicken & Waffles combo.
Must Try: Any of their toast or biscuit options. They make all of their bread in-house!
As we were waiting in line for a highly coveted table (Sunday brunch is, after all, for the girls), Heather ran into her friend Jayda and her friend Jazmin! We ended up sitting together to free up a table for some other poor schmuck stuck waiting and chatted up a storm. Jayda and Jazmin are both creatives from the Nashville area and are the sweetest humans. One of my 2018 goals is to immerse myself more into the blogging community, as part of my initiative to pursue my passions with less fear, and meeting these two just reinforced the necessity to follow through on this resolution. Check out Jayda’s Instagram and Jazmin’s Instagram/Youtube.
1:00 PM, WhatLiftsYou Mural.
Situated right next to Milk & Honey in the heart of The Gulch is the infamous Nashville angel wings mural. Definitely a cheesy tourist must-see, but it’s like going to Austin and not stopping at the “i love you so much” wall.
3:30 PM, Pedestrian Bridge.
Ended the trip the proper way, with a picture perfect view of the Nashville skyline. I loved the most the juxtaposition between old and new; looming, shiny skyscrapers and red-bricked, old-fashioned joints; the glamour of Nashville’s infamous country celebrity scene and the humility of the thousands of aspiring artists working their way up.
Heather told me that people describe Nashville as the place you go when you want a big city feel in a small town environment, and I think that just about sums it up perfectly.
PS. Shoutout the my n e w iPhone X for capturing this mini trip! This is #unsponsored and #notanad, I just really appreciate finally having a working front camera again.