Wandering Post: Beaching on a Budget

My happy place is the beach. It is where I feel most relaxed, no worries about work, school or life. Just the simple crashing of the waves and heat from the sun on my skin (that rarely sees anything but florescent lights). 

The only thing Nashville is missing is a beach. Don’t get me wrong we have some beautiful lakes within an hour drive. Thanks to my friends, I have only recently discovered how beautiful the Tenneessee River can be and has quickly climbed the ranks in my favorite escape vacation places. I love visiting these places and have made some fantastic memories on these trips they don’t quite feed my soul like the beach. 

At my last job it was a running joke that I always had my next beach trip planned before I got back from the last one. That’s semi-true. Knowing that there is a beach trip on the calendar, even if it’s 6 months out, makes 50 hour work weeks, 6 hours of night classes, and countless hours of homework more bearable. Since I love the beach so much I’ve had to find a way to maximize my time off work and budget to work together. 

Thankfully Southwest runs direct flights from BNA to ECP (Nashville International to Panama City Airport). This flight turns an 8 hour drive into a 1 hour flight. If you watch the sales you can catch these flights cheap. My round trip flight for this weekend was only $160.  I understand I’m just one person but making an 8 hour drive into a 1 hour flight is well worth the money.  

The next problem is that once you’re here, you have to be able to get around. I looked at Ubebred but a few uber rides can add up quickly. The last few times I have come down I have rented cars using Pricelines “Name your own price” tool.  This trip I have car from Thursday at 9 AM till Sunday night. 4 days for $139. 

For me this is ideal, I only have to take 2 days off work, get to enjoy 4 full days in my happy place for the reasonable cost of $299. If I had driven my vehicle down here it would have been at least 4 tanks of gas round trip, at around $35 a tank I really am have paid $159 and saved a vacation day I would have used to drive here.

Next you have to find where to stay. VRBO or Airbnb you can usually find very reasonable rates on places to stay. So gets group of friends together, split the condo, and make memories.

So get out there and wander! You need a break every once in a while. Nashville will be there welcoming us home- a little tanner and a little more relaxed. 

See you all on Sunday! Hope you have a smile half as big as my nephew’s is when he’s playing in the waves.

 

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Let’s Brunch! Nashville

RBF.  It’s a problem we all have, especially on Saturday morning. I admit it, on Saturday mornings I have Resting Brunch Face.  Luckily for me I do not have to suffer in silence. Nashville has so many hot spots for brunch. Whether you want to go someone a little higher class like Marche on the East Side, you wanting two for ones at Tavern or you want the best doughnut you’ve ever had from 5 Daughters, Nashville has you covered.

I have one week left in my master’s program and I fully intend to take back my Saturday mornings, embrace my RBF, and try as many Nashville brunch spots as I can. If you have any spots you know I need to move up on my list please comment on Facebook, Instagram, or below on the blog! I need to know!

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Restaurant Spotlight: SINEMA

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Sinema is located off 8th Avenue in Nashville, TN,also known as the Melrose area, in a restored 1940s movie theater. The ambiance gives you the feel that you have walked into Old Hollywood. Sinema’s designers were able to find a way preserve the history of the old theater but also pull it to the 21st century.   The drinks aptly play off after early Hollywood blockbusters (like Daisy’s Answer)

But let’s talk about what you came here to read about, THE FOOD. Oh my goodness, it is no surprise Sinema has been featured in national publications, like Bon Appetit and Southern Living, or why it was rated the Best New Restaurant in the Nashville Scene’s annual “Best of Nashville” volume.

The First

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For “The First” Course we almost ordered everything Sinema offered. Truffle Arancini, Bread & Butter,Octopus, and the Pork Belly. While everything was good, my favorite two were probably the Truffle Arancini and the Pork Belly.  The Truffle Arancini is hot melted cheese bites, a few fried artichokes, and topped with Parmesan cheese. The pork belly was topped with mango and and grilled peaches and served with a cornbread pancake. It was amazing. Tender and juicy pork belly bites and the sweetness of the fruit was a perfect compliment. One of the best apps I’ve ever had.

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For “The Second” I got the Tomato soup with grilled cheese bites.  The grilled cheese bites were served on pretzel buns and the tomato soup is made with heirloom tomatoes (aka the best tomatoes).

I was lucky enough that my table ordered different Entrees so that I was able to sample everyones. Ordering is the hardest part of eating out because I want to try everything and don’t want to limit it to just ONE dish. So I like when my friends humor me and we get a sampler platter of entrees. I ordered the stuffed pork myself, stuffed with jalapenos, field peas, apples, and BACON. Two of my friends order the mussels. They probably could have shared it, or maybe we should have gotten it as an appetizer, because it was a hearty serving of mussels and the au jous they came in was so delicious we had to order some extra baguettes to soak it all up.

Finally there was the Chicken Parmesan. IT WAS SERVED ON FIRE. Now I don’t know about you but I think any dish that has (purposely) been served to me on fire has been amazing. Maybe the show before the meal makes me more predetermined to love it but this Chicken Parmesan  was probably one of the best I’ve ever had.

For the ladies, the bathroom has a section that looks like a Hollywood Dressing room. So stop by and take an epic selfie with your friends.

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After you finish your meal you can wander over to the Sutler for some live music upstairs or sit back and catch up with friends in the swanky basement and experience another up and coming area of Nashville.

Be sure to add your e-Mail under on the left side of the page if you’re visiting from your browser or scroll to the bottom of my homepage on you mobile device. Click FOLLOW and wander Nashville with me!

 

 

3 Thing To Do in Nashville: July 22-24

TGIF! If you’re looking for something to do this weekend and want to break out of your old routine here’s a three ideas of how to maximize your weekend.

1- Blue Moon Waterfront Grille : 525 Basswood Avenue, Nashville, TN 37209

IMG_4622      I honestly didn’t know a place like this existed in Nashville. Nested near the Nations (hey-oh alliteration!) Blue Moon offers some unprecedented waterfront dining in Nashville.  I suggest going at sunset because I am a sucker for sunsets and the reflection off the water is beautiful. The food is great, not your typical “marina” food and they sometimes have live music to accompany your dinner. It’s only open for the summer season so if you want to try it out don’t wait too long.

2- Music In the Vines- Arrington Vineyards 6211 Patton Rd Arrington, TN 37014

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If you didn’t know that Nashville had it’s own vineyard then you really need to subscribe to my blog! Kix Brooks (formerly of Brooks & Dunn) et al opened Arrington Vineyards in 2007.  Music in the Vines is a monthly FREE event. It’s from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM Friday night and Saturday this weekend.  Even better, you get to bring your own picnic food to accompany your wine.  There are a few tables but you can also bring your own collapsible chairs and blankets to enjoy the night.

3- Nashville Flea Market-TN State Fairgrounds 625 Smith Avenue Nashville, TN 37203

The Nashville Flea Market is rated on of the top 10 Flea Markets in the country and the #1 Flea Market in TN.  It’s a fun activity and there’s always some hidden treasures for those willing to rummage through the less than exciting goods.  This month’s theme is “Vintage Galore”.

Hopefully this gives you a few ideas of how what to do with your family and friends this weekend. I hope you share lots of laughter and love this weekend so you can start fresh Monday.

If you want to stay up to date with the current events in Nashville be sure to subscribe to my blog, sign up with your e-Mail and you’ll never have a boring weekend again!

 

 

Belcourt Theater Reopens July 22

The Belcourt Theater is reopening today after being closed for the last few months for major renovations.  Check out the link below for the Nashville Scenes article detailing the renovation and today’s ribbon cutting ceremony with Mayor Megan Barry.

I love to see Nashville embrace progress but not lose sight of the history of the city.  Great things are in store for our city!

Nashville Scene- Belcourt Theater Reopens June 22

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NASHVILLE (As Seen on TV)

When the television show Nashville debuted in 2012 I imagine a lot of locals had the same feelings I did.  A little excited that Nashville was getting some prime time attention, worried that the show would bring the masses to our local haunts, scared that our charming Southern accents would be very poorly represented on a big stage (ie. Reese Witherspoon in Sweet Home Alabama- Come on Reese, you’re from Nashville!)  Or worst of all, not give our beloved city the justice it was due.

I DVR-ed the first episode- waited the appropriate amount of time to not have to sit through any commercials-  grabbed a nice glass of wine and hunkered down to watch the premier. I remember thinking after that first episode how amazing Nashville looked on TV.  The sweeping skylines over the Cumberland River, neon lights on Broadway as Rayna and Deacon headed over to Tootsies, the grandeur of The Grand Ole Opry, and the intimacy of the Bluebird were all there in my living room.

I am of the mindset that the show has done great things for Nashville.  There maybe more people to smile politely and say hello on Friday nights on Broadway now but if you want to buy a $5 beer, might as well buy it in my city.  More than anything I love sharing a little bit of the city I love so much with the rest of the world.  So for the rest of you that love Nashville the city or love Nashville the show, I’m going to give you a local’s insight (and tips) on some of the locations highlighted on the show.

Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge

Episode: Premier, Rayna and Deacon share a moment on the bridge before they head to Tootsies

Local View: The pedestrian bridge it not only a convenient way to get across the Cumberland to East Nashville but it has some amazing views.  It is lit up every night, sometimes seasonally matching.  There is a event every fall on the bridge called “Wine on River” that is a must do for every local. This year it is on September 10th-so mark your calendars now.

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Ryman Auditorium

Episodes: Multiple, most notably the Edgehill 25th Anniversary Show

Local View: Originally the building served at a church but the Ryman we know and love was the birthplace of country music.  All the legends played here- Johnny and June, Elvis, Patsy Cline, Willie…the list goes on. The Grand Ole Opry has moved out of town near the Gaylord Opryland Hotel but luckily for us, the Ryman was renovated and reopened in 1994.  It’s one of the best places for acoustics in the world and it should be on your bucket list to see a show here. Any show. And don’t forget the Hatch Show print, they are one of a kind and I promise will be a conversation piece hanging in your home.

Ryman

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Lower Broadway (Tootsies, Tequila Cowboy, Rippys)

Episodes: Avery’s first “big gig” at Tequila Cowboy, Will’s downtown debut show  at Rippy’s, Gunnar & Will crash open mic night at Tootsies

Local View: Lower Broadway is quintessential Nashville.  With the Batman building standing out above the neon lights there are dozens of bars, all with live music-day and night- you can wander into.  If you catch a show at the Ryman its a quick walk down the hill before you are right in the thick of it.  Recently, rooftop bars have been becoming very prevalent giving you a perfect city view and people watching perspective. Acme Feed & Seed,George Jones Museum (bar), Tootsies, and Rock Bottom Brewery all have a great rooftop you should check out.

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Bluebird Cafe-

Episodes:All of them, Gunnar and Scarlett work here at the beginning of the series. Rayna, Deacon, Scarlett, Gunnar, Juliette, the whole casts plays here at one point or another.

Local View:  The television show makes the Bluebird look more like a restaurant and less like the music venue it really is.  The Bluebird is known as a writers’ haven that have also lead to industry breakthrough for some notable names, like Garth Brooks. Tickets go on sale through their website one week ahead of time. There are first come, first serve for pew seats but I suggest getting there early if you really want to go because there will be a line. The new Foo Fighters song “Congregation” was in part inspired by the Ryman but also inspired by the Round nights at the Bluebird. If there’s a round night at the Ryman try to get tickets. Writers gather together and take turns talking about their songs and playing them for the group. Another plus is you never really know who might show up and play.

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Percy Warner Park-

Episode: Rayna and Deacon talk on the steps at Percy Warner park in Season 1

Local View: Percy & Edwin Warner parks offer a variety of hiking, jogging, equestrian trails, athletic fields, and a golf course.  It also is one of the few parks that allow dogs to go on the trails with you.  It’s the perfect way to spend a weekend when the weather is nice. Make sure you check the trail level before you start out so you don’t end up on an advanced trail when you just wanted a leisurely walk.

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Top 10 Things to Do on Your Nashville Bachelorette Party

If you are looking for the perfect place to have your destination bachelorette party look no further than Nashville, Tennessee.  Nashville was recognized in 2016 as the BEST  US city to spend a weekend which means it’s the best place for your destination bachelorette party.  How often do you get to plan a weekend trip with all your best friends?  Don’t waste this opportunity anywhere else than the best city in the US to visit.  Nashville is centrally located for easy travel no matter where your bridesmaid live and I am going to give you the best places to hit to ensure you have the perfect last fling before the ring. So go ahead, get those matching tanks printed up and tell your girls to get ready for a weekend full of memories. Here are the top 10 things you need add to your itinerary for your perfect Nashville Destination Bachelorette Party:

  1. Book your bridal party a spot on The Nashville Pedal Tavern

It’s the best way to do a bar crawl in Nashville. There are four different routes you can take depending on where you want to go.  The best part is it’s BYOB! Pack a cooler of your favorite beverages for the ride!

tavern

http://www.nashvillepedaltavern.com/

2.  Friday night dinner at Cabana midtown

You can make reservations here for your own Cabana.  Each Cabana has an iPhone hook up so you can play your own music.  They have an ample martini menu and it’s the perfect place to catch up with everyone Friday night!

http://www.opentable.com/cabana

Cabana

3. Get your 90s throw back on at Crazy Town on Broadway

Who didn’t love the music of the 90s. Crazy Town on Broadway has a floor dedicated to the golden age of Boy Bands.

4. Sing Karaoke and ride the mechanical bull at the Wild Beaver

If you didn’t ride a bull on your own Bachelorette party, then did you really experience it all? Don’t have this regret later in life.

5. Spend the Afternoon at 12th South: Grab some lunch and margaritas at Tacoria del Sol then wander into the boutiques for some shopping (be sure the visit Reese Witherspoon’s store Draper James). Finish the afternoon with some Jeni’s Ice Cream before heading back Downtown.

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6. Visit the Little Harpeth Brewery Tap room

Nashville has some awesome craft breweries but my favorite to visit is Little Harpeth. Not only are their brews amazing, they have an amazing view of the city in their tap room. Sample to local beers and get some great photos while doing it.

http://nashvilleguru.com/45280/little-harpeth-brewing-taproomLittle Harpeth Tap ROom

7. Book a tour of the historic Ryman Auditorium

You can’t visit Nashville and not see where the legends stood.  Take a break from the bar scene to see the iconic Ryman Auditorium.

http://ryman.com/tours

Ryman

8. The Nashville Food Scene is booming right now. I’m going to recommend a few places for Saturday night dinner with various ranges of cost. If you pick any of these you will not be disappointed.

Etch http://www.etchrestaurant.com/

Rolf & Daughters www.rolfanddaughters.com

Tavern www.mstreetnashville.com/tavern/

City House www.cityhousenashville.com

The 404 Kitchen www.the404nashville.com/kitchen

Josephine www.josephineon12th.com/

Pinewood Social www.pinewoodsocial.com/

Chauhan Ale & Masala House www.chauhannashville.com/

9. Honky Tonk the night away on Broadway.

Start at Acme Feed and Seed closest to the river because if you’re not there early you will waste too much time standing in line.  Head straight up to the rooftop for some good group photos. Don’t spend too much time at any one bar on Broadway. There are dozens of bars with live music. Grab a cheap pitcher of beer at Paradise Park the head up to Honky Tonk Central for 3 floors of live music. Make sure you don’t miss Robert’s Western World across the street.

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10. Sunday Brunch at The Southern.

I save the Southern for Sunday because they take reservations. There’s nothing worse than trying to recover from the night before but having to wait an hour for your table.  The Southern has an amazing menu and everyone will thank you for getting to sleep a little longer before brunch.

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http://thesouthernnashville.com/reservations/