First Stop: Nashville

The Energy of a Big City with a Small Town Feel

On our way to Virginia, Ean decided to test the gas station’s bathroom’s “cologne dispenser” (available for 25 cents in case anyone is wondering.) The next four hours were spent in a car reeking of roses and musk. I suppose it was better than the smell of the red wine vinegar that had spilled out of its container in the back of La Bete.

We arrived at our Bed and Breakfast in a small town in Virginia right after sunset. Much to our dismay, it looked like a haunted manor. On top of that, something was banging against our window all night. Exhausted, we took melatonin to sleep early and get up early. Result: we both had night terrors and jerked awake about 20 times that night. My dreams consisted of crashing into cars or giant snow banks when exiting the highway and Ean’s consisted of a ghost trying desperately to come in and thus banging on the window. Needless to say from now on melatonin will only be used when dealing with jet lag.

We finally arrived in Nashville, Tennessee. The music capital’s vibrant scene and delicious food will capture your heart. Our list of things to do there was short: eat and go to a honky-tonk. The street of Broadway is just as busy during the day as it is at night. It is filled with honky tonks– dive bars plastered with album covers featuring live music at all hours of the day. I stood out like a sore thumb in my little white sneakers, as everyone donned cowboy boots. Those shoes aren’t only made for walkin’, they’re made for dancin’. So to the stores I go to peek at these foreign fashion accessories. There definitely wasn’t a shortage of stores, they were at every corner displaying shelves after shelves of boots. Apparently simple brown or black boots are not popular because I see pink flowers, purple crosses, flaming dragons and turquoise vines splashed over the boots. The flashier they are the cooler you are. They also cost between $200-400. I think I’ll swallow my pride and ignore the direct look at my feet when I walk in.

After a night out at The 5 Spots, we made our way to Arnold’s Country Kitchen for lunch. I’m not usually a fan of BBQ/Southern Comfort Cuisine but I admit that it lived up to the hype. Trust the cooks on what to eat. Across from Arnold’s lies a warehouse space filled with antiques. Beware of the running train next to the warehouse though, its horn can give you a heart attack.

After a coffee break at famous Crema downtown, we walked to The Listening Room, where you will find songwriters putting themselves in the spotlight to showcase their lyrics for the first time. I can just imagine how frightening it must be to share with the world something that has till this day only been yours. It is so beautiful to hear something so raw, completely stripped to its core. This is how it all begins.

Now I have a very big statement to make. I have had the best meal I have ever had in my life, here in Nashville. The Farmhouse is a restaurant that serves Southern food with a creative twist and sources its ingredients from local farms. Two words I love: Creative and Local. The food blew me away. This restaurant made me eat brussels sprouts and pig ears and love every bite of it for crying out loud! The show stopper was the pork belly pop tart filled with jam, walnut and lemon. A mix of sweet and salty in the most incredible blend of ingredients, that pop tart will just melt in your mouth.

We then made our way to The Stage and Legends, where we heard two amazing bands. I did not see one person on their phone, which must have been refreshing for the band to see a crowd that really paid attention to them. I felt guilty sending my two Snapchats. I previously thought that we had (sadly) come to a point where being on our phone in social settings had become acceptable. Yet the next morning, at famed Pancake Pantry, not a single person was on their phone. No kids on iPads either. I should probably put down my phone instead of taking a picture of my sweet potato pancake…

Gaylord Opryland. I didn’t understand why this attraction was such a hit amongst visitors, after all it is just a hotel resort. However it is pretty impressive. This resort, often used for business conventions, features 20 ft ceilings and 4 separate wings with gardens, shops and restaurants all under- wait for it- a giant dome. All in all, it is a micro ecosphere. People go about their business while sipping coffee under a palm tree planted next to the koi-filled river, on which you may take a boat tour if your heart desires. Jets of water dance in unison next to the ferns hiding the waterfall. That is some vision the architect had.

So Nomads, where are we headed next? Let’s just say that state is on our mind.

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Recommendations:

Coffee: Crema (The Cuban)
New American/Southern: The Farmhouse (Crispy Pig Ears, Crispy Brussels, Pork Belly Pop-Tart)
BBQ/Southern Comfort: Arnold’s Kitchen
Breakfast: Pancake Pantry (Sweet Potato pancakes, French toast)

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