Wow, it's been a while since I have blogged. But, I'm not ready to give it up just yet, so here I go again. Ian, Willa and I went to Nashville for five days at the end of September. A lot of people have asked why. Ian and I were trying to remember how it started. We think it started with the idea of an anniversary trip, then the end of September became the first time that worked with childcare....thanks mom! Why Nashville? Well, it seems like everyone and their mom is talking about it and we wanted to see what the hype was all about. So now you are about to get my take on Nashville. 

The good - I don't know if I have ever been to a place with so many good restaurants. I didn't notice chain restaurants many places. Mostly just really good local restaurants. I'll list my favorites in a minute. The locals were amazing. We talked to so many. They really seemed to enjoy wanting to get outsiders takes on Nashville and to discuss how the city has exploded in growth. Nashville is rather compact, so taking Uber around was easy and not pricy. I highly recommend walking out on the John Seigenthaler pedestrian bridge in downtown Nashville. It gives you a beautiful view of the city. I was surprised how few people were on it, actually. Also, if you decide to take a tour of the Ryman Auditorium, spring for the backstage tour, as its full of interesting tidbits. And don't skip the video at the beginning of the tour, as it's really well done. All the cool murals around the city are super neat. So many businesses have them on the sides of their walls too. It creates such a neat vibe.

We ate at more places than this, but these were definitely great and ones I would certainly go back to:

Five Points Pizza - I ate possibly the best pizza of my life here
Bar Taco - make a reservation, as this place gets busy
Las Paletas - unique popsicles
Five Daughters Bakery - because who doesn't love donuts?
Dozen bakery - Best muffin of my life. It was apple something and it was life changing.
Martin's BBQ - get the brisket tacos and thank me later

Coffee shops:

Well Coffee House - they are a non-profit that builds wells in other countries!
Crema - amazing avocado toast! This is also where all the trendy, hipster people were...haha. 

The bad - I could not get over the humidity. It was SO HUMID. I felt like I was always covered in sweat. Also, what's up with no sidewalks outside of the city center? So weird, annoying and unsafe. And the lack of public transportation in a city of that size just blew my mind. Also, I never knew Nashville was nicknamed "Nash-Vegas". Bars and drunk people all over downtown. We were pretty much the only people around with a child out, even during the day. So that was kind of weird. Well, and drunk people wanting to hold Willa. But, outside of the city center, we did encounter other families. 

One thing I found funny is literally every Uber driver we had asked us if we were planning on moving to Nashville. The city has doubled in size in something like 10 or 15 years and is definitely growing faster than it can handle. Every local we talked to loved talking about this and how unhappy they were about it. There definitely seems to be an us vs. them mentality about people moving to Nashville. 

After we did everything we felt like doing in the city center, we rented a car for our last two days. We stopped in Franklin, walked around the downtown, which truly is something out of a tv show, and got coffee at a great place. Then we continued on into the middle of nowhere to visit the Jack Daniels Distillery. Besides it being in the middle of nowhere and food options being super limited around it, the tour itself was super interesting and entertaining. We also went to the Belle Mead Plantation on the outskirts of Nashville. It contains such a dark part of our country's history, slavery, but something I think shouldn't be ignored. 

All in all, Nashville was great. Just very different than I expected. Spending five days with Ian with only one child was amazing and dare I say, easy.

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