Destinations

The Good In Tennessee

Thursday, August 13, 2015

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The last time I posted about Nashville it was informative but probably not all that positive, and then last week I talked about finding the beauty in where I am as if it’s where I’m staying forever… so here’s to that.

The good in Tennessee.

– People are pretty nice here, a lot of them aren’t locals but I think a lot of us that have come from non-southern locations are doing our best to keep southern hospitality. It probably doesn’t look quite the same, but we’re trying.

– BBQ. Delicious. Hot Chicken. Oh so good. So, before I go on and on, the food. The food is good (and heavy) here.

– You can get to farms and small towns in a short drive. I can find views of horses and farms in just about any direction 30+ minutes tops.

– There is water! San Diego is still in a drought even though they had some rain, but here I don’t have to worry about the length of my shower, I don’t have to worry about watering a lawn (I don’t have a lawn but if I did…), I can wash my dishes and a load of laundry and even shower if I want at the same time without worry about getting charged (I might be worrying about the temperature of the water at that point though.)

– I drove behind a tractor pulling a HUGE load of hay! I was five minutes from my house!

– The servers at Waffle House. I just experienced that experience. Special is the word I have for the stories I heard in a 45 minute span. It was also 2am. Prime Waffle House time I think.

– Being that we are mostly a group of people from other places we get that it’s hard to go somewhere new and not know too many people. I would say it’s definitely easier to make friends here and get people to do things than it was when I moved to Portland.

– Summer nights, even when there’s no plans. Sitting on my balcony just listening to the sounds, wrapped in the humid air. I didn’t think that would be a huge positive on my list, but here I am, a little in love.

– Luke Bryan lives here… and I’ve seen him. I’ve even said hi, and handed him a menu. Once I even put a plate of food down at his table… (did you think of Mean Girls? I did.)  Which was listed before, but I’m listing it again.

– The gas here is significantly cheaper than San Diego. Or it was when I moved here and I just kept believing that’s true.

– Downtown Franklin during the holidays is absolutely charming and wonderful

– The old houses! Oh my goodness I could fall in love with these huge houses, mansions if you will. Colonnades, wrap around porches and long driveways! They are beautiful all year round, and in the snow, they were absolutely breathtaking.

– Back roads to just about anywhere I want to go. Yes, it will take me longer, but the views are so very worth it.

– Interlibrary Loan – if the 20 libraries in Nashville city don’t have it, they can request it from other cities and states!

I think that this is just the beginning, here’s to more posts like this.

To be continued…

xoxo

No Longer My First Rodeo

Monday, July 27, 2015

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As a former vegetarian it is pretty something that I find myself looking forward to going to rodeos. Changing perspectives and shifting interests are just part of the deal in living I’m finding. Gotta try on different hats, or lipsticks or personalities before you find the ones that fits best for the moment.

Maybe 7 years from now I’ll roll my eyes at this time when I searched for rodeos to go to, looked at the horses and wanted to learn how to race around barrels, watch young men get thrown from large bulls. Right now though, right now I’m not rolling my eyes at all. At this stage, in this chapter, with this invisible cowboy hat and these real cowgirl boots, I find myself thoroughly enjoying the rodeo.

Maury County Rodeo was my second, but in some ways it was another first. Under the night sky I parked by trucks with horses tied outside their trailers. I walked around in the dirt watching families and packs of tweens and teens circling the food carts and then heading back to the packed stands. There was a feel to it, outside in the warm air, bugs hovering, smells of funnel cake and horse sweat.

I’m glad I went through my vegetarian stage, I’m glad I’m going though this possible phase. I have no clue what my perspective will be in five years, but I know for now, I love the rodeo.

xoxo

About Nashville

Thursday, July 23, 2015

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Nine months in, this is what I have learned about Nashville thus far…

Each street has at least three names, one of which might be a number. Confusing? Yes.

Nashville is very much about music, and while it has a lot of country spots, it’s not as country as I thought it would be.

There are very few line dancing bars, the ones we do have are as follows:
Wild Horse: very family friendly, they bank on tourism
Whiskey Dix: outside of city center about 35-40 minutes, college bar for the most part, two rooms, country and hip hop, free cover for ladies before 10pm AND free long necks until 11
Silverados: Underneath a bridge about 20 minutes from city center, not in the best neighborhood BUT they play older country until about 10:30 and then they mix some hip hop/pop in, $8 cover and free long necks until 11

Broadway will either dazzle or repel you. Give it some time, a portion of your money (they thrive with tourism) take a drink or two, and you won’t be able to help but love it at least a little.

McKay’s is where you want to be for used books and music.

Finding people originally from Nashville in the city proper is like finding a unicorn, so many transplants here.

There are traffic lights that do the normal, red yellow green thing but then at certain times of the day they just flash yellow. This is not the same as flashing red. I’m sorry to the person behind me.

Yellow to red lights here mean “just a couple more please”, not slow down and stop now.

The HOV/Carpool lane can be used by all except for the hours between 4-6. That one really blew my mind.

Nashville and Portland, Oregon share a lot, and I mean a lot of similarities in the styles and hang out spots of younger generations. There’s a significant show of man buns/long hair, beards, somewhat tight pants, skinny bodies, frayed shirts, microbreweries, coffee shops, thick framed glasses, fedoras and somewhat fancy shoes. Not going to lie, I was looking more for cowboy boots, flannel, baseball caps and two steppin venues. I’m not completely out of luck, just less options than previously anticipated.

Speaking of two steppin… there isn’t much of that happening even at the country bars listed above! They have other partner dances that they seem to prefer more.

It gets cold. I mean, if you’re from a  snowing state, then… no, it doesn’t get cold.  But if  your from the West Coast… it gets cold. It also gets hot. It’s summer and I’m sometimes melting.

Sometimes it does snow, and that one inch might even stick, but it’ll melt by afternoon. Enjoy it, make muddy snowmen, take pictures, breathe it in, and then let it go. Appreciate that you don’t have to shovel anything.

***Then live through icepocolypse 2015 where Nashville was shut down for 2 days and only got up and running completely after about 6 when one to two inches of ice and snow came down and the temperatures didn’t reach above 35.

It’s humid, constantly. I don’t think this is a bad thing, I wish it helped the static that is often present in my hair during winter, but alas it does not.

Being just about 29, single, never married and with no children is not as normal here as it is in San Diego. Being 29, married with children is totally normal and expected here. Never seen so many young parents in my life. Welcome to the South. I want to note that I am not judging negatively on this, at all. I just happen to feel behind sometimes when out on the weekend.

There is one Trader Joe’s. It’s in the worst traffic area of Nashville (in my humble opinion) otherwise known as Green Hills. Don’t go around 1:30-2 when school is getting out if you’re going south after, you’ll end up eating your snacks before you get home.

There are no Starbucks in East Nash.

Potholes can be filled and back again within what seems like a week. After the snow is a rousing game of dodge the pothole on any given road!

Luke Bryan does go out to eat with his family as does Alan Jackson… both go to a restaurant I worked at when I first moved here. Definitely one of the highlights of working there. I. talked. to. Luke. Bryan. I thought I wasn’t a fan girl. I was wrong.

If you go to Broadway and find someone cute, chances are they are not from here. Stick with Demonbreun or Midtown for a few more locals.

Nashville is growing like crazy, traffic is starting to take after San Diego rush hour, mostly because there are fewer lanes here and so. many. people.

I’d be lying if I said I was in love with Nashville. I’m not. I like it well enough, but am I convinced that this is my forever place? No. Maybe I just haven’t found my part yet, I’m not sure. But I’m going to keep trying and exploring.

xoxo

Montana

Monday, July 13, 2015

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How do I even start my story about Montana? With a sigh? With a tear? Maybe a little of both and a hint of a smile. Montana. It started May 1st, I met a man (off of Tinder) who was here visiting, recording an album. I didn’t think much of it before we met, and the plan to meet wasn’t set in stone. It was my favorite, non committal type of plan, if we’re both in the same place at the same time, then we’ll meet. No expectations, no pressure.

We ended up at the same place, at the same time. I had met a few of my out of town friends in the busiest most touristy part of town but they weren’t able to stay long and so I had some options of people to meet up with next. I sent a message and went to one of my favorite bars right off of Broadway. It shares it’s name with a movie, there’s no cover for females and if you’re brave (or just really liquored up) you have a platform to dance on. It was but a quarter of an hour at most before I got the text of arrival, I turn around and there he was, looking better than the pictures I had swiped right on. It was a moment, one of those where things just click, where there’s no one else in the room, where there’s a straight path from you to them. That moment turned into a full night of picking songs at that favorite place, of trying to beat the crowd and find somewhere to partner dance, of feeling like a queen walking around with her real deal cowboy date. He bought me a rose from a guy in the street, and I didn’t stop him. We walked the pedestrian bridge and laughed about all sorts of things. There was a moment a second too late where I wondered if he had just been about to kiss me, and then so many second after trying to recreate that space so it might happen.

There was an adventure out to the Parthenon at 2:30am because it wasn’t time to go home yet, home meant him leaving in the morning and I wasn’t ready. We walked around, we hid from possible cop cars, and another of those moments, but still mostly friendly banter. Then back to the parking lot where his car was, trading opinions on country music, and then him saying it was time to dance, right there, music playing from the car. Laughing because dancing on an unkept parking lot surface is so much different than wood floors. Talking and talking about nothing and everything because it wasn’t time to go but we weren’t ready to make the move forward. And then finally calling it, him walking me to my car, me getting in and just looking at him, and then getting back out. A goodnight kiss that was everything it needed to be and nothing more.

An amazing first date.

Go through then, a montage of daily text messages and then moving up to phone calls. Questions, questions, questions about past, present and future. The work of getting to know someone. The frustrations and limitations of work schedules and distances. He living in Texas, a place I had left my ex because of distance almost a year before. An attempt from him to come back here and then the invitation for me visit on his trip back home. A state I had never been in, but had been thinking about going to… Montana.

Two weeks later I was on a plane, ticket paid for, feeling once again quite like a queen in cowgirl boots. Antsy for hours at a time and then I arrived, in that small airport of Missoula. I walked out of the airport to a sky that I’m sure I’ll never forget. Quiet, calm, spotted with clouds, mountains in the distance with frames of trees. He picked me up in a diesel truck and off we went. We drove for over an hour, windows down, my hand out taking it all in. The sky, the mountains, the trees, the wide open spaces, the small towns with small shops and then more sky, mountains, trees and wide open spaces. So much space to breathe.

The four days passed slow and fast, a blur of pups running up to the truck as we came up the dirt road, the room that was ours, horseback rides up a mountain, off trails, curious cows and a horse that needed shoes. Riding in a rusted truck seatbelts off, the shooting of guns in an open field and nights on his friends’ porch. There was a night where he played and sang some of his songs while the puppy kept me warm, curled up on my lap, I could have stayed there for a very, very long time. There were chickens and pigs and talks of hay and curiosities about farm life answered. And that view, the big sky, mountains framed with trees, it held me attention completely.

It ended too soon, I would given a lot to stay just a few more days. I left with tears rolling down my face, kicking and screaming on the inside. I took a chance, I pushed my boundaries and regardless of the tears that may be in my eyes right now, I am very glad I did. It was everything I wanted it to be while it was. Montana and the man left some big shoes to fill.

xoxo

Instameet /// Leiper’s Fork

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

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Welcome to Leiper’s Fork, population: I couldn’t tell ya.

My first Instameet started at Puckett’s. I got myself a little bit of macaroni and waiting for a group of people with cameras and phones to magically start forming. I didn’t have to wait long and soon the adventure began.

We walked around the vintage and picker stores, I marveled at a $5000 (it might have been way more than that) gorgeous crown that hung from the ceiling. We weren’t allowed to take pictures in one shop, but the others didn’t mind. We browsed bookstores and trespassed around the (non fenced) yards of empty small houses… I started to get to know a few people that would end up being awesome friends.

Then we got back in our cars and walked on a bridge. Not just any bridge, but the Natchez Trace. This bridge is gorgeous, yes, and scary to those who hate heights, definitely. The guard rail hits maybe mid thigh at it’s highest point and the wind was blowing strong. I just laughed and loved the view. Some of my new friends took to sitting on the sides of the bridge so as not to deal with the height.

We took pictures holding a flag waving in the wind, we laughed about the height and the sign that said there was always another way.

I stood content on that bridge, taking it all in. Welcome, it said. Stay awhile.

xoxo

 Oct. 2014

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