Part one not because I plan to write an additional post on this trip, but rather, we plan to make Nashville a regular destination. Write that down 😉
A weekend trip far too long in the making, finally became a reality last weekend. With online turned IRL friend, Kristin, playing host and tour guide, we simply couldn’t have asked for a better “first” visit to Music City. (I say first because it was our first time exploring Nashville. I had a conference in Nashville a few years back, but stayed confined to the conference/hotel space.)
First things first, Kristin made arrangements for perfect weather while we were in town. I’m not sure exactly how she did that, but we enjoyed blue skies, plenty of sunshine and perfectly enjoyable “playing outside” weather.
We started our Friday with an extra special mid-morning treat. I know, I know, treats in the morning …. but this one was of the experiential kind. With a tour of the infamous Manuel’s studio. Manuel is the guy who has blinged out Music City and his client list is basically a who’s who list of country music royalty. Manuel graciously welcomed us into his space and Rachael gave us a tour and taught Mayhem how to rhinestone. After giving a silver scarf the “Mayhem” treatment, we chatted with Manuel about his fascinating 73 year short career in the fashion industry (he started making clothes/accessories when he was 7!!!).
Lunch time rolled around and this was when I began to worry, as we hadn’t really packed a lunch for Mayhem. It’s no secret that her food allergies have made eating out a challenge for us back in our home city, but through our recent travels, I’ve found that it’s more of a lack of “cook from scratch” restaurants that poses the real problem. I fully intended to make a trip to the grocery store and fix meals for her/us while in Nashville (we were after all, staying in a fully equipped condo) but found on day one that we were going to be just fine enjoying the southern hospitality and some delicious food around Music City. A quick and super friendly conversation with the girls at DeSano let us know that Mayhem’s allergies wouldn’t even be a concern and we placed our order for what would turn out to be quite possibly the best pizza I’ve ever tasted. They even provided her with some dough of her own to keep her little hands busy while we waited for that perfectly wood fired pizza.
With full bellies, we headed off to Cheekwood to explore. And pre-burn calories for what would turn out to be a weekend of feasting 🙂 The gardens are beautiful. And a perfect place to let a four year old run. And play. And sing songs that she makes up on a whim.
Late afternoon found us enjoying Jeni’s ice cream followed by dinner at Taco Mamacita. Yes, you read that correctly. Ice cream before dinner. Because, why not? (For the record, Mayhem highly recommends the Vanilla Bean and he Backyard Mint, while Keith and I say go for the Coffee with Cream and Sugar!) As for Taco Mamacita, both Kristin and her mom (who was joining us) raved about their food and mentioned it was walking distance. Keith made a quick call before we left (to make sure they could accommodate Mayhem’s allergies) and once again was met with that charming southern hospitality and a “no problem”. And the food was fantastic! Which was why we ate dinner there on Saturday as well.
Saturday was a day for exploring downtown. We walked around for a bit, checking out a few boot shops and eventually making our way to the Country Music Hall of Fame.
After that we hopped a trolley for a hop on- hop off tour. For the record, I’m not sure I’d recommend this. We opted for this because Mayhem LOVES the double decker bus tours in NYC and we thought it would be a great way to see the city. And it probably is. Our issue was that Kristin called in advance to make reservations (as mentioned on the materials) only to be told reservations aren’t needed and it’s first come, first served. After paying to park downtown and making our way to the trolley station, we were told that we couldn’t get on a trolley for an hour and a half. It’s not that the trolleys were full, but they only allow a certain number of people to board each one and we’d have to wait. I’ll just say there are issues with that particular system because we watched as several half empty trolleys left the station and once we did get on, we rode a half empty trolley until we hopped off. Then we couldn’t get back on as the next one that came around was full. Then we waited for another 45 minutes (not the 20 minutes they advertise) for yet another to come around.
The good news is Nashville is a fun city and it didn’t suck to be at a stop featuring The Bang Candy Company. Even though we quickly found out that their sweets are not Mayhem allergy friendly. Her disappointment over not being able to have any of the handmade marshmallows faded when I ordered her a lemonade which was made with soda water. After taking a sip, I mentioned it was kind of fizzy, which Mayhem heard as “frizzy”. She quickly declared “frizzy lemonade” to be awesome 🙂
We enjoyed the rest of the sights on the second half of our city tour and headed back for a relaxing evening.
Sunday morning found us starting the day with a near meltdown at Pancake Pantry over the fact that their pancake batter has soy in it. It was as if Mayhem had encountered the Pancake Nazi shouting “NO PANCAKES FOR YOU!” and it was just a little more than her four year old self could handle. Especially since her pancake request the previous morning had also been denied at Fido. But our server came to the rescue with some fabulous french toast served with whipped cream on the side.
After breakfast we packed up our stuff and headed off to yet another park to get some activity in before the five hour drive home.
But not before swinging by the Historic RCA Studio B for a few photographs in a Mayhem original made from Nashville Lifestyles covers. We picked this location specifically for the Elvis guitar. Actually, Keith picked this one … because he knew his mom would love it!
Mayhem, of course, added her own flair ….
We’ll be excited to take any opportunity that takes us back to Nashville. Such an amazingly family friendly city where we know we barely scratched the surface. We can’t thank Kristin enough for giving us the grand tour. She was the absolute hostess with the mostest and even wrote about our visit as well. She also has an Ultimate Nashville Vacation guide for more fabulous ideas if you’re thinking about a visit to Music City.
Until next time, y’all 🙂