Nashville may have a replica of the Parthenon declaring it the “Athens of the South,” but I’ve got 5 drunk bachelorettes and their high-heel wearing, short-skirt-sporting entourage, click clacking up and down Broadway that say this town is more akin to the likes of Las Vegas. That’s right, welcome to Nash-Vegas, Baby!
About 6 years ago Tom and I stopped by Nashville on a road trip to my see my grandparents. We like to think we discovered this little gem, as it was just then budding into the “Vegas of the South” it is today.
We reveled in the cheap drinks, free live music, and the anyone-can-make-it, “what’s your dream?” vibe. Last month we returned to Nashville to find it a little larger, a little louder, a little more fun, and a whole lot tastier. The city has grown tremendously and it is not expected to slow any time soon.
And the food scene blew up while we were away. Now, premium cocktails shaken by top mixologists and menus that read like Hipster food porn are as accessible as fried chicken and a bud light. But before you think that Nashville just sold out to a bunch of lumber-sexuals, think again. The girl taking your order still has a Southern drawl and she still sings and plays guitar at the local honky-tonk on her nights off, hoping to get discovered.
But chances are, she’s not really from Nashville. In fact, nobody in Nashville seems to actually be from Nashville. It’s a mecca of transplants; people on their way to somewhere, but in no hurry to leave.
So if you can’t tell by now, we are fans. We highly recommend a trip to Nashville, and we are living proof that you can go there (twice), never visit the Grand Ole’ Opry and still walk away satisfied. Below are a few recommendations and highlights to help you plan your trip; so read it and then book your ticket to Nash-Vegas, baby!
Well, I figured New Years is a great time to update you on Tom and I and our life after traveling abroad. And since it is now almost Valentine’s Day you can probably guess that “stop procrastinating” was not one of my New Year’s Resolutions.
Anyway, we have been back in the States for just over 5 months now and every week, we seem to relive our last year. Conversations often start with “last year at this time, we were…” And if I were to complete that sentence this week, I’d tell you we were hiking hiking around Mount Fitz Roy in Patagonia (probably my favorite part of our entire trip!). Talk about nostalgia!
As you can imagine, this can get a little depressing week after week, and it did, so we decided we must do something about this.
No more views of Caribbean beaches, no more signs in Spanish, no more bans against flushing toilet paper down the toilet, and free water at every meal.
We are home.
As our plane lifted off the runway in Bogota, Colombia a few weeks ago, I looked out my window and watched the giant peaks of the Andes that had become such a familiar sight over the last year turn into nothing but tiny anthills. The clouds eventually enveloped the plane and I knew that the next time I touched down, it would be on American soil.
My heart felt heavy, excited, torn, melancholy, scared, happy, and blessed all at the same time. To be honest, I don't know what I was feeling because I had never felt it before.
I'm Jaime. My husband is Tom. Suburbanites, backpackers, and expats...we've been them all!