These travel pieces are few and far between right now, but I love when I am finally able to post one. Especially when it also involves two of my dear, dear friends tying the knot. Toss in the fact that we not only got to spend some time in one of my favorite cities, but also got to venture out into a lesser known area of Tennessee, and I am one happy camper.
Have you ever met someone that said "I'm not really a fan of Nashville?" I haven't. It's fun, relatively eclectic, and there is live music around every corner. While I must admit, the first time I visited, I got to see more of the city, this trip delivered in many other aspects. Being in the wedding meant we didn't get to eat out and hit the bars as much, but it also meant I got a real dose of the locals since the groom's family roots reach deep into that Tennessee soil.
Chris and I decided early on we would make a road trip out of it. As per usual, our plans started out one way and ended up another. We planned on giving ourselves enough time to camp in Missouri and watch the sun rise. But we have puppies now. When my mom said she couldn't come up to watch them because my Grandma had been sick, we ended up having to bring them to her and lost quite a bit of time that was originally allocated to camping. But, also true to form, we still had a blast getting caught in Tornado's in Kansas, eating IHOP at 3 am in Missouri, and driving through a foggy sunrise in Kentucky.
We got to TN, and went straight to the Devin's aunt's house for a family and friends brunch. The house was amazing, the food was amazing, and we got to see all of our friends show up one by one excited for the weekend. We sipped mimosas and were enamored by Devin's grandma and mother telling us all the stories of eastern Tennessee: wars fought, duels had (like real shooting duels), and we also began getting used to the thick southern drawl of the locals. I could have stayed there all day. But we had driven. And I was tired. And our hotel said we could check in early. So instead of falling asleep on the beautiful deck nestled in the woods, we grabbed my car from the valet and ventured back into Nashville to check into Hotel Indigo.
Going to be honest. I was expecting a little more from this place. There were a lot of areas that had clearly been touched up, but is it really a touch up if you can tell it was touched up? I will say the staff was extremely friendly, and that did not go unnoticed. Well, they were nice until after the night of the wedding when they got a glimpse of how crazy our crew is, but I can't blame them for not being polite after the reception after party. I wouldn't talk to us either to be quite honest.
But they also pulled some pretty shady antics when it came to the honeymoon suite, the rehearsal dinner, and just room discounts in general. I would feel safe saying that if you are looking for something a little more upscale and not too basic, your money would be well spent in other Hotels. Just my honest opinion.
After checking in, trying to nap, and grabbing a drink at the bar, I got all fancy for the rehearsal, and Chris was left to drink beers with alllll my friends he had just met haha. I think I have introduced him to at LEAST 50 people over the last few months and he has been such a trooper. Good thing they are all a blast!
We drove about 30 minutes outside of Nashville to the beautiful property in Kingston Hills so we could do walk through's and all that jazz. I'm telling you guys, this property is amazing. Green fields surrounded by lush Tennessee hills covered in trees, a sunflower field, and a creek running right through it all. Between the hospitality of the groom's family and the property itself, I was already making mental notes to persuade Chris to move there with me someday when we are ready to settle down.
We drove back to the hotel for the rehearsal dinner. The food was great, and the atmosphere was amazing as well, but once again, the Hotel made things a little difficult and I would have rather seen my friends enjoying their dinner than having to deal with the staff and issues instead.
After some wine and pasta we hit the town! We started at Tequila Cowboy and got a few whiskey shots and dances in before the band dedicated a song to the happy couple. It was adorable. And that's coming from me...
Some of us rode the mechanical bull, some of us got into a little tiff with our boyfriends *cough* me, and some of us lead the charge and directed us to the next handful of bars...
More whiskey. More dancing. You get the idea.
I woke up feeling pretty decent! Chris and I wanted to try this juice bar we had seen in the alley the previous day, but it was closed. Womp womp. So we went to Wild Eggs instead. DON'T GO THERE. IT was so bad. I have never been to a restaurant where the food was cooked badly enough not to even eat what was on the plate. We ordered a Benedict and literally didn't eat it. Sorry to all of you that seem to like it (there was a line out the door every time we walked by) but we will not be going back.
After breakfast, it was time to head up to the bridal suite and start the never ending parade of floral robes, makeup, curling irons, and hairspray. We really did have a blast getting ready and everything came together so perfectly for Larissa. She looked beyond beautiful.
We did take a small hiatus to deliver the presents Larissa had purchased for the groomsmen. How cute were these packages?
....and how cute was what was inside?
She's brilliant I tell ya.
I also got to run into my amazing boyfriend down in the lobby. Let me brag for him because I know he won't. Not only did he find a climbing gym and get some well deserved hang time in on his Saturday, but he decided to go for a run. In the Nashville humidity. For 8 miles. He hasn't run more than 4 since I met him. He just went out there and kept going. He's amazing. Okay I'm done. Back to the real love birds.
The rest of the day flew by. Pictures, running to get bouquets, sitting in front of the fan letting it blow up our dresses because it was SO. DAMN. HOT. Seriously. I feel like I looked pretty good at the hotel- but by the time we walked down the aisle I was a hot sticky mess. A hot sticky mess that was happy for my friends though - so I didn't really care at the time.
The ceremony was short, sweet, and beautiful. Larissa's sister did such an amazing job officiating. And with that, we were ready to celebrate! I filled up on whiskey (please don't ask me how many glasses of Breckenridge Whiskey I drank. Suffice it to say it was enough for the bartender to second guess if he should keep serving the 100 pound girl in the bridesmaid dress that kept coming back for refills. But sea level is real people, and I'll have you know I handled the plethora of spirits just fine, thank you very much.)
They had an amazing food truck, lots of sweets, a Frose machine (yep, frozen Rose..), an awesome band (do you call it a band if it's two dudes? I'm calling it a band) rustic chandeliers, lanterns, and by far the most awkward line up of speeches that side of Mississippi. Seriously. Look at our faces in these pictures. It was priceless.
Then we danced! Well, Chris and I went and sat in the grass by the creek and talked while the fireflies danced around us, but THEN we danced! And rapped. And did all the things we normally do when the whiskey is flowing.
Around midnight we hopped in the Trolley's and made our way back to the Hotel. Then we after partied. Did we dance on the coffee table in the honeymoon suite? Maybe. Did we behave in such a manner that the rest of the hotel had to evacuate the premises while we continued to dance in the Penthouse? Depends on who is asking. Did we have a blast? Absolutely.
Besides refusing to make eye contact with anyone who worked the Hotel the following day, the morning went surprisingly well. We got to try out the Frothy Monkey, and I loved it! I got the parfait, a hibiscus pomegranate green tea, and of course, a cinnamon roll.
The plan for the day was to go back out to the property where Devin's family had cooked Southern fare for the last week. We would BBQ and fish, and do all the Tennessee things. But Chris and I had to get back in time for him to work on Monday. So we let everyone else have all of the fun.
And that they did. Ask me how much I was FOMO'ing when i saw snaps of slap the bag and rock skipping in the creek. Quite a few brave souls even ventured back out on the town afterwards.
The drive back was fun. Until the last 3 hours. They were BRUTAL. But we did it. And we laughed so much. It's incredible how much I love Chris. Even when we are in the car together for 16 hours. It's always fun with him.
Overall, I still love Nashville. Although I will say, it was dirtier than I remember it being the first time I went. And whiskey shots are expensive. But that's really all I have to say about that. I love the vibe, I love the live music, I love the food (I wish we had more time to dive into the food scene), I just really like the city.
Now for shout outs. If you ever think about getting married in the Nashville area, look up Hayshed Farms on Big Turnbull Creek. There's even a "Glamping" spot for those of us not tying the knot. It's gorgeous, and the hosts are so down to earth. I promise you won't regret it.
And lastly, how amazing were the photos I posted? Please please please check out Weddings by Betti. She is an amazing photographer - click through her portfolios here, and here. Show her some love people. She deserves it.
And here is one last pic of Rico when I picked him up from my mom's. I just can't help myself.
With that, I think I'm out. I've got a trip to Casper for the eclipse planned, and a possible trek to Montana if we can fit it in. And of course, Puerto Rico in September. Maybe Costa Rica? Nicaragua? Morocco? Any suggestions? Trying to take it one trip at a time, but a little dreaming never hurt anyone - amiright?