In mid-February, the hubs and I hopped a plane to Nashville, in an attempt to escape the frozen winter weather that (still) has Boston locked in its icy grip. We must have taken it with us, because we had two nights of near-record lows and a wicked ice storm that delayed our flight home by a day. (The same thing happened to us in West Texas over New Year’s.)
We still had a great time, though – a weekend full of books, friends and good food. Three of my favorite things.
My college roommate Bethany (above) lives in Nashville, and she and her husband, Chad, welcomed us with open arms. So did their German shepherd puppy, Luna. She’s adorable – all long legs and jackrabbit ears.
Upon arrival, we headed straight to Pharmacy Burger in East Nashville, for delicious burgers and sweet potato fries. We then drove to a place I’ve been wanting to see since it opened: Parnassus Books.
Two friendly shop dogs, a kids’ section with glowing stars hanging from the ceiling, quirky greeting cards, friendly booksellers, and shelves and shelves of books. It was everything I dreamed. (I bought a lovely novel, Etta and Otto and Russell and James.)
Since I frequently bemoan the lack of good Mexican food in Boston, it was a treat to have dinner that night at Las Maracas. Enchiladas smothered in spicy salsa verde, plus delicious chips and salsa. Yes, please.
The next day, we headed to Tenn Sixteen for brunch – chicken and waffles. I’ve been skeptical about the combination, but these were delicious.
Leigh and I have been Internet friends for a few years, and we’ve been talking about meeting up for ages. The three of us sipped tea and chatted happily for more than two hours. I only wish we’d had more time together.
Bethany and I caught up with the guys later at the Opryland Hotel. It’s a gorgeous building – but what really captured my attention was the (indoor) landscaping.
Green plants! Ferns! Orchids! In the middle of winter! (I may be a tiny bit traumatized by all the snow and ice we’ve had in New England.)
For a Valentine’s Day double date that evening, we had crepes at the Red Bicycle in Madison. We were the only customers, and as we were finishing our savory crepes, the cooks brought out this creation:
Strawberries, chocolate and whipped cream. With hearts. Adorable. (And delicious.)
The next morning, after church and a lunch of Thai food, we headed to Barista Parlor (possibly the most hipster place I’ve ever set foot in).
Bethany had a gourmet hot chocolate flight:
And the guys amused themselves making hipster faces:
The highlight of the afternoon was seeing our friends Lawson and Lindsey, who drove over to meet us on super-short notice.
Lawson is an old friend from college days. We hadn’t seen each other in several years, but we slipped right back into easy conversation. It was the first time we’d met Lindsey (though we have lots of mutual friends), and she is lovely.
The freezing rain started on Sunday night, so we spent the rest of our trip hanging out at Bethany and Chad’s house. Eating pizza and pancakes and drinking lots of tea. Playing card games and guitar. Watching movies and playing with Luna. And, of course, talking to our hearts’ content.
Bethany and I used to share not only a house, but so much of our lives: friends and a church, a college and a workplace, in a way that’s not possible now. We have built our own lives in different cities, but I miss having her close by. So it was wonderful to step into her world for a few days. We were long overdue for some concentrated time together. And it was lovely.
Nashville, you’re all right. We’ll definitely be back.