ICYMI, I just got back from the most glorious weekend in Music City (that’s Nashville, Tennessee y’all!) with two of my besties…who I just so happened to meet online. Tiffany and Nina and I all met on the internet. And up until this past weekend, we had actually never met IRL. But, we’ve been emailing, texting, Snapchatting, Facetiming, and blog-stalking each other galore for what’s felt like forever, so it was due time that we made it official in person, too.
For anyone who wasn’t following along with our obsessive Snapchat stories, here’s a full recap of our #perfectTEN (that’s Tiff, Erica, Nina) weekend in Nashville! Photos are less than stellar quality, because when you’re snapping happy on your iPhone, ain’t nobody got time to whip out the DSLR. Plz forgive me. 😉 Here’s hoping this also gives you some ideas of things to do in Nashville, Tennessee if you ever decide to take a trip!
I flew into Nashville for around 1:30 pm; stepping in the Nashville airport was the most stereotypically southern experience, because I was greeted with a guy playing country music on his guitar at an airport bar and cowboy boots everywhere. Glorious. I was pumped, and even more pumped when I found a Benefit vending machine smackdab in the airport terminal.
I just had to invest $18 on friggin’ tinted lip balm, because it is not everyday that you see a makeup vending machine, people. Carpe diem and buy the makeup. 😉 Tiff had driven 8 hours from Louisiana to Tennessee and picked me up at le airport, so we hugged and screamed and headed off to get food. #priorities. Our hotel concierge recommended a local hotspot called Darfon’s, which he equated to a Ruby Tuesday’s. Peeps, Darfon’s was *nothing* like Ruby Tuesday’s. It was a thousand times better, and we were practically drooling right over the menu.
I mean, yeah. Can we say YUMMERS. (Yes, yes we can.) Stuffed to the max, Tiff and I ventured back to our hotel to rest for a bit before Nina arrived. Once Nina joined the party, we officially kicked off #perfectTEN 2016. First thing was first: more food. (Can you sense a trend already?)
We ventured out to downtown Nashville to grab dinner and explore the honky tonk district before finding our karaoke bars of the night. The grub hub of choice was Dick’s Last Resort – a totally kinked out place with sarcastic service and a sense of, *ahem*, sexual humor. The servers throw your straws at you and don’t give a rip about your needs, and then they make paper hats to put on your head with inappropriate things written on them. It sounds god-awful, but it’s an LOL-worthy time to experience at least once. Especially when the table next to yours is a huge party with very drunk old men present.
After sharing the biggest sunrise margarita on the planet and attempting to scarf down an appetizer platter on already-full stomachs, it was time to find the best karaoke bar in town. We found Wanna B’s and ended up having a blast jamming out. But you know how at karaoke everyone is supposed to be really bad? In Nashville, everyone is really good. So there’s that.
A funny story: One particular husband and wife duo killed it. They both were totally in their element, obviously. Fast forward a few hours when we’re at karaoke bar #2…they show up and sing the exact. same. songs. As if no one barhopping would notice that they pulled a repeat. UM HELLO, WE NOTICED. Oy.
The day started groggily, and we hadn’t actually planned much of our trip out ahead of time; we figured we’d go with the flow and plan as we go! Initially, the Nashville Zoo was on our Saturday agenda. But with some drizzling rain came a change of plans, so we reconfigured towards the Opryland mall after breakfast at the hotel.
After doing some damage at the LOFT Outlet and at H&M, it was time for margaritas. Because obviously. We found Chuy’s Mexican joint and it was love at first sight. Grabbed margaritas, went outside with said margaritas to take pictures, got in trouble for taking said margaritas outside, went back inside and found out we had avoided the food wait, and were instantly served bottomless chips and queso. Bless up.
Meanwhile, it went from raining to approximately gorgeous degrees outside, so we figured the next obvious destination was a winery. (You see why we get along, right?) We hit up the Long Hollow Winery for a “grand experience” wine tasting, and boy oh boy – it was grand.
This specific winery had a few fruit wines that were just out of this world, so naturally I had to grab a few bottles as souvenirs. 😉 And cheese. Because there was also homemade cheese to taste. Because I can’t ship wine out of state back to PA and couldn’t put it in my carry-on to fly back, I ended up having to check my carry-on and get a new bag to actually carry onto the plane so that I could tightly wrap my two bottles of Cabernet and blackberry vino in sweaters and clothes for the journey back. Priorities, right?
After Long Hollow, it was time for…you guessed it!…eating again. This time, we planned ahead for one of Nashville’s hot spots according to food reviews everywhere – Monell’s.
At Monell’s, the line is out the door every day; doors only open at 5 pm and close at 8:30 pm. There are three tables in the entire restaurant, but they’re not like typical restaurant tables. They’re huge dining room tables, and you are seated with strangers to eat family-style in a phone-free, pass-dishes-to-the-left environment. Crazy, but SO GOOD.
The entire meal was homemade Southern cooking; you sit down and the food just starts a’comin’.
First up: cole slaw and a cold cucumber salad.
Next, corn bread with peach preserves and biscuits with gravy. And me being a typically Northeaster had NO CLUE that gravy went on biscuits. Stood out like a black eye on that one, folks…
Then came the main courses: fried catfish, fried chicken, barbecue ribs, fried okra, hashbrown casserole, pinto beans, green beans, baked cinnamon apples.
And dessert: peach cobbler.
BRB, dead. Literally though, we all felt more stuffed than stuffed to the point of needing to just go to Starbucks afterwards to sit down and caffeinate and recover from a sheer food coma. The coma is real.
And I snuck a pic of my food because I couldn’t NOT show y’all.
After we were semi-mobile human beings again, it was time to plan the night ahead! We had heard down the grapevine that local hot spot Santa’s Pub was a must for great karaoke, so we went and sang and it was grand.
We all needed hair-washing showers as soon as we got home from being in a smoke-filled dive bar for hours, but we didn’t even care – it was so laidback and genuinely fun. Cheers to that.
Our last day in Nashville called for big plans. We started the day by hitting up 12 South – a street with a fabulous coffee cafe called the Frothy Monkey, Reese Witherspoon’s store called Draper James, a Sprinkles Cupcake ATM, and the infamous Nashville wall mural.
Cue the tourist things.
I’m so beyond thankful for these two. After meeting so serendipitously on the Internet and emailing, Skyping, texting, Snapchatting, we met up in Music City and it was like we had been friends forever. Instant soulmates. The absolute best weekend ever. #theperfectTEN ♡ ♡ ♡ Have you ever met online friends IRL? What was it like??
A photo posted by Erica | Coming Up Roses (@ericaligenza) on
After our jumping around subsided, we FINALLY hit up…the ZOO! The Nashville Zoo was one of the best any of us had ever been to. Besides being able to run around in the goat pen, we got to run around amongst the kangaroos and get cotton candy, so the three of us were a bunch of 20-somethings turned toddlers with our levels of sheer bliss. If you missed out on our live zoo antics, you should probably be on Snapchat more… 😉
And props to the little girl who photobombed this so gracefully. What a champ.
This weekend was totally one of the best of our lives. We just instantly clicked and felt like all of us had been longtime besties – zero awkwardness or uncomfortability or you’re-not-what-I-thought-you’d-be-like-ness. It was seriously the #perfectTEN weekend, and I couldn’t be more grateful to have met up with my girls. Until my wedding in the fall, it’ll be more Snapchat and digital communication, but that’s cool…we’ll be reunited come September. 😉
Have you ever met IRL with people you’ve online? What are you doing for spring break this year?
ICYMI, I’ve got 10 things you need to know before going on spring break and a day in my (coffee) life for your enjoyment. Until Friday…have a beautiful, sunshine-y day!