beautiful places Tennessee the color of music

Our Nashville Trip Recap!

July 24, 2014
If you were following me last week (here and here), then you already know how fabulous our time in Nashville was. Today I’m sharing with you all some more pictures and stories from our trip. 
Please note: As I often say to my mom right before telling stories or giving a recap, “Just know I’m giving you the short version” – which just means I’m leaving out a TON but only because I could just go on for hours and hours about it all. (This also means that while I start out with good intentions of keeping a recap short, it always turns into the long version anyway so you have officially been warned.)
Have you ever been to a place that when you leave it, your heart aches just a bit? That was me as we left Nashville to go back home to Chicago. I’d never experienced that before, other than generally missing my Indiana home and the people there, but there was something just so – about Tennessee. 

To bring you all up to speed, Christian had some work to attend to out that way and since my new schedule allows for lots of flexibility, I was able to go with him. Saying we had the best time is an understatement. It was the most relaxed I’ve felt in a long, long while (even though we stayed super busy) – Christian pointed it out to me on the second day and I realized- yeah… I do feel super relaxed!! We spent our first 24 hours there with two of our good friends, one of them who has this beautiful cabin out in the woods, with a beautiful porch and classic rocking chairs… I could have stayed there forever. 
Our other dear friend lives in an equally beautiful place in a beautiful old home. It’s quiet there. It’s peaceful. Whenever X gets together with this friend, the talks they have are very telling of their relationship. They’ve been friends for years and their discussions and reminiscing emphasizes that special friendship. I could honestly just sit and listen to them chat for hours. (And sometimes, I do.)  
There is one room in his house that is a favorite of mine. It’s a room filled with art from around the world and my favorite piece is an old wooden horse from a carousel. I sat in that room by that horse in the late night hours with my journal and never did end up writing a thing. I just sat there… in the quiet, alone with my thoughts. 
Is it possible that a place can make you feel like “you“? Almost like a reflection, a reminder. I think so. It was a lot of things about Tennessee that made me feel like I was “home.” There were a lot of things I fell in love with instantly. For one, the pace is SO much different than what I’m used to – it’s slower – much slower. And I’ll tell you what – it was welcomed. There was one point in our time there when we were out to breakfast with some friends and I realized that X and I had finished our food like 40 minutes before everyone else had. We have a lot to learn about slowing down… soaking in conversation and giving a greater focus to relationships. And isn’t that how it should be? I sure think so. In Chicago it’s very go-go-go, and while there’s nothing wrong with that – I think I’ve entered a new chapter where I’m ready to slow down. It only took a few days for me to settle right in to the “chewing slowly,” deeper conversations, and walking not just to get to the next destination but to experience; to take in the beauty around me… and that, you guys, is nice. 
Christian was working with Summer NAMM during the day and I kept myself busy with lots of strolls around town, journaling, reading, jogging, and resting in the peace and quiet. The hotel we were staying at was right by the Parthenon and I easily spent an entire morning and early afternoon there. Clearly, from the amount of pictures I took, I was a huge fan (and a crazy person). 
By dinnertime, I would meet back up with X, we’d have dinner together and then go to an industry party or a show – talk about a fun time. I met so many of X’s friends I’d heard about for years and to finally get to know them, it was awesome. I heard some of the best blues & gospel music I’ve ever heard in my life, and learned more about music gear, techniques, and business than I ever thought I would. (These parties had wine, fortunately, so after awhile I just learned to tuned the biz talk out, ha!) 
One of my favorite parties we went to was at a recording studio called Welcome to 1979. This place was so cool. I really did feel like I’d gone back in time, as all of the furniture, etc. was from “back in the day.” 😉 So many good vibes there… you could feel it even in the records that lined the walls. 
I also had such a great time with my babe 🙂 

I did visit NAMM, where X was working, a few times. How to explain this thing…. it’s basically a HUGE convention with tons of people from the music industry (all different areas of the industry), with TONS of musical instruments and talented musicians and…. well let’s put it this way. I told X, “You know, NAMM is for you what the Ring Show is for me.” In other words- for someone in that world with genuine interest in the product – it’s a crazy, exhausting, amazing three days full of STUFF and PEOPLE. Naturally, I was only attracted to the colorful and sparkly things. Basically, if the booth had a great setup, I was interested. (And this is also why I was a Visitor and not working the event. Can you imagine?? “Come visit us – we have cool lights and sparkly things and stuff!”)
I talked to the guy who makes these awesome microphones and he informed me that both Taylor Swift and Katy Perry are owners of these sparkly bad boys. Taylor has a red one and Katy has different designs made for each show. (Also, R. Kelly has the silver one but I’m not an R. Kelly fan so whatevs.) 
When I wasn’t in the convention or galavanting around town, I sat out in the lobby of the Music City Center to get some writing done. It was quite the office for the afternoon 😉 
And last but not least, I leave you with a random fact- my dad is painted on a building outside of the hotel we stayed at:
No, no. He’s not really, however, while this is a terrible picture, I will tell you- this painting of whoever this famous baseball player is looks EXACTLY like my dad, it was kind of freaky. (And yet comforting.) (I know, I’m weird.)
Have you ever been to Nashville? Do you have a place that just feels like home? 
Is your dad painted on the side of a building?

Today, I’m linking up with… 
The Grits Blog   Treasure Tromp   3 Southern Gals TBT
This Darling Day
*Also with This Darling Day for Finding Beauty

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  • I've never been to Nashville but hopefully someday! I think I'd love it, being so near all that music and where so much great music and history was made! I do understand that feeling of being in a place where you feel 'you' – that was London to me, several years ago, after my split. I realized that being on my own, in a city that I didn't know very well, gave me the chance to reconnect with who I really am. I rediscovered who I am on the inside, what is important to me, what I value and want in life – and because of that I feel like London is that place! It sounds like you had an amazing trip 🙂

  • Beautiful photos. This looks like a really fun time. I've only ever driven through Nashville – never really stopped in and/or visited.

  • How fun!! Loving all of your photos. It's definitely on my list of places to visit!

  • I'm taking notes! Looks like you had a great time. Love the photos. Hope you have a great weekend.

    PS – thanks for RT my giveaway. :o)

    V @ Life+1

  • I love your photos! It looks like you guys had an awesome time 🙂 I got to spend a whole month there in May and I loved every second of it. Your post makes me miss it very much, I can't wait to go back!

  • I loved reading about your trip! Glad you had such an awesome time and connected with Nashville. Beautiful pictures too!

  • Ahh, Nashville. 🙂 You should totally move there cause we might too someday! And even if we don't you still totally should! 😉 We set our sights on Tennessee first and then North Carolina came into the picture and replaced it for now, but who knows–we may end up there yet. 😉 So glad you had such an amazing time!! And as always, your pictures are amazing…

  • Maybe your dad has something he's not telling you…haha! I'm glad you had a great time!


  • What an AWESOME trip!!! This makes me so much more excited for our honeymoon to TN. Thank you so much for linking up with us today and sharing all the wonderful tidbits of your trip 🙂

  • Oh, I love Tennessee so much. Almost every summer of my childhood we would road trip around Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Georgia. And you're right – it so much slower. Here in Orlando, you kind of get this 'beat the tourists or die waiting in line' kind of mentality that pressures you into rushing everywhere. I really want to visit Nashville with my husband – he's originally from PR and has never been up past Atlanta – I want him to have a true taste of the South! Plus, he is a musician and I am pretty sure Nashville will be like magic to him.

  • I LOVE Tennessee. I am so so happy you loved it there. This looks so interesting. I totally agree with you on the convention thing. If it's nothing I'm interested in I yusually wlk around saying "ohh that's pretty"

  • Such gorgeous photos! Love them and loved seeing Nashville through your eyes. Glad you had a great trip. So nice to rest and relax and regroup.

  • This trip sounds like such a wonderful dream! All the photos from your trip make me want to get comfortable, slow down + relax for awhile. I love places that push us to slow down — sometimes that's when we can connect with ourselves the most 🙂

    I remember when I first felt the pull to slow down + live a deeper, richer (in relationships / connections) life. It's hard when you live in busy areas like Chicago (or for me, outside of Boston), but it's still possible. Hope you + X both get to enjoy some more slow moments this summer.

    PS – Definitely whatevs to R. Kelley!

  • Ah LOVE Nashville!! The Ryman is my favorite. I could sit in there all day and admire the beauty and history. Seeing a show there is magical!

  • when you are 14 in my family, you get to pick anywhere in north america, excluding hawaii and alaska, to go on vacation with dad. i picked nashville. loved it. and you crack me up! "everything would be sparkly and stuff!" hahah that sounds like me

  • Meg

    Oh man.. cabins in the woods are my fave!!!

  • What a fun trip! When I went to Nashville, back in March, it rained the entire time, so we didn't get out to see the Parthenon like I wanted! We went to the TN State Museum, which was much larger than we expected!

  • That first picture reminds me of the summers we spent in Gatlinburg, TN. We usually went every summer and spent a week or a weekend in a cabin in the mountains. Rocking chairs on those front porches are some of the best. I also LOVE that last shot of the Parthenon you have. Great, great shot. And how awesome if that was your dad?? ha!

  • I love hearing about Nashville!!! (: I am so happy you had a wonderful, relaxing time. And your photos are SO beautiful! xoxo