Monday, September 7, 2015

Deana's Nashville Bachelorette Party Aug. 28-30

I felt incredibly blessed that I was able to join Deana and seven of her girlfriends for her bachelorette party in Nashville! To ready myself for this southern experience, I picked up a travel book and watched Walk the Line.
Friends were surprised that I had never watched it and a couple of friends shared with me that that is one of their favorite movies and have watched it over a dozen times.

Quick 2 hour flight from Newark

My hotel for two nights :)

"Darn you, scaffolding", I said, when I got here.

I knew the weekend was off to the perfect start when Modern English's "I Melt with You" was playing as I checked-in.

Let's get this party started! Picture on my hotel floor.

I wasn't afraid to be on the 13th floor!

My view - the Court House and the Cumberland River.

Time to explore!
 Next door to my hotel.

Video above of 3rd Avenue - The Johnny Cash Museum and walking tour at Goo Goo.

I'm not sure I would have gone into Goo Goo had my girlfriend Lisa L. not requested some Goo Goo clusters for her family! This is a must treat if you are ever in Nashville!

Lunch at the Southern

I tried a local beer called "Chicken Scratch". :) 

Crab Cake Salad: jumbo lump crab, arugula, shaved fennel, grapefruit, red onion, avocado and dijon vinaigrette. LOVED! I just remembered that I sometimes forget to say if I liked a dish or not! LOVED!

Party bike!

Ice cream after lunch - rocky road in waffle cone :)

Boot Shopping:

I tried on these red ones but went for the other pair; Deana's new brown boots!

Me, Deana, Lesley

Lesley, Ava, me, Deana and Olesya

Welcome Reception / Party at the Hilton:


We each got a pair of sunglasses to decorate so we would be ready with some cool shades for horseback riding in the morning!

I may have had some assistance with mine from the artist bachelorette!

Deana had to match the panty with the girlfriend who chose it for her! Friends that couldn't attend still contributed! Such a hoot!

Olesya, Deana, Lesley

We asked Deana MANY questions that her fiancee had answered in advance for her to guess. Her answers were 9 times out of 10 correct! It made it feel like she's been married for years! ♥

Ava's pic of Lesley, Olesya, and Kevan

I found the PERFECT bachelorette card for Deana on Etsy. ♥

We each got a tasty goody-bag curated by Deana's sister-in-law Kristen :)

Dinner at Etch:

Ava's pic of Kevan, Lesley, Carolina, and Olesya

This hit the spot!
 Pork Belly: smoked apple sauce, caraway creama, rye crisps, kraut caramel, pickled brussels sprouts, mustard seed 

For the record, I HATE cauliflower. HATE IT.
 Roasted Cauliflower - truffled pea pesto, salted almonds, feta dip
(But if it's cauliflower at Etch.... I LOVE IT.)

Olesya's appetizer - Charcuterie Salad
Tennessee prosciutto, house-cured sausages, smoked gouda, yellow beet Dijon schmear, greens, spiced vinaigrette, smoked lima beans, pickled onion, apple confit, fried oyster mushrooms

Yummy entree - Grilled Filet
beef gravy, sourdough baked potato bread pudding, béarnaise butter, zucchini slaw

Me, Kristen, Ava, Keely, Deana, Kevan, Lesley, Carolina, Olesya

After dinner pic: Kristen, Olesya, Deana, Ava, me, Carolina, Keely, Kevan, Lesley

Horseback Riding:

1950s - My Mommy and my dear Aunt Nancy and Uncle Tommy at the Round Barn in Townsbury, NJ.
My Mother grew up on a dairy farm with all animals to boot. I called her a week prior this trip to ask her how to horseback ride. In under a minute she told me how to make a horse go and how to slow it down! I thought, "I'M READY!"

We left the Hilton at 8:30 in the morning for Juru Stables (15 minutes away).

He or she did not like me following it for pics.

Video above. Have sound on :)

 We mounted the horses from tree stumps.
Kevan, Lesley, Carolina, and Kristen (wearing her cool leather vest from 6th grade)

 Olesya taking a selfie :)

Ava's pic of us - Lesley, Carolina, Kristen, me waving, Olesya, Deana

 My girl horse was 17 or 18 and named Sahara. I requested the most calm horse they had. The first 30 seconds was so difficult that I nearly threw in the towel. It was downhill and in mud. I thought I was going to fall off the horse. No idea how I stayed on. (When the 1½ hours was over, I asked Deana about this very beginning of the trail and she confirmed that was the most difficult to do of the whole ride.) 

Kevan, Kristen, and Deana.

 Kristen, Olesya, Kevan, Deana, me, Carolina, and Lesley
(Keely and Ava didn't join us)

Sahara gave me a ride that I'll never forget. It was stressful and fun at the same time. I never used enough force with my steering, stopping or going! And she wasn't listening to my vocal commands! hehe. She enjoyed taking me around the paths to avoid getting her feet muddy. I had to watch for branches hitting my head and arms! CRAZY.

Me and Deana

Deana and our wonderful guide, Ashley.

Video above showing tail end of the ride and me showing one of my scrapes!


Needless to say, I was ready for a drink after horseback riding! Puckett's hit the spot!

Deana and Olesya

 Their version of the Moscow mule. Refreshing!

I had the fried green tomato BLT. Delish.
Ava, who sat next to me ordered the brisket and said it was "legit." :)

Lesley's pic of her Smoked Bolgona -
Thick-cut & smoked “poor man’s steak,” grilled and served on country white bread

Video above - I loved seeing these party bikes! :)

Exploring more:

Hip alternative lodging here! Click here to browse the lofts.

Local artist, Mike Cooper's mural at the Arcade.

I enjoyed the Johnny Cash Museum very much, but it was so crowded. :/

I loved listening to each format with the headphones.
Get Rhythm video click here.

Stage shirt along with handwritten letter Johnny Cash gave to a fan. ♥

Time for a refresher:
Honky Tonk Central

Video above from 3rd floor of Honky Tonk Central. Live music on each floor. SO MUCH FUN.

Another video above. :)

OK -- last video, I promise! ...........Maybe not!
Bachelorette party girls singing Kid Rock & Sheryl Crow's "Picture"♫
(not my group of girls!)

Line Dancing:

 Wildhorse Saloon:  Lesley, Deana, and Kristen

Back row: Carolina, Keely, Deana, Ava, Lesley

 Olesya, Lesley, Kristen

Lesley, Ava, Olesya, Keely, Deana, Carolina, me, Kristen

Time to drive to Germantown neighborhood! (It did not look German! lol)

Selfie - me, Ava, Olesya, Lesley

Dinner at Silo -- another delicious meal. 

Ava's pic - Deviled eggs, three ways

Not the prettiest looking plate but very good.
Shrimp & Grits, tomato ragout, okra, spicy tasso ham

Sunday, Aug. 30th 
The girls had morning flights; mine was in the evening. I got up early, packed my bag and left my luggage with the hotel, until I would return early evening to take cab to airport. I grabbed a coffee from the lobby and decided to walk to my brunch destination because I knew I would be piling on the calories. Walk was 1 mile but the streets were quiet because it was 9:30 on a Sunday morning. 

I LOVED these music boxes on the street corners!
Daddy Sang Bass♫ by Johnny Cash

1 mile north of downtown is Rutledge Hill.

Brunch at HUSK:

I had been to HUSK in Charleston three years ago, and had such an over the top meal there, that I had to try their Nashville location.

 Peruvian Punchout - What a way to start the day! Delish. Refreshing.

 Ricotta Fritters with Peach jam and lemon
(sweet and tasty)

Eggs Benedict, fried bologna, cornmeal English muffin, red-eye hollandaise
(I saw bologna on nearly menu in Nashville. I asked the bartender about this. He said the locals LOVE it. He then recommended a bologna with cheese sandwich to me at Robert's. I actually had Robert's on my itinerary for later that afternoon.)
PS - I hate cornmeal. But I'll make the exception when it's this cornmeal English muffin at Husk. ♥

Ahhhhhh, back to my old school drink, Jameson + Ginger. I adored this glass and the taste. It may have been the best one I've ever had. I asked which Ginger Ale was used. A Ginger Ale made in South Carolina called Blenheim.

"Dessert?" the bartender asked. I hadn't even thought about dessert. 
"Dessert????.....Yeah, sure why not," I said. LOL

I wanted all four of these including their drink pairing. I asked the bartender what he recommended. He said the cobbler. I chose the cobbler sans the rum.

Campfire Cobbler with South Carolina peaches, bourbon vanilla and Hickory Soft Serve.
I ate half and wished Scott Babe was with me to finish it. CRAZY GOOD.

After brunch, I walked around the corner to check out Crema. This local coffee roaster was on Husk's menu but I had no room in my belly for it! This is a place that locals were at.

Girl making my cappuccino and singing along to a classic.

I really didn't have room for this but made room! LOL. ♥

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum:

American Male leather and wool sweater with decorative stitching, worn by Elvis at the 1957 WDIA Goodwill Revue at Memphis's Ellis Auditorium.
I must share with y'all that I did get choked up when I saw this sweater. My Austrian host Mother ADORED Elvis and she taught me how to knit. ♥

1970s Dolly Parton dress

I loved seeing one of Elvis' cars! This is the "Solid Gold" 1960 Cadillac. Even with a gold-plated TV.

Time for a refresher or two:

Video above -- refresher at Tootsies.

 I was torn between the grilled cheese that was recommended by my girlfriend Tara and this fried bologna with cheese sandwich suggested by the HUSK bartender!


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