1 Music City

If you haven't figured it out by now, Tod and I headed to Nashville last week to visit his baby sister. And we had a ball!

We ate. We drank. We walked. We listened. We explored. We shopped. We learned. Oh, and did I mention that we ate and we drank? 

We also waited for the bus.  

This bus actually, which dropped us off right by the Bridgestone Arena downtown.

Once we hopped off the bus, we checked out the main drag, which is full of lit-up (even during the day) honky-tonks. (You can see a corner of the Ryman Auditorium in the left side of the picture below.)

He's a pretty handy pack mule. (Thanks, by the way!) 

We promptly saddled up at the corner bar (Rippy's) for some live music and a couple of Yazoos. (Yazoo is Nashville's local brewery, and I'd say our favorite was the Hefeweizen although the beer pictured below is the ale.)

If you ever wondered before why Nashville is called Music City (umm, I know, only a complete idiot would wonder about that), the second you hop off a plane you'll know. Seriously, just like the Las Vegas airport is filled with slot machines (where I made $8 by the way, which is more than I can say for my stay at the actual casino), the Nashville airport is filled with mini stages and local wannabes playing their hearts out for weary travelers. You'll also know why it's called Music City the second you hop off your bus downtown. Music just wafts out of the bars and restaurants at all hours of the day. 

We explored the lovely Centennial Park, which is home to Nashville's very own full-size replica of the Parthenon, including a 42-foot statue of Athena. (Is it just me, or does the whole Parthenon-replica-in-the-middle-of-Nashville thing not seem just a little weird? You know, weird like the kid who wears long blue jeans to a water park in the summer.)

While in Centennial Park, I discovered my love of jumping photos, like the one you saw in my last post. Oh yes, we took more than one. But seriously, try it before you knock it. It's a lot more fun than you'd think. Or maybe I just don't get out much . . . because there's absolutely nothing awkward about a grown woman (an alarmingly tall one at that) jumping about in a park while her boyfriend takes pictures. No, that's not weird at all.

We wandered through the Vanderbilt campus and learned that the student newspaper is called The Hustler. Because that's not weird either. (Come on, why not The Commodore?) Strangely enough, we actually drove by a store a few blocks away from the campus that was also called The Hustler, but it sold, well, exactly what you think it would sell. Go figure.

How about a quick game of where's Waldo Tod? (I make him take pictures of me jumping around the park, and I make him pose for silly pictures like this all the time, and for some reason, he still chooses to spend time with me. Love means being a good sport, I guess.) 

Vandy's football and baseball stadiums are joined at the hip, literally. Well, not literally, but sort of literally. 

One of our favorite outings involved lunch at Burger Up in the 12 South neighborhood. 

I enjoyed a delicious bison burger covered in fried red onions and white cheddar with a side of squash and zucchini with goat cheese. Yum. I don't remember what Tod and his sister ate because I was too busy cleaning my plate. But I've included a picture of their burgers anyway. And you get the idea; it's a burger restaurant, hence the name. Speaking of which, burger joints are taking over Charleston. Well, not really, but three new burger spots have just opened up here, and a lot of folks attribute the increase in burger joints (all over the country) with the sinking economy. People want comfort food when they feel poor, I guess. I just want ice cream. All the time. It has nothing to do with whether I feel rich or poor. But if ice cream's not available, then I guess I'll settle for a burger.

Dad, one day, when I can afford to own a house, will you please come hang random pieces of wood on a wall in my house, preferably in the kitchen? This picture doesn't really do the whole thing justice. It's absolutely beautiful in person. 

We also ate pizza. With green peas on top. That was a first for me. Not pizza, but the peas-on-top part. As you can tell, I liked it. 

I dragged Good Sport Tod to the Grand Ole Opry where, you guessed it, I took a few more jumping photos. Like I said, try it before you knock it. SO fun.

Montgomery and I also dragged Good Sport Tod into a boot shop after supper one night and made him try on cowboy boots (mainly so we can put the picture of him trying on boots next to the even funnier picture of his father trying on boots). This particular boot shop is in the midst of the honky-tonks and remains open until midnight. I imagine that a large chunk of their business is owed to the drunk boot buyers of the world. (No, we are not members of that club. Tod politely declined to purchase these $450 (no lie) beauties and we headed off to hear some live music instead.) 

I asked Tod to smile nicely for the camera and this is what I got. I laughed so hard I cried because I've never seen him look so ridiculous. I think he was just done being Good Sport Tod. But he can regain his Good Sport Award if he doesn't make me take this picture down. Time will tell.

And don't let her angelic pose fool you. Oh, kidding, she is an angel. And a smart one at that. Thanks for having us; we loved getting to see where you live and work and play!

And now this chick, well, she just made all of us feel exceedingly un-talented. She was so, so good.

Before we left, we had the chance to walk across the Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge, which is awesome.  

I'm a bit afraid of heights so I stayed to the middle. That is, until I remembered my new favorite thing. Yep, you guessed it again, jumping pictures! I love how no one behind me even notices or cares that I'm jumping up and down for photos.

Even they couldn't resist the fun of a jumping picture. (Either that, or the whole Good Sport thing just runs in the family.) 

Can your cheese-ometer handle one more Good Sport Tod picture? If so, here you go: Tod, as Batman. (Get it? The Batman building is behind him, and it looks like Batman's ears are on Tod's head. Oh, you got it the first time and I didn't need to explain it? Well, sorry then. My bad.) 

Why, oh why, is it so fun to take cheeseball photos? Seriously, it's one of my favorite things. 


0 Cowboy Take Me Away

Tod and I took a trip last week.

I really love a good trip, especially the kind that involves an airport or two.

Can you guess where we went? 

Here's a hint.

More to come.


2 Fabric Junkie

I love fabric. In fact, I might go so far as to call myself a fabric junkie. Although anyone who knows my mom or my sister knows that I get my love of fabric very honestly. It's just in the jeans, I mean, genes. (Lame word joke, I know. But in addition to loving fabric, it seams, I mean, seems, that I'm a seersucker for really lame word jokes. Did I go too far with that last one? Yeah, I thought sew, I mean, so. Oh. My. Gosh. Someone stop me. Please.) 

Anyway, I usually have big plans for the material that I collect (cough, hoard). 

When my big plans take off, the floor around my sewing machine often looks a little something like this. (Don't worry, when I don't have time for sewing, I keep my fabric neatly folded and tucked away in plastic bins so at least I'm not a total crazy person.) 

And if the sewing gods smile upon me, I somehow figure out how to turn the mess you see above into something a bit more organized (see below). It still needs to be pressed and backed, but I'm sure you get the idea.

One of these days, maybe I'll graduate from sewing baby quilts to sewing clothes, but for now I'm just having too much fun making these for my friends' little ones. 


1 I Love You Greenville

Tod and I took a quick trip to Greenville this past weekend to spend some time with my family, and if you haven't been to downtown Greenville recently, I highly recommend it. It's simply beautiful. 

On Saturday morning, we woke up and walked a portion of the Swamp Rabbit trail, making sure to hit the farmers' market on Main Street as well as an artists' market in the West End. We also checked out the amazing new baseball stadium (Fluor Field--home of the Greenville Drive) and the beautiful Liberty Bridge in Falls Park. Here are some photos from our walk, in no particular order really.

I'd like to learn to make metal things . . . to be a metalsmith . . . to forge metal . . . um, whatever you call it. 

And I'd love to try my hand at the pottery wheel. Maybe I'll sign up for some classes, you know, since I have so much free time (sarcasm).

This artist apparently said to heck with throwing pottery and just starting using around-the-house items as molds. Recognize the Sue Bee honey jar? Or my personal favorite, the Downy ball? Because everyone needs a clay Downy ball . . . . 

Okay, I'll stop being sarcastic now. I really liked these drawings of local landmarks and pretty houses. Having the artist draw one for someone (of his or her house or some other special location) would make a very thoughtful gift, I think.

And although I'm not exactly sure what I would do with one of these hanging, stained glass thingamabobs, I really liked looking at them. They were mesmerizing.

This is the one storefront in the West End that looks exactly the same as it did when I was a little girl, the Army & Navy Store.

The peaches and watermelons were out in full force at the farmers' market.

And Falls Park was breathtaking (as usual).


Y'all know how much I love Charleston, but Greenville will always be where I'm from. And yes, I know I just ended that sentence with a preposition. But since I am from Greenville, I just don't think it would be right to say it any other way. 
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