Growing up, my mom would often cook dinners that were a collection or assortment of things found in the fridge, leftovers from meals past, or just items picked because we’re all a little indecisive sometimes. She would then call us into the kitchen for dinner by sing/yelling “Smorgasbord!”
We loved it. You would have too. And while I can’t cook you dinner on this here blog, I can offer you a plethora of interesting and not-so-interesting (okay mostly the latter) updates out of my fridge of experiences the last few days.
I spent this past weekend celebrating the impending nuptials of one of my best friends from high school, KW (pictured with me above). To say I’m excited about her getting hitched to her lovely fiancee M is an understatement. These two are just so, so great together, for each other, for the world in general. The actual wedding is going to be such a blast (I got my dress last week, reminder here for me to go get it hemmed!), but I’m so excited for them and for their lives together. They are two of the most genuinely nice, laid back, fun, beautiful, generous, wonderful people I’ve ever met. They deserve each other — in a really, really good way.
Okay, enough with the gushing.
Early Thursday (after only about 4 hours of sleep — eeks!) I met up with the Maid of Honor, AD, and we hit the road. We drove from DC to Nashville in about 10 hours — a time filled with trying to find truck driver husbands for me, buying lotto tickets at every stop (AD won $3!), and eating Frosties and Chick-Fil-A. Judge as you will.
We then got in and had dinner with my friend KP, who was gracious enough to let me crash the first night. She showed us a little bit of the town with Mexican for dinner before a drink close by. And then I passed out in .2 seconds.
Friday I met AD and another bridesmaid at the hotel. Then we picked up the bride, got pedicures, and grabbed lunch from an adorable cafe called Phat Bites. Go there. The rest of the weekend was a whirlwind of fun. Not only is Nashville apparently a bachelorette capital of the U.S. judging by the number of other sash-and-tiara-wearing ladies with entourages, but the SEC Tournament was also in town. There was no shortage of people running around this charming Southern city.
We heard live music, we watched people sing karaoke, we got accosted by every promoter promising free drinks, we ate delicious barbecue (Pucketts. Go there too.). We also did a little sightseeing at the Country Music Hall of Fame, where I took pictures of everything Johnny Cash-related that I could find. Love that man.
Overall it was a great tour of the city, and hopefully KW agrees a great see-ya-later to the single life. Two of the biggest (and most obvious) realizations of this weekend:
1. Smoking in bars is seriously annoying. I forgot you could still do this in some places — Nashville being one of them. My hair smelled SO BAD on Saturday morning. Woof, people.
2. If you are a fan of free drinks // male attention, the next time you’re going out, force one of your gal pals to put on a Bride-to-Be sash and tiara with a veil. Seriously, my friends and I might need to try this. At this point I’m not above lying for a good deal.
As for places I’d go back to on my next trip:
1. Barista Parlor. A charming coffee shop in a garage in East Nashville. Seriously, get the Bourbon Barrel vanilla latte. Incredible. (I of course got it iced.)
2. Puckett’s Barbecue. Whatever you order, put Pimento cheese on it. Love.
3. Phat Bites. Cute cafe/sandwich shop. So much character and the people were lovely.
4. Legends Bar. Next time I think I’ll check out more low-key places with live music, but this was a great spot for a fun night on the town. The band played cover songs of classic and current country hits, so everyone could sing along.
While I drove down to save money, I needed to be back at a respectable time on Sunday so I splurged and took a flight back. The catch? The most affordable flight — slash the only one I could afford — left Nashvegas at 6:30 a.m. We got back to the hotel at 2:30 a.m., and I set ALL OF THE ALARMS, but I still woke up every 45 mins or so panicked I was going to oversleep. At 5:15, I got in the convenient airport shuttle and was on my way. The flight wasn’t full so I had my own row, which meant I got a glorious 90 mins of uninterrupted sleep. Safe to say this St. Patrick’s Day was a sleepy one. But I managed to trudge through and stay awake all day. And not drunkenly sprain my ankle (story for a later time).
The past couple days have been lazy and wonderful — but also productive. Monday morning I had a job interview, then spent the rest of the day doing some things around the house. Today was a flurry of job activity, which is nice. Spring has sprung, I suppose. We’ll see what happens in the next couple weeks; keep your fingers crossed!
But in even bigger news, I got my ass back into the gym after way too many days away. I used to be pretty sore after meeting with my personal trainer, but in the middle of doing squats today I could already feel my legs hurting, in the best way. I also started couch-to-5K again as H unbeknownst to me has signed me up for another one in June.
And finally I made my way back to Pleasant Pops to try the Brussels Sprouts salad — arugula, sprouts, walnuts, Parmesan, and dijon vinaigrette. Paired with an iced vanilla latte on this beautiful day, it was the perfect meal. I also got the Mexican Chocolate popsicle. Verdict TBD, too full at the moment to try.
Well, I hope y’all enjoyed that buffet of updates. Here’s to more regular posting this week.