I knew that I was leaving Miami long before I announced my intentions. I took quite a few vacations to plan and prepare for the possibility of a new city, without the benefit of knowing where I would actually end up. Austin, Nashville, Southern California and Colorado were all places I traveled to, expecting to fall in love immediately. I did love all of these places, but not the-heart-skip-a-beat kind of love that made it impossible to look any further.
Nashville provided an amazing time with the right combo of food, music, weather and outdoor activities, and as an added bonus, I knew a few people that lived there and they could easily help me ease into calling it my new home. I had planned to return even before I left on that first trip, so after doing the rounds in Indiana I shot back down to Nashville for a week.
I arrived a week or two later than expected because of my trip to Indiana…oh yeah, and the car wreck that occurred outside of Lexington.
The day that I arrived my friend asked would I be interested in going to a rescheduled Tennessee Titans practice game at Nissan Stadium. Ummm….yes! We also went to a pre-season game a few nights later.
Jen is great at coming up with things to do, whether it is something she has been planning for a while or a last minute word-on-the-street event. While I was there I also got to tag along on another trip to the Ryman Auditorium, this time for a memorial concert for Guy Clark, which included performances by Vince Gil, Emmy Lou Harris, and Lyle Lovett. PHENOMENAL.
I also had my first week of not being employed by someone else. This was a weird experience. I already had so many things I was working on personally that I had to pull myself away from the computer and go out hiking and exploring the third day, in more of what would be described as a workout rather than a hike, but it was a nice intro back into the woods. Regardless, reminding myself to actually get away from my projects and explore my surroundings has been a repetitive task along this trip.
Jen and I went to the Tomato Festival in East Nashville, a hip[ster], and upcoming neighborhood. I am still not sure what their interest is with tomatoes but it extends beyond this wonderful multi-block party of food, music, and of course, tomatoes. Their street signs even proudly display a vibrant red tomato.
I had the chance to meet up with one couple and their young daughter whom I knew back in Miami. It was wonderful to hear their take on the town and the last couple years of living in Nashville. They don’t know Jen and her world so it was like having multiple viewpoints on the same place. Valentina is an amazing artist and told me the news of opening her own store in downtown Nashville. I have always loved her artwork and have a couple of pieces. Check her out at http://www.valentinadesign.com/.
I eventually got to visit with another of my mother’s nursing friends, although I had to postpone the visit due to the fact that I got sicker than I have ever been before. But when I finally made it to their home, I was met with multiple generations of the family and for a hearty dinner of home cooked chicken and dumplings. Yummmm.
I spent a little more time in Nashville than anywhere else thus far, mostly due to a backlog of mail and car paperwork I had to wait on. Wrecking a car far from home, buying a new car in one state and having it registered and tagged in another are organizational challenges I excel at, but this instance was not necessarily the best timing. I had planned to spend time in Nashville anyway so it seemed like a wonderful place to relax for a few days. I got to pet sit the most adorable Princess Fiona and even made friends with Milo the reclusive cat.
I couldn’t have asked for a better place to feel at home through sickness and postal delivery. Although staying would have been nice, I really felt like my adventure had yet to actually begin.