- Apparently tea cozies are different than beer koozies. Why would someone give a slightly different name to something that’s so similar? One’s to keep it warm, and one’s to keep it cold? Did they intend on making me look stupid in front of my southern counterparts? Did they WANT me to look like a Californian tea drinker? Whatever. So rude.
- Y’all. There are snakes out here. I really can’t talk about it or I will be on the first plane to wherever there are no snakes.. But my neighbors have indeed informed me that they exist. And don’t tell me that they aren’t poisonous BECAUSE I DON’T CARE. They still make me want to light myself on fire. I also purchased $150 of various snake repellents on Amazon that may or may not do a single thing.
- There is a historical place here called The Hermitage. It was home to president Andrew Jackson and it’s pronounced like Hermitedge. In one quickly spoken word. So just a quick heads up if you come here from LA, do NOT pronounce it like L’Hermitage (L’Air-mi-taj) or you will sound like a real asshole.
- My friend just got a gel manicure and gel pedicure for $110 WTF LOL.
- BUT gas is now $2.05.
- There is a state or county fair every week. I can’t even keep up. I feel like there are even state fairs for OTHER states.
- John finally gave in and had to register his car in TN – but the upside is they have the greatest license plate options EVER. You just flip through a book, pick which one you want, and they pull it out of a drawer. Kind of like getting an ice cream cake at Baskin Robins.
- I found an AMAAAAAZING store in Cool Springs, and Cool Springs is the least cool place of all time. It’s 15 minutes away from our house and as close to White’s Mercantile as you can get outside of Nashville proper. Separate post coming soon.
- My neighbors drive around with boxed wine and red cups in their car because YOU NEVER KNOW.
- I’ve been told I’ll need Uggs.
Chances are, if you lived in a city for most of your life – you don’t need to make friends. You know everyone. Or at least the people you feel like you need to know. Well, isn’t that great. Congratulations. Now try moving to a NEW city at 33 years old, 1700 miles away from everyone you know, where you have to figure out how to not be a total loser.
When we moved to Nashville, I had so many people tell me that making friends would be EASY since everyone in the south is so nice. Well… they were half right: People here are great, but making friends is hard work. For starters, I have to be shamelessly shameless. Like, if you walk by me wearing Isabel Marant, I’m just going to assume we’ll like each other and probably give you my number. That’s slightly over-stating… but if you’re wearing Isabel Marant in an Instagram pic, I will TOTALLY GIVE YOU MY EMAIL. My criteria for hitting on new friends is basically the following:
- Are you a woman or gay man?
- Do you live anywhere remotely near Nashville?
- Are you available? Let’s hang.
I’ve honestly had to make a bigger effort in the last 3 months, than I’ve made in the last 30 years. If I’m tired (always), un-showered (sorry, don’t make morning plans with me), or don’t feel like a drink (haha jk) – I still have to get off my butt and make an effort. The good news however, is that my hard work is paying off. I’ve met so many cool people, who for some reason, have taken pity on my pathetic state. And lately, the only time I feel like a giant loser is when I mentally count the amount of new friends I’ve made while I’m driving in the car. (I hope my new cool friends don’t read this… nothing to see here, guys).
This is all new territory for me.. literally and figuratively. But you know how the saying goes: If you can make it in New York, you can make it in Nashville. Is that not how the saying goes? Well for the sake of conversation, let’s just agree on the logic. I TOTALLY GOT THIS!
- There is a ONE lane underpass for TWO WAY TRAFFIC. With a blind curve and no mirrors to see oncoming cars. Which means you are driving down the street and all of a sudden approach an underpass tunnel with blinking lights, warning you that THERE IS TWO WAY TRAFFIC FOR ONE LANE. WTF. I was told the proper protocol is to honk while you’re driving through so the car on the other side can hear you….because they can’t see you…. and will know to wait their turn. HAHAH OKAY. Sure. Sounds like a really well thought out plan.
- Okra appears to be the food controversy of the south. In LA, people sometimes debate the merit of cilantro.. and whether it ruins food or makes it better. But Okra seems to put people in two camps: Your mom makes it just right, or the thought of it inspires nausea.
- The Franklin Farmers Market has booth after booth of vegan, raw, organic, gluten-free errrrythang. Also a booth for tie-dye apparel. Who knew it would be like living in San Francisco?
- I have seen only 2 people in cowboy hats in 3 months and believe me, I’ve been looking.
- I live in such fear of freak torrential storms that I bought a $29 rain jacket at COSTCO to keep in my car.
- Peaches are officially out of season, but humidity didn’t get the memo about summer being over.
- My daughter can watch Frozen 3 times in a row for days on end. This is not a southern discovery, I’m just impressed by her stamina.
- Dinner guests bring gifts. Really really nice gifts. I can usually be counted on to bring a bottle of wine, but it looks like I’m going to need to step up my game.
- Gas is $2.20 – but my manicure and pedicure costs $75. What is happening.
- 311 DAYS UNTIL TRADER JOES CARRIES WINE!!!!!!!!!!!!
John just said he can’t get a Ted Nugent song out of his head. #yikes #southernliving
I took a couple of weeks off from my southern education to go hang out in LA and Hawaii. But I’m back at it, and the air is just as humid and the bugs are just as real. So here’s what’s new now that I have 3 months under my belt:
- Whiskey is from Tennessee, bourbon is from Kentucky. Period. Just like actual champagne can only be from the Champagne region of France, and anything else is just sparkling wine. This was all explained to me the other night by a horrified waiter with a vague look of disgust. Something about mash and rye and WHAT AM I EVEN TALKING ABOUT.
- Hush puppies are fried pieces of bread. See above for what the waiter’s face looked like when I asked what this was.
- There is a CPK IN NASHVILLE! There are also many, many, many excellent restaurants nominated for James Beard awards – but let me tell you – seeing California Pizza Kitchen brought me to tears.
- We have about 13 deer that live somewhere in the woods behind our house. Also, we have woods.
- Darius Rucker – you know, Hootie, from Hootie and the Blowfish – is apparently a really legit country star now.
- My new friend (they are all “new” friends) Kristen, has a working theory that 1/3 of Nashville is left-handed. Way above the national average. We are in the process of getting to the bottom of it, so I’m sure you will remain on the edge of your seat until we have this mystery solved.
- I have more vegetarian friends in Nashville than I do in Los Angeles. I mean, can you even believe that? I can’t. I feel like I’m lying as I type this, but I know I’m not.
- In the Nashville Metro area… Red doesn’t necessarily mean stop, and green doesn’t necessarily mean go.. Those are just suggestions, really. If you want to live to see the next day, it’s advised to wait a beat when the light changes.
- The state bird is the Crane because NASHVILLE SKYLINE IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION at all times. Get it? Tip your waitresses on the way out.
- I have one friend who thinks I live in Texas and one who thinks I live in Kentucky. Nashville is in Tennessee just in case I didn’t do a good job of explaining that in prior posts. I know it’s confusing, because Connie Britton is in Friday Night Lights which is in Texas, AND she’s in the show Nashville… which is in Nashville.. so I can see how it would be hard to keep straight. And I used to be one of those people on the right or left coast that thought everything in the middle was just a 6 hour plane ride of like, grass. But low and behold, there are real live cities ALL OVER! And even this dude from London was able to get the state of Tennessee right (sorry people in…North Middle?).
Okay look, before you start coming after me with pitch forks forged from beach umbrellas, I am in Hawaii with my TWO CHILDREN. There are no vacations with children. Only trips with varying degrees of scenery. Granted, the scenery here is pretty spectacular… And we are here for my mother-in-law’s 60th birthday, so we do have our family to help… But traveling with kids means still having to get-up at 7am, be in the room by 7pm, and balancing a piña colada in one hand, with a sippy cup and baby wipes in the other. So I just wanted to preface these pictures with a small sprinkle of reality to prevent you from completely hating me. Or actually, go ahead, Hawaii is the best.
For starters, there are rainbows. In this case, double rainbows. Stella informed us she had never seen a rainbow in real life, which I realized is because she grew up in California WITH NO RAIN.
Stella was also pretty excited that you get jewelry made of flowers. I mean, even Queen Elsa doesn’t have flower jewelry.
Sutton was just excited to play with an empty left over water cup because he’s a second child and is content with such things.
Meanwhile, I was happy drinking cocktails from large pineapples.
The kids love the ocean as much as John, but my pale skin requires me to make 5 minute breaks in the water and 55 minute breaks under the umbrella.
(Tankinis forever, amirite? Nothing like the beach to realize you have a mom bod.)
After we all got our fair share of sunburn, we decided to take a day trip to the Dole Plantation. Which basically consisted of a ride on the Pineapple Express and giant cups of magical ice cream called Dole Whip. Which I didn’t get a picture of because I was too busy eating it.
We’ve been actively trying to get a group shot these last couple of days, and so far, it is just not happening. Stella and I managed a semi-decent mother / daughter shot, and we were able to get one pic with my mother-in-law. But considering we are a party of 11, we are operating at 50% capacity at best.
So today is our last day.. we are trying to soak up the sun (in 5 minute increments) and enjoy the views. John and I even took Sutton on a hike.*
(*a 30 second walk up the grassy bluff)
It’s always hard saying goodbye to vacation, but it’s also a nice feeling to miss your home. More specifically, my house. And my bed. And my shower. And my wine fridge. Heading back to real life, and a VERY REAL DIET, tomorrow (right after the plane ride of snacks).