CHEEKWOOD BOTANICAL GARDENS.

Being so far away from friends and family means we get visitors. Which means I’ve done more touristy things in the last 7 weeks here than most people have done in their whole natural Nashville lives.

Cheekwood is one of the places I insist people visit because it is truly the most magical place I’ve ever been. There is an exhibit right now with Spanish artist Jaume Plensa that cannot be missed. There is no point in describing it because it’s indescribable. So I’m just going to leave these pictures right here…. Enjoy.

10 THINGS I DISCOVERED: WEEK 6

1. Garden & Gun is the real name of a real magazine. But what’s more – it’s a CHIC magazine. My west coast snobbery refuses to believe this is possible, but it is. Like Southern Living meets Town and Country meets girls who I’m pretty sure shoot guns.

Garden & Gun

2. Someone told me it’s humid here in the WINTER. Is that possible? Are they trying to get me to leave town? I can’t figure this one out.

3. Carnton Plantation in Franklin was home to the bloodiest battle of the Civil War, and oh right, we came very close to buying a house next door without knowing this information. WHOOPS! Don’t like ghosts.

4. We have a college football team named the Tennessee Volunteers. Part two of this piece of information is that apparently we aren’t supposed to be Volunteers fans since they aren’t any good, but I feel like the person who told me this is conspiring with the girl who told me it’s humid in the winter.

5. This one’s embarrassing… but while we are on the topic of sports teams, I learned the hard way we have a hockey team called the Predators. SOMEONE needs to inform the NHL that when out-of-towners are googling facts about their new city, it’s super creepy to keep seeing sites dedicated to Nashville Predators. I honestly thought it was like a neighborhood watch group for sex offenders.

6. THERE IS A PLACE THAT SELLS WINE ON SUNDAY! One place. Just one. The Winery at Belle Meade Plantation. Since it’s technically a non-profit (all proceeds benefit the historic plantation), they are able to still sell wine on Sundays. I think you can all expect me filing for 501c3 status shortly. I am going to be SO CHARITABLE.

The Winery at Belle Meade

7. Not everyone drives American cars and trucks here. I genuinely thought I was going to have to sell my Audi and get a Chevy lest I be judged. File this under the many dumb things Clea assumed.

8. A bug flew on my porch this week that can only be described as a cross between an orange moth, butterfly, and velociraptor.  I still can’t talk about it.

9. That sound I keep hearing at night.. turns out it’s frogs. Who knew.

10. If you eat 3 biscuits each week you will gain weight.

THE RED WHITE AND BLUES.

The 4th of July this year, in a word, sucked. Which is tough because I’ve been dealing with brutal homesickness lately and really could have used a star spangled day.

On the docket: A street festival in downtown Franklin concluding with a kids parade at 5pm, a cookout (formerly known as a BBQ) and dinner outside, fireworks at 9.

In reality: We wake up to dark rain clouds that do not understand patriotism. But WE do, so we dutifully put on our red, white, and blue attire and head over to Franklin. There were a ton of vendors and food trucks, and a live band, and bounce houses for the kids.. But there is just nothing fun about a looming rain storm. We walk down the street, take a picture with some flags, and pretty much run back to the car MINUTES before it started absolutely pouring.

And it kept raining. And raining. We ate outside anyway since the back porch is covered, but it was so depressingly gloomy. Not shockingly, the fireworks in our neighborhood were cancelled because it turns out it’s hard to watch fireworks in a monsoon. Downtown Nashville still had fireworks, but at that point, there’s no way we were going downtown in said monsoon. I actually think the only major win on the 4th was for the M80 business, because no storm was going to stop our freedom loving neighborhood from enjoying loud explosives while terrifying dogs and waking sleeping children.

The moral of the story: Droughts are bad, but on the 4th of July, droughts are kind of helpful. 2016 in Los Angeles.

10 THINGS I DISCOVERED: WEEK 4

1. There are at least three Jews in Nashville, and potentially more. I had lunch with two of them, and between the three of us, we might be able to start our own congregation.

2. Roundabouts. WTF. It’s a miracle I haven’t been in multiple car accidents because every day is an adventure in driving.

3. All sodas are called “cokes.” Which is very confusing, because to me, there are a lot of sodas that are not in fact cokes. But that’s just me and I am no longer living in me-world.

4. “No you’re fine!” is the way people say “that’s okay” or “don’t worry” here. This is the phrase I’ve had the hardest time incorporating because it just does NOT want to roll off my tongue. And I’m telling you, it’s more common than saying y’all. I make 1,000,000 mistakes each day so I get a LOT of “no you’re fine!’s”

5. It’s not THE 65. It’s just 65. Or 440. Or whatever highway (interstate? I don’t know what it’s called!!?!) is named. This might also be the hardest thing I say each day because it feels so unnatural. I don’t think I will ever get it right ughghghg.

6. Pimento cheese. It tastes good if you don’t read the ingredients.

7. Horn honking is not accepted unless you are literally seconds from colliding with another car.

8. Not EVERYONE is nice here because there was that one jerk from West Eim. Almost everyone else is though.

9. There are only two Trader Joes in the state of Tennessee. I live 25 minutes from said Trader Joes and make a pilgrimage every week.

10. Mosquito bites are like having chicken pox, but every day.

YMCA, FTW.

I thought that moving to the south meant joining a country club.. Isn’t that what people do here? Sip mint juleps over looking the golf course? Maybe it IS what they do, but when I went to tour The Governor’s Club (which is about 6 minutes away), I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. I mean, for starters, it’s called The Governor’s Club. It was probably going to be stuffy. And expensive. But we don’t really know anyone out here so I wanted something that would let us be social and leave the house!

Problem solved: THE YMCA.

YMCA in Brentwood

Whaaaaat?!?! This would never be an option in LA! Nashville scores major points with this one. We went today and it was nothing short of a country club. Multiple pools, tennis courts, activities for the kids, state of the art everything, I mean WTF WHY DIDN’T THIS EXIST IN LOS ANGELES.