WANT TO BE FRIENDS?

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:

  1. Are you a woman or gay man?
  2. Do you live anywhere remotely near Nashville?
  3. 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!

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.

TOUR GUIDE.

You know what would be hilarious? Move to a new city where you know nothing, and then have friends come visit you 3 weeks later and pretend to be knowledgable and informed. Meanwhile, I need navigation to get to the nearest grocery store. But sure, I’m game! Let’s do it!

The Marlos, consisting of Mary Michael, Dave, Claire, and Grant arrived on Thursday afternoon and were leaving on Saturday – so my itinerary had to be pretty compact. It also had to be pretty GOOD since I’m campaigning for them to move to Nashville. I think for 2 and a half days, I did a pretty decent job. Please note: If any of y’all come visit me for 2 days, you will likely get the same tour so don’t be surprised.

THURSDAY:

  • Lunch at Burger Up in 12 South. SOOOOO GOOD. Need to go back since it deserves it’s own post.
  • Walked around and looked at all the cute shops.
  • Ice cream popsicles at Las Paletas. Again, this needs it’s own post because I can’t. I CAN’T!!! I’m obsessed and if I lived near this place I would be 400 pounds because it’s all I would eat.
  • Dinner at Puckett’s in Downtown Franklin. I don’t care if you’re visiting for 2 days or 2 weeks, this is somewhere I will take you. I love the food, the atmosphere, the live music at night, even their bottles of BBQ sauce. And it’s in the historic part of Franklin so you get some charm served with your chicken.
  • Ice cream (this is becoming a theme) at Kilwin’s Candy Store. And some fudge samples but seriously stop judging me.
White's Mercantile
White’s Mercantile
Kilwin's Candy Shop
Kilwin’s Candy Shop
Downtown Franklin
Downtown Franklin
Puckett's
Puckett’s

FRIDAY:

Those Marlo kids get up early. I woke up at 7:30 and they had been up for 2 hours. So breakfast turned into the quickest thing we could get to..

  • Breakfast at Mama Java. From the outside, I thought this was going to be kind of like a Starbucks and I was getting ready to apologize. But when we walked in, it had great communal tables made of reclaimed wood, cool vintage signs hanging, and a full breakfast menu. BECAUSE OBVIOUSLY I KNOW WHAT I’M DOING AND PLANNED THIS. I didn’t. But the biscuits were homemade and the coffee was amazing so I’m adding it to my future lists.
  • Snack and Iced Tea (unsweet tea? I still don’t know how to say it) at Crema. I love Crema. I love everything out about it. File this under a longer post at a later time.
  • Country Music Hall of Fame. Obsessed. We were only able to see a pretty small section since it’s massive, but this place is amazing.
  • Dinner at Desano’s Pizza. The pizza was so good, but the best part of the night was that I was so focused on ordering wine that I missed Sutton take his first steps. I was up at the counter trying to concentrate on the menu and everyone was calling me to come see… But no, I REALLY was focused on the wine list. Mom of the year per usual.
Crema
Crema
Country Music Hall of Fame
Country Music Hall of Fame
Country Music Hall of Fame
Country Music Hall of Fame

SATURDAY:

Those Marlo kids wake up early every day. But this time we had our agenda planned!

  • Breakfast at The Feed Mill in Nolensville. It does not get more awesome than this place. You pay for your plate and get 3 breads, 3 meats, and eggs. The biscuits are worth the weight I will gain by eating all of them.
  • My next mission was to take them on a driving tour of the neighborhoods in and around Nashville. Not just the hip parts, but the parts they might actually want to move to. Now remember, I have basically spent zero time going anywhere but Target and Whole Foods, so I am largely unequipped for this tour. But thanks to Google Maps and Nashville Guru, I kind of pulled it off. We started in Belle Meade just to see the Beverly Hillsy area of the city, and get a quick glimpse of the plantation (um, myself included because I’ve never seen it). Then we did Hillsboro Village for lunch, Sylvan Park, Green Hills, Belmont / Hillsboro, and then back to 12 South for another ice cream popsicle because I told you I would go there every day and to stop judging me. Right across from Las Paletas is Sevier Park so we walked over and let the kids run around a bit. The humidity was magically non existent, the skies were blue, and there was a breeze. I mean, I would totally move to Nashville if I hadn’t already moved.
  • Quick detour down Music Row on the way to dinner to see all the record labels, publishing houses, etc that line the streets.
  • Dinner at Adele’s. Our local favorite and much like Puckett’s, where everyone who visits us will likely dine. And they have the best kale salad which makes people from California feel warm and fuzzy.
The Feed Mill
The Feed Mill
The Feed Mill
The Feed Mill
The Feed Mill
The Feed Mill
The Feed Mill
The Feed Mill
Hillsboro Village
Hillsboro Village
Dragon Park
Dragon Park
Sevier Park
Sevier Park

And that’s a wrap on the family-of-four-who-might-move-to-nashville guide.

LAST DAY IN LA.

I feel like I have to document my last day as an LA resident, but the truth is, it’s been the hardest day of my life. The amount of goodbyes killed me – but Stella having to say goodbye to her friends at school is not something I will ever forget. The kids made her a memory box and we had a popsicle party. They hugged and opened their arms wide to show how much they would miss each other. They made little mementos and brought cards.

Meanwhile……….I was on the sidelines bawling and sobbing and convulsing. There are moments where I question why we are doing this, and today was one of those moments. Not because I question Nashville, but because the move is tearing people apart and causing so much sadness. I’m trying to focus on the positive, but today is a hard one.