10 THINGS I DISCOVERED: WEEK 8

1. Not all storms are tornados. Not all sirens are tornado sirens. And if I don’t get that into my head I will continue to look like a crazy person every time it’s windy and there’s an ambulance in the distance.

2. Jack Daniels is made in a DRY county in Tennessee. You can literally go visit the plant and do nothing but sniff the whiskey. No tastes, no sips, no drinking. Someone needs to explain they are making less money this way.

3. Hayden Panettiere is my favorite country artist. Her character, Juliette Barnes, has catchy songs and Nashville is a catchy show. WHAT OF IT! I’m not ashamed.

4. Speaking of the show Nashville, Rayna James’ house in Belle Meade is for sale, and is 20 million dollars. So basically I never left LA.

5. The Band Perry is actually the real full name of the band. Not a band thats called “Perry” like I thought for the last 2 months.

6. There is EVEN live music at Whole Foods. Like no one here even bothers with an iPod because they can surely get a full band to play at any given time.

7. Trader Joe has a less successful, and less well known brother named Aldi. Okay their names are not Joe or Aldi, but they ARE brothers and they had some stupid feud over like, whether to stock cereal bars and went their separate ways. So one started Trader Joes, and one started Aldi. POOR ALDI, am I right? They carry almost identical products and Aldi is actually cheaper since they basically make you do everything yourself and don’t believe in customer service or bags, or even free grocery carts. There are lessons to be learned here, I’m sure of it.

8. In related news, the black widow has a creepy cousin named the brown recluse. It basically just lurks in your shoes and furniture waiting to ruin your life.

9. Why is my manicure more expensive here than in LA? This is an actual question – not just a discovery. Why.

10. Dolly Parton lives just up the road from me and I drive by her house (compound?) on the way to the park. So let me say this for emphasis, DOLLY PARTON IS MY NEIGHBOR, Y’ALL!

A TALE OF TWO CITIES.

If you want the brutal truth: Have a conversation with a 4 year old. Last night I mindlessly commented on the pleasant weather and said, “It’s nights like this where I almost think I could live here.” To which Stella replied, “But we DO live here…” Yes, Stella. We do. And I’m glad to know only one of us is having a hard time living in reality.

My entire life, I have had a love-hate relationship with Los Angeles. By the age of 17 I was over it and moved to New York City. I swore I would NEVER move back. But as they say… There’s just no point in saying never. So naturally, I moved back nearly 7 years later. Cut to 2015 when John brought up the possibility of Nashville, and all of a sudden I resurrected that itch to leave. I was done with the culture, the keeping up with the kardashians, the fact we couldn’t use public schools, the work-life balance – you name it, I was over it.

Now cut to today. My heart literally ACHES for Los Angeles. It’s like an ex-boyfriend I can’t get over. I only remember the good and discard the bad. I’m so homesick that I actually sit outside at night crying about evening walks, local coffee shops, night blooming jasmine – and can’t even bring myself to discuss our friends and family. That part is just too painful and needs to be placed in a box until a quieter time. For now, It’s all the pain I can handle to remember the smell of the air and the dry summer nights.

One of the reasons I started this blog was to force myself to explore Nashville in hopes of falling in love. And trust me, there is SO much to love about Nashville. But it’s also forced me to recognize how much I love LA and that it will always be my home. I guess that reality is bittersweet since I’m no longer living there, but it’s better to realize you love than to not love at all, right? I’ve also realized I have to stop comparing the two cities because there’s room to love them both. Nashville will never be where I grew up, that ship has sailed.. But it IS where my kids are growing up, and I feel really lucky they get to call this place home.

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.

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.

CRAWFISH BOIL.

When my mother called tonight, I said, “we just got home from our first crawfish boil!” And she said, “what’s a crawfish boil??” To which I replied, “I still am not 100% sure but it’s tables and tables of things that look like little shrimp-lobsters and people stand around eating them.” I actually think that’s a pretty good description. Maybe not an EXACT description, but it paints a picture. Our friend and neighbor, Ryan, taught me how to open the shell and eat it… It took a couple of tries, but I sort of got the hang of it, and actually liked it. He also got me a styrofoam cup of beer from a keg so i could pretend I was normal. And I liked that too! Who knows, I might end up fitting in here after all!