Nashville.

It's hard to believe that the trip we have been anticipating for months has already come and gone! Cody and I went sans LJ and I have to say, as much as I adore her and missed her while we were gone, I am glad we chose to leave her with my parents (much more fun for them too!). There's no way that Cody and I would have gotten to experience Nashville the way we did had we brought her along. (She is currently in the "can't-sit-still" phase. Imagine the plane ride.) And we pretty much experienced Nashville via our taste buds.

I was really hoping for some abundant fall color, but unfortunately we arrived a little late for the best of it. There was still some color here and there, and I soaked it up as much as I could!

We had some amazing BBQ, phenomenal espresso, the best cocktails we've ever tasted, made a stop at White Castle (a childhood favorite of mine!), and checked out some of the places that were recommended to us by helpful locals and friends who live there. Without further ado, here are some of the highlights:

Crema

Nashville Crema sign

We literally couldn't get enough of this place. We went three times. I wanted to pack the whole thing in my suitcase and take it with me back to Arizona. I learned much about the craft of espresso when I started working at Liberty Market and am thankful that I know a good shot of espresso when I taste/see/smell it. And Crema was IT! Loved the atmosphere too. I do believe this would get the Joe stamp of approval.

Nashville espresso

Nashville latte

Nashville downtown

Nashville Crema
Yeah. It was love.

Marche

Nashville Marche

I was too busy enjoying my savory tart with parsnips, gouda and caramelized onions and tasting Cody's cinnamon croissant french toast to bother with pictures. But this was by far our favorite food experience on our trip.

Patterson House

Nashville Patterson House

Before we went to Nashville, I had no idea what a speakeasy was. But everywhere we went, people kept talking about "that speakeasy the Patterson House." In fact, while at dinner when we mentioned to our server that we were headed over there, she got this dreamy look on her face and said to us breathily, "It's wonderful…" She was momentarily transported out of her current reality as our server before snapping out of it and taking our payment. Little did we know… we'd be doing the same thing after our experience there.

There is a waiting list… a heavy velvet curtain dividing the waiting area from the bar… and once you're inside, you're handed a menu full of drinks made the old way- think an experience that transports you back to Prohibition times. We sat at the bar and enjoyed two drinks each made by our bartender Matt- who was awesome enough to buy our first round in honor of our anniversary. We heart him forever. I didn't have my camera with me (I was KICKING myself) but we went back and snapped this photo. Hands down, most memorable part of our trip- we LOVED it.

Fall Leaves

Nashville sidewalk leaves

Nashville red leaves

Nashville red leaf

Nashville house

Nashville life and death

Of course, being from AZ, we were super stoked to see some actual fall color. And experience some cool fall weather (it stays well into the 100s through October here). Much to my chagrin, it was warmer in Nashville when we arrived than it was in AZ! COME ON! Thankfully, that changed quickly, but sadly for us, we missed the bulk of the color.

Honky Tonkin' 

We also headed down to Broadway to do a little bar hopping and BBQ eatin'. Jack's was SO GOOD. Again, didn't bring the camera (and it's a good thing- the honky tonks were PACKED!) but I took a shot of the area:

Nashville Broadway

Before we hopped on our plane home, we met up with Courtney of Pizzazzerie and being the sweetie that she is, she treated us to lunch at Nuvo! It was so fun meeting her in person and getting to know her a little more. She's a doll and I can't wait to see her again when the TomKat girls and I venture to NYC in January!

Nashville Courtney 2

Nashville Courtney

And finally, here are some pictures of us from the trip.

Nashville Cedars of Lebanon

Nashville East

Nashville piggy back

Nashville Gallery

Nashville AEA fall leaves

Nashville couch

So… the verdict? We loved Nashville. Maybe even enough that we could live there… someday. But not now. Phoenix is home and as much as there was that we loved about Nashville, I actually left with a new appreciation for all we do have at our disposal here in Arizona. All in all, we had an amazing trip and loved the time we had for just the two of us. Nashville- we will be back!

Happy 3rd anniversary to the love of my life!

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Where do we go next year? It will be, after all, 11.11.11!

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Anniversary.

I'm a bit overdue for an anniversary post- well, any post, for that matter- but I wanted to share some pictures from our trip up to Happy Jack. I had never heard of this particular Arizona destination until our good friend Alex put us in touch with friends of hers who built a cabin there- a cabin they graciously open up to people like us who need a relaxing getaway free from distractions, but with all the comforts of home. We couldn't have been more pleasantly surprised when we arrived at our destination- the pictures explain it all:

The front room, complete with a TV, a Wii (Cody's favorite), and a fireplace.

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It was raining and windy that day- so nice with the skylights above the fireplace 🙂

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The room we stayed in (there were three to choose from).

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A pool table! SCORE!

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The awesomest bathtub ever…

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LOVED this kitchen. We were set to go and didn't have to worry about eating out- it was fantastic.

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Mornings were restful 🙂

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Played some Jenga in true nerd fashion.

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Hanalei showing off.

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Probably my favorite picture ever taken… so sweet 🙂

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Working on nursery ideas at Macy's, home of The Best Hot Chocolate I've Ever Had.

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In Flagstaff.

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On the way back from Flag… welcome to our life 🙂

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The sky was like whoa that day.

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The outside of the cabin.

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Happy Anniversary to us!

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Chocolate cake for dessert… and breakfast… and snacks…

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It snowed on our way back to Phoenix… then rained… then the clouds
cleared and the sun was blazing and we had to turn on the A/C when we
arrived back in the desert. Only in Arizona.

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We had such a fantastic time. It was the perfect trip to celebrate this last time with just the two of us before we being the adventure known as parenthood. Many thanks to the Bodes for creating such a wonderful place and sharing it with us and many others.

A little extra sleep…

…can go a LONG way. Cody and I have been experimenting with earlier bedtimes this week and let me just say it has been fantastic. We haven't turned on the TV once, we eat meals together, work on home or business projects, read, and head upstairs around 9:15, and the lights are always out by 10:00. When the alarm went off at 6:00 a.m., we practically jumped out of bed ready to tackle the day ahead of us. With bells on. And smiles on our faces. Not to mention, morning time is our favorite time of day, and we have missed out on it for far too long now, either because we slept in or we were just generally miserable due to lack of sleep. I. LOVE. LIFE. with enough rest and a night routine that allows me to have a productive, relaxing morning routine. And! Breakfast with my husband!

Now, I know these days will be short-lived. I'm not trying to be a pessimist in that sense; I just know it's going to change. Mornings will soon be filled with delirium, diaper changes, feedings, and general mass hysteria in our household. But somehow all of that will be OK because of this new little person we'll have in our lives. I wonder every day what kind of person she will be, what she will look like, what color her hair and her eyes will be. This whole process has been so marvelous and I am trying to savor it while I can.

We only have 100 days to go until we meet our daughter! Gah! It's amazing.

On another note, our second anniversary is a little more than a month away. We have been trying to figure out somewhere to go on-the-cheap up in northern AZ because we can't afford much right now, but doing something is incredibly important to us because it is our last anniversary before there will be a little tag-a-long who wears cute dresses and bows in her hair. We had a fantastic time last year when we stayed one night at Little America in Flagstaff and two nights at the Junipine in Oak Creek. It was beautiful and cozy and chilly and rainy and such a wonderful trip. We would give anything to do a repeat of it but unless I get bombarded with clients in the next week or so, we'll be looking for something comfortable but a little less pricey.

Any ideas?

Some pics from last year:

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(At Oak Creek)
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(This is what we woke up to every morning!)
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(Fireplace in the bedroom)
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(Our digs for the weekend)
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(This was taken on our anniversary. It was a GLORIOUS day!)
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(Love. Him. So. Much!)
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