what a title for a post, no? i suppose it’s just indicative of the fact that when i’m reunited with my bestie (and even when i’m not), abbreviations take over my life. kind of like this video:
this kills me every. single. time.
anyway, abbreviations, i use them. in greater quantity when reunited with miss b. which transpired this past glorious extended weekend. and i have the instagrams and stories to prove it. and for all of those of you who already follow me on instagram, my apologies, you may experience a bit of deja vu as a good portion of these evidential supportive photos of me having the time of my life in nash may look a bit familiar. but i managed to fit in a few additional unseen snapshots to you know, keep y’all on your toes. that and i felt a wee bit guilty after clogging up my followers’ news feed with all things trader joes, j.crew outlet, coffee shop and hunger games reading material-inspired so i tried to limit my photo bombing throughout my final hours in tennessee.
but back to the recap.
i arose at an hour that should be considered criminal in most states (and countries) but i had only myself to blame as i was the one who opted for a 7:05 a.m. departure time. but being the morning gal that i am, it wasn’t long before i was cracking jokes and in good spirits despite the fact that even the moon was still sleeping when my chauffeur (i’m quite fond of him) dropped me off at the terminal designated for southwest departures. and after a send-off worthy goodbye i was well on my way, off to probably disrobe 50% of my wardrobe to get through security (hat off, belt off, shoes off, dignity off, all attempts at looking cute while getting body-scanned off). lucky for me, at 5:30 a.m. in the morning, there weren’t a whole lot of people to impress or rather, offend. and as a result i zipped pass the check-point at lightning speed, making a more than necessary stop at starbucks for some caffeine, sustenance and sanity (let’s be honest) before making my way to my assigned gate for a 45 minute date with katniss, peeta, gale and the gang.
i can’t quite remember what transpired between finally stepping off the plane and finding myself mid-bear hug with miss b (i think i remember walking by a taylor swift adorned throw blanket at some point to which i probably mumbled, “yep, definitely in nashville”) but i suppose it makes no matter; i had been waiting for that embrace since a cold morning in december and i was on a mission to retrieve it as soon as possible once i hit solid ground again.
and from the moment of reunion, our adventures began.
with a few hours left on the clock at her new job as an editor for a medical forms publishing company (such a baller), i googled the nearest starbucks and headed out on foot to the locale a mere seven-tenths of a mile away. and as i hoofed it toward the mecca for all things caffeinated and frothy, i passed what i had to assume was a vanderbilt student. and as i gave her a big toothy grin, i couldn’t help but think that maybe, just maybe, she thought me to be a fellow undergrad, too. this fact alone, that i could by chance be a) mistaken for a co-ed (duh, it kind of happens all the time) and better still, that i could b) be mistaken for a local nashvillian, warmed my heart to no end. and once i finally made it to my beloved coffee-bean haven, i grabbed myself my second americano of the day (no judging, my last coffee had been a good eight hours prior), parked my booty in an open seat and spent the next 120 minutes polishing off the first installment of the hunger games. so maybe my completion of an entire novel in a plane ride and some change wasn’t a personal record, but i couldn’t help but be quite pleased with the speed of which i had consumed such a literary gem.
when the four thirty o’clock (as opposed to the five o’clock) bell whistled and b was released from her duties for some good old-fashioned weekending, she headed to starbucks to pick me up en route for her usual friday afternoon tradition, “tappy hour” at 12th south taproom. and what do you know, as we entered into the neighborhood bar and eatery’s eclectic interior, i all but fell on the floor (but then i promptly thought against that seeing as floors in restaurants tend not to be the cleanliest of places) at what i saw. situated in the corner booth was none other than the SAME high school friend who had accompanied me on my flight mere hours before. he was there with his cousin enjoying a little alcoholic libation before the wedding festivities commenced. i mean, what are the odds? apparently quite good. following the second fortuitous run-in for the day (my head still spinning over the craziness of it all), b and i spent a few minutes sharing a table and conversation with not only one of nash’s up and coming song writers (and a friend of b’s; she’s so hip) but also graham colton. you know, the singer. still not ringing a bell? perhaps this may help. as well as the fun fact that mr. colton is the former flame of miss independent/stronger/behind these hazel eyes, yes, the original american idol, miss kelly clarkson. a pseudo-celeb sighting already?! perhaps my wish of being united with the likes of tim, faith, taylor, and any/all other country music stars would finally come true! a gal could dream, right?
well that dream didn’t seem so far fetched when an unplanned but certainly welcomed opportunity fell into our laps soon after leaving 12th south taproom. box seats to the predators/redwings playoff game? don’t mind if we do! and do you know who laces up his skates for the preds? (i’ll tell you!) that would be none other than mr. carrie underwood himself, mike fisher. do you see where i’m going here? (i hope you do!) there was a very good chance that miss carrie, blonde hair and legs for days, would be mere feet away from us in a box of her own, cheering on the hubs in the second game of the playoff series. so with crossed fingers (and toes), b and i accompanied our friend C (fyi, there will be two different gents with the initial “C” that i will be referring to. this particular C is C2, the other i will refer to as C1, got it? k good) to the game for my first real live ice hockey experience. and if i can deduce my time spent in bridgestone arena down to a simple statement it would be that nashville loves its hockey (the energy in the arena was ELECTRIC) and that everything i know about the sport has been gleaned from watching the mighty ducks trilogy and miracle. which surprisingly wasn’t such an unreliable source, i did know that the game is divided into three periods (not halves or quarters like football or basketball) and that there are six men to a team (five and the goalie) but that’s pretty much where my knowledge ended and aside from waiting for someone to call a flying V or line up for a knuckle puck shot, i just proceeded to cheer when instructed so by the rest of the crowd. a regular lemming if you ask me. a lemming with a free t-shirt, thank you very much.
oh and no carrie sighting. bummer. after taking in a period, b and i paid a visit to chipotle (the first of many that weekend, don’t worry about it) and headed back to C2 and C1 (they are roomies, how cute)’s abode to watch the rest of the game and visit with C2 (we left C1 at the game, don’t worry we made sure he had a ride before leaving, we are, of course, responsible ladies) before finally making our way to b’s place of residence to retire for the evening. and as we unwound, changed into pj’s, and planned for the following day’s activities, i couldn’t help but think, “my goodness, if this evening is any indication for the amount of fun-slash-exciting activities i am in store for this weekend, i better get some rest because this trip will most certainly be one for the books!” and spoiler alert? i was not incorrect with my original assumptions.
the following morning, donned in our finest lululemon crops, we headed out for a pure barre class (you think i wouldn’t try to squeeze in a class just because i was in another state? think again! nashville has TWO locations for tucking, lifting and burning thankyouverymuch) followed by a trip to the pannikin of nashville, aka the frothy monkey, for what else? oatmeal and coffee! i mean, why stray from your normal saturday routine despite being on vacay, right? and being the little local that she is, b ran into a few friendies that i had the pleasure of making acquaintances with, too. make new friends, but keep the old…
and maybe it was the oatmeal talking, but feeling a bit in need of some retail therapy, i convinced (it didn’t even take the much arm-twisting) b to join me in some outlet shopping at the opry mills mall. j.crew outlet, brace yourself, hurricane shawna was well on her way. and three hours (ish?, no judging please) later, we emerged victorious. a bag-full of clothes each. a j.crew whoopsies. but a whoopsies that our closets would certainly thank us for later. besides, 30% off all sale items PLUS 20% off purchases over $125? come on, that’s a low hanging fruit. and lucky for them, i’ve never met a fruit i don’t love (well i’m not super fond of grapefruit, but everything else…).
exhausted from all of that rigorous exercise (shopping is hard work, y’all), we made our way back to b’s abode for showers-slash-wardrobe changes. feeling like whole new women (showers sort of have that effect on people, don’t they? maybe i should take them more often), we stopped by trader joe’s (be still my heart) for the makings of family dinner. clearly b has already managed to make a tj’s bestie (i’ve taught her so well) and after we chatted with him for a moment, we collected the goods and made our way over to C1 & C2’s homestead. on the evening’s menu? hummus crusted chicken (shh, don’t tell the other vegetarians, i cheated on them), quinoa, spinach, avocado and strawberry salad, and roasted broccoli with salt, pepper, and cayenne.
and once the four of us had all but licked our plates clean, we retired to the roof top (oh yes, the boys have a rooftop patio, nbd) for a little star gazing and what else? a little competitive game of “identify the song and artist from the top 100 songs of [insert year of choice here]”. b and i basically dominated (we chose 2001 and 2003, the peak of horrible rap and bubble gum pop music) but there were a few moments when the boys’ knowledge of a specific song (down to every single lyric) was equal parts incriminating and impressive (two words: faith hill). anyway, b and i finally made our way back to her abode around midnight (i know, apparently nashville turns me into a night owl, who knew?), changed into pj’s, and discussed the plans for the following day before quickly drifting off into dreamland. sunday funday arrived with the first rays of sunshine as they shone brightly through b’s bedroom window. we got up, clothed ourselves (always an important step of getting ready in the morning, right?), and set off for fido (a coffee shop frequented by t-swifty and so aptly named for the fact that the building is the former home of a pet store and dog grooming center) to meet C1, and to caffeinate ourselves with some of the city’s most unique coffee drinks. with an hour to kill before church, C1 took us on a little tour of some of nash’s most notable spots.
first stop? centenniel park for a little green belt strolling, wild goose scaring (turns out, they don’t really respond to humans barrelling toward them at alarming speeds), parthenon-replica-admiring and finally, crazy strong wind-enduring before making it back to the car en route to our next locale.
next on the C1 tour de force was the union station hotel -a renovated train station turned hotel now home to many a wedding reception and well, this spectacular architecture. all aboard!
and just like that it was time for us to make our way downtown to the 11:00 a.m. service at midtown fellowship church. if pinterest could manifest itself into a church service, midtown would be a prime example of its manifestation. in a matter of minutes, and with the aid of twinkly lights, candles, and homemade lemonade (so southern!), a dark warehouse was transformed into a contemporary house of worship. from the moment the band took the stage (actually they were positioned just to the right of the stage; a concept b had informed me of prior to arriving. and i must say, their visual absence certain my made for a unique worship experience) until the last prayer, i thoroughly enjoyed my time at midtown. it made my heart happy to know that b had found such a wonderful location to foster her faith.
with rumbly tummies, we quickly made our way to the nearest chipotle (i was not lying in my previous comment of the frequency of our chipotle visits over the course of my trip), got our burrito bowls to go, and went back to C1’s house to feast. following the consumption of guac, beans, rice, and overall goodness, C1 was fabulous enough to treat b and i to yet another tour of sorts, this time, through the fancy schmancy part of town, complete with sprawling brick houses with columns-oggling and get this, crossing a river like a boss!
after our fare share of back roads gallivanting, C1 drove b and i back to our fido where her car was waiting for us. we said our goodbyes (and i thanked C1 profusely for his southern hospitality) and b and i made the 578th stop at starbucks and well, at tj’s too, before finally making it back to her home for a quiet evening in. we recreated fam dinner (i mean, it was so delicious can you blame us for wanting to go back for round two?) and popped in a classic –clueless. after quoting almost every line and hoovering our meal, the original plans of meeting some of b’s friends out in east nash were soon scratched as sweatpants and a 10 p.m. bedtime seemed to beckon our name. besides, tomorrow was a workday (for b, not me) and an early morning arousal was in our not so distant future. therefore sleep trumped being social and by 10:15 p.m. we were well on our way to rem.
monday morning brought with it a few extra sprinkles but despite the dreary weather, the temperatures remained temperate (oh humidity). while b got ready, i packed up my suitcase (now a wee bit heavier with those j.crew whoopsies items taking up some prime real estate) and prepared myself for my pending departure. it had been decided that while b went to work, i would play nashville resident for the day. so armed with a brief tutorial on how to maneuver the old prius (i assure you i’m a good driver, but priuses (or prii?) are a bit different to drive than your average sedan, lucky for me, i’m a quick learner -that and i ask a lot of questions), i set off to take nash by storm (no pun intended). first order of business? get me some sustenance! so where else but the frothy monkey? a quick plug of the location into my phone and i was off!
and after placing my order for a bowl of oats and an americano, i found a table on the patio and set up shop.
with a belly full of oats and with one more blogpost penned, i gathered my items and made my way to barnes and noble. with book one of the hunger games trilogy already under my belt, i figured i’d buy the subsequent two for my plane ride back to san diego. following my literary purchases, i made my final stop for the morning -to the starbucks i had camped out in for my first hours in nash (so “circle of life” of me, right?). i holed up in a corner and got to work on book two. it didn’t take long before i had polished that one off as well, but before i could crack open the final installment, it was time to get back to b so she could escort me to the airport where i would soon be forced to leave her (insert boooooo here).
and just as i had thought, that goodbye embrace was bittersweet. obviously i was excited to get back to my life in san diego, to a special someone and to my routine, but leaving b, leaving nash in general, seemed to be a more arduous task than i was prepared to do. but at the risk of becoming a complete puddle of emotion on the curb outside southwest departures, i gathered myself together and made my way through the double doors. in true “me” fashion, i had given myself more than ample time to get through security and find my gate before my scheduled 4:20 p.m. flight. but then the worst.
well maybe not the worst. but it was pretty stinky. a flight delay. until, SEVEN PEE-EM! what?!
thank goodness i had decided to buy BOTH book two and three for the plane! looks like i had a lot of extra reading time on my hands. aside from the fact that i was going to be trapped in front of gate c21 for almost three hours, my thoughts turned to the fabulous gent who was set to pick my booty up upon my arrival back in san diego. this delay had put quite the damper on our original plans to make a delicious dinner and catch up on the past 128 hours’ happenings. but well, what was i going to do? the situation was out of my hands and he, being the understanding guy that he is (and well versed with the inconsistencies of air travel), paid no mind, offering encouragement and the assurance that whatever time my flight finally arrived in america’s finest city, he would be there to pick me up. what a guy. and almost immediately after i had accepted my fate, an update from southwest blared across the loudspeaker. flight 1880 will now be leaving at 6:15 p.m. out of gate c20! it was a mere 45 minutes, i know, but hey, i’d take it! and before i knew it, it was time to board. FINALLY, homeward bound.
and with equal parts mockingjay and the conversation shared with my fellow row-mate, i was able to entertain myself for the duration of the four hour journey west. and then, solid ground. home again, home again, jiggity jig. and i’ll spare you the rest of the evening. the curbside pick-up. the late night sushi dinner. the “oh my goodness, it’s good to be home”s. and i’ll end my story with this. it’s always fun visiting a new city, exploring its terrain, mastering its nuances; believing that given an ample amount of time, assimilation is indeed possible.
this weekend i was lucky enough to find myself within the nashville city limits, under the watchful and amazingly hospitable eye of my b (and friends). and for four glorious days, i can honestly say that “tourist” never once entered my vocabulary because for 128 hours, i was adopted as a local; experiencing my “hometown” with fresh eyes compliments of two of the best tour guides around. this weekend i got to simply live a (or rather, four days) in the life of my nashvillian friends; a chance to peer inside their world and be an active participant in their musings. and i can’t deny the fact that this temporary assimilation didn’t tug at my heartstrings and cause more than just a single pause for reflection over the idea of making my stay a permanent vacation, but before i send my family and friends into cardiac arrest, i’ll say instead that b is blessed to call this tennessee city home and my gosh, are the residents of nash ever fortunate to have her, too. i can think of few things better than seeing your best friend not only happy but thriving in his/her new environment. and that’s exactly what b is doing. and aside from the fact that this new environment is rudely positioned approximately 2,000 miles away from yours truly, it really doesn’t get much better than that.