On the road again

Greetings from the road! DN and I left St. Louis on Friday after four solid days of family time and Christmas celebrations. We packed the Subaru full of gifts and some large items that have been waiting for us in St. Louis. What would we do without my mother’s furniture scouting on our behalf?

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DN drives so capably; I still have a huge face

We made our way to Nashville, TN after an overnight it stop in Paducah, KY. We are enjoying our Southern tour, which includes feasting on lots of traditional cuisine…

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A crawfish pot pie with amazing pastry

Listening to lots of wonderful live music…

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At the Ryman Auditorium for the Grand Ole Opry

Touring the sights…

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We did not last long on Broadway, but we did a quick walk through after the Opry and then came back the next day for a tamer version

And shopping in lots of different neighborhoods.

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This was a very fancy store in the 12 South neighborhood. They had every extremely expensive brand that I see on Instagram, such as Lele Sadoughi, which makes $200 headbands. I bought a box of matches.

Nashville is a very interesting city with lots of different vibes: from downtown honky tonk at the Wild Horse Saloon to ritzy shopping at Draper James (Reese Witherspoon’s clothing store) and everything in between. We stayed in the hip East Nashville neighborhood, which fits into the “everything in between.” Less cowboy boots and more flannels. We ate great food and there were lots of fun places to walk and explore. More than other cities we’ve visited (like Portland, OR, where we felt conspicuously square), it seems like Nashville is an inclusive place — you don’t have to be hip, or cool, or honky tonk for that matter. Anything goes! That felt nice.

I enjoyed returning to city I visited more than once as a child (and again in college, though that was a very idiosyncratic experience tied to a fraternity outing). Country music was something we all enjoyed and I remember the Nashville trips being fun. Here we are staging an Opry photo op:

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Am I snapping?

I loved that alphabet sweater a lot, which adds to the good memories here!

Monday marks the end of our trip. Keep us in your thoughts as we drive 10.5 hours home to Maryland — we are praying that it doesn’t rain the entire way!