DAY 1: MONDAY, MAY 22
Paul and I hit the road just a few minutes past 6 a.m. After a little construction, gassing up the tank and a few potty breaks (4 to be exact), we arrived at our UrbanNashville Vacation Homes rental. Oh my gosh, this place is adorable!!! A lot of Nashville Charm. Nothing fancy, but it’s all we need!
After all the stops we made, the total time it took to get to Nashville was about 10 hours. We gained an hour, coming. So it ended up being nine hours. I love when that happens … but it stinks going home. We settled in, unpacked, and headed out for dinner, drinks and strolling. We had dinner at Edley’s Bar-B-Que in the ’12 South’ Neighborhood.
From there, we headed to Broadway/Honky Tonk and hit a few of the bars: The Nashville Predators Hockey Team were playing Game 6 in the playoffs at Bridgestone Arena … so Downtown Nashville was booming with excitement.
We watched the game from the Rooftop at Rock Bottom Brewery, which is next to Acme Seed & Feed. We will be going to Acme on Wednesday. We had a great view of Nissan Arena … not only home of the CMA Music Festival, but also home of the Tennessee Titans NFL Team. The Predators ended up winning. This was their first time ever to make it to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
LOOK OF THE NIGHT
Top + Pants (old) | Shoes | Crossbody Handbag | Sunglasses | Beaded Bangle is new and from Target | Gold Bracelet | Ring | Lip Pencil is Wet & Wild #666 Brandywine | Lipstick (Pink Taupe), topped this Lipstick (Marrakech) in the center
Expenses on the ride:
~ Tim Horton (2 Black Coffees): $3.50
~ Gas: $21.00 / $23.50
~ Convenience (Paul): $5.00 / $6.oo
Expenses of the night:
~ Dinner (Edley): $36 … We had $50 Gift Card, so it did not cost us anything. Thank you, Kirstyn.
~ Lift (shuttling Service) w/Tips: $24
~ Bar Hopping w/ Tips: $29
DAY 2: TUESDAY, MAY 23 (OUR ANNIVERSARY)
We started our morning off by having breakfast at a Nashville MUST, Biscuit Love. Biscuit love is located in ‘The Gulch’. I really enjoyed this area of Nashville. Biscuit Love was just that …. LOVE!!! Paul had the ‘Black Lock Hash’, which had skillet potatoes, smoked sausage, peppers, onions and topped with sunny side eggs. I had the ‘Bill Neal’, which consisted of a heavenly amount of cheese grits, gulf shrimp, mushrooms, applewood smoked bacon, lemon tabasco sauce and topped with green onions. We both loved our choices. From there, we did a little walking around and seeing some sights … including the ‘What Lifts You’ Wings.
Around lunchtime, we headed to Grand Ole Opry for the Backstage Tour. We wanted to get there early to get some pictures outdoors. We had extra time, so we headed over to Gaylord Opryland to enjoy the scenery and have a drink. Then, we headed back to the Grand Ole Opry for our scheduled Backstage Tour. The Tour was from 3-4 o’clock. It was great, and we would recommend it.
After the tour, we went back to Opryland for dinner and the ‘River Boat Ride’. Paul also presented me with a beautiful Silver Anniversary gift from Brilliant Earth. He gifted me an Eternity Band, which consisted of three individual rings that you wear together. I also received white, gold stud earrings and a beautiful white, gold bracelet with a single diamond in it. He clearly did his homework. The boat ride was nice, but I could take it or leave it. You can take in all the beauty of Opryland without going on the boat ride. But, I will also say … it is very affordable. Dinner was good. Both Paul and I felt it was a little pricy for what we got. Clearly you are going to pay more for dining or having drinks in Opryland. After the boat ride, we headed back to the Grand Ole Opry for the nighttime entertainment. Chris Young played and was amazing, Trace Adkins also played, and we really enjoyed him. We got a kick out of Paul Shaffer from Saturday Night Live. The evening was rounded up with The Charlie Daniels Band. All around, great entertainment, and we would HIGHLY recommend the night concert. Our thought is that you cannot go to Nashville and not take in The Grand Ole Opry. Also, a walk through Opryland is a must! You certainly do not have to pay the hefty price of staying there, however.
Dress (Size S) | Belt | Shoes | Handbag |Strapless Bra | Phone Case | Sunglasses | Beaded Bracelet (new, from Target) | Necklace (old) | Earrings + faux wedding ring (new, from Old Navy .. could not find links) | Ring | Same Lip Cocktail as yesterday .. but dabbed a little gloss in the center of bottom lip
Expenses of the day:
~ McDonalds (2 Large Coffees): $2.19
~ Breakfast at Biscuit Love: $43.60
~ McDonald’s (2 Large Diet Cokes and a Snack Wrap for Paul): $4.14
~ Grand Ole Opry Backstage Tour Tickets: $50.00 (purchased ahead of time)
~ 2 Drinks at ‘The Falls” at Opryland: $24.47
~ River Boat Opryland Tickets: $12.00
~ Anniversary Dinner (+tip) at ‘Ravello Italian Restaurant in Opryland: $176.75
~ Grand Ole Opry Tickets: $86.40 (purchased ahead of time)
~ 2 Drinks at Grand Ole Opry: $21.00
~ Silver Anniversary Eternity Ring: PRICELESS!!!
DAY 3: WEDNESDAY, MAY 24
We left our charming little pad at about 10:45 am. We were starving, so we headed to lunch in Downtown Nashville. We ate at another high-review’s restaurant, located right on Broadway. It’s called Merchants, and it was FANTASTIC!!! I got the ‘Arugula Salad’. I asked for my salmon to be blackened and it was delicious! The dressing … yummy! Paul got the BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich w/ House Chips. He was in his glory! I didn’t get any pictures there, because it was gloomy and rainy. Whether lunch or dinner, I definitely would consider Merchants as a great option for dining while in Downtown Nashville. By the time we were done eating, it was pouring rain. We drove around downtown, including ‘Printers Alley’. It would have been great to take pictures …but being the downpour that it was, it didn’t happen. Maybe another day. After driving around a bit in the rain, we headed over to ’12 South’ neighborhood and went to an adorable coffee shop, called Frothy Monkey.
We jumped on our laptops for a bit. Paul made some business calls and I worked on this blog post … all while sipping coffee, of course. Today was a nice warm up from the chilly 60’s temps that we had the last couple days. We Left Frothy Monkey and enjoyed a few shops. One of them was Draper James … which is Reese Whitherspoons boutique. Paul went to a pub and I hit up Five Daughter’s Bakery. I don’t know if it is the fact that Paul and I have Five Daughters … but, I LOVED this little treasure! I would have loved to had picked up more, but I only purchased two donuts. One for Paul and for myself. The donut that I bought for Paul had bacon on top, and evidently it is their hot seller!!! My donut was also one of their ‘must haves’ … a yummy vanilla one. They were both filled with a sweet, cream filling that was amazing! Best donuts I have ever had, for sure!!! Paul and I also hit a few taprooms and pubs, while spending the afternoon in the ’12 South’ neighborhood. We went back to Eldley’s and had a Bushwacker … which is another Nashville MUST!! WOW … delicious! Very sweet with the added ice cream and lots of alcohol for flavor. Definitely recommend having one of these, if you make a trip to Nashville.
OUTFIT DETAILS for The Day
At about 8 p.m., we took an Uber to Broadway (Downtown Nashville) … also known as Honky Tonk Highway, or NashVegas. Paul got online before we left and found a $20 Uber coupon for $10 .. through Groupon. We used that to Uber down and back, and still have money left. We spent about 3 hours hopping from bar to bar. We especially loved Tootsies. We enjoyed the rooftop, which not only had a great view of the Bridgestone Arena, but a perfect view of Broadstreet, as well. Here is what I have to say about hitting up the bars on Broadway…I would not get too hung up on the bar, itself. The best thing to do is stroll the street and listen into each bar as you pass. If the music sounds like something you like, head in. Paul and I did this and we would actually wait a song or two before ordering a drink. You definitely don’t want to walk in, order a drink and then disappointedly find out that the singer stinks. If you do, you’ll be stuck there until you finish your beverage. I am not a fast drinker, so I learned very quickly to observe … prior to hitting the bar. At around 11 p.m., we called an Uber, headed back to our pad in ’12 South’, and called it a night. The best way to sum up the evening: We lived the nightlife in Nashville to the fullest!!!!
~ McDonald’s (2 large coffees + hubby paid for the car behind him): $4.79
~ 2 hour parking in Downtown Nashville: $15.00
~ Lunch (+ tip) at Merchants: $45.15
~ Frothy Monkey (Black Coffee + Draft Beer): $0 (it would have been $7.46, but we used a gift card that the girl’s got for us)
~ 12 South Taproom (1 Draft Beer): $6.00
~ The Filling Station (1 Growler): $6.00
~ Five Daughter’s Bakery (2 Donuts): $8.34
~ Eldey’s Bar-B-Que (2 draft beers, 1 Bushwacker and a hat): $18.01 … but we also used up an additional $18 from the gift card that Kirstyn got us.
~ Bar Hopping in Downtown Nashville (drinks + tips): $77
~ Uber: $10 (actually less, because there is still money on the coupon). The actual cost, one way from where our rental is … is about $6-$7.
DAY 4: THURSDAY, MAY 25
We started our day out by heading to Downtown, and eating at Acme Seed & Feed. We sat on the rooftop and enjoyed the view. I had the LoBro Sandwich … delicious. Paul had the Local Yokel, which had your southern fried chicken on it. I suppose you can’t come to Nashville and not have southern fried chicken. Better him, than me. This was a great stop and one that I would recommend.
After lunch, we walked down to Painter’s Alley. We drove through on Tuesday, but it was raining. It was nice to have another opportunity to see the alleys. Loved the little walk. There is a quaint little street with trees along side and more bars with live music. We stopped into one of the bars and enjoyed an artist that we had listened to on Monday night. He was good. After getting a couple photos in the alley, we left.
We headed to The Gulch, and went to the famous Lucchese Bookmaker shop, for a little window shopping. Definitely worth the stop. Did you know that Lucchese Boots are what the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders wear? Fun fact of the day.
While in The Gulch, we also hit up a fun little shop called Two Old Hippies. It was right outside of Lucchese’s. I would definitely stop at this little gem, too.
We got a little thirsty. So we started to head towards a little taproom that we had heard about. On the way, we peaked into a little ‘dive’ bar that we heard has great ‘Bluegrass Jam’ entertainment. The Station Inn wasn’t open for business yet, but the door was unlocked. We peeked in, and it was just that …. a dive. From my experience, these little hidden gems are generally the best stops. Had we not already had evening plans, I would have loved to come back. We will definitely check it out on our next stop to Nashville.
We walked down a little ways to a very quaint Taproom, called Hops & Crafts. Heck, I’d go here, again … too. We chatted at the bar over a couple Lager’s with a 2 local guys that clearly knew each other. Everyone has been so friendly this whole trip.
We left The Gulch and headed to ’12 South’ neighborhood. We stopped at a fun little gem of a shop, called White’s Mercantile. So cute! The parking lot is an old drive through. Out in the parking lot is a fun soft serve Gelato truck called, Frisson. LOVE!!! Also, in the parking lot is Amelia’s Mobile Flower Shop. This is a MUST to see! ADORABLE!! Three treasures all in one stop?!?!
After leaving the White’s Mercantile and the cute little shops on wheels, we made our way down the street to start heading to a little taproom, here in ’12 South’. Along the way, I snapped a couple Nashville murals.
Again, Paul and I got thirsty … I know, who’d does that? WE DO!!! We headed to The Filling Station, to do just that … get filled. I had my favorite craft beer of the trip. It’s was called ‘Victory Cage Radler’. It’s half lager and half lemon. A nice, crisp citrus and refreshing drink. While sipping on that, I typed in today’s recap, and Paul took care of some of his own business.
After a couple drafts each, we headed back to our little ‘Nashville-Inspired’ love shack. We got ready for our dinner reservation. We didn’t really know, initially where we wanted to eat. But during our conversations with the locals over lager’s, we decided upon a place in Germantown. The restaurant was about 20 minutes from our rental in ’12 South’. The german-tex restaurant was called, Butchertown Hall. Paul dropped me off so he could find parking. Walking up onto the patio, I could tell I was going to love this place. The atmosphere, the smell, the waitstaff buzzing around. There was something in the southern air about this night and this restaurant. I checked in and ‘of-course’ the hostess said, “I heard you are here in Nashville celebrating your 25th Wedding Anniversary?!?!” This seemed to happen everywhere we went that Paul had made a reservation at. She told me that they had a cozy spot indoor, or outdoor and for me to pick. With it being a perfect night, of course I chose outdoor. The night was perfect. The pre-dinner drink was perfect. The ‘Blue Point Oyster’s’ with their little kick at the end … perfect. We chose the 1 lb. Brisket and a couple sides as our entree. It was delicious southern BBQ, at it’s finest. Great recommendation by the locals. We would definitely recommend this place. A little pricey. But that is an area that Paul and I don’t mind splurging on when we are on vacation.
After dinner, we headed back to our place to pack up a few things. We have to be out at 10 in the morning, planning a long day. No ‘honey-tonk’n’ tonight!
~ Parking Downtown: $15 for 2 hours
~ Lunch at Acme: $5.57 (we used a $25 gift card that our daughter, Haley got us for our anniversary)
~ Parking in The Gulch: $4.00 for 2 hours
~ 2 Draft Beers at Hops + Crafts: $13.99
~ 3 Draft Beers at The Filling Room: $10.00
~ Dinner + Tip at ButcherTownHall: $100
DAY 5: FRIDAY, MAY 26
This was my favorite day of them all. I saved the best and longest, for last
We checked out of our little Nashville-inspired pad at 10 a.m. Our plan today was to head to a town called, Franklin; with the intention to sight-see along the way. We headed about 25 minutes south to an adorable breakfast place, called Loveless Café. We had heard about it, as a must stop. And it was exactly that. The hospitality at the café was something I had never experienced while dining. Our waitress, with her sweet, southern accent was a complete joy. She didn’t skip a beat. The manger visited us often and kept bringing us food that we had not even ordered. It was important to him that we try everything. We asked the waitress and manger to take our picture and they insisted on being in them. Loved that!!! The made-from scratch biscuits and everything else that we had, were incredible!!! You will experience a long wait, if you stop at Loveless Café, but it is worth it. To pass the time while you are waiting, there are little shops to meander through and covered porches to sit on. We also ran into a blogger/Youtuber, named Abbey and her husband. What’s ironic, is we had met the two of them the night before when we ate at ‘Butchertown Hall’. Small world!!! Her and I shared our story on my Snapchat and her Instagram Story. Check out Abbey’s Social Media sites: Instagram / Youtube / Abbey’s Store. Also check out Abbey and her husband’s band: The Perfect Couple
After we left Loveless Cafe’, we jumped onto the Natchez Trace to start heading towards Franklin. We drove over, and also stopped to catch a view of the ‘Double Arch Bridge’. The picturesque drive on the trail was full of winding roads, and beautiful farmland. We stopped at a quaint little village, called Leiper’s Fork. We walked around for a bit and then stopped to have an ice cold draft at Puckett’s. We later went to Puckett’s in Franklin just to peek in. Leaper’s Fork was a visit that I wouldn’t want to miss. Little Art Galleries, and a couple charming shops were definitely worth taking in. Spending an hour or two is plenty. Definitely check out Puckett’s, as well! A lot of country singers live in both Leiper’s Fork and Franklin. We drove past Wynona Ryder’s home. And were told that Carrie Underwood had a home just down the road from Wynona’s. We also were informed that Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman have a home in Leiper’s Fork. The drive from Leiper’s Fork to Franklin was probably 15 minutes. It was a beautiful drive. Just the homes alone were incredible to see. We were told of more artists that had places on this little travel, like Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biehl. We passed the Leaper’s Fork Distillery, where we would definitely want to go next time we come to Franklin. We heard that its is a fun stop. We just did not have the time.
Driving into Downtown Franklin, I could tell that this was a ‘Tracy Town’. Tracy Town means this is a town that I am going to fall in love with. And I did just that. We had done our homework and already knew of the hot spots to hit. Everywhere you went, everyone had that southern hospitality. I could live in the town of Franklin. We hit a couple boutiques and did a little pub crawling. We started off at Gray’s on Main. Gray’s is an old three-story pharmacy from the 1930’s. The architecture in this building was an incredible sight. We were hosted to the second floor bar, by the owner’s daughter. She shared the history of the building with us.
Paul and I sat at the bar and had an experience just watching the mixologist-bartender shake up my drink. Three gentleman walked in and approached the bar. Paul & I moved down so that they could sit together. Of course we started talking. Come to find out, they were from Michigan, as well. It was a great visit chatting with them. To my right was a gentleman sitting solo, with his nose in a book. He pretty much kept to himself, but once in a while would chime in on the conversation that Paul and I, the three gentleman from Michigan and the bartender were having. Paul and I were talking about places that we were considering checking out, while in Franklin. Both the bartender and this ‘solo’ guy were sharing their thoughts with us. Paul and I finished our drinks and we were paying the tab, when a guy holding a camera came up behind the bar. He had a Canon Camera, like ours; but a different lens. We had our Canon Camera sitting on the bar. We started talking to the gentleman about photography and cameras. I shared that I was a blogger, and that Paul takes my pictures. He told us that he was talking pictures of the architecture in the building for an upcoming advertising project. After talking while, I felt comfortable enough to ask him if he would use our camera and snap a picture of Paul and I. I explained how it is really hard for Paul and I to get a picture together, while vacationing. Asking random people on the streets to take your picture is a nightmare. I knew this guy would know what he was doing. He would know where the best lighting is to take the photo. The things that the average person on the street would not know. He momentarily looked over at the ‘solo’ guy that had his nose in a book. But then he proceeded to say,”Sure, I’ll take your picture!” Out of the blue, the ‘solo’ guy chimes in and says, “Let me take your picture!” I was thinking, OH BOY!!! I didn’t want to be rude, so I was like …”Okay, sure!” I handed him our camera and also informed him that we were in bad lighting. There was a window behind us … which is never good. The gentleman said, “I’ll take a couple with your camera, but It will just be easier for me to take them with my iPhone 7Plus.” You don’t even want to know what went through my head! I was thinking …..trainwreck … can’t wait to see this ‘botched’ photo. lol But again, I don’t want to be rude … especially in the south, where everyone is over the top, nice. Anyway, holding his phone in all different angles and even telling my husband where to look, the guy snapped a few photos. When he was done, he told me to turn my airdrop on and he sent them to my phone. I didn’t look at them, but thanked him for taking the photos. Paul and I then departed the bar to head to the staircase and work our way out of ‘Gray’s. We get into the stairwell, and standing there waiting for us is the man that was behind the bar, holding the Canon. The guy that I had originally asked to take our picture. He stopped us and said, “I don’t know if you have any idea of who just took your picture!?!?” Paul and I were puzzled. He informed us that the guy that just took our picture was Daniel C. White. Daniel is a world renowned humanitarian and commercial photographer. Daniel travels across the world shooting amazing images from Ethiopia to Singapore to the Dominican Republic … and more. He has a passion for capturing images as they happen from afar. As well as, engaging with subjects to frame them in their current experience. His gallery of photos taken from these countries are evident of his gift for capturing images that tell a story, and are eminent of his love for people throughout the globe. This GUY TOOK OUR PHOTO!!!! He never said a word. Never said who he was or what he does. Only to capture this photo below … as well as the photo at the top of this blog post. All with his iPhone 7Plus. Who needs a Canon, when you can create an image like this from your phone!! Incredible!!! Such a great story of a very humble man.
After leaving ‘Gray’s on Main’, we went into a couple boutiques. We also peeked into a little Irish Pub, but decided to skip it. Instead, we went into another mentioned spot for drinks, 55 South. We were very happy with this stop, as well. Great atmosphere and great drinks. We chatted with a local guy for a bit. He even requested a particular drink for me … specialty to 55 South. Probably the highlight of this little spot, was when the 3 Gentleman (from Michigan), that we had met at Gray’s, walked in. We all had a good laugh, as clearly we had the same agenda. Paul and I left 55 South, and walked over to Puckett’s. If you recall, earlier we had stopped at Puckett’s in Leiper’s Fork. We only peeked in and the young guy working at the hostess stand informed us that the evenings entertainment was a sold out show. We walked down the street slightly, and entered a restaurant called, Cork & Cow. This place was on our list as a highly recommended place to have dinner. We already had another restaurant in mind. But both were owned by the same restauranteur. Regardless of which of the two that we chose, we knew that we at least wanted to make sure we stopped into both. At Cork & Cow, Paul and I had a drink and chatted with a gentleman at the bar. Do you see a pattern with us? We enjoy engaging in conversation with other people, especially when on vacation. This gentleman was a little older than Paul and I, and lives in Franklin. Paul and him pretty much talked about careers, and we also talked about different vacations that each of us have traveled. I told him how much I love Franklin, and he shared some other towns that he thought I would like. Including the town of Savannah, GA … which ironically is already on my bucket list of places to visit. Paul paid our tab and we told the gentleman that we were in Nashville, celebrating our 25th Wedding Anniversary. We had a good laugh, when the man said, “Twenty-five Years, WOW! That’s a great thing to celebrate!” Then he proceeded to say, “The longest relationship that I’ve had, is my 17 year relationship with my Jack Terrier!!! And to that we all laughed, and Paul and I exited.
While we were at Cork & Cow, Paul had made reservations for us to eat at the other restaurant that we were considering. What I didn’t know was that Paul had informed them that we were celebrating our 25th anniversary. At 5:30, we walked into Red Pony. Wow, another amazing architectural view. Clearly there was some history to this building, as well. We were seated. When the hostess handed me the wine list and menu, printed at the top of our menu was ‘Happy 25th Anniversary Tracy & Paul’. Being a hopeless romantic, of course I was in awe. Later, the chef signed our menus and we brought them home as a beautiful tribute to our 25th. Our meal was incredible. We both had chosen a special. Paul, the Ribeye and me, the Snapper special. The Creme’ Brûlée dessert we split, was amazing! I think Paul only got one bite! I get carried away on Creme Brûlée. After dinner, we hit the road to head back. Boy, would we have loved to had a night in Franklin. We would have really enjoyed the live bands and nightlife in Franklin. I suppose I will have to add ‘a night in Franklin’ to my bucket list. We drove a couple hours and got a room at the Holiday Inn in Bloomington, Indiana. Exhausted, we crashed.
~ McDonalds (3 large coffees): $3.28
~ Loveless Cafe’ (Breakfast): $50 I will not be adding this into ‘our’ expenses, because we used a $50 bill that was given to us as a Anniversary gift from my mom
~Puckett’s (1 draft beer): $5.37
~ Gray’s (1 draft beer, 1 cocktail): $22
~ 55 South (2 draft beers, 1 cocktail): $24
~ Cork & Cow (2 cocktails): $30
~ Red Pony (dinner): $171.58
~ Gas + 2 coffees: $34.18
DAY 6: SATURDAY, MAY 27
The Holiday Inn Express that we stayed at had a very nice complimentary breakfast. This included Biscuits & Gravy, which Paul loves. We stuffed ourselves. After breakfast, we headed back up to our room to pack up the few items that we had brought in, and got ready for the long drive home. Around 11 a.m., we started traveling back to Michigan. We took a different route coming home, than we got going. Both routes are about the same distance and hours, but we found that the drive home … going through Indiana vs. Ohio was much more peaceful and pleasurable. We got into Flint about 4:30, stopped for dinner, and headed home.
~ Gas: $21.58
~ Convenience Store (2 Diet Cokes + snack bag of chips): $3.71
~ Gas + Carwash (when we got back in town): $35.00
Our Urban Nashville Rental for 4 nights was $423.00 (includes: Service Fee + Cleaning Fee). We also stayed one night at Holiday Inn Express, coming home. The cost for that was $122.08
TOTAL FOR 5 NIGHT’S OF LODGING: $545.00
TOTAL EXPENSE REPORT
- Lodging (5 nights): $545.00
- Gas + Convenience Coffees or snacks: $134.76
- Dining + drinks (tips, included): $601.39
- Adult Beverages (only): $286.84
- Entertainment: $148.40
- Parking: $34.00
- Uber or Lift: $34.00
TOTAL: $1800.00 (roughly) We used some gift cards and money that we received as Anniversary gifts from our girls. I factored those in.