Monday, November 23, 2015

Nashville in November

We are back in Dallas after a wonderful weekend trip to Nashville with our pals Trip and Lindsay.  T&L lived in Nashville for three years while they were in law school at Vanderbilt, so they were the perfect tour guides for our first visit to Music City.

We got to Nashville fairly early on Friday morning and kicked off the day with coffee and popping into a few shops.  At the tip-top of my Nashville list was Draper James, of course.  And it was even better than I imagined it would be - pretty much the perfect store!

After I found the world's most perfect dress that I carried out in the world's most perfect shopping bag, we moved on to continue our exploring.  The guys were very sweet and patient to endure my squealing throughout the Draper James experience.

The joys of being out of the office on a Friday...

We had lunch on Friday at a Nashville institution - Arnold's.  It was so fun and SO GOOD.  As a major lover of cafeteria-style restaurants and meat & threes, Arnold's was right up my alley.  I wish they sold their turnip greens by the gallon.

After lunch we drove around Belle Meade, which was absolutely gorgeous.  Trip and Lindsay took us to a great little spot where we were able to stretch our legs, get some fresh air, and enjoy some pretty fall foliage.

We regrouped at our Airbnb before dinner at Husk, which went entirely unpictured.  We were still a bit full from Arnold's, so we split several apps.  Husk was one spot we didn't make it to on our Charleston trip a few years ago, so it was a treat to make it to the Nashville location, and it certainly did not disappoint.

After dinner we headed downtown for the Opry at the Ryman which was full of Aggies and such a treat.  This was such a fun thing that I'm so glad we got to experience in Nashville.  Lee Greenwood closed out the show with "God Bless the USA" which was so great!

Saturday morning we headed to brunch at another Nashville institution, Monell's.  The family style setting was really neat, and once again, we were surrounded by Aggies.  Also once again, the food was so good, and I wished I could have just kept eating and eating!  We wound up being seated with two couples who go to church with Mary Katherine in College Station.  On our way out, we ran into two other groups of Ags that we knew - so fun.  Everyone must have gotten the Monell's memo.  

We did a little more exploring around downtown and at Centennial Park before it started raining a bit.  To get out of the rain, we popped into a fun coffee shop, Fido, for a giant, warm chai tea latte.  It definitely hit the spot.

The A&M vs. Vanderbilt game initiated our trip to Nashville, and Austin and I were excited to attend our first away SEC game.  Before the game on Saturday night, we bundled up with as many layers as we could stand, popped into Rotier's for a quick bite (where we ran into more Aggie friends - so crazy!) before heading to the stadium.

We nearly froze to death, but the Ags came out on top, and I think my toes have finally regained feeling.

All in all, it was a super trip with great friends exploring a fun new city.  I see more SEC road games in our future - I would love to make it to games in Athens, Columbia, Starkville, Tuscaloosa, and Oxford.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Early Thanksgiving in Dallas

Ever since we were engaged, Austin and I have had the Thanksgiving/Christmas rotation down pat.  This year happens to be our year to spend Thanksgiving with my family and Christmas with his.  While we always end up celebrating Christmas with both sides (one just a week or two early or late), we've never doubled the Thanksgiving fun until this year.  Austin's parents came up to Dallas in mid-November, and we loved hosting them for an early Thanksgiving at our house.  

Austin's first time smoking a turkey was a smashing success, and we had most of the Thanksgiving classics.  Thankfully, Suann brought her yummy dressing, because I have definitely never attempted that.  Cranberry relish stole the show for me, per usual.  I forgot to take a picture of our pumpkin pie with cinnamon whipped cream, but it was a highlight as well.  And, I may have gone a tad overboard with the pumpkin as we also had pumpkin rolls with our meal, but, tis the season!    

This was the perfectly timed warm up for this Thursday, and we are still working to polish off our leftovers.  Best of all was getting to double up on Thanksgiving celebrations this year with our families.  

Be back soon with a post recapping our fun weekend trip to Nashville for the A&M/Vanderbilt game!