Nashville: Day 1

I’ll start with out flight since naturally that’s where a trip begins, right?! Well Maggie set us UP for success because she had TSA pre check, which automatically got me TSA pre and I am never going back. To top it off she also planned out our alcohol drinking which meant buying some nips of gin to mix with lime seltzer that we could get in the terminal. $6 double gin seltzers? You know it.

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Our flight got delayed from 8:30 pm until about 10:30 pm for a variety of reasons. We sat on the tarmac for about 45 minutes trying to find the best route given some rough weather so naturally that made me a bit anxious. I was tired and feeling a bit relaxed from the alcohol so I did my best to try to fall asleep and actually stayed pretty calm during takeoff. At one point we hit some turbulence and Maggie and I both opened our eyes and looked at each other and grabbed hands. I’d say she’s a great flying companion. 

We went to bed around 1 am central time (2 am our time) and woke up at 6 am to start our day since we had to drive Maggie’s mom to the airport. First stop, DONUTS! This place is known for inventing the cronut or a croissant donut. We each got one and walked across the street to Frothy Monkey for coffee. There, I took my first bite and...woah. It’s a whole new world of donuts. You know I like them dense and these fit the bill!! I ate half before deciding to let that sugar sit before going into hyperglycemia shock. 

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We drove to Belle Meade next for their 9:30 am mansion tour. Before it began Maggie walked me along the grounds teaching me some of the history since, fun fact, John Harding is her ancestor on her mom’s side! A lot of the plantation has changed and much of the building have been moved closer to the main house for touring purposes including the slaves quarters. There are also new bourbon and wine making buildings to help generate more of a profit. 

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I couldn’t take any pictures inside of the house but it’s quite impressive with its 12 foot high ceilings. It was owned by the Jackson Harding family from 1807 to 1906 and grew tremendously before its downfall. It was a thoroughbred stud farm and originated with Bonnie Scotland. Only a few winners of the Kentucky Derby cannot be tied back to his lineage. Then it was known for Iroquois who was the first American horse to win the English Derby!

Many of the slaves who worked on the farm eventually became contracted employers after the Civil War. Bonnie Scotland’s trainer was so appreciated that when he died his obituary was quoted in every newspaper in the state despite segregation.

Unfortunately the family ended up in debt in the early 1900s and the mansion and it’s furnishings were auctioned off to pay the debt. Later on in the 1900s the mansion was purchased to be restored as a museum and due to the impeccable records about 60% of the artifacts have been recovered to put on display. The interior of the house is gorgeous and my favorite room was the dining room with old cigar boxes and a butler’s closet! Upstairs were some bedrooms and a spot where I saw that women kept the hair from their brushes to eventually create fuller updos! Wild. I also learned that everything with gold was covered in the summer because it was furnished with animal fat that would smell and attract mosquitos. Ew.

After the tour Maggie and I did the free wine tasting at 10:30am and got a glass to drink on the grounds. We were also hypoglycemic after the donuts so we got some cheese and salami for a snack since we are classy. We sat in the sun by the barn and carriage house while chatting before driving near Vanderbilt.

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We walked to Centennial Park which is where the Centennial celebration for the state of Tennessee was held around the time of the World Fair! How cool is that?! In the park is a life size replica of the Parthenon! Maggie and I made sure to walk a mile through the park and chug some water while enjoying the scenery.

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Next stop, food. We got lunch at Pinewood Social which is part restaurant, part bowling alley, part work space. We each got something healthy (avocado toast for her and grain bowl for me) with a side of French fries to replenish our salt stores. 

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Maggie’s family lives East of Nashville so we drove back tot farm to change and wait for her dad to go to the Wilson County Fair. It’s the largest fair in the state and very popular as you an imagine. We ate some snacks (I finished my lunch and ate the largest peach of my life) while sipping on some local beers on the front porch. County life is the best life. 

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At the fair we saw the largest watermelon known to man kind, saw a sheep get sheered, supported some local artisans, got lost finding the car, saw the old train station, and ate a corn dog and fried Oreos! This was all before the opening parade and a burger and fries and a Diet Coke. In all honesty Maggie and I were feeling dehydrated drunk and once we ate salty food felt so much better! Tomorrow we will bring a salt shaker!

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Such a great first day!

Notable food: Cronuts, local beer, corn dogs, and fried Oreos.

Notable exercise: walking 17,000 steps and 6.6 miles