Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Weekend in Nashville

Todd & I took last Friday off from work and made a 3 day trip to Nashville to visit our friends, Sara and Jay. Todd & I actually met at their wedding in July 2008 and have been together ever since. Anyways, on our way down to Nashville, Todd wanted to stop at Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky.

Entrance to the Park

We went on the New Entrance tour--a 2 hour tour through about a mile of the cave. It actually spreads out over 390 miles so only seeing 1 mile was really just a little peak but it was pretty incredible. We only had 13 people on our tour and the guide told us that in a few weeks during spring break season, they'll be over 100 people on the tour! We were lucky there were so few of us because it gave us more of a chance to look around and actually ask the guide some questions.

No joke, this was actually the entrance to the cave....a little anti-climactic if you ask me

We made our way down 300 very narrow stairs and about 250 feet underground before we were able to actually stop and take everything in. Since we were underground and weren't affected by the elements, it's always around 50 degrees in the cave. The best part of the tour was towards the end when we saw the Frozen Niagara which is all the stalagmites and stalactites....very impressive!

Following our guide through the cave

Stalactites & stalagmites

Frozen Niagara room

After our tour at Mammoth Cave, Todd & I drove another hour and a half to Nashville. We got to Sara & Jay's house in Franklin, cleaned up, and made our way over to Puckett's Grocery & Restaurant for dinner. We ate some good southern bbq and listened to some amazing live music.


Sara & I got up on Saturday morning and went to a spinning class at the local YMCA while Jay ran 17 miles and Todd slept in. Once we got back, Sara had to volunteer for a few hours for school so Jay showed Todd & I around downtown Franklin. The weather was perfect, the company was fantastic, and there were lots of cute shops to browse around in.

Historic Downtown Franklin
A view of all the shops & restaurants

The three of us ate lunch at Franklin Mercantile and even though I liked the sandwich & soup I had, I really should have taken Jay's suggestion of getting the local favorite--a pimento cheese sandwich.

Lunch at The Franklin Mercantile

Todd & I enjoying our lunch...I love how they used mason jars for glasses

A view of the restaurant

After walking around & shopping for a couple hours, we went back to Sara & Jay's house to meet up with Sara before going to Arrington Vineyards. Sara & Jay clearly know Todd & I very well when they planned out our day and Todd was glad we were able to keep our streak alive for visiting out of town wineries and breweries. Arrington Vineyards was founded by Kix Brooks of Brooks & Dunn and has a great setup with lots of picnic tables outside where you can bring your own food and purchase wine from the winery. Todd, Jay, and I had a free wine tasting (Sara couldn't take part since she's pregnant) and we even bought a bottle of Red Fox Red and Blackberry dessert wine to bring home with us. The Blackberry dessert wine went great with a piece of dark chocolate.

Entrance to Arrington Vineyard

The four of us on the swing waiting for our wine tasting

We were able to sample 4 wines during our tasting

Enjoying our free wine

We took a quick break at Sara & Jay's house and got ready for the evening. We went to dinner at Taco Mamacita in Nashville followed by a night out on the town in Nashvegas. Dinner consisted of some of the best guacamole & tacos I've ever had and we all left there stuffed.

Todd & I goofing off while waiting for dinner

The four of us hit up a few bars in Nashvegas (the couple blocks in Nashville with bars, bright lights, and tons of live music). We started off with drinks & music at Tootsie's. We got there around 8:30 PM, which I thought was early, but the place was packed! There were people wall to wall with live music downstairs and upstairs. Despite my lack of interest in country music, we all had a great time. We left Tootsie's and walked around the area for awhile before calling it a night. I'm not gonna lie, I was exhausted after such a long couple days and with an hour time change, I was glad we didn't stay out until all hours of the night.

Todd & I at Tootsie's

Sara, Jay, and I went out for an easy 3 mi run on Sunday morning. I was jealous that they're able to run in shorts & t-shirts at 9:00 AM on a February morning all the time....it was amazing! Todd & I packed up and then we all headed to breakfast at Pfunky Griddle. This could be my new favorite restaurant! Each table has its own griddle so you cook up your own pancakes, omelets, and french toast. We each picked different toppings so we could share and of course I couldn't resist Reese's Pieces for my pancakes. It was such a steal too because it was all-you-can-eat pancakes plus one topping for only $6!

Cooking our pancakes & Jay's omelet

Almost done

Todd & I

Sara & Jay.....with their spatula

Since we were already north of Nashville, Todd & I headed back home after breakfast. I was pretty sad to leave because we had such a great weekend and it was so nice to hang out with Sara & Jay. They moved to Pittsburgh right after they got married, which was right when Todd & I started dating, and then moved to Nashville last year so we really haven't been able to spend a lot of time with them in the past few years. Nashville is an awesome city and a weekend there definitely wasn't long enough to get a real taste of it.

No road trip would be complete for Todd & I without making a random stop on the way back home so when we passed the sign for Abraham Lincoln's birthplace in Kentucky, we made a short detour. Unfortunately, my camera battery died right when we got there so the only picture I took was of the sign on our way in. They had a huge memorial set up with a log cabin inside. Todd & I thought this was the actual log cabin Abe Lincoln was born in but after reading the brochure in the car once we left, we found out that it was just a log cabin from around the time he was born and it's the symbolic log cabin of his birth. Sounds like a rip-off to me so I'm glad we didn't pay money to see it.

Abe Lincoln's Birthplace
We arrived safely home after our 6.5 hour drive back (and a quick dinner stop in Cincinnati) to lots of rain & thunderstorms. I'm definitely missing the 65 degree Nashville weather and our awesome friends, Sara and Jay!


Dave said...

LOL!!! "and Todd slept in." Love it!

Anne said...

I love Nashville! Such a fun trip. And I've never been to Mammoth Cave. It's on the list of things to do.

Anonymous said...

mason jars as glasses = best thing ever!

Brittany said...

What a fun trip! That town looks so cute!