Nashville for the Night.

Stevie and I took the quickest road trip ever to Nashville two weekends ago for our friend's wedding. It was our first time leaving Everett over night, and I was super nervous about it, but we all did GREAT! In fact, Everett was so happy the entire time that I'm thinking we need to make some more plans to leave him again soon. Not too soon, obviously, since his leg incident. But in the near-ish future, when everyone is healed and happy. :) My parents were amazing to watch him for the evening, thanks Mom and Dad!

So, Nashville! I wish we could have had more time to explore! It felt a little bit like a tease of a trip, because we were only there one evening, and we spent that evening at the wedding. We had the most whirlwind experience but SUCH A BLAST. I'll share the few things we did, but honestly, my list of things I wanted to see/do/eat is longer than ever. I guess it just leaves lots of hunger for another trip!


The wedding was at Vine Street Christian Church (such a lovely spot - an enormous wall of sun-lit windows!) and the reception was at the Cheekwood Botanical Garden, which I hate to say, but puts Atlanta's to shame. It was SO STUNNING. And I tried to be a good wedding guest and not tote my enormous camera along for the evening, so all I've got are a few shots of us all pose-y, pose-y. Needless to say, we had a ridiculous, almost epic kind of time. This wedding was bonkers fun. Congratulations, Justin & Jade!

The next morning, we took a hike for wake up java, which we found at Just Love Coffee. We wished we could have been crazy late-night party animals and hit a few of the rad restaurants/bars on Demonbreun Street the night before, but you know, Intentional October has me falling asleep like a grandma these days. Mental note - come back! We pranced around The Gulch, a newer LEED-certified development, gawked at the line outside of Biscuit Love, decided not to join the crowd, and just kept walking.

I heard Sambuca is cool. But I've only heard it.

I heard Sambuca is cool. But I've only heard it.

We wanted to drive by Vanderbilt on our way out, and we couldn't resist getting out on the open lawn and pretending we were students. I don't know what it is about big campus lawns, but I just love them. I want a book and a blanket and I want to lay out there reading Steinbeck all day, bettering myself just because I CAN. Actually, I can't. We illegally parked, jumped out of the car, checked out the central area of the school (we think?) and then jumped back in the car and blazed outta town before anyone could nab us for being STUDENT IMPOSTERS. Vanderbilt is just lovely in the fall, sidenote.

One of my favorite parts of our trip was actually just the road trip part. I know that might seem silly, but to have like 4.5 hours in the car with Stevie BOTH WAYS was just such a decadent, rich amount of time to talk and laugh together. We don't get that kind of time when we're just doing day-to-day life, and it reminded me of our road trip days when we were in ministry school in California. We drove back and forth from Atlanta to Redding four times, and there is just nothing like a multi-day cross-country road trip to give you an opportunity to really get to know your person. This little trip to Nashville was a sweet reminder of "the good old days", and the thing is, I think we are still living in the good old days. I know I will look back on this season of life with a smile and the warmest kinds of memories, because even though life was freer before we had Everett, it's immensely better with him.

The views of the Tennessee countryside on the way home were stunning. There weren't words. We got out a few times and just stared at the mountains and the water. Because when do I ever take the time just to stare at mountains and water? I feel like they are always telling us something, if we're listening.

So Nashville, we might not have seen your fine bars or listened to the next big country star or toured your epic distilleries - but we had a refreshing, meaningful, ridiculously fun time. Thanks for giving us a night of your time. xox.

Noel: Gift Guide For the Traveling Soul

Christmas Gift Guide: For the Traveling Soul

Christmas Gift Guide: For the Traveling Soul by knhale // 1. Moma Vintage New York Post Cards // 2. Piperlime Spun by Subtle Luxury Infinity Chunky Sweater Knit Scarf // 3. St. Helena Global Salt Trio // 4. The New York Times 36 Hours in Asia & Oceania // 5. Anthropologie Love Note Cuff // 6. Paula Scher Highline Map Poster // 7. Piperlime Pim & Larkin Eiffel Tower Stud Earrings // 8. Sundance Fleece-lined Handwarmers // 9. Frye Company Carson Lace Ups // 10. Anthropologie Patchworked Socks // 11. Urban Outfitters Lomography Camera //

For the Traveling Soul.

We all have a friend like this. The curious, half-wild dreamer who is always up for a road trip, a day trip, a hiking trip, any kind of adventure. Always snapping photos, circling destinations on a map, with a stocked car ready for an endless day away. I am actually glad to say that I have more than a few friends like this, and quite a few family members, too. I love people who LOVE to travel, because they are always armed with eclectic stories, odd recipes and a bounty of enticing photos to share. But even more importantly, my friends who are traveling fiends maintain a gracious open mind that is enviable. Not bogged down by the bible belt's staggering insulation or the political trends of the moment, these folks are peaceful, easy to please, fast to laugh and even faster to encourage.

These traveling buddies are capable and composed, yet completely vulnerable and allow me to peel back their layers, ask tough questions and examine their experiences for myself. What a lucky girl I am. To be more of a traveling soul, well, that's my goal. And I've got such great role models to look to.

I believe you will find that any of the above gifts will add a little sparkle to your friends' lifelong voyage. So go ahead, give them a little something special that tells them you believe in their courageous journey, too.