27 August 2013

You are so Nashville if...

Last weekend, for only the second time since we moved last summer, I spent the weekend in Nashville with Mr. P. The occasion was yet another wedding, this time for another one of our friends in the music industry. And I confess, at first I was feeling a little meh about visiting Nashville. Maybe it was just traveling fatigue, or maybe because a lot of our friends have moved away from Nashville. I just wasn’t that into it. And didn’t that last visit to Nashville establish that I am totally all about St. Louis now?

Well. Clearly, I shouldn’t have been so negative, because we ended up having an incredible time. The entire weekend we filled with visiting friends and re-living some of our favorite experiences from our time living in Nashville!

Like our Saturday morning activity: walking around downtown Franklin. It’s a small city, about a half-hour south of Nashville. where Mr. P lived before we got married. When I visited him on the weekends, it truly felt like I was getting out of the city and heading to a vacation home. See, it’s the sort of place that has a tiny Civil War-era doctor’s office converted into a honey stand.

I mean. Can you even.

We browsed the used bookstore (another tradition) where I found this gem:

I pulled it out saying, “Ooh! I want to win at gin!”, but became less excited when I realized it was talking about the card game.

We spent a few hours popping in and out of all the antique and boutique shops that Franklin has to offer. It was divine just having the luxury to wander around like that, but I made it even more fun by picking out one (JUST ONE) little treat to take home as a souvenir. It was hard, as there were so many tiny antique bowls and teacups to be had. But I went with function over form and treated myself to these:


I got them here. Frivolous? Yes. Fun? Definitely. A reminder of a morning that was a treat in and of itself? You bet.

After popping in and out of the shops, we met some friends at a favorite restaurant for lunch. You bet your buns I got a Kosmic Karma.

While we were waiting for our friends, I read just about every poster on those doors and wished I could be in Nashville for each event. I also caught up on the local news with the free Nashville Scene mag:

It wasn’t the annual “You are So Nashville If” issue – we missed that one by a few weeks – but still. It just felt good to read it again.

After our leisurely morning, it was time to get spiffed up and head to the wedding! It just so happened that the wedding was held in the chapel on Vanderbilt’s campus.

So, of course, Mr. P and I took a little stroll down memory lane after the wedding. Literally, a stroll.

After that, it was finally time for the big party, where we could celebrate the new marriage of the bride and groom! Here they are during their first dance as man and wife...

... as Lady Antebellum performs on the stage. Yes. That Lady Antebellum.

See, the groom is Lady A’s production manager when they’re on tour. Mr. P’s friends make up the crew. It’s not so crazy that they would be cool enough to come out for our friend’s wedding. And yet, Mr. P and I still didn’t even realize who was performing at first. Or who was sitting at the table behind us. Or whose baby I was making googly faces at. Oh well, we caught on quickly enough to snap some photos!

So yeah. You’re so Nashville if you attend a wedding where an international-superstar multiple-Grammy-winning band is performing as a wedding present.

As one of the band members has the aforementioned brand-new baby, she had to take off after the first dance. But the rest stayed, christened themselves the one-and-done “Family Jenkins Band” (after the new bride and groom), and performed a killer cover set. It wasn’t their own hits, oh no – they put together a setlist with Prince, Lionel Richie, and Ginuwine. At one point they even called the bride and groom to the stage to perform a rap:

How much fun is THAT.

It was definitely fun to outrank my previous brush-with-celebrities-at-a-wedding – attending a wedding ceremony with actual country music stars trumps potentially sitting by country music stars. But still, that was just a small part of a weekend that was a blast from start to finish. We got to chill with Mr. P’s old roommates, attend Mass at the church where we married and see all our old church family, and meet yet another Nashville friend at one of our favorite Sunday brunch stops.

After the last Nashville visit, dear reader Rachel reminded me of the Nelson Mandela quote, “There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.” But sometimes... sometimes, returning to a place reminds you exactly how you have stayed the same.

You’re pretty great, St. Louis. But I’m still so Nashville.


Christal said...

great post. I miss nashville :-)

Tina said...

I really, really like that Mandela quote... and can feel it.
What a wonderful weekend you had! Low expectations can be a good thing... “Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.”
― Alexander Pope