When is the last time you and your friends talked about going on a trip? When is the last time you and your friends were successful in planning AND going on said trip? These girls are some of my besties. I've known each of them for more than 55% of my life. There are a few more amazing girls in our circle, but they were unable to come along on our Nashville extravaganza. That is the thing with trips - the planning usually fizzles when a few people cannot attend. It is so very difficult to get everyone on board that you just need to run with a trip and go on it anyways if at least half of your crew are game. Otherwise, no trips will ever be had.
The planning for this trip started about 7 weeks ago. At first, Vegas was thrown out there. But then, Nashvegas came up. It seemed like the perfect location - heck, we could even drive it! GPS was showing us 7.5 hours. One of our friends lives in Indy, so we could simply scoop her up a long the way. For a hot second during planning, I thought that maybe I should have sat this trip out. We are saving to build a home and will be moving in the near future, but two seconds later, my intense FOMO kicked in and I thought that there was no way I would miss this road trip. FYI FOMO is a very real thing, and if you suffer from it too, then you know what I am talking about.
Three of us were going to be driving, and one of our friends was going to fly. However, she had a terrible week flying for a business trip, so we successfully convinced her to drive with us (and then she would fly home). I mean, it was ONLY 7.5 hours. Going through an airport would have taken 5.5 hours. This seemed like a no-brainer. Well, 13 hours later, we arrived in Nashville. How was it 13 hours? We honestly don't know. We even traveled back in time at one point, and it still took 13 hours (going from Illinois, to Indy, to Tennessee, you go from CST to EST, back to CST). We think between day care drop-off on our way out of town, massive traffic, five rain storms, two stops, and apparently an imaginary 3 hour nap on the side of the road, all made for the longest car ride ever. But, it was fun! There is nothing quite like catching up with your girls after weeks of not seeing each other!
There were a couple of ground rules for this trip. 1) No political talk. So naturally, one of my friends shows up in this:
We have to have this rule because half the group are democrats, the other half are republicans, and one person is just confused and has no thoughts at all. The other rules had to do with not losing one another and all that jazz. Yes, yes, we are all responsible grown-ups, but safety is a priority!
We rolled into Nash at about 7 pm. First things first - we found parking and checked into our hotel. The parking attendant thought we were hilarious and gave us a huge discount. Just kidding, he was disappointed we botched his name and he surely charged us 20% more than everyone else. We were in a hotel because all of my friends vetoed my idea for an Airbnb. My sister helped me to find the most charming house in Nashville, and my friends tore the listing apart. One of my friends is a bed bug expert. She had a job once where she saw them often. She knows exactly what to look for and barely likes staying in name brand hotels. So there was no way I was going to be successful with the low-cost Airbnb. So into the Renaissance we checked!
After a thorough bed bug scan (all checked out A-OK), we headed out for our first night out. We started with dinner at Merchants, and then headed to The Stage. We had one goal - and it was to make it out past 11. I know what you are thinking. Only 11?! Hey, cut us some slack! We are a mix of working women with children, significant others, and pets to take care of! We are 98% of the time TIRED! Well, I will have you know, we stayed out past 1. Nashville is great for people watching. I would say it is a cross between New Orleans and Las Vegas. And there were no fewer than 10,000 bachelorette and bachelor parties going on. Let's just say, this town was one big hot mess!
Once we got home on Friday night, I had to pump. This was my first non-work trip away from my son, and was hoping to have had breastfeeding wrapped up by the time this trip took place. However, I was still feeding him at night and in the morning, so the pump was a must. Apparently, this is what fireball does to breast milk:
Can you see it? It is green! Okay, many of you probably know that it is green simply due the fact that this has a high percentage of foremilk in it. It is all explained here. Anyways, down the drain this went - you know, after breast milk facials and trying to get our squeamish friend to taste it. In case you are wondering, yes, breast milk facials are a real thing, offered at Mud in Chicago. They are the new Botox. And no, squeamish friend did not try the milk.
The next morning, we had a reservation for brunch at 12:15 at Husk Nashville. Thank goodness our reservation was not earlier than that - it took us that long to get ourselves together and out the door. Husk was awesome. The menu was full of southern dishes that were beautifully plated and served up by their friendly staff. Our server, David, provided us with a list of places to visit while in town. I will forever dream about the spicy Bloody Marys, cast-iron blueberry pancake, and the egg dishes that we had.
After Husk, we made our way over to Tootsies. The live music there was amazing! I am not a big country music fan, but the bands were all so good that it didn't matter what they were playing. The anthem of our weekend was Darius Rucker's Wagon Wheel - which I had never heard until this trip! We heard a cover of this song everywhere. It was so hot in Nash, but the bars were kept pretty cool with giant fans. Note to self: fans are not all that great for wigs. Anyhooo, after Tootsies, we traveled to Acme, then back to the hot dog to change for the evening. Yep, back to the hot dog. I must have been hungry, but the girls knew exactly what I meant. Love them.
That night, we went to all the bars. Well, many of the bars. We made friends with a volleyball team and a group of guys out for their friend's 21st birthday. The 21 year olds were very kind - when asked our age, they politely said between 24 and 25. We knew they were simply being nice, but I was thrilled that they probably had fabulous mothers who taught them to be so polite. Also while out, a group of bachelorette party girls complemented my Lily Jade Elizabeth bag. I kept the fact that it is a diaper bag to myself, and went on my way knowing that I was successful in finding a diaper bag that didn't look like a diaper bag. Sweet.
The next morning, after staying out past 11 AGAIN, it was time to pack up and go home. It really hit us at that point that driving to Nashville was the worst decision ever. A group of people who we rode the elevator with, who were also from Chicago, confirmed for us that it was a terrible decision (they were off to catch their flights). Luckily, my friend helped with the drive. This time, eight hours later, we were pulling into our driveway. We had made it. We had successfully had an amazing girls weekend. It was one for the books - #poundnashville!
Once I got home, I realized my son learned so many cool things while I was away. He was walking before I left, but in just two short days, he had become a full-time walker. He looked so much stronger to me on his feet compared to when I had left. He has also learned to reach and point. It is the cutest! They change so fast, and all it takes is a couple of days away to notice big changes. I was so glad I was able to spend time with my girls this weekend, but it was so great to come home to my family. I don't know where our next trip will take us, but I will surely be there. Remember - FOMO. Who knows, maybe the next group trip will be to Disney! Fingers Crossed!