Nashville | Tennessee
There's no other city quite like Music City. I love Nashville for more reasons than one. My good friend Deidra lives here with her husband Michael and their two kids, Ezra and Vea. I went to Vanderbilt University for my Masters in Nursing and last but certainly not least, I love music, good food and friendly atmosphere and Nashville doesn't disappoint. This city brings back so many memories for me. Deidra and Michael actually live right outside of Nashville in Franklin, Tennessee, about a 40 minute drive south of downtown. Traffic can be a nightmare and construction is crazy this time of year so if you're planing to visit downtown from Franklin or vice versa, plan for extra time traveling.
I drove in on I40E from Tulsa, about 8 or so hours. I ended up in Franklin at 5pm and we ate a quick dinner at home and caught up before bed.
Our first day in Franklin we headed to main street for lunch at 55 South. For starters we chose the fried pickles and guacamole. I chose the wedge salad as my entire and Deidra chose the classic southern gumbo. Every thing we got was delicious!
After lunch we cruised over to the Frothy Monkey (the original is in west Nashville) and I picked up their iced coconut cream latte while D enjoyed the iced raspberry matcha.
Downtown Franklin has everything you need for a mini getaway, vacay.
The next day, D and I headed out to Cheekwood Mansion and Botanical Gardens. We had seen the night before that a friend posted an Instagram story of "Dressing Downton," a walk through the costumes worn on the show, located on the third floor of the mansion. Being the insane Downton Abbey fans D and I are, we had to make the stop and it was worth every penny.
After the Downton tour, we roamed the grounds for a bit before lunch at the Pineapple Room. We both settled on the creamy potato soup and chicken and biscuits and they both were yummy.
After Cheekwood, we hoped over to the Belle Meade Plantation home for a tour. D and I are huge history lovers and last time I came to visit she took me to the historic Carnton Plantation in Franklin. Nashville is rich with civil war era history and I ate up every minute of it. The Belle Meade is also a beautiful winery that offers wine tasting tours as well.
My last day there I spent the afternoon cruising around by myself and I decided to check out Reese Witherspoon's store Draper James. It's an adorable dress shop of southern charm. They even serve Reese's famous sweet tea.
Lastly I headed over to Vanderbilt to take a look around and reminisce. This campus holds so many memories very near and dear to my heart. Last time I came to visit, I sat in the parking lot and wept. An uncontrollable fountain of emotions spilling out of my eyes and down onto my face.
The year I spent at Vandy was hard for me. I had just recently been broken up with by my long term boyfriend, the man I though I would marry and I was feeling so down on myself. I felt lost, like I had built this life around what "we" would have been and when that rug was pulled out from under me, I didn't recognize myself any more. I had overwhelming feelings of in adequacy and I wanted nothing more than to prove to him that he had made a huge mistake. So, I decided to become a Nurse Practitioner. A long time dream I had hidden deep in my heart, covered over by his expectations of me and his dreams. I applied and was immediately accepted and the rest is history.
But when I sat in the parking lot and cried, I was nostalgic for the woman who was here three short years ago. Because not only was I trying to prove to him I was worthy of a love he wouldn't give me, I was trying to prove my worth to myself. A worth I had let someone else control. Someone else define. And that is something I will never allow any person to have control of again.
So not only are Vandy and the city of Nashville a huge part of my life because they were the starting point for my career as a nurse practitioner, it was a starting point for a woman who would never let anyone tell her ever again that she wasn't good enough.