True, Nashville, TN is not a “small town.” But, it is considered the South, and made a good stopping point for where we were. It’s also home to hot chicken and paleo donuts – what more could you want?
I left you yesterday with us waking up in Sparta on the farm to the rooster crowing, us eating breakfast outside, and me feeding the chickens. I think I forgot to tell you that part, but I fed the chickens! (And again, failed to take a picture…)
Our route from Sparta to Nashville, TN kept us off the main highways, while paralleling I-40. We drove through a few more small towns and saw more of the same – farmland, rolling hills, cows. Once we got to the outskirts of Nashville, it looked the same as most cities – shopping centers and urban sprawl – so we hopped on the highway to get into town.
Hattie B’s Hot Chicken
Brandan’s one Nashville requirement was that we eat some hot chicken, which Nashville is famous for. Hot chicken is fried chicken (NOT Paleo), but sometimes love requires sacrifice, vacation requires not eating Paleo, and Paleo requires Scaleo, so off to Hattie B’s Hot Chicken we went.
The wait was ridiculous. We stood in line outside in the cold and spitting rain for about 40 minutes, then once we ordered we sat at a table waiting for our food for another 20. That being said, the chicken was good, and I did it for love, so that made it worth it. Had I been alone, I would not have waited an hour for spicy fried chicken. 🙂
(Side note – after returning home, I was determined to make a paleo version of hot chicken, and I did it! You can check out my Nashville-style paleo hot chicken recipe here.)
Our Airbnb was disappointingly isolating – a rental apartment in an old building in the city. We (not surprisingly) had a typical big city experience – people were cordial, but we didn’t really get to know anyone while we were here. We spent a couple of hours after lunch in a place called Rebar, where we tried out the Bushwacker cocktails (also not Paleo, also totally worth it) and I got the post about Sparta written.
We had dinner with my cousin and her boyfriend – she’s here for her med school residency; she moved down from the northeast about 6 months ago. I’m secretly hoping by the time she’s done she’ll be a convert to the South, but I’m not sure it’ll happen.
We went back to the apartment after dinner, and it turns out we didn’t have to go out to see live music – there was a live band playing at the bar across the street that sounded like it was in our apartment. We enjoyed their tunes for awhile, after coming to the disappointing realization that they didn’t have cable TV and we couldn’t watch The Walking Dead last night. Womp Womp.
We were woken at 6am this morning by an incredibly loud garbage truck picking up the dumpster behind the apartment. I said to Brandan, “I think I’m done sleeping,” and he responded with, “so does that guy.”
Five Daughters Bakery
We got out of bed and headed over to Five Daughters Bakery, on the recommendation of a friend who said they had Paleo donuts. Well, here’s what I think – if you’re going to sell Paleo donuts, you shouldn’t sell the regular kind.
The Paleo ones just look so sad and small next to the big fluffy ones. I got a Paleo one, but also a regular one, because, well, you should have seen these things! Can you guess which one in this box is the Paleo one?
Yeah, you guessed it. That sad, flat, deflated looking donut. I’m happy to report that it was delicious – very cake-like and dense. It was supposed to be pumpkin flavored, but I didn’t really get a whole lot of pumpkin coming through. I’m also happy to report the one topped with bacon and filled with buttercream frosting is NOT MINE.
Turns out we ate our way through Nashville, in a very non-Paleo way. I failed to take enough pictures, I think because it wasn’t really that interesting. We didn’t meet any interesting people, but we got to see my cousin, which was good. And it DID teach me a lesson: I went about the big city plans all wrong.
We go to Memphis in 2 days, and we had it set up the same way – a rental apartment in the heart of the city. I woke up this morning, cancelled the reservation, and booked us instead at an Airbnb that is part of someone’s house. An interesting couple who works from home, home schools their kids, and wanted to run a bed and breakfast, and have begun to dabble with Airbnb instead. The reviews are through the roof, and the wife is originally from Memphis and will be able to give us the right “locals” recommendations and tell us what life there is really like, which is what we want to know. That’s the heart of this trip.
Life Lesson: It’s Never Too Late
Do what you want. Do what you feel in your heart. Do I think our Nashville stop was worth it? Maybe. Maybe not. But it gave me perspective. If I hadn’t met the inspiring people we have so far on this trip, and learned the things I have, I don’t know that I ever would have changed the reservation 2 days before it. I would have sucked it up and just said, “oh well, that’s what I booked, we’re stuck with it.”
You’re never stuck. You always have a choice. Find the thing that inspires you, and go for it. Make it happen. Remember, if there’s one thing we’re learning on this trip, it’s that if you show up, and give the world the opportunity to deliver, it will.