Travel adventures and inspirations...

July 2019

As some of you know, I love to travel. I love adventure. I love to explore new and old places. I especially love to go to places I've been before and try and see or do something new I missed the first time or the twentieth... there is ALWAYS something new to see. I also enjoy chronicling my trips on Facebook. I always get questions and comments about my travels, I love that people enjoy following. This past June for my birthday weekend, my husband, Rick, and I travelled to Nashville, Tennessee for 5 days of adventure. We have been to Nashville many, many times but this time was different... we took our 1955 Oldsmobile Super 88 Rat Rod named "PINUP" with us for exploring. No, we didn't drive her, she got to ride on a trailer that we bought in lieu of gifts for each other's birthdays. That is us, we are unconventional, we beat to our own drum... if you will. 

The trip on the way down south was longer than usual since we took smaller roads because we were unsure of the trailer or how the car would ride... turns out it rode on that trailer like a beast (except she lost her "D", don't worry I ordered a new one on eBay and it arrived by the time we arrived home). As we pulled into Nashville around 7PM we arrived with fanfare, cars were honking and people were waving... we were famous! We stayed at the Millennium Maxwell House hotel for two reasons... first, we've stayed there before 5 years ago for a wedding and had a fantastic time and second, it has a huge FREE parking lot! After we got her unloaded and we checked in, we noticed a row of motorcycles under the mezzanine and decided we would snuggle her right along side of them. She was safe and sound... and would stay dry from the overnight rain.

We quickly got her on the road ASAP and headed straight to Santa's Pub Karaoke Bar. If you have never been to Santa's Pub in South Nashville, let me paint you picture... "Santa" is the owner, they call him Santa because he looks the Big Man himself. He retired and bought a double wide trailer and turned it in to a Christmas themed karaoke bar with multi-colored string lights, painted with Santa on a motorcycle drinking a beer and all. The music is great, the beer (only beer) is cold and the atmosphere is chill... oh and it's CASH ONLY. It is a "must stop" for locals, and occasional travelers. If you are wanting to run into celebrities and amazing musical talent, this is the most likely place. Then drove our "PINUP" down Broadway Friday night and I waved at so many people yelling and waving I felt as though we were in a parade. We then stopped at our beloved Robert's Western World for old school country music, Jack Daniel's and cheeseburgers. This place is our home away from home while on Broadway. I love the classic black and white checkered floor, the collage of celebrity photos, and the surprisingly small, yet overly busy stage. The wall opposite of the bar and kitchen are rows of shelving holding pairs of vintage cowboy boots. 

Yeah... we were there every single day! Hands down our favorite place, with our favorite music that reminds of each of our childhoods. His grandpa and my grandparents, it's feel good for us. My heart.

​As a fun surprise on Saturday, our son, Brandon, and his beautiful girlfriend, Mari, and their friends were in town and wanted the grand tour. So, therefore, a Broadway bar crawl commenced. We, of course, took them to Robert's for a "stimulus package" which is a cheeseburger, bag of chips and a Busch Light! For the rest the day we explored the best of Broadway, like, Nudie's, WannaBe's for karaoke, Tequila Cowboy, which has a vintage Cadillac hanging from the ceiling, and, of course, Honkey Tonk Central's 3rd floor. They enjoyed the music and the people watching. The bachelorettes as a whole are next level, and really could be a drinking game! LOL. 

Then Sunday was Father's Day, we went to The Southern and Steak and Oyster having oysters, sipping Bloody Mary's and having brunch, the beauty of the interior at The Southern is amazing. It has an open concept and large windows, vintage inspired tile floors and vintage inspired pulley system ceiling fans are amazing. Then spent the day venturing the Johnny Cash museum {our first time}, FGL House and shopping at Two Old Hippies, taking a beautiful drive in the '55 around Vanderbilt and all the way to Brentwood, which is a beautiful area south of Nashville. We then found an adorable little area near The Gulch, with amazing BBQ and very cool shops. I love meandering through the old buildings with reclaimed wood floors, vintage inspired light fixtures, and free lemonade!

​At the stroke of midnight it became MY BIRTHDAY! We found ourselves at Ole Red {Blake Shelton's bar and restaurant} for a cocktail and to watch an amazing band. It is honestly the most amazing visually pleasing, spared no expense, International farm tractor hanging upside down over the stage cool! Then off to Redneck Riveria we went. It was nearly closing time and the staff was winding down. We had a fantastic time, they were friendly, and even wished me happy birthday... then the rain came! We grabbed a cab and headed back to the hotel. Even in the rain, Nashville holds a special place in my heart. I've spent many birthdays there and plan on spending many more.

​The following morning we hopped in the '55 and drove straight to Loveless Cafe, about 20 minutes just southeast of Nashville. We have went to Loveless many times, it's about an hour plus wait time, however, they have shops on the property so we had time to get the kids jam to bring home and a few gifts and kitchen supplies. We had an amazing meal, even a little birthday pie. Oh and when the manager found out we had the old car and it was my birthday, he gave us a scenic route to check out that we had never been on. We drove for hours, got caught in the rain {again}, seen views that were something from heaven and then got lost and landed in Leiper's Fork, Tennessee.

Leiper's Fork is a "one street town", if you will. The shops are amazing, even though most were closed because it was a Monday {we peeked in the windows}. We found vintage jewelry, locally made leather goods, homemade baked goods and jams, amazing crafts from local artisans and vintage instruments. We even found a gas station with an outhouse and a vintage "shell' sign, then as we passed the benches out front with two elderly gentlemen sitting and talking we walked inside and there hung this glorious old chandelier in all its glamorous history over a family size table for guests to come and talk and drink their coffee and eat the fresh baked goods they sold. As we went back to the car, a bloodhound in the truck next to me let out a howl and nearly scared me to death. She looked satisfied with her job of protecting her truck. 

As we headed back north towards Nashville we noticed a giant rain cloud following us. Moments later, it had caught up with us and we got drenched. It wasn't bad until we stopped at stop lights, but there were lots of stop lights. I could not stop laughing and the husband was annoyed from being soaked. I asked if getting mad, kept him from getting wet... he said no. I laughed harder... I laughed even harder when others would honk at us to tell us it was raining... um... we were very aware! After we parked her back under the mezzanine,  wiped her down and dried and cleaned ourselves up, we shuttled downtown to finish the birthday celebration. First stop, Luke Bryan's on 3rd & Broadway. Newly opened, cool interior... pretty sure his actual old pick up was hanging over the stage, that's was I was told anyway. Next stop, we dodged raindrops across the street and landed in Kid Rock's Honkey Tonk, this place is ridiculous. The interior is like nothing I have ever seen. From the giant stage that invites all three levels to never miss a second of the band to the oversized bull horns. I mean this place blew my mind so much I didn't even remember to take a single photo! Everywhere you looked was something different to see. Oh and the staff were the most polite. Next up, back to Redneck Riviera... love the vibe and staff there. Listened to the music, had a drink and then dodged more raindrops as we meandered back to Robert's. It was the most perfect ending to the perfect trip with the perfect guy. Birthday success, raindrops and all... 

Not trying to brag, but all these designers hanging vehicles and tractors and such from the ceiling, um... I did that about 10 years ago. I hung the vintage Harley in my husband's office over his Jack Daniel's whiskey barrel in front of the ledge stone wall. 

As we packed up the following morning, our bellman, Percy, proceded to tell us all about our "PINUP" visitors, apparently she was a local celebrity. She had photos taken with people and even a bridal party on their way to the party bus to go to the ceremony. She gets all the attention all the time. Then we headed out and attempted to get on the interstate, missed our exit... turned around in a tiny neighborhood pulling the huge gooseneck car trailer. Once we out of traffic we, of course, stopped at Waffle House, then on our way back to the truck we got a traffic alert that they highway was closed due to an accident, reroute... then a couple hours later we stopped to use the facilities and another traffic alert, that too closed due to accident, reroute... We always look at life as an adventure, that day was almost as if the adventure was leading us. We seen lots of things we wouldn't have on the highway. Especially this amazing bridge, it was huge and on a random country road. 

I wish everyone could experience and travel too, but I know that is not possible for many... I understand, when our family was young we took them camping. There were no fancy destinations just priceless memories with the kiddos, that we still talk about to this day. 

Thank you, Erika, for asking me to do this blog about my trip. I was stumped and you inspired me!

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