Hello, friends! I hope you had a wonderful weekend and a great Father’s Day yesterday! We got back from an awesome trip to Nashville yesterday, and I thought I’d share the details! As I mentioned on Friday, Scott had a work conference, and the kids and I were so lucky to be able to tag along. This was actually the first trip we’ve taken just the five of us, and it was quite the adventure! And good preparation for a pretty big trip we have planned for September. 🙂
We left Loganville around 10:30 on Thursday, and it took us about 4 1/2 hours to get to Nashville (and we lost an hour thanks to Central time). I packed sandwiches to eat on the road, but by the time we got into town, we were hungry and ready to eat! We checked into our hotel and hopped on one of the free shuttles (a LIFESAVER all weekend!), and took our driver’s advice and headed to the Peg Leg Porker for some Nashville BBQ!
Scott ordered the BBQ Pork Plate, but I got the BBQ Nachos and YEAHHHHHHHHHH they were good. We got the kids the chicken wings and pimiento cheese dip, which were really good too. 10 thumbs up from this crowd!
We decided to walk back to the hotel, and happened across a couple of super cool murals on our way back. Nashville has a bunch of them, and I couldn’t resist.
We got back to the hotel, and the kids were DYING to go to the indoor pool, so away we went! And after the longest day ever for these kids, they passed out! They were so excited to go to bed in their big, comfy hotel bed, and that was probably the most excited they have ever gotten about going to bed before!
Friday morning, we were up bright and early. Scott was off to his conference, and the kids and I had free reign on the town! As I was doing a bit of research about Nashville and what the kids and I could do during the days while Scott was working, I learned about the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, and the amazing Martin ArtQuest Gallery for kids. It’s an amazing interactive gallery for kids where they can learn about art and make art (in so many different mediums!), and it’s all FREE for kids under 18! My admission was also FREE since we stayed at a Downtown Nashville hotel. I just showed my room key and all was taken care of! Even if I had to pay, adult admission was only $12, which I think is a great deal. We first looked through the art installations on the main floor before we headed up to the Martin ArtQuet Gallery. It was really fun looking through the exhibits and seeing what the kids liked, their ideas and interpretations of the art. So fun to see it through their eyes. And then of course, to see them create their art!
After we finished at the gallery (4 hours later!), we ate lunch at the cafe inside the Frist. We ate outside since it was really nice, and the kids enjoyed the green space. The food wasn’t great, but we were hungry, and it sufficed!
We hopped back on the shuttle and headed back to the hotel. We rested for just a bit, and headed to the pool! Turns out Ben is a little fish! And Brantley is THISCLOSE to swimming on her own! I got in the pool with her each day, and she swam from one side of the pool to the other all by herself so many times! I think after this summer, she’ll be good. And Ben will probably be an independent summer next week, haha! Gracie will probably take her time getting out of her puddle jumper, though, she is far more focused on singing while she’s in the pool than she is on swimming!
We headed back up to the room and got ready for dinner. Food is always a big part of our travels, and this trip was no different. The ONE THING I knew we HAD to do while we were in Nashville was go to a real Nashville “hot chicken” place. I did some research and decided that we ought to try out Hattie B’s, which is well-known for their famous hot chicken. Now if you’re not familiar, hot chicken is the only dish that’s indigenous to Nashville. It’s fried chicken that is prepared with and doused in a very spicy hot sauce, served on a piece of white bread with pickles on top. I mean, it sounds right up our alley, right?! Imagine our excitement when we find out that Hattie B’s was only about 2 blocks from our hotel!! We walked there Friday night, and had some of the very best fried chicken that we have ever eaten.
Scott and I both got the “medium” heat (he got the tenders and I got the small white meal), and it was delicious. Hot enough to make my nose run, but so good I ate every last bite. It was so crispy and moist (I know, I HATE that word, but don’t know how else to describe it!), and the sides were no afterthoughts! The pimiento mac and cheese was to. die. for. The coleslaw was a little mayo-heavy, but still good. It was the best meal of our trip, and absolutely worth the hype. It is a MUST if you visit Nashville!
After we finished, we promised the kids ice cream, so we visited the original Gigi’s Cupcakes right next door!
The girls got ice cream, Ben got an ENORMOUS chocolate cupcake, and Scott and I split the cherry cheesecake cupcake, and everything was delicious. Just see how much Gracie enjoyed her ice cream!
Then after we were good and full, we took a little tour around the city! When we visited Nashville a few years back with my mom and dad, brother and sister in law, we took a golf cart tour around to all the bars, and it was so much fun! While obviously we weren’t going to be taking the kids to bars, we still wanted a little tour around the city! So we got a cart to pick us up after dessert. We went down Music Row and down Broadway, where all the fun bars are and tons of live music we could hear from the streets. Being raised on country music, it is so fun to hear all the stories about classic country stars and the debauchery on Broadway. Next time we come back to Nashville, we’ll leave the kids at home so we can participate too!
And mid-ride, what do you know, we happen upon another awesome mural! We had to stop for a minute…
We headed back to the hotel and all went to bed early after a big day! On Saturday. Scott was off early again, and the kids and I took our time getting ready for the day. After reading this awesome blog post, looking for things to do on a Saturday with kids in Nashville, and a few helpful Instagram friends, we decided to head out to Centennial Park and the Parthenon.
The Parthenon in Nashville is the only full-scale replica of the Greek Parthenon in the world, and it is pretty amazing! Not to mention the full-scale statue of Athena and Nike inside! To give a bit of reference, the statue of Nike that Athena is holding in her hand is 6’4″!
It was spectacular! And every Saturday, a group called Kidsville organizes activities for kids at the Parthenon and offers free admission to the kids and their families. So again, we got into a fantastic exhibit for free! We were able to watch a percussion performance and then make drums, participate in a scavenger hunt, dress up, and build with blocks. The kids had a ball.
After we finished at the Parthenon, we ventured out into the park! There was an American Artisan Festival going on, and we wanted to check it out. There were cool art vendors, food trucks, and of course, live music! First we grabbed some shaved ice (blue raspberry, of course), found a shady picnic table, and sat down to listen to the music.
And by that time, this mama was getting hungry. We found the food trucks and got some sliders and french fries and they were DELICIOUS. The kids had regular cheeseburgers, and I had a chipotle jack burger which was awesome.
We finished our lunch, listened to a bit more music, met a sweet dog named Dixie, climbed on some old trees, walked through the vendors again, and were on our way back to the hotel to rest a bit.
And, duh, we headed to the pool. 🙂 Last year, I had to MAKE Brantley jump in the pool, and this year, I couldn’t get she and Ben to stop jumping in! He is fearless in the water which has helped her become a little braver. 🙂
Mama’s poolside snack. 🙂 Goo-Goo Clusters were my mom’s favorite candy when I was little! They are made in Nashville, and we had one left in our room every day by the housekeeping staff. Equal parts amazing and dangerous. They are delish.
Then back up to the room to get ready for dinner. We were all pretty tired, and decided to walk just a few blocks to dinner, to a restaurant called The Row, that was recommended to us. The decor was really cool- lots of photos of country music legends, pioneers, and the stories of their careers in country music. Plus, the food was good! We had fried pickles and a flight of deviled eggs to start (and the kids LOVED all of it), Scott got more hot chicken (but he said Hattie B’s was better- “no comparison”), and I got fried catfish. We were STUFFED when we left! We headed back to the hotel and turned in early.
We got up on Sunday, and left pretty early so we could get home early. Plus, being Father’s Day, we wanted to get home so Scott could have some time to rest and enjoy his special day! The ride home seemed quicker than the ride to Nashville, and we got home with plenty of the day left to enjoy. Our trip to Nashville was quick, but we crammed as much in as we possibly could! I think the kids had a blast (Brantley said she wants to live in Nashville when she grows up :)), and our first family hotel experience was pretty good! We love Nashville so much, and can’t wait to go back. But maybe without the kids next time, haha!