48 Hours in Nashville
Some of my fondest memories are of traveling. As a kid, my family loved traveling whether by car or plane, we loved exploring new places. Now that I have my own family, I am charged with creating memories for my little ones. Last summer, we had an incredible time discovering out west for two weeks. Side note: I’ve yet to get that post on the blog. This summer, we couldn’t travel that long and far with the new baby. We would have to go somewhere within a 3-5 hour drive. There was also another specific detail— we needed to agree on a city that we all would enjoy. We all have different travel personalities. After a lot of discussion, we chose Nashville. Here’s our 48 Hours in Nashville….
FRIDAY 7:30 p
| Dinner at Judge Bean’s Bar-B-Que
After checking into our hotel, we met up with the rest of my family for dinner. No plans were in place so we all had to agree on one restaurant. Twelve different people along with kids were in on this decision making. I decided to ask the concierge for suggestions after scrolling Yelp with no luck. We needed a restaurant that was kid friendly, affordable, American, local and good. Because we were staying in a corporate district of Brentwood, options were kinda limited. Judge Bean’s was suggested. Supposedly, they have the best BBQ east of the Mississippi. It is what they advertised. Now, I’m intriqued to see as a Memphian. Nashville seems to have this thing with Memphis where they “think” they are better.
When we arrived, we were almost turned around. At 7:30 on a Friday night, they were closing. I kindly asked to be seated since we were a large traveling party. The menu consisted of Tex Mex options. It literally was like a Texan ranger that loved bar-b-que and Mexican food developed the menu. My husband and the boys gave the Mexican options a try. They ordered tamales and quesadillas. There were no complaints from them. In fact, my husband thought the tamales were pretty good to be “American made”. I had the pulled pork sandwich with slaw. The idea of having the best bbq east of the Memphis, well I determined that was a lie. The bun was too sweet and I didn’t particularly like that it was toasted. The texture was too much. The pork was roasted pretty good but lacked flavor. It was rather bland actually and that was with sauce. Due to my culinary disappointment, I began to get worried about the rest of the trip. Was Nashville food scene going to be a major let down?
SATURDAY 10 AM
| Nashville Shores with the Big Kids
Our entire trip to Nashville was planned around Nashville Shores. We didn’t get a chance to take our normal two week summer vacation this year. My husband and I didn’t think it would be a smart idea to travel with a one month old newborn for that long. Nashville is just 3 hours away and the kids love water, so to the closest water park we went. The daily admission tickets were reasonably priced at $28.99. I found a coupon code for a summer sizzling sale that took an additional 10% off. A little saving goes a long way with three kids.
The kids said they really enjoyed the park. Amira raved all about the family water slide. Apparently, the entire family could ride in a little boat or tube together. She also said they rode every ride and swam in every pool. I think it was pretty evident because they stayed until they were kicked out. A storm was coming through and the park shut down. My family was highly upset about it too. But, they had a really good time. They are looking forward to making another quick trip to Nashville next summer.
SATURDAY 1:00 p
| Lunch with Jasiel at Slim & Husky’s
While my husband and the big kids were at Nashville Shores, Jasiel and I went on our mother and son date. After completing a quick run, I was ready for lunch and the museum. I really wanted to give Nashville’s food scene another try. I believed in her comeback. I browsed the web for local bites but wanted to make sure I ate good and didn’t waste my time or money. I discovered some really cool sounding places like Milk and Honey and Biscuit Love. However, I made the decision to try local and black owned. Off Jasiel and I went to Slim + Husky’s in North Nashville.
Slim & Husky’s Pizza Beeria is a fast casual, artisan pizza shop with a love for hip hop & R&B culture. As I walked in a bomb 90s playlist was blasting, I immediately started jamming and doing the “I’m about to eat good happy dance”. As I stood in line waiting to order, I was so blown away about how I felt being in the restaurant. The branding, the ambiance and people made me feel good, like I was having pizza at my dope big brother's restaurant. The vibe was so cool and chill. I ordered the California Love pizza. It’s an artisan pizza with Spinach Basil Pesto, Slim and Husky House Cheese Blend, Artichoke, Sliced Tomato Blend and Red Onion. Ya’ll soooooo good. Initially, I was worried about not being able to eat it all. Honey, that was not a problem. I ate the entire pizza. Nashville needs to thank Slim + Husky for the food comeback. I’d take a quick trip on 40 East just to go back to Slim + Husky’s. I’m really looking forward to them coming to Memphis.
I paused for just a minute in the parking lot of Slim + Husky to nurse Jasiel and share some Instastories. We were heading to our next stop and I wasn’t too sure about nursing in public. As we rode around heading Downtown, I couldn’t help but notice how much Nashville had changed since my college days. Many of the areas were heavily gentrified. It was apparent that there was a mix of people in the community. You saw old black Nashvillians sitting on the porch of houses in need of some care. Then, younger white couples walking from their new 200k houses headed to the farmers market. Turning down congested streets on a Saturday, made me realize Nashville isn’t the city I knew. It was progressively full.
SATUDAY 3 PM
| Frida Kahlo Exhibit at the Frist Art Museum with Jasiel
When we planned our trip, I knew the kids were going to the water and I would be going to the museum. I got the news that the Frist Museum had the Frida Kahlo exhibit back in May. I was so stoked to be able to finally see her work especially at the Frist. If you have never experienced the Frist, you should, it’s breathtaking.
I got Jasiel cozy in the Wildbird , said a little prayer that he would be a good boy, and off we went. It was a pretty nice size crowd that day. There were a couple of guided tours, one was in Spanish, which I hopped in to test my fluency. The other was an art class on sort of a field trip with sketch pads in tow. So many people from all walks of life and backgrounds there to experience Frida Kahlo. It was moving and inspiring.
You could feel the beauty, hurt and strength, love, pain and passion that Frida Kahlo embodied as you walked through the gallery. And, I actually walked the gallery twice. The first time to get a glimpse. The second, to really soak it in and find a way to be inspired to create as Frida did. Frida was an artist that lived her work. How could this moment I am experiencing nurture my creative spirit, I asked myself over and over again.
Our 48 hours in Nashville was great. Pretty chill, I would say. Slim + Husky’s and Frida at the Frist were definitely the highlights of my trip. While I was in Nashville, I discovered other cool places to visit. Nashville is only a hop skip and jump away so I will be making the drive u more often. It’s a pretty cool city now with so much to do and experience.
Have you ever been to Nashville? Have you been recently? What are some of your favorite things to do?