We always end up in Nashville. It’s becoming our home away from home. With each visit, we fall more in love with the culture, our Nashville friends, the music, and just being on the road.
On our last trip to Nashville, we volunteered at the Monroe Carell Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt University. If you didn’t get a chance to see our video from that trip, here it is.
Our late flight from Los Angeles coincided with the launch of ZUMI, our new pet product line. Talk about a way to add tension to the whirlwind of packing and getting to the gate on time. In the morning, fresh from our red-eye, we met up with our good friend and traveling inspiration, Colin. Colin lives a life of writing and traveling; if you don’t know him already, definitely check out his blog.
Our first night was one of my most memorable music events ever with my good friend Tim Jones of the amazing Truth and Salavage Co. We went to the legendary Bluebird Cafe to hear top songwriters Tony Arata, Fred Knoblock, Tom Schuyler, and Jelly Roll Johnson. I have a video from this up on my Instagram (http://instagram.com/p/vJiCwWxMwt/?modal=true).
After that, dubiously inspired by watching some of Nashville’s best, we decided to test out our own vocal prowess at a venue more suited to our talents. Santa’s Pub is a triple-wide trailer on the side of the road near the state fairgrounds. Cash only, and, if it’s late on a Friday night, you made need to slip someone some extra cash to jump the queue for karaoke. We also met up with our friend and favorite dog-groomer, Cassandra, and she took us around the glittering madness of Nashville’s Broadway at night on a Saturday, woah.
Closer to home in our Germantown neighborhood, Maggie was begging for a return visit to Crossroads Pets. What makes it special and different from many of our other favorite pet shops is that Crossroads is a non-profit that helps rescue dogs and cats and also trains young people from the community to become dog-groomers. It’s a happy place, and we always enjoy our time there.
The same goes for McKay’s Books. Maggie’s not much of a reader, but I confess I have a book problem. And if you’re like me, there’s no better place to indulge than McKays. This might be the only place in the world that I wouldn’t mind getting locked in for the night. I probably wouldn’t even notice.
Next, we stopped by our friend Adrian’s shop DCXV to congratulate him on his two-year anniversary. You may know Adrian’s work by his famous ‘I Believe in Nashville’ murals all over the city, We love seeing our friends doing well at things they love. Amazing job, Adrian! As usual, I couldn’t get Maggie to stop working, so she took over running the shop while the rest of us enjoyed some celebratory cake.
Sunday, we had a meet-up with a group of friends to play trampoline dodgeball, I basically hid behind the five year-olds, but it was a really lovely time of jumping and endless giggling. There’s no better way to catch up and bond with friends than when you’re doing something so childlike and free. Maggie wasn’t allowed here but I have a feeling she would’ve went nuts over dodgeball. I’ll be hiding those photos from her.
On Monday morning, we headed over to Sirius Radio’s The Highway to be interviewd by Stormy and Brittany. The three of us – Maggie, me, Colin – had an absolutely wonderful time, talking about the difference a dog can make in our lives, about the wonderful city of Nashville, Maggie’s upcoming projects, and Colin’s traveling adventures. Maggie loves country radio and hasn’t stopped barking about her friends at The Highway.
We closed off our trip by visiting a Waffle House (yum!) and seeing our friend Steven at the Fontanel, where Maggie rode Gretchen Willson’s ATV and Colin and I played Miranda Lambert’s guitar. The Fontanel is very pet-friendly and has some beautiful hikes. If you’re a lucky dog, you’ll end up on Steven’s tour and get to hear him sing and let’s not forget the Fontanel is completely dog friendly. If you’re feeling especially adventurous, you can zip line for hours. That’s on our list for next time.
Like always, we had fantastic food and coffee all over the city (is there a better city for food right now anywhere?) and the wonderful company of local friends and fellow travelers.
And like always it was so, so hard to leave, but that’s the wonderful thing about traveling, we can always go back. I know we will.