That Sounds Fun

One of my favorite podcasts is one called Yhat Sounds Fun by Annie F. Downs. I honestly can’t remember how I found it initially, but I am thankful I did because Annie is an absolute joy.

So when she announced she would be doing a weekend called That Sounds Fun in Nashville, TN, I knew I had to go. My friend Katie agreed and so we bought tickets months in advance and waited patiently…or not so patiently in my case. 

Meanwhile, I had never been to Nashville for fun, so I found an Airbnb in East Nashville and started researching all the cool things to see and do. 

Finally- our trip arrived. We flew out to Nashvegas, picked up our rental car and we were off!

First stop, tacos. We are at Bajo Sexto Taco and had some yummy tacos. We just happened to be right next to Dairy Barn so we had to get soft serve. Duh! 🍦

Then we headed over to Fashionable to see their store and all things beautiful. I bought a romper because it was so incredibly soft. I vowed to wear it everyday. Haha. If you haven’t heard of Fashionable, I recommend you check it out as they empower women with their beautiful leather goods, jewelry and clothes. 


The cashier at Fashionable recommended we walk to Project 615 for some cool t-shirts so we happily obliged.

Then we got pedicures, shopped next door at a designer consignment store and then ventured to Parnassus Books because Reese Witherspoon mentioned it once. It was so lovely. I was memorized by all the book covers– fonts and graphic design and the feel of the books. I had forgotten how much of a book nerd I was. Ha!

As we had driven by, we noticed an old school donut sign so we asked the cashier st Parnassus if it was legit, she said yes, so we stopped by the Donut Den. Let’s just it was a great decision. 

We walked around a wonderful (and huge) park in the Forest Hills neighborhood before That Sounds Fun weekend officially commenced. 

Friday night included music and live podcast recording with Dave Barnes, Christy Nockels, Kelleigh Bannen and Eddie Kaufholz. 


Saturday began with yoga to pop music– not your typical yoga class. If you are in Nashville, check out Inner Lights studio. Followed by brunch (catered by Milk and Honey). We had time to explore the city on our own and Katie and I decided that 12 South is our jam. 

We stopped at Frothy Monkey to fuel up, then wandered all the boutiques and shops around the neighborhood. 


Katie and I had purchased VIP tickets for the weekend, so that got us a backstage tour of the Grand Ole Opry, which was pretty awesome. We got to see the dressing rooms, and stand on the stage! 


Then we had tickets for that night’s live radio show. What a fun night! We saw like 10 different artists perform, including some awesome bluegrass and harmonica musicians!

Afterward, we are at The Pharmacy and got ice cream at Jenni’s. Yum. 

Sunday we met at Sevier Park and Sadie Robertson shared quite a message with us on fear vs. faith. 

Finally, Annie signed books and took photos with us, which was such a treat!


Katie and I decided to head back to 12 South for more shopping and good eats. 

Brunch at Flipside was a win because 3 words: tater tot nachos. Not to mention 2 for 1 drinks, and the open air dining was really nice. 

Nashville has tons of murals and artwork throughout the city, so we enjoyed playing tourist and taking photos. 


Went to Five Daughters Bakery for paleo donuts and they pleasantly surprised me! Yay!

We met a friend for dinner at Saint Anejos and they had very yummy guac and white wine sangria. And no trip to Nashville is complete without a stop to some Honky Tonk bars. We enjoyed some roof top bars and good music.

To top off our trip on Monday morning we stopped at Barista Parlor, the location that used to be an auto repair shop. It was very cool and the drinks and food were delicious. 


That’s just a taste of Nashville and I loved it! Can’t wait to get back next time! 

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How to See It All in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park in 2 Days

Earlier this summer my brothers and I had our second annual siblings trip and this time we tackled 2 National Parks! We flew into Jackson, WY and spent three full days exploring Jackson, Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone. I came into the trip having read several blogs and had list upon list of things to see, trails to hike and felt kind of overwhelmed, but I was pleasantly surprised just how much we could tackle in our short trip.  I also downloaded the REI app, which was really helpful with the map feature and the apps for each national park.

Day 1:

Arrive in Jackson, WY. Drive from airport through part of Grand Teton National Park to our hotel and get acclimated. Find food! We decided to adventure to downtown Jackson and enjoyed Lift Jackson Hole. There was a great view of the ski slope. My brother enjoyed a huckleberry mojito and I had some fruity cocktail too. Delicious chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich too. Once we were nourished we made a plan for our next days adventures.

Day 2:

All day in Grand Teton National Park. We woke up early and it was cloudy, but we were determined to get our sights in. We drove to:

  • Moulton’s Barn
  • Schwabacher’s Landing
  • Snake River Outlook
  • Lunch at Smith Mountain Lodge
  • Hiking around Jenny Lake
  • Drove along back towards the hotel, stopping at various overlooks

Ate dinner at Mangy Moose. The decor is a spectacle, so many old school movie posters, but the real showstopper is the peanut butter pie. You can thank me later.

Grand Teton and wildflowers

Day 3:

Tour of the Lower Loop of Yellowstone with Brushbuck Tours. Highly recommend! We drove through Grand Teton National Park, stopping along the way to see wildlife, then headed to Yellowstone, where we saw all the highlights:

  • Old Faithful
  • Old Faithful Inn (really cool history)
  • Geothermal pools at Black Sand
  • Grand Canyon of Yellowstone/Lookout point
  • Wide-open plain

 

We stayed close to our hotel that night and at a pizza place called Malakas.

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Day 4:

The weather was cold and rainy, so we decided to explore downtown Jackson, checking out the local shops and eating lunch at a place called Local. We went to the Museum of Wildlife Art, which was a pleasant surprise. They had a great exhibit from National Geographic with portraits of endangered animals and a collection of WWII-era posters for the national parks that we all really enjoyed.

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We found a cute coffee shop and bakery called Persephone’s to get some hot chocolate. Another cute store I would have loved to shop longer was called MADE with cute decor, candles, posters, cards and jewelry.

Day 5:

I dropped off my brothers at the airport extremely early, so I decided to explore Grand Tetons some more on my own and really just enjoy a 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Went back to Mormon Row, then drove to and hiked the Taggart Lake Trail. It was beautiful and very cool to walk through some of the burned area, plus had a view of a babbling brook before arriving at the lake with a  great view. I stopped for breakfast at Dornan’s Chuckwagon with a great view and hot pancakes. Beware — seating is outside, but they do have a plastic tent to shield you from the elements.

San Diego in 3 Days

My family spent 3 full days in San Diego for Christmas and although the weather wasn’t perfect, we saw and did a lot.

Day one:

Explore Seaport Village
Dinner at Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion – including signature molten cake

Day two:

Breakfast at Donut Bar –  this is only half our order! Including mexican hot chocolate, blueberry, chocolate peanut butter cup, sea salt carmel….

San Diego Zoo!


Dinner at Extraordinary Desserts

Day three:

Hike Torrey Pines


La Jolla Kayak adventure

Dinner at Mimmos in Little Italy — I recommend the tiramisu 🙂

Day four:

USS Midway

Hotel del Coronado 

Dinner at Donovan’s Steakhouse  – I recommend the chocolate mousse.

Paris, My Sweet

I just finished reading the biography, Paris My Sweet by Amy Thomas and thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s about a woman working in advertising who takes the opportunity to live in Paris and enjoy the city of light and dark chocolate. What’s not to love about that?

Reading another woman’s journey of finding herself while living abroad made me really think about my journey in life. I have never been a “home-body” and always envisioned myself living abroad, but I obviously have not made that leap yet. in her novel, Thomas says that you have to live a place for a year to feel at home and rooted in your community. I fully agree.

After two years in the Queen City, I definitely have found my niche and feel comfortable in my space. I know my way around Charlotte, and really do love all the different neighborhoods it has to offer. It’s what I call a small-town, big city. It’s big enough to always have things happening, but small enough that once you know your circle of friends, you realize everyone knows the same people. 

Anyway, as much as I love Charlotte, I have been having the itch to travel and for adventure once again. With my 25th birthday looming (okay not exactly…it’s in January, but still!), I feel the need to do something big and celebrate!

So some places on my list to go within the U.S. include:

Chicago

New Orleans

Boston

Nashville

Miami

anywhere out west…..

Salt Lake City

Las Vegas

 

 

Finding My Passion

Now that I am in a job that I really enjoy for an organization that amazes me, I feel very content with where I am.  However, I met with a new friend yesterday for coffee and we discussed books we like, travels and just life. She asked me some great questions about what do I see myself doing in the future – what do I want do? Where did I want to travel to next?  I didn’t have a clear answer. Growing up I wanted to work for an international nonprofit doing communications work – bingo. I am. Now what? I have the job that I’ve always wanted and I can see myself staying with this company for many years to come, so what are my goals? My dreams? What is my passion?  I created this life bucket list in college and some things include seeing the rainforest, hiking a volcano, running a half marathon, riding a hot air balloon. I have already checked off the last two items. I have been blessed to travel extensively throughout Europe during my time at Elon – but the world is so big. There is still so much to see. I am constantly mesmerized about what I see on “Planet Earth” and just wonder – how can you see all this creation and not believe in the Creator?

So after my coffee date, I googled “how to find your passion.” 40,800,000 hits later and I still don’t have a precise answer yet, but I think I found some great questions to ask yourself.

What are you good at?
What excites you?
What do you read about?
What have you secretly dreamed about?
What are your goals?
If you could one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
What do you love to do?

Questions I came up myself is:
What do I pin most on pinterest?
Who do I admire and why?

I love volunteering, writing, photography, reading, traveling. I love scrapbooking, listening to music, watching movies and working out. Ask any one of my friends, I am obsessed with elite gymnastics (aka Olympics!). I want to travel to South America and Asia, Australia and I have places I want to go in Europe.  I admire Mother Teresa, Leigh Ann Tuohy, Gabby Douglas, Michelle Obama…..I could keep going on for a while so I’ll stop.

Although I don’t have a specific answer of what I want to do, what my goals are, what I consider my “passion,” I know that God is working on my heart to reveal his purpose for me and I look forward to growing in His plan.