Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Visit from Loree and Taking Nashville By Storm!

This morning I said goodbye to my sweet friend Loree as she started back on an 11 hour drive to Florida. We crammed in as much as we could so she could get her fill of all the East Nashville eats & shops.  It was actually quite ironic that she came out here with a note-page filled of places she wanted to see and food she wanted to try since several of these spots I had in fact never even heard of before!  So funny. It ended up being an adventure for the both of us, since I got to try many of these places for the first time myself!!

Where do I even begin?  The purpose of Loree's visit was to attend a blogger's workshop in Nashville to learn more about Photoshop.  Had it not been quite so spendy I would have loved to attend myself, but regardless it was awesome to have her here and share the time we could together.  She arrived at the house last Thursday afternoon around 4 and I rushed home to meet her.  (Sidenote - Jason finally revealed my belated birthday present to me and surprised me with 2 ladies hired to come deep clean my house - oh.yes.he.did.)  The ladies were still there elbow deep in dog hair and construction dust after I got off work, so we headed over to Ugly Mugs (my personal fav) for coffee and to catch up on...ooooh... say a couple years worth of life's happenings.  We also figured out that we've literally known each other for 27 years. How wild is that?! 27 YEARS! Man, God is good.

After coffee at Ugly Mugs, we headed back to the house to freshen up, check out my gloriously cleaned home, and get ready for dinner at The Wild Cow.  I've wanted to check this place out, not because I'm a vegetarian, but just to see what it was like - and since Loree happens to actually be one, I thought it would be the perfect time to go!  Our impressions: Loree loved it, she had the Veggie Quinoa Bowl; I however had the Portabella and Couscous Salad, and was not so much a fan.  I personally think I could do without going back. The evening was concluded with hours of conversation back at the house before crashing out.

Friday morning we first took off for The Farmer's Market where we had lunch and scoped out all the fresh produce and local honey varieties.
(photo by Loree Rowland)

Afterwards, we drove over to The Food Company in Green Hills to meet up with the The Peach Truck and snag some of the last Georgia peaches of the season. Loree has been following them on Instagram, so she was pumped to finally meet up with them here in Nashville - crazy side note, turns out they're cousins to her best friends in Florida - weeeird.
Then we were off to Nadeau in Green Hills where she fell in love with an Aztec-style rug for her home, and we browsed around Color becoming immediately obsessed with the Rose & Ivy Spiced Tea Blend that they had mixed with frozen Strawberry Daiquiri (yes, it was non-alcoholic). So of course, we each had to buy our own jars to make this same deliciousness at home! Seriously, amazeballs and I want to figure out the spices so I can make my own!!
We zigzagged over to the 12th South neighborhood for some Las Paletas hand-crafted artisan popsicles.  These are always a win with everyone!  I had the coconut and Loree had the Avocado. Both wins.
We walked around the whole area looking into all the fun stores and Loree was able to check off another item on her list to see Imogene & Willie. No I did not look at the price of their custom made jeans - the whole idea scared me. Extremely cool place though - although a bit too trendy/hipster for my liking.  All those long papers hanging from the ceiling are the patterns made for the custom jeans.  Very awesome.
Next stop was The Filling Station where I loaded up on some Sprechers' Gourmet Soda and Loree picked up a Growler for her man back at home.  (Yes Little One, I will take you and John there next time you visit. You both will love this place! ;-))

After all this shopping you know by then we had worked up an appetite, so we jaunted back to East Nashville for dinner at Silly Goose.   Loree thoroughly enjoyed the Melon Gazpacho and Green Salad with Steelhead Salmon, whereas I was head-over-heels with the Cast Iron Flank Steak, Smashed Potatoes and Carmelized Onion and Fennel.  Dare I go on?  Nom.nom.nom.
And as if we hadn't munched on enough that day, we topped the day off with ice cream from Jeni's.  Let me tell you something...this place is RIDICULOUS.  I can't get enough of their ice cream.  My only complaint is that those scoops just aren't big enough!!!
I may have started an affair with the Loveless Cafe Biscuits and Peach Jam ice cream - to.die.for.  But then there was also the Sweet Corn & Black Raspberries flavor - I'm not even kidding you.  We were forced to go here twice in four days - and both times the lines wrapped completely around the store and even out the door down the sidewalk.  Rumor has it one is opening in 12th South - thank the Lord!  It's getting crazy crowded in our hood!

Are you drooling yet?  Let's move on to Saturday.  Loree spent the day downtown at the workshop while I sipped coffee and enjoyed a good book and my beautifully clean home.  No - it is not completely arranged from the renovation.  Jason has been working like a mad man trying to catch up on his yards, so I'm in a holding pattern until he can free up some time to help build the closet shelves.  I'm thinking November is when we'll be all moved in. I went to the grocery and picked up some things I needed to make Loree a fabulous (if I do say-so myself) vegetarian AND gluten-free dinner of Potato Gnocchi with crushed sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, lemon, onion & shredded mozzarella. It's a recipe my friend Julia lent me and it's so delish! (Yes Kristin, I can send you the recipe ;-) ) We spent the evening at home relaxing and snacking on kettle corn and sipping iced sweet green tea (I am SO addicted to this stuff).
(photo by Loree Rowland)

Sunday - a little more of the same.  Jason worked all day, Loree was at the workshop and I was snuggled up with my four adorable furbabies.  I also worked on our bedroom door chipping paint off the glass panes (thank you incompetent painter for that lovely gift).  As soon as Loree and Jason were back at the house, we got ready and headed out to The Pharmacy for dinner!!  Many of you have been there with us and know that we so love this place!  The weather couldn't have been more incredible, the back garden was so beautiful,
 the food totally grub and the company wasn't bad on the eyes either.
Well hello there.

Our last day together was Monday so of course we had to make the most of it! We first checked out the Hey Rooster General Store, which is a cute and quaint little shop near my house that had fun housewares and food items.  We couldn't resist taking home a jar of Coconut Jam 
(photo here)
(cannot WAIT to try this with some homemade scones - yuuuum!).  

Then because we were both starving we skipped over to Blue Sky Cafe for entirely way too much fluffy goodness. No seriously, TOO much. Ugh. 

 I mistook the French Toast Pancakes as french toast bread that were dipped in pancake batter much like the ones Jason makes me.  Um no.  This was 2 gigantic pancakes with 2 slices of french toast between them and then Nutella and Banana all up in its bizness.  

Unreal and immediate stomach ache.  Smart one Kim.  Loree ordered the Portabella Melt and she said it was delish.  Our next stop - to pick up more peaches.  Don't ask - it's a long story.  ;-)   Then we ran back to pick up Loree's rug at Nadeau and took a scenic drive to Franklin to wander the shops. So relaxing, so busy and SO FUN!  Thankfully, The Iron Gate (one of my favorite shops in Franklin) was still open so I was able to drag lure her inside.  She didn't put up much of a fight.
(Photo from Iron Gate's website here)
Isn't it dreamy? I die.

For our last hurrah, we decided on dinner at Rolf And Daughters, a restaurant that I had actually never even heard of, but yet it was very recently rated #3 as a Best New Restaurant in the US by BonAppetit.  
(photo here)

Freakin cool and insanely good food - hand rolled pasta, not even kidding.  Yes, Loree and I sat on the patio outside with the little white lights twinkling and the perfect summer evening weather.  I know I'll be back with Jason for sure!!  To finish off a perfect day, we enjoyed yet again some perfect Jeni's Ice Cream.  Don't judge.

Tuesday morning we were up early to check off Loree's final quest, which was to stop for coffee at the Barista Parlor.  Again, not even a mile from our house - I love my life. ;-)  The Barista Parlor is one heck of a hipster mecca and I personally think its quite overpriced, but still a fun experience none the less.  

I'm already missing Loree like crazy, but I feel so incredibly blessed to have as much time with her as I did!  I forget sometimes how much this girl and I are actually alike!  I can't wait to have both Loree and Roy back for a visit this fall! (fingers crossed!)