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Road Trip: Pt. I

September 14, 2018

For those of you who don't already know, I recently took the leap and moved from Virginia to California. I'll have a life update coming soon to fill you all in on the chaos and beauty that is my life. Regardless, to get here I embarked on a nearly 3,000 mile journey across the United States. I drove solo because it was cheaper for Tylar and I to drive separately than it would've been to ship a car. Let me tell you, road trips are not as glamorous as Instagram makes them seem. We traveled anywhere from 6-11 hours every day when you included time to get gas. It was beautiful, it was crazy, it was exhausting, and it was amazing.

Nashville

After packing my entire life into my VW bug (thanks mom, you're a superhero), I set out on my week-long trip through the states. The first stop was Nashville, a place I've always wanted to visit. Eight hours from home, we didn't get there until about 4pm. With only an evening and a short morning to see the city, we only got to do a few of the many things I wanted to do. Since we stayed in East Nashville, we grabbed dinner and stayed on that side for the evening. We ate dinner at the Mainstay restaurant and then got drinks at a cute little place called The Rosepepper. The Rosepepper had free chips + salsa, the most delicious frozen peach margarita of my LIFE, and a peaceful ambiance. 1,000% recommend going here if you live/stay/visit East Nash.

 The next day, we visited the iconic 12th Street. Sadly, Amelia's flower truck was nowhere to be found that day (I checked the website after and it was scheduled to be somewhere else), so we checked out the famous Five Daughters Bakery. We walked in to see the adorable sign that's all over Instagram only to see that ONE DONUT was $5. So, we turned around and walked out because we are moving across the country and stuff and basically couldn't be spending $5 on a single donut. It was super cute though! Very photogenic if you're looking for an iconic Instagram moment in Nashville.

 

We didn't have time to visit downtown, Pinewood Social, or any of the other places of that realm, but we still had a blast. Every Uber driver we had was the coolest person we'd ever met. Nashville people in general were super nice, really inspiring, and just downright cool. One guy moved to Jamaica and in his words, "bounced" and just left everything behind. Another guy was best friends with the guitarist from Dragonforce... which, for my Guitar Hero people, is who does Through The Fire and Flames. I was SHOOK. 

 

For those of you traveling to Nashville looking to get an Airbnb: we stayed in East Nashville at this listing. The area was safe and was a short Uber ride to downtown and tons of restaurants. The hosts were super sweet, too!

 

With that, here are a few of the recommendations I received for food, coffee, + photo ops:

Coffee: Fido, Frothy Monkey, Steadfast, Sunflower Cafe, + Dose

Food: Josephine, Avo, Acme Feed and Seed, + Bar Taco

Rooftops/bars: LA Jackson, Crazy Town, Tequila Cowboy, + Tootsies

Photo Ops: 12 South, Amelia's Flower Truck, Five Daughters Bakery

 

Memphis

Well, the plan was to go to Memphis... but that didn't happen. We were looking forward to seeing the town, visiting Sun Records, and seeing the sights like Graceland and the Peabody hotel, but plans changed. My dad recently visited and had me convinced it wasn't very safe, so we changed our Airbnb to Jackson, Mississippi instead to stay safe. Our cars were packed with our entire lives in them and we couldn't run the risk of them getting broken into. Keep in mind, I've never visited so I don't know about the area, but my dad had me convinced that my car wasn't going to be safe so I just went with it. 

 

Conveniently enough, a hurricane decided to hit Jackson during our stay SO we had to change plans pretty quickly. We stayed just a couple minutes down the road from Memphis in South Haven at the La Quinta. The hotel was very nice and clean, dog friendly (without an extra fee), and close to a ton of restaurants and a Target. We took this time to catch up on sleep, relax, and enjoy being out of our car.

For those of you visiting Memphis, I highly suggest staying here! The area is very safe, our cars that were packed to the brim were untouched, and it's only a couple minutes or an uber ride from downtown Memphis.

 

Texas

Well, day three of the road trip and the shenanigans continued. The hurricane was pretty much following us around the U.S., so it was pouring for a lot of the drive and the entirety of our evening. We had plans to go down to the Statler Hotel rooftop for photo ops and a drink, but it wasn't worth the drive there. Our Airbnb was in Arlington, TX (it was the cheapest one and we were on a budget) so it was about a thirty minute drive to Dallas without traffic, which there was a ton of. Instead, we kicked it at the Cheesecake Factory and then headed to Target to waste time because, why not?

 

I do wish I could've seen Dallas, but I was relieved to stay inside. Texas drivers were a little aggressive compared to what I'm used to so I was happy to be in a warm bed as opposed to my cramped little car that apparently no one can see when changing lanes. :-)

 

With that, here are a few of the recommendations I received for food, coffee, + photo ops:

Food: WOW Donuts & Drips, Dessert Bar, Bird Bakery, Stir Dallas

Rooftops/bars: Happiest Hour,  Deep Ellum, Statler

Photo Ops: Bishop Arts District, Klyde Warren Park, The Perot (a museum)

Though the weather hindered most of our plans, we still had a BLAST and it was great to see the Eastern half of America. Nashville was definitely my favorite visit of the three. As an East Coast native, this chunk of the trip was a little underwhelming in comparison to the second half of our road trip because the West is full of so many things I'd never seen before.

 

Stay tuned for the second half of this blog AKA the BEST PART!

Thanks for reading!

xoxo,

Jordan

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