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12 November, 2015

Nashville Anniversary Trip

Eric took two days off from work so with Grandma and G. Daddy in place to watch the girls, Eric and I hit the road early on a Thursday in October Nashville bound.  The only two things set on our agenda was that I had to teach my science class, which I do from my laptop, and be at the Grand Ole Opry for a Dave Ramsey event.
We stopped in Chattanooga which is not quite halfway.  We walked the city, had lunch, did a little shopping, ate some Moon Pies, and popped into Panera so I could teach and then off we went.
We called the girls since we knew they'd be in bed before we finished with the Dave Ramsey events.  They were eating dinner at Chuy's.  Ironically enough we were eating dinner at Chuy's in Nashville! (Can't beat the Happy Hour cocktail special and Nacho Car, amiright?)
The Dave Ramsey event was so fun!  We've taken the course, taught the course, and lived the course.  We really enjoyed seeing him live for the first time.  The new retirement guru, Chris Hogan, was there to introduce his new book.  He brought up a lot of really neat points. He gave Eric and I a lot of talking points for the weekend.

Eric planned a few surprise activities for the weekend. It takes a lot of trust to have your spouse plan your trip AND pack your clothes (OMG SO STRESSFUL).  He did an awesome job.  We spent Friday on a long hike around the lake. It was nice to walk and talk, and Eric indulged me taking some photos.
That night we had dinner with some of Eric's high school and college friends that live in town. It was so great to spend the evening with them and the kids!

Saturday Eric planned a Kayaking trip through the city.  We only took one phone so he has all the pictures.  Again, it was so nice to be outside doing out own thing, enjoying the quiet and each other's company.  Eric booked a double kayak, which was perfect since I had a cold for the better part of the weekend.  We got to paddle by an old fur trading cave, under some abandoned railroad tracks, and near some shipping ports and then straight into downtown Nashville.

After the kayaking tour we spend the afternoon eating our way through the Nashville farmers market and international food court.  OH.MY.YUM.
 Eric even found a growler stall at the farmer's market and filled up his growler (which he happened to have in the trunk) to watch the Notre Dame game.

We went back to the hotel so Eric could watch the game.  I took a sweet, glorious nap.  And then we went out for our anniversary dinner.

So get this, I find this restaurant that has great reviews, beautiful pictures, and a fabulous menu.  We show up thinking it's going to be a high-end BBQ joint.  Nope.  It was bar stools and cafeteria trays.  Happy Anniversary, love!  HA!

 The food was really good and the company even better.  In case you can't tell, Eric's brisket sandwich was served on pancake corn bread thingies.    Our intention was to go downtown or to The Gulch but after the sun went down it was too cold and we didn't have jackets. Oh well.
 Sunday morning we woke up at the crack of dawn.  Eric had brought his hand grinder and aeropress so we could have tasty real coffee. Love him.
 Again, no jackets and it was 42 degrees out.  We went to the mother house for the Sisters of St. Cecilia aka The Nashville Dominicans for Sunday Mass.    The sunrise was beautiful and the motherhouse was wrapped in fog as if it were sitting on a cloud in heaven.
 This will become a staple on our Nashville visits.  Morning prayer and Mass with the sisters was an absolute treasure.  There is something so stunning about over a hundred women singing to Our Lord.

After Mass we started the journey home.  We took a long lunch at Cracker Barrel. Eric kicked my butt at checkers. Neither of us could remember how to set up the board. We spent a good 10 minutes Googling the directions. Something you think you'd never forget, and then you do.  Huh.

And of course, we had to stop at the Lodge Cast Iron Factory store.  We stop every trip to or from Nashville.  It's all slightly imperfect cast iron for a fraction of the price.  The kind of imperfections that you don't even notice.  Win!  We picked up a few Christmas gifts and settled in for the final trek home.

I absolutely adored this trip.  We have been to Nashville so many times that we didn't feel the need to pack the trip full of all the sights. We simply hung out and enjoyed each other's company without the kids.  We talked about our retirement goals and what we picture our life to be like in 10, 20, 30+ years.  We talked about what we are looking for in education for the girls. We revisited how many children we'd like to have in our family.  We revisited our hopes and dreams for our careers and/or jobs.  It was just so great to connect.  Ah, love that man!

Happy 6 year Anniversary to my one and only!  I love you!

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