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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A weekend in Tennessee

You know that blog post where I said I was going to write a post a day for the entire month of September?

Yeahhhhh....about that.

Life ( and laziness) happened, and here it is, almost mid November and I don't even remember the last time I wrote anything.  I apparently need some serious motivation to write.  Have any of you seen the "Living with Jigsaw" video on YouTube?  Let's take a moment to watch the weird hilariousness that it is, shall we?


I need this in my life.  "Lauren..........you are surrounded by armed mousetraps.  If you do not write a blog in one hour, they will disarm, pinching you to death."




So, this is what's happened lately:

I turned thirty.  It was rather uneventful.  I still only have one gray hair on my head so I consider that a victory.





The next weekend we took a mini vacation to Chattanooga & Nashville, Tennessee.  We stayed in our first AirBnb, and it was so much fun!  The house we stayed in was over 100 years old, and was in the North Shore district, so we were centrally located to lots of restaurants and shops. (Please excuse all my photos.  These are unedited phone photos, most of which I was in too much of a hurry to eat than worry about decent lighting.)




Our host, Karen, was a retired teacher, and was such a nice person!  She had taught English as a second language, as well as German, and through this had met & taught the German family that was also staying with her.  We spent time with them at breakfast, and it was fascinating learning about their lives, as well as watching them try to understand some of our English (and us their German!).

Veggie Egg Scramble, fruit & yogurt and muffins

 I'm not a people person by any means, but I loved every minute of it.  Unless you make it a point to seek people out and talk to them, you would never get this type of interaction at a normal hotel.

Our first night there, we met some friends for supper at Taco Mamacita.  The food was so yum!




On Saturday, we drove up to Nashville, where we went to the farmers' market.  They were having a food truck competition, so we were in food truck heaven!





I'm adding owning a food truck to my list of things I want to do when I grow up.  I think they're just wonderful. And adorable.

We scored this amazing piece there:


All the shopping made us hungry, so we got a snack:


Is it even possible to ever resist fresh donuts??



And then we made it into the produce section.

Pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere! We left with five :)



That afternoon, we drove around a bit, saw the chaos that is Broadway, said no, and went to Crema for coffee.


Geez Louise, that's a pretty coffee shop!


Shiplap walls, white everywhere, and a slight farmhouse feel even though it's modern and artsy.  I'll just take up residence there, please.

Then, to kill some time before dinner, we went to the Parthenon.  Behold, the mighty Athena!






We also met two awesome little statues:



Finally, it was time for dinner.  We had planned Hattie B's Hot Chicken as our meal destination for Nashville.  And that was where I died and went straight to fried chicken heaven.




Let's start with the sides.  I got turnip greens, because...hello, you can't have fried chicken without greens.  And you can't have fried chicken and greens without mac & cheese.  Here in the south we count mac & cheese as a vegetable, not a starch. Amen? Amen.

But this wasn't just plain old mac & cheese.  It was spicy pimento cheese mac & cheese.

Now to the main part of the meal.  The fried chicken itself.  I got mild, because I wanted to survive the drive back to Chattanooga.  This chicken was crispy and fried to a deep, golden brown, and then I'm thinking brushed with hot sauce.  But not in a saucy wings kind of way. The chicken skin was super crisp. So maybe it was fried in and the "sauce" was actually spicy grease.  Who cares.  It was delicious and I ate it ALL.  By the way, they put a slice of white bread on the plate to help tame the fires of Mordor that have overtaken your mouth.  (All my LOTR fans: that reference was for you) The only problem with this bread is that it is placed UNDER the chicken, thus soaking up all the extra spicy sauce/grease/magical goodness.  That's when you start eating the pickle chips they give you, which may or may not ALSO have spiciness on them.

That may have seemed like I was trying to talk you out of eating there.  On the contrary; go forth, and eat all the spicy fried chicken you can.  It's a good burn and you will enjoy every fiery minute of it.

On Sunday, we had to say goodbye to our German friends (which I will not even attempt to spell their names) and Karen.  We went to brunch at Food Works, which is located in an old knitting mill.  There is also an antique store in the same building (obviously we went to this as well).  Even though we had just eaten fried chicken the night before, we got the chicken and waffles.  There can never be too much fried chicken.

It came with a scoop of Maple Praline Butter


We had a fun, relaxing and food filled weekend.

I call this perfection.





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