Good evening friends! If you follow us on social media, you know that we spent our weekend in Nashville as a bit of a “baby moon” before our son, Roman, arrives to meet us in September. As part of our blog, we want to do a thorough review of all of our trips in case you all decide it sounds like something you’d like to do in the future! In this post, we’re going to go over what all we did, what we enjoyed, and what we would change for next time. Without further ado, let’s get into it!
During our visit to Nashville, we stayed in the Niido apartment complex (extremely AirBnB friendly), just a couple blocks from Broadway Avenue (for our foreign friends, this is the main area that Nashville is famous for). We use AirBnb for almost all of our travels nowadays, so it was a very good fit for us that the Niido building literally said “Powered by AirBnb” (I’m assuming AirBnB has some sort of ownership stake) on the side of it. Everything access related, from entering the parking garage to unlocking/locking your room, was done through Latch, and app that allows you to open doors and elevators through Bluetooth. This is extremely convenient for both owners and visitors, as there’s no need for a lengthy check-in, etc. The other thing that makes this attractive for renters is the fact that the complex will clean the room for you if you’re renting it out on AirBnb. We’re now actually exploring the possibility of renting one of these apartments for that very reason.
Because this apartment actually has a resident (who is currently residing in another state), we won’t post any pictures for privacy sake, but the apartment was about 800 square feet, extremely clean, and simply yet beautifully decorated. It was a one bedroom and one bathroom apartment, so perfect for what we needed for the weekend. Not only was the apartment extremely attractive, but its proximity to the center of downtown really excited us. We will definitely be checking Niido first when looking at future trips to Nashville. The last thing we’ll mention about the accommodations is the price. For this particular trip, we paid just about $70 per night, which is INCREDIBLE for the location and cleanliness of this place; however, this is mainly due to the fact that travel is low right now, and the pricing during other parts of the year are over $200 per night. I still think the place was beautiful, but we may have done some more research for other places had it been at that price point for the time being. All in all, our accommodations get an A!
Most of you know that I (Madison), and a major foodie, so along with our activities, we’re going to include some of the restaurants we ate at, and which ones we would recommend to you!
We left for Nashville on Friday around 10:00 a.m. and stopped in Germantown, a section of Louisville, KY. I know, this isn’t Nashville, but the placed we stopped for lunch is a MUST HAVE if you pass through there on your way! We ate at a small place called Monnik Beer Company, which specializes in German food (makes sense, being in Germantown…). Rebecca ordered the Reuben, I ordered the Pork Schnitzel, and we split an order of fries that was smothered with gravy and beef that they use for their Sauerbraten. Let me tell you…..I’m a huge fan of German food, and this may have been the best pork schnitzel I’ve had in my life! If you’re ever driving through Louisville and need to stop for lunch, Monnik is an absolute must try!
After we arrived at our room and rested for about an hour, we went to a local restaurant/bar called the Listening Room, where each night, a musician has a private concert for what I’m guessing would be a couple hundred people. With social distancing guidelines and caps on how many people can be in one space, I’d say there were probably 50 people there, all at tables that were well over 6 feet apart. The music was amazing, and I’d invite you to check the artists out on YouTube if you’re able! Their names are Nick Wayne and Hannah Ellis if you’re interested. While the house lager was a great beer at the Listening Room, we went for something a little lighter to eat. We shared a small order of chicken wings and a small order of fries (I said “lighter,” not “light”). The fries were very good, but I do think the wings were pretty underwhelming. Granted, I think the main allure of this place is the live music, but I would definitely order something different next time. After that, we walked over to Broadway Ave. and found a great little dessert shop called Legendairy Milkshake Bar. To give you some perspective, their milkshakes are $14 dollars and are 16 oz, so I’d recommend you go here well after you’ve already had dinner! Our milkshakes were delicious, but neither of us finished half! After drowning ourselves in pure, sugar heaven, we walked back to our room and called it a night.
We began the day by having breakfast at a local place called Milk and Honey, where Rebecca had the California breakfast sandwich, I had a sourdough breakfast sandwich with bacon, egg, and cheese, and we split a bowl of pineapple. I had to get some fruit in along with all the starch I was having (I had potatoes as my side)!
Rebecca was nice enough to schedule us a tee time at one of the nicest golf courses in Tennessee: The Gaylord Springs Golf Links. This was, by far, the best golf course I’ve ever played on, and while Rebecca wasn’t able to swing more than just a couple swings on the driving range, she had a blast driving the cart around and giving me advice on shots, which of course, I took! Neither of us are great golfers, so our collaboration was more sarcasm than anything else, but it was a great time nonetheless! One of the things we would have done differently is scheduling the tee time earlier. Ours was at 10:10 a.m., so it was extremely hot and muggy around noon. This is a really small thing to complain about, but it’s the only thing we would change about this particular activity. A short mention about lunch; we at lunch at the course (Madison: Grilled Chicken Caesar Wrap, Rebecca: Turkey Sandwich), and while there was nothing particularly special about it, they were just really good, refreshing sandwiches!
While we were extremely tired after golf, we wanted to do a little shopping at the Opry Mills Outlet Mall. I actually slept in the car for about an hour while Rebecca shopped! Yeah, I was that tired. Afterwards, we went back to the apartment for a nice, long, much needed nap! For dinner, Rebecca was really craving pizza, and we wanted to explore Broadway Ave. a little more, so we found a Mellow Mushroom right on the edge of the strip. I’ve had Mellow Mushroom several times before, but Rebecca had never had it, so this was a great choice! If you’ve never been, this is going to be a solid choice for you, day or night. I will add that while we were on the rooftop at Mellow Mushroom, the Black Lives Matter protest, which was labeled “I Will Breathe,” came through Broadway Ave., and Rebecca and I both admired as the group exercised their free speech and protested for justice for the murder of George Floyd. I did not feel it right of us to go through this entire post without mentioning this. We are deeply saddened by this situation, and we know that we can’t possibly understand what our friends of color go through on a daily basis, and we desperately want to raise our sons in a manner that reflects our character; that no matter what color someone is, we love and respect everyone equally, and we promise to take actionable steps to combat racism. Talk is cheap, so we intend to back it up!
We called it an early night after having pizza for dinner on Saturday. On Sunday morning, we cleaned, packed, and took off, but first, we stopped for brunch at a small diner simply called, “The Diner.” I don’t recall what Rebecca ordered, and she’s asleep next to me as I write, so there’s no WAY I’m going to interrupt that! I, however, remember what I had! This was the first place that I got something native to the city…..Nashville hot chicken! Because it was brunch, I got the Nashville hot chicken Belgian waffles, and my oh my, they were so worth it. I will tell you though…..Nashville hot chicken isn’t for the faint of heart, so if you aren’t into spicy food, steer away! If you’re a spicy eater, however and you like chicken and waffles, this place is a must have on your stay in Nashville!
In conclusion, we had a successful weekend, and although it was supposed to be a surprise that Rebecca planned out (a notification from Google Calendar popped up the night before we left), we still enjoyed every bit of it! For future reference, the wrap-up section is where I’ll add in anything we would change going forward, and any advice we have for all of you. The obvious thing we would change first and being able to stay there longer. Nashville is an easy 4 and a half hour drive for us, so a weekend trip is definitely worth it, but we just would’ve liked maybe one or two extra days to enjoy the city. The next change we would make is giving ourselves more time to explore Broadway Avenue. There are so many cool shops, restaurants, and bars along this strip that I think having a full day just to visit all of them would definitely be something we do next time. The last thing we would do is take more advantage of the amenities at the apartment complex, but most of them were closed due to the pandemic, which is totally understandable. Our biggest piece of advice to you would be to build in some rest time! While it may seem counter productive to “not be doing something” while on vacation, the couple hours we took to rest on Saturday before dinner were incredibly valuable. The worst thing about a vacation is coming back home and feeling more exhausted and drained than when you left, so build in some time to relax and recharge!
Alright my friends, that’s it for our first ever Trip Review post! I hope this was of some value to you all. We look forward to several more posts like these, as the world continues to heal, and we get to experience the rest of this world piece by piece 🙂 Love you all! Have a phenomenal rest of your evening!