If you look in the mirror and repeat 3 times, "I love fall," a white girl in yoga pants holding a pumpkin spice latte will suddenly appear.
I'm that girl.
I'm in my yoga pants right now, typing this between sips of my own homemade (not quite as good but far easier on the bank account and the batwing arms) pumpkin spice latte.
I freakin' love fall, y'all. I love fall so much that I accidentally booked every weekend in October before the month even began. Technically, we are over-booked. I'll cross that bridge when we come to it.
There's no better way to kick off my favorite month of the year (and one that speaks so personally to me as it represents Infant Loss Awareness Month and Breast Cancer Month) than a girls' trip south. And boy, am I due. My last girls' trip, to the best of my recollection, was summer of 2006. So 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010...screw it...I'm DUE. The 5 of us chose Nashville as our destination, both for the plethora of activities one may enjoy without a toddler wrapped around the legs and for the proximity to our houses. We had 2 1/2 days. Greece would have been amazing, but Nashville it was.
Being...well, me, I emailed out a possible itinerary a week before, complete with dining, shopping and sightseeing options. We were staying in Franklin, TN because the hotel rooms on Broadway in Nashville are absurdly expensive. As in, I'm sorry...did you say we are staying in Nashvegas or Times Square? We wanted to have a good time. We did not want to put our families in debt doing it. So, we found a lovely Marriott in Franklin, which, as it turns out, was pretty swanky and fun in its own right. Also, it did not have bed bugs. I know this because one of the girls has had traumatizing experiences with bed bugs and hotels and insisted that we check our beds from the inside, out. I'm not kidding.
I slept like a rock on Friday night. It may have been the absolute certainty that I was NOT sharing my sleeping space with critters or the fact that no one was waking up 5 times in the middle of the night, insisting that I put him back to bed or...maybe both...but man, I was all kinds of rested the next morning. Like coffee was almost an after-thought kind of rested. That never happens. But I grabbed one anyway because our agenda was full and it's fall so why wouldn't I have a latte when presented with the opportunity?
The first stop was the Franklin Farmers Market. I had read about it online and it looked promising. Any business that goes through the work of keeping their website up to date (ahem, unlike Daisy & Elm, unfortunately) and especially a non-profit like a farmers' market, seems like a good gamble to me. I remembered reading that there were food trucks onsite every Saturday morning so we agreed to make that our breakfast stop, as well. It was pretty fabulous.
And there was this:
Also, it was amazing.
One of the girls picked up a hot chicken and biscuit from these guys...
After breakfast (and in an effort to stay warm), we cruised the rest of the farmers' market. Vendors offering everything from all-natural skin care to hand-stitched fingerless gloves to these handmade houses were available.
B. About 10 seconds after we walked past this guy's booth, a gigantic gust of wind caught one of his stands and sent 2 of his houses crashing to the ground. Wood splintered among gasps of shock and sympathy. Lessons learned the hard way, I'm afraid.
Of course there was an entire tented area set up for the farmers. So many tables of fresh fruits and vegetables, including a woman who makes her own pasta. It made me a little sad that I had no way to keep any of it fresh. Homemade pasta with some of the season's last tomatoes...oh how I long for that meal. At the end of one of the farmers' rows was a table where 2 women were selling a farmers' market cookbook called Cooking In Season. All of the recipes were gathered from the farmers, as well as those who shop the market regularly. They were taste-tested and voted on and compiled into one beautiful book that's broken down by season. All of the ingredients can be found in the market during that season and each recipe contains about 4-6 ingredients. Plus, all of the proceeds go right back to the market. Sold!
Then...we found the doughnut truck.
After the crepes and the doughnuts and the fresh food porn, we gathered ourselves and headed out. It had been quite the successful trip to the Franklin Farmers Market. This girl was happy...
Next stop, Cheekwood Botanical Garden!