Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Girls Gone Mild

It's true.

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.
Did you know that headboard can come off the wall? It's just mounted on a little ledge. That must be checked for bed bugs. Also, the bed stripped and the seams around the bed checked for anything that is hard to flick off. And did you know there is a website where you can check to see if the hotel has been reported for bed bugs recently? Also, there is a bleach spray you can make and bring with you for anything you feel may need sanitizing. This was all very educational...but at the end of the day, I think I still firmly belong in the camp of "I would just rather not know what's under that sheet."

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.
(This is also what my front porch looks like right now. I found Three Springs Farm in Elizabethtown and sort of over-bought on mums because a) it's my absolute favorite flower and b) it's FALL Y'ALL and c) the buds were still closed so my enjoyment would last so much longer than a bunch bought from Kroger. But 9 pots of mums is a lot of mums, apparently. Whoopsie.)

And there was this:
Wait, what?
It's a...
oh hell YES...it's a crepe food truck!!! Smiles for everyone! Actually, I read on the website that the crepe food truck is a staple at the Franklin Farmers Market and really, they had me at crepe. This stop was completely non-negotiable. Mama wants crepes.
A twee bit on the pricey side but it's made with all locally sourced ingredients and after reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, that has been more of a way of life around here. So, I'll pay a little more for eggs that were just laid yesterday...especially if I don't have to be the one raising the chickens. This was a cheese, bacon and egg crepe but there was also brie and apricot crepes and banana with nutella crepes. I bounced between the 3 for several minutes before finally deciding that if I was going to make it to lunch, I was going to need some protein.

Also, it was amazing.

One of the girls picked up a hot chicken and biscuit from these guys...
How much do I love an Airstream that serves fried chicken and biscuits? There just isn't enough time to count all the ways. I tried a piece of her breakfast and, again, divine. Hot chicken is a Nashville thing and while I never got another chance to have it for a meal, it's on my next itinerary for sure. It's not spicy but has the tiniest bit of a kick to it. Really delicious fried chicken at its finest.

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.
A. I don't know what it is with Nashville and Elvis. They are obsessed. And granted, his blue suede shoes certainly took country music in a new direction, but I don't know that it warrants the kind of idolization that's going on down there.
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.
Considering $7 for 6 handcrafted doughnuts to be a fabulous bargain, we stocked up on the cinnamon sugar ones, although blueberry pancake sounded downright delicious, too. They were soft, warm, sugary, melt-in-your-mouth loveliness. It was even better than essence of chicken.
That's right...at the Fleet Street Pub in Printers Alley (where we dined Friday night) the dear departed spirit of your poultry will apparently hover right above your chicken pot pie. Ghostly sounds cost extra.

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...
because, after all...it's Fall Y'all!

Next stop, Cheekwood Botanical Garden!


  1. Girls trips are more important to mental health and well being than prozac and therapy. Glad you enjoyed it. Mine comes next month and I can't wait.

  2. Sounds like loads of fun. Crêpes for breakfast? a definite 'yes'.


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