My parents came to visit us two weekends ago so we took that opportunity to explore Nashville a little more. The only other times they've been down here were to move us in (and out) of our apartment, and we spent that time working without much play. I wanted to make sure this weekend was full of new experiences and plenty of fun.
Friday night we went to one of our favorite restaurants, Chuy's. It's a transplant from Texas and we love the food, especially their chips and salsa! I had to build a cupcake-cake at work that night, so everyone came along and they got to see the store and met my bosses. We went to bed early because I had lots of plans for Saturday.
First thing Saturday, we hit up the Southern Festival of Books at the War Memorial Plaza near the capitol.
There were publishers, authors, book signings, seminars, talks, and music and theater performances. We wandered around, checked out the booths, and explored the state capitol.
Dad had to pose for this picture, and then we had to find out who exactly the statue is.
After climbing up to get a closer view, we still didn't have a very good answer. I ended up looking him up on my Wikipedia app and I think he was a senator or something until he was killed over a dispute between local newspapers. But I could be making that up :)
After the capitol, we headed down the street to the Nashville Farmer's Market. This was our first time visiting and we were pleasantly surprised! There are three main sections of the market, one for farmy things, another with a "food court" and international market, and another section for an icky flea market. When the floods hit in May, the market was completely underwater, so it's nice to see it back and flourishing.
We spent most of our time meandering around all the beautiful produce. There was every veggie imaginable- gorgeous squash, eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, and pumpkins - oh! the pumpkins!
Orange ones, white ones, striped ones, speckled ones, some to carve and some to stack. They were all so beautiful and we couldn't believe the variety.
There were even some as big as me :)
In the flea market, Curt found a "kitchen thing." I honestly don't know what it is supposed to be, it was almost like a giant emory board, but you are supposed to use it in your kitchen.
The farmer's market was a success - we got a couple pumpkins, apples, Curt got concord grapes he's been craving forever, and Dad bought some abnormal barbecue sauce from a hippy who grows his own peppers. From the market we moved down the block to the Germantown neighborhood for two different Oktoberfest events. No photos from there - it was too crowded and we just wandered around. I wanted to stop at the Cupcake Collection, but they were closed so we took our sweet tooth(s) elsewhere.
Las Paletas of course! I thought my parents would enjoy the unique flavors, and I really wanted my dad to try one of the chili popsicle concoctions.
Dad appeased my request and picked Cucumber Chili, which was surprisingly delicious. Mom had Grapefruit, which was shockingly tart, but tasted exactly like biting into a fresh grapefruit.
Curt had Kiwi-something, it was delicious. And I had Honeydew, which was sweet and juicy like a ripe melon.
After our morning out and about we went to the grocery store, packed a picnic linner (lunch/dinner), and headed South to Arrington Vineyards.
The vineyard overlooks the beautiful Arrington area, and it was a great first look at some of the changing colors of fall. We got there just in time for the band to start playing, ate our little picnic, and enjoyed the sunset while waiting for our turn at wine-tasting.
We thought our picnic was pretty fancy with fresh deli meat, bakery sub buns, and macaroni salad, but boy were we wrong. Our linner was absolutely delicious, but it paled in comparison to the fancy table scapes and gourmet catering a lot of the other groups brought with them. I'm talking linen table cloths and elaborate centerpieces! Eat your heart out, Sandra Lee.
We found a list of the wines and started picking our samples.
The hill quickly filled with people and a hot air balloon.
We got there just in time - when we put in our name, the wait was an hour and a half. By the time it was our turn, there was a three hour wait! If you plan on visiting Arrington Vineyards on a weekend, get there in the early afternoon and you can avoid the crowds, enjoy the sunset, and get your wine without the wait!
Kix Brooks (from Brooks & Dunn) owns the vineyard, hence the hot air balloon.
That's the tasting lodge. They take you in as a group to small tasting areas where you can sample four different wines. The hostess shared that if you try the raspberry wine, you get a chocolate truffle to taste with it. Both the truffle and the wine were delicious.
We left the vineyard before it got too late, rented a movie, and relaxed for the rest of the night.
More pictures from my parents' visit coming up and then I swear I'll get back to crafting!