Let’s be real. I love my city, but sometimes it’s really great to just get the heck out of it for a few days at a time. I'm doing just that starting this afternoon! Road trips are one of the easiest ways to do that, and one of Saint Louis’ best qualities is that it’s situated in the middle of a good number of cities that make great weekend getaways. I’ve done Chicago, Kansas City, and Memphis, but the one that seems to be the most popular amongst my friends is the one I’ve never been to - Nashville! Or, "Nashvegas" as some of my pals lovingly call it. I’m long overdue for a road trip in general so it only makes sense that I’d hit the city I’ve never experienced. Because I'm road trip rusty, I thought I'd share a little bit about how I've been preparing for the journey!
My first thought when planning a new trip usually revolves around Can My Car Handle This? If you know me in the real world, you'll know that I recently sold the car I'd been driving for 10 years. I was ready for a new decade-long relationship on wheels, and my little Mazda 3, Ozzy, is much better equipped to travel further than just across Saint Louis City. I spent some time with my dad this past weekend getting more acquainted with all of Ozzy's innards, levels, and tire air to make sure she's road trip-ready. Aside from low air in her spare tire, she's in the clear!
The next big thing I always think about when it comes to travel is What The Hell Happens To My Wallet? Budgeting isn't always a perfect science, but because I've been traveling on my own more frequently, I'm able to better plan my spending. The first things I factor in are travel expenses, accommodation expenses, and food. Travel expenses aren't terrible when it comes to road tripping, especially if you've got a buddy to share gas purchases with. Accommodation expenses were originally going to be low or nonexistent as my partner has a close friend we had hoped to stay with, but alas! She is out of town. Luckily, Airbnb offers such a wide range of places to book, we were able to find a cute spot for a great price. This will be my first time staying at an Airbnb, but I have heard so many great stories about being able to stay with locals and learning about the city from a dweller. Check back for our experience at the "Nashville Nest!" Our host sounds so friendly and sweet. I can't wait to meet her!
Food is really where I run into trouble because I LIKE TO EAT. I also like to try local favorites and recommended spots, so sometimes I end up at hot spots that have menu prices reflecting their popularity. I would totally love to splurge, but I'm gonna try my best to be a good girl. Some joints I've been eyeballing as recommended to me by friends are (images above L-R):
1) Biscuit Love - A food truck success story with brunch eats and an emphasis on local.
2) Two Ten Jack - Japanese flair pub with ramen, sushi, and more with a lady chef!
3) The Pharmacy - A lovely outside biergarten space with local beef, and a soda fountain!
4) The Lipstick Lounge - A queer bar aimed at the ladies. Well, duh.
And of course, you know I gotta budget in a little bit of shopping! I hit up ALIVE Magazine's Fashion Editor and big-time Nashville fan, Sarah Stallmann, for some ideas. She sent over a list she actually compiled just last month! From that list, I think I'll be checking out:
1) Local Honey - Apparently merchandised impressively for easy shopping!
2) Hip Zipper - A wide range of eras with affordable prices? Yes, please!
3) Nashville Flea - A giant flea market? Sign me the heck up. I love a good hunt.
Unlike my travels to New York Fashion Week, I don't fret too much about fashion choices when it comes to road trips. Ultimately, we're looking at 90 degree temperatures, so I'm focused on packing light summer clothes and staying comfortable. I have a feeling overalls might be going with me... perhaps my cowboy boots, too!
Have you been to Nashville lately? Do you have any favorite spots to hit while there?