The Barefoot Mermaid Travels to New Bern, NC

The first weekend of 2018 was spent in New Bern, NC for Ryan’s best friend’s wedding. Our trip was a bit hampered by Ryan’s broken foot, snow and ice in the area but we still aimed to have a good time. As a side note I was absolutely crushed we could not dance, as dancing is one of my favorite things ever. We also had wedding things to attend so did not have as much downtime for exploring since everything takes ten times longer with a broken foot. Continue reading “The Barefoot Mermaid Travels to New Bern, NC”

2018 Goals

There is something fresh and new about the New Year. One tends to reflect, dream and hope. One of my favorite goal master minds, Lara Casey swears there is nothing special about starting on January 1st and while that is true you definitely do not need to wait til January 1, 2019 to make some of your goals happen if you missed the boat this New Year’s Day, I do think there is something almost magical about a new year and a fresh start. Today I am going to share with you my goals for 2018 and a sneak peak into my Powersheets. Continue reading “2018 Goals”

The Barefoot Mermaid’s Guide to Nashville, TN

Nashville is about a 2.5 hour drive from Birmingham. The drive time makes it a great day trip or weekend getaway. We have been a few times over the last several years for birthdays, concerts and to meet my cousin there. This is in no way a comprehensive list. Just things we have chosen to do and would recommend.

Stay:

Hotels are outrageous in Nashville in my opinion. We generally stay in Brentwood or Franklin area as the hotels are cheaper than downtown. With the amount of events and people in the area hotels are always in high demand. We usually can find an decent price on a discount site such as Priceline, but they are in no way a steal. On our most recent trip we stayed further out and more east, it was not as inconvenient as I had imagined.

Eats:

Gojo Ethiopian Cafe is a stop we make every time we are in Nashville. Out of Ethiopian we have tried in Orlando, Chapel Hill, Atlanta , Birmingham and Houston, this my favorite. If you like Ethiopian or trying new things I highly suggest Gojo. Must eat.

Blue Sky located in East Nashville we tried this per a friend’s recommendation and now go here when we are in town. Delicious breakfast/brunch. There usually is a wait but its manageable and a nice neighborhood to walk around while you wait. Must eat.

Franklin Juice Co. has locations in 12 South and the Franklin Factory. We tried this on our last trip. You know my love for smoothie bowls. It was nice to split one on our way to brunch which we knew would have a wait.

Loveless Cafe is a Southern institution. Ryan and I ordered food to go and ate it at a near by park. If you have a large party or even just a party of four I would try dining in family style. I am glad we went but now that we have been I am not sure we will go back for a while as there are so many other places in Nashville we have not tried yet.

Urban Grub located in 12 south. We ate here one time for my sister’s birthday. Reservations are a must. We had reservations and still waited almost an hour to be seated. Again, yummy food but with so many places to eat in Nashville I am not sure we will circle back until we have crossed some other places off our list.

DeSano Pizza is a delicious treat. Similar to Atlanta’s Antico. We usually eat here every time as it is quick and crowd pleasing while also tasty.

The Pharmacy located in East Nashville serves up burgers, beer and house made sodas. we have eaten here plenty of times. A good place to grab lunch when you first arrive in Nashville.

Coco’s Italian Market and Restaurant is somewhere new we tried on our most recent trip. It was delicious and fun to look around the market since we have recently been to Italy. They have a ricotta stuff mozzarella ball that was drool worthy. We will definitely be back.

No Baked Cookie Dough is opening up a store front this Fall. We grabbed some from the pop up in front of the new store. We tried all the classic flavors. I was hoping to grab some Pumpkin Spice but they did not have any that day.

Mas Tacos located across from The Pharmacy. We have been wanting to try this place for a while and finally did in September. It was good, cheap and we will be back. Try the avocado taco and elote. Must Eat.

Olive & Sinclair Chocolate. You can eat, tour and shop here. The duck fat caramels are my favorite.

Play:

Ryman Auditorium we took a tour a few years ago. The tour was self guided with some video education along the way. I really want to see an actual show one day, especially after listening to current Nashville resident, Annie Downs book Looking for Lovely. She wrote a chapter about the Mother Church while sitting in the Mother Church that brought me to tears.

Grand Ole Opry offers guided tours. We did this recently, I can not recommend it enough. You actually get to walk back stage, into some dressing rooms, and into the circle. Highly informative and fun. Must do.

Bridgestone Arena catch a concert or a hockey game. We try to catch the Blackhawks when they are in town since its closer and cheaper than Chicago.

Parthenon was originally built for Tennessee’s Centennial Exposition, now serves as an art museum. We have never been inside but we have walked around the outside and park.

Nashville Murals. We have not done them all but a fun stop if you are close by.

Shop:

Franklin Farmer’s Market open every Saturday year round. Located next to the Factory at Franklin. Cross both off your list one Saturday Morning. We often pick up breakfast here. Must do.

The Factory at Franklin is home to many good stores and bites. Wonder around one morning after you have visited the Farmer’s Market.

The Mall at Green Hills. Nordstrom.  Need I say more? Ok, Lilly, Lush, Athleta, and Absolution.

Parnassus Books an independent bookstore located across from Green Hills mall. One of my favorites ever.

The Shine Project has opened a store in Nashville. I love Ashley (ok I don’t actually know her) and her work. There are many cute small shops located in the same area. Worth a look.

Thistle Farms located close to Coco’s Italian, in fact that is how we stumbled upon the Italian restaurant. Ryan’s parents gave me some bath products they bought in a shop in Rome, Ga. When I read they shop was located in Nashville and employed women survivors of human trafficking, addiction and prostitution I knew I had to visit the store and support them. I may have picked up some Christmas gifts.

Amelia’s Flower Truck. A flower truck can life get any cuter?

White’s Mercantile has a little something for everyone. Located in 12 South a wonderful stop if you are strolling the area.

Draper James is also located in 12South. Reese Witherspoon’s Brand based off her Grandparent’s name. A fun stop. I am going to buy a piece one day but which one they are all too cute. Their kitchen/household things are adorable too.

Ex Voto Vintage has beautiful one of a kind jewelry. I have not actually been to the Nashville location but I have been to the Birmingham location.

To Do List:

Country Music Hall of Fame. We have never been but on our list.

Cheekwood Estate and Gardens

Biscuit Love

Belle Meade Plantation

Johnny Cash Museum

Do you have any must do, favorite that I missed? Send them over so I can add them to our list. So many things to do, see and eat.

The Barefoot Mermaid’s Guide to Aiken, SC

My Mama grew up in Aiken so I have found childhood memories of Magnolia trees, cousin twins, the Secret Garden, family, Ginkgo leaf bouquets, walks and bike rides, parks, rose pine cones, and Red Lobster. The past few years we have made a few stops in Aiken and it is thriving. I love to see the Downtown coming back to life. It seems like the happening place to live these days, it sure is nice for a visit. Continue reading “The Barefoot Mermaid’s Guide to Aiken, SC”

Disney World Resorts

Places to Stay

Disney’s Resorts have unparalleled theming and service. One of my favorite things about some of the Disney Resorts is there smell. Yes you read that right for example the lobby of Disney’s Beach Club smells like the beach. No lie. If you have the money to afford to stay on property do it. We prefer to stay off property to be able to afford to go more. But for big special trips we will stay on property. Continue reading “Disney World Resorts”

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