This summer while I was home in the US, I was incredibly busy, scheduled to go here or there almost every day. One of the things I squeezed into my travels was a trip to Tennessee. I am very lucky to have two of my best college friends living in the same state.
I flew down on a Friday, and was supposed to arrive in Nashville at about 4:30 pm, when my friend would be getting off from work. After a hellish bout of “How long will that delay be?” with U.S. airways I arrived just at 8:30 (EST). My friend was very patient with the whole situation and entertained with the fun texts from me.
“We are boarding the plane.” “We are de-boarding the plane” “We boarded the plane!” “We are leaving!” “Just kidding, we are missing paperwork” “We landed!” “We have to wait for a gate” “We are going to get off….oh wait…still no gate.”
After all the delays and waiting on the plane for what seemed like forever (for a gate), we ended up just going down the stairs of the plane and walking across the tarmac to a lower level door to the airport. Which we could have done when we first landed. Mmmph.
Despite the inauspicious beginning, the trip was fantastic! My friend Kate lives in Nashville, the plan was to visit with her, then we would drive down to Memphis to visit our very pregnant friend Katie, or depending on the fates, Katie and her new baby.
After Kate picked me up from the airport, we stopped by her home to drop my things off before we went out for dinner. Waiting for us was a package from our other friend friend from college, Katie, who lives in Colorado. She had sent us a gift basket filled with treats for our visit! Can you feel the Wellesley love?
The next day we left for Memphis. Memphis is a three hour drive, so we were able to chat the whole way and had a great time. Katie politely stayed pregnant while we were in town, so that we could catch-up. I haven’t been able to see my Wellesley friends as often as I would like. We are scattered all over the US, and living in Turkey complicates visiting even more. However, when we do get together, it is as if no time has passed. I am hoping that soon they will plan a trip to visit me! In Memphis we relaxed, visited, played with Katie’s dogs and took turns feeling her belly when she was having contractions. Kate started to time them, but then Katie pulled out her phone to do it. Apparently there is an app for that! She didn’t have the baby for another week, but we didn’t let that keep us from getting some snuggle time with the baby. Katie and I were room mates, so she knows I am pretty hands on.
We drove back to Nashville and the next day we played tourists. Kate took me downtown to the Honky Tonk bars and the tourist areas. We wandered around for a while, listening to the country singers preforming on the street. We went to the Johnny Cash museum as well. Nashville is fun city, with beautiful green spaces, navigable, a vibrant downtown and nightlife and great food.
Now when in Tennessee, it is best to stick to local cuisine. BBQ. Kate knows I love barbeque and went out of her way to create a culinary experience. They have some of the best barbeque I have tasted, very different from other regions such as New England or Texas. Here, the pork is cooked slowly until it falls apart, and is served dry. You can then add BBQ sauce (here with a vinegar base) if you would like.
Pulled pork dinner from the iconic Loveless Café in Nashville, served with fried green tomatoes.
Pulled pork tacos with roasted corn from the Acme Feed & Seed in downtown Nashville.
OHHHHH. The best BBQ I have ever had is from B&C (full name: Bacon and Caviar).
It is not a fancy place, but you wouldn’t want it to be. They have several locations throughout Nashville. I loved it, the food was fresh and delicious and the people behind the counter friendly and personable. I am not that familiar with southern food, and they were very patient with all my food questions, some even unrelated to what they were serving. At B&C you choose your meat (pulled pork sandwich above) and then your sides. They had many sides, but I asked the girl behind the counter to serve me what she would have chosen herself. The sides are squash casserole, a sweet corn and summer squash bake topped with a little cheese, and the grits of the day. Yes, that is right, grits of the day! They have a different one each day of the week, in addition to the regular cheesy grits. These were buffalo chicken grits, slightly spicy, with vinegar and bits of chicken. DELICIOUS!
My trip to Tennessee was one of the highlights of my visit home. Not only did I get to see TWO of my dearest friends for the first time in years, but I also got to be a tourist in my own country and take in a bit of Southern culture. I would highly recommend visiting Nashville if you have a chance, even if you are just driving though.
Wellesley Mini-Reunion! Three 2006ers and a future 2032er!