Nashville Tennessee Trip

Our Nashville Tennessee Trip, and the REAL Tennessee

Today (or yesterday, by the time anyone reads this) is the first day of Fall, and I’m celebrating by sitting outside on my patio with my laptop, writing this post. It’s such a gorgeous day that I decided to move my office outside for the day! As much as I hate that summer really has come to an end, I do have to grudgingly admit that I love Fall! The weather in the South is beautiful, the hummingbirds are visiting this time of year, and the grasses are flowering. Yeah, okay. It’s nice.

One thing about Fall is that it always makes me want to take a road trip! Ed and I love to travel, but with 4 kids and 3 full-time jobs, it can be a bit difficult to find time. We learned a few years ago to plan trips far in advance and put them on the calendar as soon as possible so that we can work around them. Also, every once in awhile, we are lucky enough to combine travel and work. Such was the case this past weekend. We knew we had an engagement shoot in Nashville, so we took extra time to plan a weekend getaway. I love it when we can manage a mini-vacation in our own state!

We’ve been to Nashville on several occasions before, but we always stayed downtown in the more bustling areas. This time, we were making our first visit to the outer, more rural parts of the city. We were amazed at the differences! Everything was so spaced out, and horses, barns, and farms dotted the landscape. We saw the cutest little fences everywhere, and the mountains were just in view in the distance. I immediately felt that THIS was the real Tennessee, and was so excited to photograph it!

Karen and Derek were the best hosts. Not only are they the most completely adorable couple (and so like Ed and I, if I do say so myself), but they were excited to show us around to all the little areas we had never seen before. The original Natchez Trace is right behind their house, and the views were gorgeous! I could have walked their neighborhood for days.

I never really saw myself as a country girl, but I think I could get used to the idea. I fell hard for these stone fences. They were everywhere! For a minute or two, I felt that we could have been in historic Scotland instead of Tennessee.

Nashville Tennessee Trip

Miniature horses kept us company on the Natchez Trace. Doesn’t he look like he’s smiling? I think they liked the attention.

Nashville Tennessee Trip

Karen and Derek took us to downtown Franklin for lunch. One day I’m going back for some serious shopping.

Nashville Tennessee Trip

We ate lunch at Puckett’s. If you ever go, get the brisket. We all got the brisket. It was so good! Everyone who knows me knows that eating is my favorite part of traveling.

Nashville Tennessee Trip

We timed it so that we would be in Leiper’s Fork for sunset. I never even knew this place existed, but I already want to go back! It was a tiny spot full of galleries, restaurants, an outdoor theatre, and string lights everywhere! There were rocking chairs, fire pits, and incredible views. A true hidden gem. I was so engrossed that I completely forgot to take any iPhone photos (a very rare occurrence for me!).

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Ed spotted an old abandoned barn on the side of the road, and we had to go check it out. I’m so glad we did! The light was gorgeous at sunset, and you could see the rolling Tennessee hills behind it.

Nashville Tennessee Trip

Fountain grasses are my favorite. Also, this was the sunset mountain view from Karen and Derek’s front yard. Yeah, I could get used to that.

Nashville Tennessee Trip

For dinner, we headed back to Franklin for cocktails at Gray’s on Main. We found a spot at the bar upstairs, and settled in to unwind. There was live music (and more string lights!), and the mixologists kept us entertained for hours. They specialize in vintage spirits, and their handcrafted cocktails all had a gin, brandy, and/or cognac base. Ed and I were completely smitten! I highly recommend them if you enjoy a good cocktail. Oh, and the food was amazing too!

We decided to stick to a theme, and ate lunch the next day at the Pharmacy Burger and Beer Parlor in East Nashville before heading home. We had been there before, so we knew it was good, and the weather was perfect for outdoor dining. We ended up having a wedding conversation with the couple who sat next to us (we overheard them talking about their daughter’s upcoming wedding, and had to butt in!), and it couldn’t have been a more perfect way to end our trip! Lunch and conversation with random strangers who become friends are the best!

Nashville Tennessee Trip

From beginning to end, it was a perfect weekend trip, and just what I was craving!

And, because I couldn’t wait to dive into their photos (and because my favorite ones are the ones I took of them!), here’s a quick sneak peek at Karen and Derek’s photos. More to come soon!

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Here’s to weekend getaways. And handcrafted cocktails. And hanging out with awesome friends!


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  • Sarah
    Posted at 20:53h, 23 September

    I love the TN country views. But the best is the last one! How do you do those sunset views? Stunning!!

  • Karen + Derek: a Rural Nashville Tennessee Engagement, Part 1
    Posted at 07:00h, 25 September

    […] and I were more than happy to travel to Nashville to spend a whole day with Karen and Derek, documenting their everyday lives. They wanted more of an […]