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Photo credit Samantha Eve Yoga. Copyright 2019.
“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.” Joseph Campbell
As a child, when I pictured a castle, I envisioned lots of gold brocade, velvet ropes hanging from overabundance of draperies rich colors and tapestries, furniture too fragile to sit on because it's so imbued with history. It’s clean, shiny, inviting, yet majestic. The castle I imagined has servants, and well lit corridors, and large spacious armoires with mirrors to twirl around in front of while wearing my fancy dresses…
That is not my castle…
A friend messaged me on Facebook saying the she and her GF were thinking of going vegan. Since they knew me and my SigO don't swing the same way when it comes to food (him being a confirmed yet adorable carnivore while I'm busy getting my vegan "totes adorbs" on), she thought I might have some compassionate tips to help them enter the vegan world slowly, mindfully, and enjoyably. So my lovely friend from one of my Kripalu adventures, this post is for you!
Months later I'm finally settled enough to take some time to write about the rest of my birthday trip to Nashville. Who knew that moving would be so time-consuming?
Missed my previous post about Nashville? Click here to catch up!
When I last left you in my August journey across our fabulous nation, I had finished a delicious vegan lunch and was off to enjoy the rest of my birthday in Nashville. Loving historical homes, I headed over to Belmont Mansion.
The simple plaque outside gives second billing to the true owner of this home:: Adelicia Acklen (1817-1887). Stepping inside, I was treated to an almost private two-hour tour with an enthusiastic docent, Shannon.
According to my guide, Adelicia was the mistress of this beautiful home for thirty years. Over the course of those years, she married three men and became a woman of considerable property. Despite living in the patriarchial Victorian age, she managed her own wealth and assets quite successfully. (Girl power!) When the Civil War broke out, even though she was a staunch Confederate, she gained assistance from Union officials and came out of the war as one of the richest women in the United States. Certainly I don't want to give away too many details as I want you to stop in and visit. Suffice to say, Adelicia would be quite the role model to woman today! (She's a perfect candidate for #WomenWednesday on Twitter!)
The home itself was lovely, so if you are an old house aficionado, definitely give yourself time take a peek. The tour cost $10.50 with a AAA discount (no birthday discount darn it), and pictures of the interior are not allowed. The exterior, however, was fair game!
Note: I had a bit of trouble finding the property. Don't rely on Siri, she gets a bit confused and cranky trying to find the home.
The home is continually being renovated. I chatted with Phil who was working on the preservation of the ceiling in one of the front rooms of the home. His enthusiasm was contagious and I found myself wishing I had a few spare days in my trip to lend a hand to the restoration process. Alas, I had a schedule to keep, so off I went to the next part of my birthday adventure!
I was stoked to discover this next gem as my undergraduate major was "Classics - Ancient Greece and Rome." Nestled in the midst of a gorgeously green park was a full scale replica of The Parthenon!
Approaching from this side of this tranquil oasis amid the hustle and bustle of the city allowed me to truly capture the grandeur of the building. I wasn't the only one taking pictures though. I managed to photobomb Wendy and her two friends who were visiting for the day. It turns out that Wendy was in the midst of moving to LA and graduating from her college program. So ladies, if you read this site, be certain to send me a copy of the picture! (And good luck to you Wendy! You will love California!)
The building becomes even more impressive the closer you get to it.
Trust me peeps, I was totally geeked out....and then I went inside...
The downstairs section was fairly benign with various works of art, and interesting videos on the making of the structure (real and replica). However venture upstairs and the magic begins...
All Hail Athena, in all her terrible glory!
For my fellow word nerds: I am using the word "terrible" in its more archaic definition meaning "causing awe." Just trying to help set the mood!
In case, you don't quite get the true scope of her mighty greatness, check out teeny tiny me hanging with Athena below:
Yep, that insignificant mortal is me!
Just like back in the day, spending time with this goddess isn't free. However for a small sacrifice ($6.00 - no goats were harmed in the making of this offering - but again no birthday discount...what is it with Nashville?) us mere mortals can chill with the woman of wisdom for as long as we like! Or at least until the museum closes for the day....
Unfortunately for me, I arrived near closing time so I didn't get to have the full conversation I would have liked to have had with this patron of Athens....Like was Apollo really all that back in the day? And if nectar and ambrosia were the daily food of the gods, what on earth did you immortals do for birthday meals? (No pun intended)
It was probably good though that the museum made me leave, as my buddy was waiting to treat me to a delicious birthday dinner. So off to downtown Nashville!
Off course, before dinner, I had to hit a few shops. If you get to hang out in Nashville, I highly recommend walking the main drag and trying on a few cowboy hats.
What do you think? Is it me, or what?
Then off my buddy and I went to a hip up and coming area known as "The Gulch" for dinner.
There are a bunch of restaurants in the Gulch area. We stopped at this little gem called Sambuca... Now if you are planning on a night on the town, this is the place to be! My one fault with the restaurant was that it was a bit dark inside. So unfortunately, there is not a picture of my meal (Grilled Portobello with quinoa, asparagus & roasted red pepper coulis).
This place was also a hot spot for birthdays and other celebrations. Shoutout to my fellow birthday compadres - Zorro (yes his real name) and Sharon - and also to Gwen and her hubby who were celebrating their anniversary. Being a vegan, the waiter brought me a fresh fruit dessert for my birthday, with chocolate icing on the plate wishing me a "Happy Birthday"....FABULOUS!
Being the gregarious person that I am, I struck up a conversation with Sharon's birthday crew (sitting next to us) who were familiar with the band on stage that evening: the Stacy Mitchhart Band. Sharon, if you see this, next year you are totally invited to my birthday celebration. (She and her friends were fun to talk to! They had great chemistry interacting with the band too, and convinced them to play a rather risqué song in honor of my birthday...oh my!)
I did my best peeps, despite the dark atmosphere, to capture a pic or two...The cool cat in the middle is Stacy, and man can he rock! Unfortunately, his website didn't have a link to my favorite song of the night. However I found an (unauthorized?) YouTube video of another performance Stacy did of the ultra naughty tune called The Monkey Song! Trust me on this people...he is hilarious! (Kids, this song is not for your ears....)
After all this birthday excitement, the time had come to grab a few Zzzzzs in preparation for the next part of my cross country journey....Texas !
Thanks Nashville for a great birthday this year!
So my With Smiles peeps, have any suggestions for the next time I stop by Nashville? Feel free to share them with me! I'm always listening...with smiles....
I feel fortunate that I am able to extend my cross country journey long enough to visit some of America’s great cities. Since I hadn’t spent much time in the South in recent years, Nashville seemed a perfect place to take a rest break. Even more exciting was the fact that I was able to spend MY BIRTHDAY in the country music capital. Thanks to a friend’s hospitality, I had a place to crash not far from everything I wanted to see.
However, I was able to squeeze in so much stuff into 24 hours, that this post is divided into two parts! Part 1 begins August 17th...the night before more my birthday and continues through lunch on August 18th...
Samantha Eve, a