Thursday, November 5, 2015

A Few Days in Nashville

Greetings! It has been such a busy week around here. On Friday night, after my last blog entry, we went out to vote, eat dinner, and mail back the items from my Stitch Fix that I decided not to keep. Then, we had to pack. We set the alarm for 4:30AM on Saturday (painful) and caught a 6:30AM flight to Dallas. Our second flight to Nashville got us in a little after 10:00AM. We rented our car (a Prius, which was a little weird to drive since I'm not used to hybrids but also got AMAZING gas mileage) and drove to our hotel on the Vanderbilt campus. Though check in wasn't scheduled until 4:00PM, we got lucky and our room was ready. We relaxed and ate a light lunch. Then, Nancy, our friend from grad school, arrived, and we met for drinks in the hotel bar before a poetry reading at the conference. Afterwards, we ate a great dinner at The Row Kitchen. Their Quinoa burger was to die for, and I enjoyed the live music and seeing everyone else's Halloween costumes. I was a bit sad to miss our first Halloween in our new neighborhood, but next year we'll be dressing up to hand out treats.

After dinner, we took a much needed walk back to the hotel, and I made final touches on my conference paper. I presented at 8:00AM on Sunday (but got an extra hour due to the time change). I was worried that no one would attend the panel because of the time, but our Teaching Freshman Composition session had about twenty in attendance and went really well. I even volunteered to be the 2016 secretary and 2017 chair (Dallas and Tulsa, here I come!)

After my presentation, Brendan worked while I attended another session and then went to lunch with Nancy and Rita (our teacher/mentor from grad school). I brought Brendan back a smoothie, and he drank it while we drove to Andrew Jackson's mansion. I really wanted to see this, and I'm glad we made time for it. We were able to do the tour of both the mansion and the wagon tour of the property that talked more about the history of slavery there. I thought the museum did a decent job of realistically portraying Andrew Jackson. Jackson was both a slave owner and responsible for some additional atrocities towards the Native American population, and the museum did a good job of not glossing over these details to give a full picture of Jackson's life. The museum has preserved an important piece of American history, and I would recommend going if you are ever near Nashville.

Afterwards, we met up with a former student and honor society member for dinner. He is now at a University in TN, acing all his classes and having a blast. We are so proud of him! Back at the hotel, Brendan caught the end of the World Series game, which his parents and cousin were at. Unfortunately, the Mets lost and ended the series early :(

The next day, Brendan gave a poetry reading bright and early at 8:00AM. He had a decent sized audience. Afterwards, we went to The Pancake Pantry with Nancy (highly recommended--Brendan's dish, the Santa Fe Cornmeal cakes, was incredible, but all the pancakes were delicious). 

After, we shopped at Bookman/Bookwoman, and I bought a copy of the new Margaret Atwood novel The Heart Goes Last, and I am almost finished reading it (it's incredible, but you knew that). 

Then, Brendan and I set off for Long Hunter State Park, where we did a four mile nature walk. Brendan loves to get outside and explore, and there aren't a ton of options for this in Midland, so visiting a park was on our must do list. The fall colors really lifted my spirits. Thanksgiving is three weeks from today!  

Afterwards, we caught our friend Ross' panel. Then, we got drinks at The Patterson House with Rita, Nancy, and Rachel (Brendan's former French novel teacher). This place was amazing. I wish we could've stayed even longer. The drinks were so, so, so good. We had dinner reservations though at the Husk. The dinner there was the best I've had in a long while...I'm still dreaming about it. 

The next morning, we caught Nancy's 8:00AM presentation and then left for the airport. Our travel day was long (delayed flights, re-bookings, etc.), but we each got vouchers out of it (because Southwest Airlines is still the best), and we made it home by 10:00PM, just in time to sleep and then teach at 8:00AM yesterday!

Today, I will be catching up on laundry, going grocery shopping, attending a meeting, and making progress on grading. I also have my first barre class in a week (though I warmed up with some gentle yoga last night). Wish me luck. Needless to say, we can't wait for the weekend! 

We hope your Thursday is lovely. 


  1. I'm so bummed I missed it this year! If you think about it, let me know when CFPs are posted.
    Also, I haven't got The Heart Goes Last year, but I can't wait to read it!!

  2. I will let you know. Next year, it is in Dallas. The Heart Goes Last is pretty great. Not my favorite ever Atwood, but it is definitely a good read.


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