Category: Travel

24 Hours in Nashville (as Told Through Food Pics)

March 25
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This past spring break was my LAST one ever, so you would have expected my friends and I to go somewhere more tropical than Nashville. But hear us out: after graduating, law students go on expensive, international bar trips in the summer, so for now we wanted a cool locale that wouldn’t break the bank.

Nashville was appealing for its food and music scene, which is why most of this post is a rundown of everything I ate.

Hattie B's spicy fried chicken in Nashville

The first place that everyone told us to visit was Hattie B’s for fried chicken. It turns out that everyone in Nashville had the same idea, because we had to go to a second Hattie B’s location since the line at the first one was already 50 people deep.

My favorite fried chicken place up until that point was Cane’s, but Hattie B does a totally different kind of fried chicken: it’s juicier and you get to choose the spice level from 1-5, basically. The combo also comes with two sides and a drink (which is sorely needed, because that chicken is HOT).

24 Hours in Nashville - What to Eat

I chose a medium spice level but one of our friends was dared to get the level 5. He took one bite of the chicken and immediately got up to refill his coke–which he then drank and refilled again!

After laughing at his plight, we all tried a teeny bit of the chicken. I had to stop eating after that because the spice level is insane. It sneaks up on you until your mouth is in fiery agony. I almost couldn’t taste anything afterwards.

Dock at the lakehouse

After feasting, we actually took a detour to a friend’s lakehouse where we chilled out by the water (literally, since it was still 55 degrees). The best part was that the lake house was fairly isolated so we could drink and enjoy the outdoor fireplace without worrying about noise levels.

F21 tassel and pom pom sandals

I also got to change from boots into sandals and bare my feet for the first time since last summer. These fringe sandals are $25 and would be great for any tropical trips later this year.

Two friends had brought dogs to visit us at the lakehouse: one was a tiny dog and the other was the biggest husky pup you have ever seen. The funny thing was, the tinier dog was totally dominant: the husky got barked at and chased around every time he stepped over a certain boundary.

The tiny dog turned out to be the biggest nuisance however. He was nowhere to be found when we were ready to leave. We feared he had drowned or run away and we fanned out to search–only to find him 30 minutes later, chilling in the kitchen, acting like he hadn’t heard us calling his name 100 times.

B & C Melrose BBQ in Nashville - Best Nashville BBQ

That night, we ate at one of the best BBQ joints I’ve visited (B&C Melrose BBQ). It sits in an unassuming Kroger parking lot, but the meat is so juicy and the prices are very low considering the food and beer you get for your money.

Layla's piano bar in Nashville

The rich BBQ was a great base for the bars we visited later that night on Broadway, Nashville’s touristy strip. I got a taste of the honky tonk music scene at Layla’s Piano Bar. One friend fell in love with the violin player playing there and stayed out until 4AM trying to court her…

Broadway is filled with restaurants and bars and most of them have live music so you really can’t choose wrong in terms of where to go. It’s definitely different than going to a regular club or bar. The music really wasn’t my jam so I left around 2, although bars stay open until 3-4.

Gluten free french toast

In search of a hangover cure the next morning, we tried brunch at the famous Pancake Pantry but it was too packed. I have heard great things about the Pantry, but I’ll have to wait until next time to try it.

We ended up at Fido, which was a disappointing end to my food journey. The gluten-free french toast above was dry and brittle. My friend’s sandwich was also overcooked and hard to eat.

The one silver lining is that Fido has very creative coffee drinks. I got a peach tea/espresso mix that was superb; the sweet peach cancels out the espresso’s harsh taste completely.

After the gluttonous stop in Nashville, I was ready to eat salads for the rest of the week. I’m still sad that I can’t get Hattie B’s shipped to me, however. That fried chicken has a lasting place on my tongue—and in my heart <3

 

White Lace Up Swimsuit

March 6
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White Lace Up front and side swimsuitWhite lace up side swimsuit on the Carnival Freedom cruiseLace up swimsuit in white lace and tassel braceletsWhite lace up front and sides Lurelly swimsuit

It’s one more week until spring break for me! While I know that I have a ton of assignments and essays due right after spring break, the prospect of temporarily running away from it all (literally) is still quite attractive.

Swimsuit: Lurelly ($$$), cheaper alternatives below // Sunglasses: here are the exact ones from F21 // Colored Contacts: Air Optix in “Brilliant Blue” // Bracelets: Charlotte Russe ($3) // Earrings: F21, similar here from F21

I hope you’re off to somewhere warm for spring break! I’m vacationing with my law school section friends. First stop is Nashville, before we disappear off the grid for a few days at a friend’s lake house.

I’d been hoping to replace my ratty old suitcase before this trip and finally bit the bullet on purchasing this vintage cream and tan set. I’ll have a full review when it arrives in a few days. I’ve honestly never seen a more Instagrammable suitcase set. I’d be lying if I said that the suitcase design didn’t factor into my decision to get it for Spring break.

Hope you have safe travels!

White eyelet off the shoulder dress on the Carnival Freedom cruise

Flamingo One Piece – Lunch on Caye Caulker

January 20
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Flamingo one piece swimsuit on Caye CaulkerFlamingo one piece swimsuit and pom pom beach towel

A short post today! With how much I love food, I’m surprised I haven’t already posted about lunch on the little island of Caye Caulker.

Swimsuit: K-mart (old), love this flamingo suit from Sperry here or this Kate Spade flamingo print ($34 for bottoms) // Towel: Primark, similar mandala print here

Lunch on Caye Caulker

After frolicking with sharks and rays (see last post!), our tour group made a pitstop in a little restaurant. The tour guides already had us order ahead, and we were pleasantly surprised by how American-ized the food was. My kebab could have come from any food stand in NYC. We also had some time to walk around and admire the colorful buildings on the island, and I took way too many pictures because everything was so colorful and bright.

Caye Caulker buildings

I didn’t end up getting a souvenir, but if I had my choice, I would’ve gone with these sassy bags:

You betta belize it souvenir bags

The weird thing about Belize was that you had to take a ferry from the cruise ship to the pier because the cruise ship couldn’t dock in the coral reefs near the shoreline. This meant that it ultimately took us 1.5 hours to ferry back from the cutest island of Caye Caulker to our ship. I ended up sleeping most of the way, thanks to the filling meal and the lull of the waves. I already miss the bright blue waters and huts on Caye Caulker though; I plan to return one day!

Sharks and Rays in Caye Caulker

January 17
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White bell sleeve off the shoulder dress in Caye CaulkerWhite tiered bell sleeve off the shoulder dressWhite off the shoulder dress and straw hat in Belize bayPom pom straw beach bag and blue Jack Rogers wedge sandals

I’m the kind of girl who hates roller coasters but loves to pet sharks.

Dress: Shein (last summer), love this year’s version here // Shoes: Jack Rogers // Bag: Primark, similar here // Hat: Primark, exact copy from Target here // Sunglasses: Forever 21 ($7.90) // Choker: Forever 21, Boohoo has it for $5

I found out how much I love sharks and rays on the Belize leg of our vacation, which had to be one of my favorite experiences ever. Once we docked in Belize, we took a boat to Caye Caulker, a little island that had been split into two by a hurricane (!!). Once there, we were led to a snorkeling area where my sister and dad finally got to see some coral (if you read my last post, they both hated snorkeling initially because they kept getting salt water in their snorkels).

Then we boarded a small guide boat and moved into shallower waters where the captain began throwing small fishes overboard. Within seconds, a swarm of curious nurse sharks came close to the boat, followed by giant rays that were easily 4 feet across. We got to swim in the midst of these cute creature and I was shocked at how they were unafraid of humans. I didn’t bring an underwater camera but I wouldn’t have used it even if I had one. I was too overwhelmed because I was surrounded on all sides by sharks (they actually have huge heads and look really adorable, like a stuffed plushie come to life) and rays the size of a blanket were swimming under my feet. I felt like I was in a moving tapestry of sea life and I could only gawk in awe.

Sharks and Rays Carnival Cruises

The guide brought a shark and ray up to the surface so we could pet them as well. The sharks felt like sandpaper and the eels were slimy and soft! An errant eel also came up to the group while I was standing right next to the guide (who was feeding all these creatures) and the eel swam straight through my legs on his way to get his share of the food!

I can’t recommend this experience more; it was the highlight of my cruise and worth the 2-hour boat ride back and forth to Caye Caulker. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m about to order a life-sized nurse shark plushie from Amazon.

Blue and White Maxi on Deck

January 13
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White blue print maxi dress coverupWhite blue print button up maxi dress

One thing my sister and I didn’t consider while preparing for the cruise was the time we would spend on the boat. My sister and I both under-packed and we were left with long stretches of time where we had to nothing to do (which doesn’t sound that bad on a cruise ship full of food and whirlpools, but we could have maximized our relaxation, you know? :P)

I had an excuse for how sparingly I packed for the cruise, because I went straight from final exam > airplane > home > cruise port. Books wouldn’t have fit in my carryon. And there was no use for electronics when the cruise ship charged $5 per day for access to social media sites and SIXTEEN DOLLARS per day for full Internet access. At these exorbitant prices, my sister and I set out to amuse ourselves by taking pictures and watching movies on the giant screen overlooking the giant pool.

White and blue bird print maxi dressWhite and blue print tassel button up maxi dress

Dress: Sammydress, I found two similar options here: 1) this blue and white swim coverup has longer sleeves 2) this dressier option has a similar print and a sash! // Shoes: Jack Rogers (similar here in metallic) //Bracelets: F21 // Statement necklace: F21 (old), love this similar one from F21

One of the few dresses I did bring on the cruise was this lovely Sammydress blue and white maxi with little buttons all the way up the front. A long time ago, Sammydress had asked to sponsor my blog. To determine the quality of their products, I secretly ordered a few items from their site before agreeing to the sponsorship. This dress was one of the ones I ordered and the quality was decent, but I still turned down the sponsorship because I found out that it was a direct copy of a Spell dress. I should know better than to buy infringing copycat items since I am a lawyer-in-training, so sadly, this dress will be one of the only Sammydress items I will ever own. Still, the print photographs beautifully, just this once!