Friday, July 26, 2013

Anniversary 2.0

We celebrated two stellar years of marriage last week on the July 16th. Happy anniversary, handsome boy!

To celebrate in style, we decided to take a mini trip to Nashville (only 3 hours away) to relax and be goofballs together. After a bit of research, we booked a night at a bed & breakfast about 1 hour east of Nashville called the Inn at Evins Mill. We figured one nice, relaxing evening outside of Nashville would be awfully nice. We also booked a night at the Music City Sheraton in Nashville to enjoy some Nashville food and music for the evening. It ended up being a quick trip, but a lovely getaway from the usual.

We weren't exactly sure what to expect from the Inn at Evins Mill, but to say it was amazing is an understatement. Before arriving, we stopped at our favorite hot dog spot in Nashville, Cori's Dog House, for lunch (cuz, duh, who doesn't love a crazily topped hot dog?), then headed one more hour outside of the city to our little oasis in the woods.

The Inn at Evins Mill

When we pulled up and got out of the car, we felt an instant sense of peace. It was so scenic and beautiful there, as well as quiet and delightfully slow paced. The bed and breakfast was really more of a resort in the woods. There was running water nearby, so that was our lovely soundtrack for our stay, and all of the cabins and main buildings were so well kept and made of the most delicious smelling wood (can you describe wood as "delicious"?). We were shown to our room and then quickly decided to go for a hike on the easier of their two trails. Yes, they have their own trails!! And not like intense, only meant for the fittest of folks trails. They're fun, not-too-time-consuming, and adventurous trails. And it was just so darn peaceful!

See the waterfall in the background? More on that later...

Fording the river.

I loved these little steps carved out along the path. 

So much happy, and only day one!

When we returned from our hike, we changed into some snazzier clothes and decided to explore Evins Mill, the mill the resort is named for. Though I'm pretty sure it's not up and running anymore, back in the 1800s it was a fully functioning mill. Pretty neat. At some point, the inside of the mill was converted to a recreation space and a conference area. While we waited for dinner hour to arrive, John and I decided to play some ping pong in the rec area. 

The walk over to the mill. You can see it hiding in the trees in the background.

On the bridge, headed over to the mill.

Evins Mill!

Lots of friendly ping-pong competition between the two of us during our stay. Note the awesome feel of the room - we
loved all the wood surrounding us and the twinkly lights everywhere. This is the renovated inside of the old mill.

After I won several (not bragging, of course) games of ping-pong, it was about time for our 4-course meal, cooked on site. We headed back to the main lodge and were served the most delightful meal, along with the 10 or so other guests of the resort that evening. Ginger carrot soup, grapefruit salad with a poppy seed dressing, delicious beef tips with cheesy potatoes, and a lemon tart dessert with raspberries picked from the resort grounds and happy little candles to celebrate our anniversary... mmm mmm mmmmm! It couldn't have been any better.

Dessert! Have you ever seen such perfect raspberries?

Happy Anniversary!

With happy tummies, we returned to our room and exchanged anniversary gifts.

He loves them!

The next morning, we enjoyed the most wonderful buffet breakfast, then went for a hike on the slightly more challenging trail. Though there were some steep climbs and lots of icky spiders webs, we pushed on through for what we knew was going to be an amazing site - the Carmac Falls!

The hike.

The spider stick! He led the way and cleared out all spider webs for me. So kind of him. 

Steep climb. 

We made it!

I give you: Carmac Falls! 

Camera timers and rocks used as stands were the only way we both made it into a picture with the falls.

Yeah marriage!

See ya later, falls <3

We chilled by the falls for a while, then decided to head back to the room and pack up.

The porch outside our room.

Oops, should have straightened out the bed a bit more.

Pretty bathroom

We headed up to the main lodge to check out and they had a picnic lunch packed for us! We ate the picnic lunch on one of their many scenic porches, played another quick round of ping pong at the mill, then headed out for our next adventure... Nashville!

First stop, picking out some new glasses for John at Imogene + Willie, a super hip clothing shop in south-ish Nashville (I think?). He picked out a sweet pair of Warby Parker glasses that make him look "professorial," as he says.

What do you think?

Next, Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams! John got an ice cream maker for his birthday last year and we've made a few splendid ice creams from Jeni's ice cream recipe book. She's just so good at thinking of odd but amazing flavor combinations. We thought we'd never actually be able to try her ice cream in one of her ice cream shops, but when we discovered there was one in Nashville, we just had to go!

So splendid.

Cherry lambic sorbet, whisky and pecans ice cream, salty caramel,
a crumbly, salty topping called "gravel," hand whipped cream, with
a cherry on top - drooling!

With happy tummies, we checked into the Music City Sheraton hotel, took a much needed stuffed-belly nap, then got ourselves all snazzified and ready for a night out on the town. Well, actually, we only lasted a few hours out. Are we getting old or something? We had dinner at a great spot for an anniversary meal, Etch, and listened to some bluegrass music on Broadway at Layla's.

Love me some mandolin!

The next day, our actually anniversary, we spent a few more hours in Nashville doing a bunch of different fun activities around town, to include: hanging by the hotel pool, eating lunch at The Silly Goose, buying prints for our walls at the Hatch Show Print Shop (they still print their posters using an old fashioned printing press!), and exploring the Cheekwood Botanical Gardens & Mansion. Here are a bunch more photos of those adventures:

What to expect at the Silly Goose: menus on clipboards and bandana napkins

What to expect at the Silly Goose: AMAZING food, including this couscous dish

A print we picked out from Hatch Show

Another print we picked out at Hatch Show

At the Botanical Gardens! Notice the mansion and little orby lights in the background.
We weren't able to stay to see them lit, but the gardens were featuring several art/light
installations by artist Bruce Munro. The little orbs apparently lit up at night. The gardens
were covered with them, so I imagine it would have been an amazing sight!


Another installation by Bruce Munro. This one was in the Cheekwood Mansion.

We took a hike on the sculpture path.

Glass bridge.

We said farewell to Nashville and started our 3 hour trek home to Memphis. On the way, we decided we were still so full from all the amazing meals we had on our trip, we opted to stop by the fancy grocery story, Fresh Market, and just pick up some little side items to snack on by the pool for our anniversary dinner. It was perfect. They were even playing romantic jazz music at the pool that evening, which is totally not typical. (Usually it's Miley Cyrus or Maroon Five blaring from their pool speakers.) Must've been one of them little blessings from our friend upstairs.

Relaxed anniversary dinner, complete with candle, Sriracha, and handsome husband.

Basically, I couldn't have asked for a better trip. Also, I couldn't have asked for a better husband. Thanks for a great little trip, darlin'. And thanks for helping to show me that sometimes the in-betweens really aren't half bad :)


  1. What a fun trip!! Love the pictures =) Everything looks perfect - the food, the hike, the company =)

    The inside of that mill is so neat! What a good idea to keep it preserved but useful.

    If you'd like a recommendation of a great waterfall spot for a future trip...we went to the Finger Lakes in New York for our 1 year anniversary last year. That place is filled with waterfalls! And our innkeeper told us that waterfalls are so relaxing because of all the negative ions produced by the water there you go =)

    Happy anniversary again!

    1. Thanks for the recommendation. And I always wondered why I was so attracted to large masses of falling water. Makes more sense now :)

  2. Sounds like a wonderful anniversary trip! You have the best anniversary day, it's also my bday ;)

    1. I remember reading that! AND I remember you saying that it's the feast day for Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Perhaps we should pray to her more often :) Happy belated bday!

  3. What a fun weekend! :) That bed and breakfast looks so nice!

    1. :) It was lovely! If you ever find yourself in Nashville, you must go!


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