Saturday, May 23, 2015

West Coast Lovin'

The season of crazy summer travel is about to begin its reign.

Today, I fly out to San Francisco.  It's not my first time there, but the last time I was in the city I don't think I could couple together nouns and verbs, so needless to say I don't remember much.

This time around I'm flying solo, tacking the trip onto the beginning of a West Coast work trip.  Yesterday morning I got a little stressed when I realized that my Air BnB host had never written me back. Of course, he had my money, but he never told me how to get the key or get to his place. I had a mini panic thinking that I was going to show up in San Fran and not know where the hell I was going. I may have cried three times before nine in the morning. It was on of those days.

Then, I pulled it together, sent some minorly passive-aggressive messages to my new west-coast bff and decided I would live either way.  Update: He got back to me and assured me there are lots of towels and coffee at his place, so what's not to love?

My awesome friend from college, Jess, literally sent me a play-by-play itinerary, which I printed out and plan to follow like a good little tourist. So if you see me, I'll be the one with my big-honkin' camera, sporty walking shoes and nerdy backpack, just like an American on the Seine.

And I'm pumped about it.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Small Kindnesses

It's truly amazing how powerful small actions can be.

The small kindness of someone looking at you and saying, I understand, I've felt that way too. 

Or a friend leaving a card on your doorstep. Or your partner cooking dinner when they know you've had a long day.

These little olive branches, extensions of vulnerability, stretched between two people bolster our humanness.

A dear friend of mine constantly reminds me that exposing the tender, dark places in our selves is essential. This is how connections are made, how we realize new parts of ourselves. And how we learn our strengths, and how to give support and insight to others. 

Another side of this coin is showing yourself kindness. In yoga, this is called ahimsa, non violence. When I first learned this idea, it was eye opening. I'd never considered all the ways in which we are violent towards ourselves. For instance, I catch myself falling into that mental cycle of beating myself up for not doing something perfectly.

Since the meditation class I took this winter, I've been taking more time in the morning to read and meditate, do a bit of yoga on my mat. These moments have been very precious to me and have become my favorite part of each day. 

Taking this time to connect and feel centered has been a gift to myself.

A small action of kindness I can give myself, daily. So simple, but so powerful.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Nashville, Ya'll

Last weekend we took off Friday from work at skeddalded over to Nashville for a Thursday night show with some friends from Asheville. Sleater Kinney has been a long time favorite of Heather's and she actually went to their farewell tour many moons ago. The band has recently gotten lots of coverage as they reunited and put out a new album. Anyway, they weren't a favorite of mine, but I love live music, so I joined the ride. The show was pretty spectacular and really made me like them! I seriously wish I could watch their drummer all damn day. Her energy was so intoxicating.  Drummers are, hands down, my favorite musicians to watch live.

The show was the impetus for the journey westward, but with a 5-hour drive we decided to stay a bit longer and make a weekend out of it.  We stayed at a really cute little hostel in a really cute little room.  I literally had to sit sideways on the toilet and had to climb to the top of a very sturdy bunk bed every night for a super comfy and restful sleep.  Am I being too sarcastic? Are we picking up on this?

I will spare you the hotdog leg photo I took to prove that being 5'7 is just too tall for that bathroom.  But, that's what we get for waiting until the last minute to book a place to stay. Spa vacation, this was not.  Spa vacation, I am not opposed to, but this ain't it.

Friday morning we made our way downtown to wander, but I had one place in mind that I really wanted to see.  Hatch Show Print!  I am a sucker for stationary and paper goods, so checking out this 150-year-old letterpress shop was high on my list.  For 75 of those years, Hatch was located directly behind the Ryman Auditorium, which was the original location of the Grand Old Opry, so they had a direct link to some of the most famous country musicians as well as jazz musicians like Louis Armstrong.

From there we wandered across the pedestrian bridge, all up Broadway and witnessed some very surprised ladies who could not believe there were "drunk ladies on the street before lunchtime!"  The streets were littered with girls in matching pink t-shirts and bridal've been warned

After soaking up as much touristy shtuff as we could bear, we asked a local where she would go hang out.  And so we made it to Pinewood Social.

This place was pretty amazing.  In the center was a huge bar and the rest of the space was filled with booths, tables with plugs for laptoping (I hate that word) and little living room-esque set ups.  Oh, and there was a bowling alley, a pool outside, ping pong and bocce ball.  Very interesting and it was cool to see people partying and intently working, side-by-side.

Friday evening we had a late dinner at this delicious Indian Restaurant...and then promptly passed the hell out.  Saturday, our friends had to go home and Heather and I wandered the Hillsboro district and hit up the Frist Center for the Visual Arts.  The most impressive part of the Frist was the building itself.  Their current exhibits honestly weren't too exciting, but building was amazing.  It's the original downtown Post Office built in the Art Deco style and then later turned into a museum.

Saturday eve we rolled our tired bodies down I-40 East and made our way home.  All in all, 'twas a fun weekend!