Our American #vanlife road trip continues with our new home in Nashville, Tennessee. From our camping spot at The Bolo Club in Sherwood, Tennessee, we drove the 117 miles (188 km) in a little over two hours to our next house sit in Nashville. The drive was easy and involved a continuation of the lush greenery that we have now come to expect from the American South. As we pulled up to our new house, we felt immediately at home in the hipster neighbor that would become another one of the places we live.
Nashville, located near the center of the state, is the capital of Tennessee and is known as Music City. Its musical history fame reaches as far back as the 1700s when Davy Crockett, famous American frontiersman and eventual congressman, was well known for his stories and fiddle playing (source). Thanks to the city’s reputation for fostering musical stardom, Nashville has been home to many celebrities over the years. The list of musicians who have lived in Nashville at one point or another is quite long, and to this day up-and-coming acts are being discovered in Nashville. Some of its more recent stars include Miley Cyrus (native Nashvillian), Ke$ha, and Taylor Swift.
We are living in Lockland Springs, a historic neighborhood in East Nashville. On the north side of the Cumberland River, we are only three miles away from downtown Nashville. It appears to be a trendy neighborhood of local people. Consequently, I don’t think we will find many tourists here (which is fine with us!). Instead, it’s just people going about their daily lives, going back and forth from their blue collar jobs. It seems like this neighborhood is going to be the perfect place to experience REAL Nashville.
Our home is on a busy residential street, but only a block away from several shops, restaurants, and bars. It is a single family, craftsman style home with a front and back yard. There are large front and back porches, three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a living room, sitting room, kitchen, dining room, and mud room. Similar homes in the neighborhood are selling for about $500,000 USD.
The house is furnished very comfortably with large pieces for lounging. The decorations show an appreciation for history, art, and family. Italian artwork adorned the walls and books filled the shelves. Josh certainly had fun perusing this collection. My favorite room was the backyard patio. It is screened in against the bugs and has all the comforts of an indoor space, including fan, fireplace, and TV. I really enjoyed sitting out there with my coffee while watching the family of cardinals that live in the tree just beyond the screen.
The owners of our temporary home in Nashville are accomplished concert musicians and travel writers, specializing in small-town adventures in Italy and Ireland. We had the opportunity to chat with them a bit before they left on a work trip to Ireland. It was really neat to meet another travel writer in person. I have been reading their books and getting excited by what my budding career could eventually be. Before they left, they told us some excellent travel stories, gave us suggestions for exploring Nashville, and introduced us to their “fur herd” of four adorable cats.
Mr Weasley (Weasel) is the oldest of the bunch. He has suffered from several illnesses, allergies, and discomforts. Thankfully, he takes all of the vet visits like a pro by allowing just about anyone to pet him, pick him up, flip him over, and just generally do all of the things cats hate.
Coconut is the least sociable of the bunch. Like our cat, Bubbles, he seemed to have a no touching policy unless it fit his schedule. Despite his cattiness (ha!), I really enjoyed Coconut and watching our relationship grow. He even jumped on Josh’s lap the other day! It didn’t last long, of course, but it felt really nice to know that he didn’t actually hate us.
Socksie might be the most adorable cat I have ever met. She is small, fluffy, and cute as a button. She sleeps on the bed with us at night and paws at our hands if we stop petting her too soon. I particularly love her little kitty snores which aren’t loud enough to be annoying, but just loud enough to set me into a brief giggle fit.
Hoover is the baby of the group and lets it be known. Despite being the sweetest little thing, he has also been the one to most likely act out. If there is a cat on the table, we can assume it is Hoover. If someone is making a ruckus in the hallway, it is probably Hoover. While Socksie sleeps at our head each night, Hoover sleeps at our feet and wakes me up each morning with a wet nose to the face. He’s just too cute.
The routine has been about the same in Nashville: writing, afternoon adventures, a home-cooked dinner, then TV time. It has been nice having the chance to catch up on some of our HBO shows and are looking forward to trying some of Nashville’s famous Hot Chicken. We won’t be here for very long, so we hope to suck up all of the internet and hot showers that we can. There is only one more stop before we’re looking at nearly a month of #vanlife.
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