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17 Feb, 2016

Wayne got a new job – have I told you guys that yet? He’s working locally now which is terrific for me because that means he is traveling less! What isn’t terrific is that we missed out on a really cool trip to South Africa with his old work team (whom I love) and my favorite travel buddy. But mostly I’m happy about the change. Without so much forced international travel (how douchey do i sound saying that international travel was forced?) we hope to do more close-by vacation weekends and this trip was the start of that!

Nashville holds a lot of really wonderful things in our eyes. Some of our favorite people live there – people who are totally like minded and want to live the same kind of lifestyle we want to live: community oriented, grow your own food centric, etc. It has great music, fun nightlife, terrific food, southern hospitality… I could go on. Nashville was actually one of the three places we seriously considered putting our roots down in.

What we have learned on very short trips like these is that whoever you spend the night with is who you have the most one on one time with. The sleepy late night convos are some of my most treasured interactions so on this trip we split our time between the homes of two different sets of friends.  Which was perfect because one night and morning I got 3 legged puppy snuggles and the next night and morning I got tons of child snuggles.

On our first day we had the most amazing brunch (the service was terrific), day drank at several local bars, got the boys some matching hair cuts, and stopped in at some really adorable local shops. Sara bought Jason a pig and I bought Sara and I matching hippie crystals.

pig purchase

pig stroll

They are such a cute little family. 🙂 In one shop there were these beautiful hand letter quote arts. We need much bigger artwork than this in our home but I really loved them. In that same shop we took a strange self portrait in their crazy mirrored wall.

shop art

self portrait


We migrated over to our friend Whit and Blaire’s house for the night and met their kiddos, who are super adorable and mostly well mannered. 🙂 I sat on Field (the son) for a while and held him up by his feet because I am nothing if not a hyperactivity-making machine. Once the babysitter came we went to this incredible Cuban dive where you bring in your own alcohol from the liquor store in the same strip mall. (yaaas) We tried to go to a really fancy dessert restaurant but they asked us to wait in their hallway (whaaa?) so instead we meandered over to Whole Foods, which was the best decision EVER. Seriously why have I not done this before? Everyone gets what they want – be it ice cream or the best sugar cookies ever, we each grabbed a beer from the individuals area, and we basically sat in their little lobby area laughing our asses off for an hour. Boo-ya fancy dessert restaurant. We don’t need you!

As I am writing this I am just thinking about what a magical, go with the flow weekend this was because as our “adults hit the town” night spot we headed to The Stone Fox and happened upon some strange, perfect, themed/hosted karaoke night. This was no ordinary karaoke night where most of the singers are awful and nervous. Each singer had a signature song and was often dressed appropriately for that song. One gentleman had an awe inspiring teddy bear sweatshirt on and one woman had the whole tights and unitard look perfected. It was glorious and hilarious. The next morning we went there for hangover brunch and it turns out the best people were staff members. Apparently they closed like a week later so maybe this was their staff’s last hoorah.

the cutest

child snuggles

This is where I got so many of my child snuggles in. I’m not one of those people who really likes children or really likes being around them all the time, but when I meet a kid we often hit it off pretty quickly. I’m that visitor that your kid wants to sit next to at dinner and wants to read to them. It might be because I’m an adult/kid and they can relate to me? It might also be that it takes a lot for a kid to annoy me because my interactions with children are like – once every six months. I can handle the screaming and the acting out and stuff once every six months. I will also totally welcome ALL the snuggles once every six months. Plus check out how that little peanut “smiles” for the camera. Ugh, I die.

A trip to Nashville isn’t a trip to Nashville without a visit to the honky tonks and I know that Sara and Jason love me because they came with. For a beer. 🙂 After that I was on my own and made some new friends!

new friends

::sigh:: I love Nashville. We are totally having my dirty thirty there if you want to come. It’s gonna be great.

<3 Jessa

Life, Travel


13 May, 2015

This part of my Germany pictures are not really as pretty as the first batches, although I’ll try to mix some of those in. Erin and I spent a good amount of time exploring part of what has made Nuremberg internationally famous in the past century – it’s connection to the Socialist Party in Germany, the allied forces bombing in 1945, and the Nuremberg trials. The effect on this city is, for lack of a better word, immense. When we went up into that gorgeous castle we saw pictures of what the city looked like post-1945 bombs and were able to compare that to the gorgeous rebuilt city. We went to Zeppelin Field (zeppelinfeld) and stood where Hitler and his comrades once stood to address Nazi soldiers during Nazi party rallies. We also visited the Dokumentationszentrum Reichsparteitagsgelande (I called it the Documentation Center) which has the Socialist Party history and taught me a whole heck of a lot.

What really stood out to me about these stories and the history were how easily I feel like this could be replicated. The economy in Germany was really really bad and here comes a leader promising prosperity, and delivering! The socialist party created a sense of national pride that made everyone excited to participate in party rallies and hesitant to believe “detractors”.  One video in the documentation center featured people recalling their memories from that time period – how many women had crushes on Hitler, how they never know what actually happened to Jewish people or anyone else who was taken. Every day people were so far removed from the horror of the Holocaust and it’s impacts and, in the wake of what has been happening in the United States, I can’t help but see some similarities and be afraid.

I’ve been thinking a lot about equality and justice and power lately so this particular part of a trip came at a very poignant time for me.


Zeppelin field is literally falling apart. So much for permanence, Hitler.


Erin’s walk up the stairs of the main grandstand.


I’m amazed at beautiful flowers and weeds that grow in the cracks of all of the concrete and stone us humans scatter around.

The documentation center was very well set up and contained a lot of information. This looked as if we were behind bars as a Nazi soldier and his dog stared threateningly.

The documentation center was very well set up and contained a lot of information. This looked as if we were behind bars as a Nazi soldier and his dog stared threateningly.


A comparison of the views from different years.

For randomness sake, let’s contrast that with some beautiful random things.



Open Air




Stained Glass


<3 Jessa