A Girls Weekend in Nashville

If you missed the first part of our trip see it here.

Saturday morning we woke up and headed to take a tour of the Grand Ole Opry. The home of the Opry is now about a 15 minute drive out of town, but the experience was well worth the drive. We loved our tour guide. Getting the behind the scenes tour was so cool. Being able to see where the artist come in their special artist entrance to perform, and check out the green room, and all the dressing rooms, as well as going out on stage was a really cool experience. I would love to come back and see the Grand Ole Opry show here sometime. After our tour we went into the Opryland Hotel to look around. It is so pretty inside.

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P.S. Did you know that there was a post office at the Opry and each member has their own box where you can send them mail?
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Opryland Hotel

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Next we headed back to town to Musicians Corner at Centennial Park. It was a really nice day so we just spent the day relaxing in the park and listening to the music. There were food trucks and ice cream trucks at the concert. We had banh mi that was delicious. The music was awesome and it was just a perfect afternoon in the park.

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So many selfies!

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From the park we went to check out some local breweries. We went to Jackalope Brewing Company and Yazoo Brewing Company. Both were really fun atmospheres for a laid back Saturday afternoon.

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Dinner was at City Winery. We had made reservations, but the place was empty. The food was good and the restaurant was very nice, but I think I would rather go here when they have an event. They host concerts and different events that look fun, but it was kind of dead the night we went. There also wasn’t much near it and the area where it is didn’t seem like the best area to be walking around… so we headed back to The Listening Room because we had loved it so much the night before.

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Once the show finished up we headed for lower Broadway. We decided what’s a girls trip to Nashville without checking out all the Honky Tonks. There was great music, and we wandered in an out of different places dancing and singing for awhile before we got tired and headed back to our hotel.

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Because you haven’t seen enough selfies!

We woke up the next morning and went to check out the County Music Hall of Fame. Y’all you could spend HOURS in this place. It is so full of memorabilia and things to read and learn about that in order to see it all would take quite a bit of time. We hit the highlights, stopping to check out the exhibits from some of our favorite artists, but no way we could see it all. The one thing we kept noticing is how tiny all the stars look. Their clothes are on display on mannequins, and I think I’m too big to be famous (and I’m not very big at all). They’re so TINY, even the men!

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Tay’s Guitar
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I love this song! So neat to see it being written.

We loved our weekend in Nashville! I can’t wait to go back. Next time I hope to get to see the Grand Ole Opry and to see a show at the Ryman. Or maybe both at once, since during the winter months the Opry moves back home to its roots at the Ryman.

 

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Friday Favorites -Summer Reading List

I am loving my Audible subscription. I have “read” so many more books since joining. I spend a lot of time in my car commuting and we’ve been on several weekend getaways and Audible has been just perfect for the car rides. My boyfriend and I have enjoyed listening to some books together on road trips. This is coming from someone who would never listen to books on tape when they were popular because I thought they sounded too boring, but I’m hooked.

So what have I been listening too? Remember I am in MBA school, so some of these books were for school and some were for fun.

img_3419I’m Not Lonely if You’re Reading This Book

I’ve been listening to the Bobby Bones Show in the mornings on my drive to work for a few years now. I really enjoy the show and at this point I’m fairly convinced I am basically BFF with the entire crew. When Bobby announced he was coming out with a second book, I thought what better time than now to read the first one. This was my first Audible purchase, and I really enjoyed it. Because, I listen to Bobby on the radio so often, and he reads the audio book it felt more like listening to his show or podcast, and made me think I could be into audio books. The book is a memoir of Bobby’s life growing up poor in Mountain Pine, Arkansas, and his story of success despite it all, through hard work and determination.

img_3423The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron

I’ll admit I only read this one because my Econ professor kept going on and on about what a good read it was. This books covers the entire story of the Enron scandal. It introduces you to all the major players at Enron and gives the background on how they were able pull off the greatest scheme in American history. The greed is absolutely astonishing. If you’ve ever wondered how the company was able to get away with the scandalous behavior for so long, this book will answer all of your questions. Admittedly though, I only listened to all the number crunching bad behavior in the first two thirds of the book to get to the last part…how did they get caught and what happened to all these greedy people? There’s also a documentary made from the book, if that’s more appealing to you.

img_3420A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership

If you follow the news at all, you’ve heard about this book and all the drama associated with the author, James Comey. Comey served as the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, and was deputy attorney general under President Bush, before being named the FBI director in 2013. I thought the book was a very interesting read. He gives his own personal perspective of what was going on behinds the scenes in the investigations of the Bush administrations torture policies and the Clinton email scandal. He makes himself a real person who was vulnerable to mistakes, but attempted to give the country his best with his service.

img_3422An American Sickness

Another, if we’re being honest I only read this for MBA school. However, that being said I cannot recommend this book enough. The author is a former emergency room physician and former healthcare correspondent for the New York Times. Shes takes you behind the scenes of the American healthcare system, and gives an eye opening perspective on what has happened to healthcare in our country. As someone who has spent the last eight years working in hospitals I was even surprised by much of the book. While I do believe that she uses the most outrageous examples of negligence and greed in her book, the fact remains that all the examples she uses are true. It’s a great read if you want to be a more educated consumer of your own healthcare.

img_3421Fail Until You Don’t: Fight, Grind, Repeat

So, back to Bobby Bones. Don’t mind me, I’m just over here fan girl-ing. I liked the first book so much that, I went back for more. This book covers Bobby’s own success mantra – Fight. Grind. Repeat. I think it is a great reminder that most successful people don’t get lucky. They work their tails off. He gives great examples of wildly successful people who have failed their way to the top, they just never quit showing up. I couldn’t have come across this book at a better time for my own personal reasons. It was a quick read and I really enjoyed it.

img_3418When Life Gives You Lululemons

This book is from the author of the Devil Wears Prada. Remember Emily, the trusty assistant that got the shaft on the trip to Paris fashion week? Well she has moved to L.A. and now runs her own personal image and branding business. The book centers on Emily and her new life. She has landed a client of a lifetime just in time to rebuild her struggling business. I enjoyed the book, it is narrated by Laura Benati and I thought she did a great job. It was fun to reconnect with the characters from the past. This would be a great summer beach read.

Amazon is offering 66% off a three month Audible subscription for Prime Day July 16! 

Road Tripping From Vegas to the Grand Canyon – Part 3

So, it turns out taking two MBA classes in summer school and having a full time job is actually, like, really time consuming. So here we are with the final leg of the trip!

We woke up bright and early and had breakfast at the hotel before it was time to board the Grand Canyon Railway. The train leaves from Williams, AZ and goes to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Right before you get on the train there is a cowboy show. The cowboys also make their way onto the train too.

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The train ride take a couple of hours, and honestly I was shocked by what you see on the way there. For the most part it is surrounded by evergreen trees and some areas have big grassy fields. For whatever reason, in my mind I thought it would look like a desert. Our seats on the train were in the caboose, so it was fun to be able to go out on the plank at the end of the train to look around. The cowboys made there way through the train and there were also musicians that came through the car. We had access to snacks and drinks in our train car as well so that was really nice. Overall I really enjoyed the train ride, it was very relaxing.

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We saw a quick glimpse of the canyon on the train ride in, but when we got off the train we were still surrounded by trees so we still hadn’t had a chance to take it all in yet. We walked to a bus stop after we got off the train and took a bus to the rim. The bus made several stops so we were able to get lots of different views. Y’all this place is unreal. I don’t care how many pictures you have seen, the pictures cannot do it justice. It is an absolutely amazing place.

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After the bus tour we walked around a bit, there are a few shops that we checked out, and we had lunch at the Arizona Room. Just an FYI, if you’re planning a trip to the Canyon, pack a water bottle. There are signs everywhere advising you to drink because of heat related illnesses that are common there, but there is NO water for sale anywhere. The park is trying to cut back on littering so they have water stations where you can fill up bottles everywhere, but you have to buy a $15 dollar souvenir bottle if you don’t bring your own. Also – you can buy all the sugary drinks in plastic bottles, just no water. Just Saying.

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We spent the night at the Maswik Lodge. There are only a few hotels to choose from on the Canyon rim and they fill up quickly so you have to book your trip pretty far in advance. It was so cool to spend the night on the rim. We watched the sunset, which was amazing. The canyon changed colors as the sun went down, and it was absolutely beautiful. The night we were there the moon was bright and full so we were even able to see a little of the Canyon late at night. We had diner in the dining room at El Tovar. El Tovar is a really neat historic hotel and the food at the restaurant was great. The restaurants and shops were all within walking distance once we got off the train, so after dinner we walked back to our room. If I get the chance to go back to the Grand Canyon in the future I would love to go on the mule ride to the bottom, but they typically book up months in advance.

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The next morning we got up and had breakfast before heading out to take in more views of the Grand Canyon. We walked around and took another bus to different parts to take in all the views. It was so beautiful. That afternoon we boarded the train back to Williams, AZ. After the two hour train ride we had another long ride. We loaded up the car and were off to Phoenix. We spent the last night of our trip at the Marriott at the Phoenix airport. We had an early morning flight home from a great trip.

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If you missed it see Part 1 and Part 2 of the trip here.

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Friday Favorites – Summer Can You Hear Me?

Anyone else feel like this was the longest winter of their LIFE? I’m a summer lovin’, flip-flop wearing, beach days and sunshine girl! Summer is by far my favorite season. With the warm weather FINALLY making an appearance it seems like summer may actually be on its way. Without further ado…. my favorite things about summer.

ONE. I am lucky enough to live a short drive from the beach. The beach is my happy place, and I am looking forward to many weekends spent by the water this summer.

 

TWO. Wearing allll the summer things. I do not like winter clothes. Never have, probably never will. Give me all the bright colors and flip flops.

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romper / top / dress / bikini / sandals / earrings / sandals / straw bag / earrings

THREE. With the days getting longer and the weather getting warmer I look forward to long walks through the neighborhood to wind down the day. It so nice to be able to de-stress, spend some time outside, and get in some extra exercise. Win, win.

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FOUR. Besides weekends at the beach I have a few trips already planned this summer. I always look forward to summer vacations when the weather turns warm. I’m excited to share all our summer travels with you!

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FIVE. My final favorite thing about summer is being able to have cocktails outside on a patio, roof top, beach, or porch. I have been very into the Aperol Spritz since the weather turned warm. It tastes better with a side of sunshine. What’s you favorite summer cocktail?