nashville + my parents.

the first time i came to nashville, i came with my parents. we landed after the sun went down, but it was still early enough, so we drove around, trying to find our way into the city because i just wanted to go. i was so close. but we didn't know where we were going and somehow ended up on some interstate, going around the city. we could see it, that gorgeous skyline with the batman ears piercing the sky, but how do we get to it?

sometimes when i'm driving on that part of the interstate, which i now know if the route you take to get to east nashville, i look over at that skyline and remember what it felt like the first time i saw it. back when i could only see it, but not touch it. when i could only point and say, "i want that. how do i get there?"

having both of my parents visit for the first time since i moved was pretty incredible, because it was the three of us, originally. driving around, exploring, walking up and down broadway, trying on cowboy boots, eating all the good nashville eats, looking at apartments, getting lost.

i had to convince my dad to come with us on that first trip. my mom was pretty on board, probably because it was a lot closer than california and less scary than new york city. whatever it was, she required little to no convincing. to visit, at least.

but my dad? "you HAVE to come," i'd say. "you have to see it because one day i'm going to live there."

finally: "okay. but i'm only going to i'll know where to pick you up when you call us wanting to come back home."

i don't blame him for not believing me. just the other day i was thinking about a friend from connecticut who moved out of her parents house and into her own apartment, and how weird it must be for her to go back and see her old room without her stuff in it.

that would be so weird, i thought.

and then, oh wait. i DID that.

even now, two and a half years later, i still can't believe it.

being able to show him my life now was a neat thing. this is where you're coming to visit, not where you're coming to pick me up from.

most things felt like, "been there, done that"––especially for my dad who has been to nashville multiple times and doesn't like doing the same thing more than once. but the loveless cafe? GIVE ME ALL THE BISCUITS.

it's in the middle of nowhere. it takes 30 minutes to get there, and another hour+ to get seated. but we went, and we waited, and we ate all the biscuits and southern cooked food we could handle.

the placemats at loveless have activities on them and just after we ordered, my dad asked my mom and i if we were too old for crayons and that's why they didn't give us any. "how are we supposed to do the puzzles?"

my mom got out a pen from her purse for him to use and together, they worked on the word search.

pro tip: parking downtown is stupid expensive, but if you park across the river in the titan stadium lot next to the walking bridge, you can park for free. granted, you have to walk across the bridge to get to broadway, but you don't need to twist my arm when it comes to admiring that view.

my dad took approximately eight photos of titans stadium, but when i suggested taking this ^ photo, he sighed heavily.

this one time, my dad re-did the entire upstairs of our house in connecticut while listening to the same johnny cash cd over and over (and over and over). so yes, he is a big fan, and yes, we went to the johnny cash museum, which was a new thing since he's been here, and yes, he enjoyed it.

this is how i know my dad was having a good time. not only did he let me take this photo, but i only had to ask once before he went right over and––"wait, hold on"––posed like this.

it was a quick trip, but long enough for little adventures and quality time together and, of course, lots of good food. including that lasagna my mom made before she left so i could freeze it and have it for days.

and i'm just now remembering that we never did end up taking a photo with the "i believe in nashville" sign so i pretty much fail as a tour guide, but we did go see that huge map of tennessee, providing my parents with the opportunity to walk over to where memphis is on the map and say, "look, now we can say we went to memphis on this trip too!"

i'll let you guess which one of my parents actually said that.