Weekend Recap: Smiling Elephant, Tim McGraw, & Themed Parties

I am writing this post after getting home from a long day of driving back home after having a great 3 days in Nashville- so bear with me. I ended up actually doing a lot of the driving (rare for me) because my sister was super tired. We had such a fun weekend and had lots of healthy food & got some exercise in, so I thought I would share my experience (p.s. let me know if you like posts like these in the comments).

Let’s start this recap from the beginning:

Thursday morning: I was leaving Thursday morning for my flight and had to be out of the house by 7:30 to make sure  I had enough time to get through security and to my 9:55 flight. My brother ended up driving me to the airport, so naturally it took us about 57 tries to get me to the correct drop-off spot at Midway Airport. My siblings and I are all directionally challenged (blame my parents) so we often have a difficult time finding our way/following a GPS. I get lost almost anywhere I go. It’s a problem. After I was dropped off I had to wait in the LONGEST security line ever. The line was moving so slow and I was starting to get nervous I was going to miss my flight. I made it to my boarding line at 9:35 and my plane left at 9:55, so I ended up making it with a few minutes to spare. I settled in and read a book (Best Friends Forever- pretty good!) and before I knew it, I was there!

My sister picked me up at the airport and we went back to her apartment. We ended up going shopping to get some groceries and some outfits for the themed party (The People of Walmart/White Trash Bash) we were going to that night. We went to Goodwill to see if we could find some good party attire. I already had the perfect shirt my brother had picked up for me at Walmart (he did real good with this one) but my sister still needed an outfit. When she was checking out at Goodwill, the cashier asked her if she was a “regular” at Goodwill. I guess she was giving off the vibe that she frequents Goodwill. We were both dying laughing when we left the store because that was the first time she had ever been there. Check out my fabulous shirt for the party below. Can’t go wrong with cats & spongebob.

After running errands, we walked over to the pool at my sister’s apartment complex. I am so jealous of her huge apartment & pool because I am going to be moving into a tiny studio apartment soon. I am a huge fan of warm weather & sunshine so Nashville is right up my alley. We chilled for a while at the pool and then got ready to head to dinner. We ended up deciding to go to a Thai restaurant called The Smiling Elephant. The had signs up in their restaurant saying that they were voted as having the best Pad Thai in Nashville. Of course, we both decided to try that! It said it could be made gluten free, so I just had to modify it a bit!

I am usually not too impressed by restaurant food. I actually do not eat out much because of that reason. I usually leave feeling like I could have made the same thing or something even better at home. But this dish was AMAZING! It was made with green bean noodles, tofu, sprouts, red onion, scallion, cilantro, and the super secret Pad Thai sauce. I loved that it did not taste super salty like some Asian/Thai food can. It was light and full of flavor. My sister also got the Pad Thai, but did not omit the egg (I did) and chose chicken for her protein. She really liked it too! I am surprised as how much I loved the green bean noodles. I am going to be on the hunt for somewhere that I can buy those in store. They are low calorie/carb, naturally gluten free, and had a great texture! If you are ever in the Nashville area, I highly recommend stopping in there! It is a super small restaurant so get there early! We arrive at like 5:30 and just beat the rush 🙂

After dinner we drove to the park to walk around and check out the Parthenon. It was such a beautiful night and park. I love that Nashville has so many different things to do/sights to see. I don’t think I would ever be bored if I lived there.

After checking out the park, we walked around East Nashville which is the hipster part of town. Everything was so cute and artsy.

This sign was outside of a little hot dog stand/food truck and was so cute/funny. Their hot dog of the day was a Pesto Alfredo Mac N’ Cheese Weenie. That sounds like one interesting hot dog! I was curious as to what that Hot Dog would look like.

After walking around for a bit and some sight seeing we headed back to my sisters apartment because she had to do some last minute studying before her last final on Friday. We fell asleep pretty early (#grandmastatus) after watching a movie.

On Friday morning, my sister had to get up early to take her final so I decided to get a workout in while she was gone. I ran around her apartment complex and then headed to her complex’s gym to spend a little time on the spin bike and lift some weights.

By the time 1:30 rolled around, my sister and I were ready to head off to Arrington Vineyard for some Wine Tasting! We packed a picnic to enjoy during our wine tasting. It was raining on our drive there, but we were hoping that it would stop by the time we got there. Nashville seems to be like Florida in that way. All of a sudden the clouds roll in and it starts pouring, but it does not last too long. It was still raining when we got there, so we decided to do the tasting we had originally planned but just stayed covered on the outdoor deck seating. We were bummed that our original plan for the picnic did not work out, but decided to make the best of it!

We chose to do the picnic flights, where you get to try 4 different wines and take them in this little to-go container so you can enjoy them anywhere on the property. I tried a red, white, rose, and a dessert wine. I don’t remember the names of any of them except the Blackberry dessert wine which happened to be my favorite. My sister ended up buying a bottle of that one.

Selfie time!

On our drive home we stopped at Whole Foods to pick up some limes for our drinks for the party that night. We also heard that Carrie Underwood shops at that Whole Foods so we obviously had to go there and hope she would be there. We didn’t have any luck with the Carrie Underwood sighting, but we got our limes!

We don’t mess around when it comes to themed parties.

Themed parties were one of my favorite parts of college. Especially 80’s parties. I am a huge fan of colorful tights, leg warmers, sweat bands, and fanny packs.

We had a great time at the party and it was fun to meet all of my sister’s classmates. There were definitely some interesting people in that group!

On Saturday morning we got up fairly early and decided to go hiking. We were hiking for a while when we started to hear thunder so we decided to turn around. We were hoping to make it back to the car before the rain started, so we picked up our pace. Unfortunately, we did not beat the rain. It started drizzling a bit at first, and then started coming down harder. We decided to run so that we could get back to our car quicker. Well, we ended up making a wrong turn somewhere and got lost. It began pouring so hard that we could not even see through all of the rain hitting our faces! We kept running as we tried to find our way back. We went quite a bit out of our way but finally made it back to our car soaked from head to toe. Water was sloshing around in my sneakers and my clothes were suctioned to my body. We both could not help but laugh. There wasn’t even rain on the forecast. We had a 30 minute drive home in soaking we clothes- twas fun!

When we got home we showered and got ready for Tim McGraw! We were going with some of my sister’s friends from school. My sister and I got dinner at a restaurant called the Wild Cow- which I kept calling the Happy Cow all night. They serve vegetarian/vegan food and lots of people recommended it, so we decided to try it out!

I got the Far Eastland Tofu bowl and my sister got the Taco Sampler.

I really liked my dish, but the Pad Thai above still reigns supreme. This was good though- It had brown rice on the bottom followed by garlicky kale, sesame seeds, grilled tofu, and a carrot daikon slaw (no idea what that really is-sorry). Overall it was good, but I probably would not order it again. Like I said, I am a tough restaurant critic! This was my sister’s meal. The taco sampler came with a black bean & sweet potato taco, a peanut-avocado tempeh taco, a seitan taco and blue corn chips with guacamole. My sister did not really enjoy her food, but she was such a good sport about trying out this restaurant! She was not a fan of the tempeh or seitan taco and thought the guac had a bit of a banana taste.

After dinner we were off to Tim McGraw! Wooooo! He was one of the few big country stars that I had yet to see in concert so I was super excited. Chase Bryant and Billy Currington opened for him and were fabulous. Chase Bryant didn’t sing too many songs (I think about 5) but was still awesome. Billy Currington has a ton of good songs and many that I forgot he was the artist of. Gotta love me some “Good Directions”.

Picture time while waiting for Tim to go on!

Tim was fabulous as I knew he would be. He kept the audience on their toes with all of his guests! I guess that is a perk of going to a show in Nashville- lots of other country singers around! He sang “Buy me a Boat” and halfway through Chris Janson popped out and started singing it with him! Everyone in the crowd started screaming when that happened. Then, a few songs later, he brought out his cousin (I forgot her name) to sing Diamond Rings & Old Barstools (fav song eva). Oh but he did not stop there- he brought out his oldest daughter to sing their duet from his newest album. It was probably one of the cutest things I’ve seen in a while. The new song was great too and I will definitely be listening to it more!

After seeing that Tim’s daughter was there, my sister and I were hoping that Faith Hill would make an appearance. Tim started singing “It’s Your Love” and she came out from the wings and the crowd started going crazy. Not going to lie- I was one of those people going crazy. I absolutely adore Faith Hill and love watching them do duets together. Of course the song was fabulous and Tim gave Faith a gift bag at the end of it. Of course I was wondering all night what was in that bag (I guess I’ll never know).

After the concert ended, we headed home because we were exhausted from singing and dancing all night. We passed out and then woke up Sunday and began our drive home. My eyes are now beginning to involuntarily close, so I guess its time for bed.

What’s the best concert you’ve ever been to? Do you like eating out, or would you rather cook up some food at home? What’s the best themed party you have attended?? Let me know in the comments! (For realzz- I wanna know!)

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