I have been sitting here at the screen trying to adequately title this blog post. This is not your average travel guide or recap. While it was a “Girls’ Weekend in Nashville” – it was so much more to me.
You see, I’ve been struggling with mild postpartum depression. It feels weird saying that and putting it out there, but it’s my truth. Yeah, I’m almost 6 months postpartum. I should be “good,” right? The fact is, it can happen to any mom at any time in the postpartum period.
Well, this is certainly an interesting way to start a weekend getaway recap. Stick with me.
I learned the hard way that feeling stuck triggers me and really makes me feel overwhelmed. Since Logan was born, I was convinced I would be able to do it all. I could work from home while the baby naps, I could be there for every single moment as he grew, and I could be there for my older girls. What I really found is that an entire day would pass and I felt like nothing happened. Every day ended with a huge sense of overwhelm.
The baby was harder than my others, and I forgot what it was like to have a baby in the house (one downside of the age gap). I was overwhelmed by every single thing I had to do in a day, whether the task was big or small. All of this was happening because I was stuck holding, rocking, and feeding a baby. I loved this baby so fiercely, but he came in and rocked my world and my whole routine. I rarely left my house.
Then the guilt would sit in – how dare I think these thoughts when I have the gift of working from home and being there for my family?
The fact is, I thrive on human interaction, adventure, getting out of the house, and “ME” time. And the opportunity to do that was this past weekend. It was everything I needed on my journey of healing and learning how to be the best version of myself. (I also started therapy, too, which I should note.)
Alright, so now that we’re about ten paragraphs in and I haven’t even talked about the trip, let’s get to it. Basically what happened is one of my best friends, Katie, runs a small Facebook group of professional bloggers. With the help of others, they put together a trip to Nashville! About 30 ladies flew in from all over the country to hang out, decompress, and just have fun.
There wasn’t a rigid schedule other than a few things – the main goal was to connect and have fun! And let me tell you – we had the best weekend ever. Let’s get to some of the high points.
First off – hotel details!
Loews Vanderbilt Hotel – Nashville
For this trip. Katie, Ange and I had the pleasure of staying at the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel in Nashville. Situated across the street from Vanderbilt University, it was in a perfect location to get wherever we needed to go. It’s a 15-minute Uber ride from the airport, and maybe a 5-10 minute Uber ride into the heart of downtown.
We had two connecting rooms – a room with two double beds, and one room with a king. It was so much room to spread out, relax, and have fun.
Thank you, Loews! I absolutely loved our stay and wish it was longer!
Next up… what we did in Nasvhille!
Girls Weekend in Nashville – What We Did
Like I said, we didn’t have much of a schedule other than to spend time together and just have fun. It was a really short trip for me (because I did have some apprehension leaving the baby). Looking back, I wish I would’ve stayed longer on Sunday. Here are some of my favorite things we did while visiting!
Restaurants in Nashville
Party Fowl – this was recommended to us by the hotel concierge, and it was a hit! They’re famous for their Nashville Hot Chicken in all sorts of varieties. They also have a ton of fun boozy slushies. Highly recommend!
Makeready at the Noelle – All of us went to Makeready the first evening and it was delicious! They have a really fun and unique menu… Americana/Nashville favorites with a twist!
FGL House – We all stumbled on this restaurant because we were all starrrrrrving and wanted food immediately. Turns out, we found another great place! I got the hot chicken salad and it was so good. I think I ate hot chicken at almost every meal. They also have a really cool rooftop that is a fantastic place to shoot photos!
Goo Goo Clusters – Okay, not a restaurant but we all went in and got to make our own candy! It was so much fun and delicious. You have to visit their store if you go to Nashville!
Hitting up all the honky tonk bars is an absolute must! It is a really lively place and tons of fun. It is obviously touristy but still such a great time. We visited Tootsies, Stage, and much more. We danced our hearts out and had a blast!
Another really cute spot full of fun bars. Some of the girls went and saw a burlesque show here!
There are so many cool wall murals in Nashville! A bunch of the other girls visited a lot more on Sunday after I was already on my way home.
If you google “It’s Gonna Be Ok Wall Nashville” you’ll find a huge collection of murals. You will not be disappointed! We ended up there on Saturday afternoon and were really impressed!
Alright, I’m sure you won’t be able to experience this when you visit Nashville, but we had the absolute pleasure of having a private rooftop concert, where Menna performed for us. She hit all of our emotions – pretty sure we all were in tears from her beautiful voice and emotional lyrics. I’m telling you, this girl is a gem. Start listening to her on Spotify immediately and thank me later.
Being Away from the Baby and Pumping
This was an element of the trip that really had me worried. Despite all of the traveling I’ve done since having kids, I have not traveled much without them when I was nursing. Luckily, I got my hands on an Elvie pump – which is a portable and silent pump that fits right into your bra. I literally pumped in a bar – haha! I took a bunch of breastmilk bags, a PackIt Freezable Lunch Bag (to keep the milk cool while we were out and about), some wipes, a sharpie (to label the bags), and my Elvie. I kept all of that in a big purse at all times and didn’t miss a beat to anything that was going on during the trip.
Also, the Loews hotel was so kind and brought me a really cold mini fridge where I stored all of my milk every time we went back to the hotel. I was able to freeze and take home quite a bit! If you aren’t aware, you can take breastmilk through security at the airport. You need to take it out of your bag and have it scanned separately. Easy peasy!
Connection + Friendship
This was the part of the trip that meant the most to me. I was blown away with how I felt so comfortable and at ease with every single person on this trip. It can be a total crap shoot to put 20+ women together, but we all bonded and felt like we left with a bunch of new best friends.
I love how every single person there was so unapologetically themselves, didn’t act better or more exclusive, and was an uplifting presence. It was truly magical.
There are a lot of fun and hilarious moments that won’t make the blog post or didn’t make Instagram, simply because we were just having the time of our lives.
I am so thankful for this group of women, and this trip. It really helped me to continue to heal. My head feels clearer, and my heart feels full.