Napa to Nashville…Nashville to Napa

What do you do when you have your perfect job, work with people you consider your family, live in a city that’s beautiful and full of family and friends, but you visit a place and it just feels right?  Well if you’re me, you visit another 9 times (in 16 months) juuuust to make sure you love it.  Then you take the plunge and decide to move there.  Nashville here I come.

I unexpectedly fell in love with Nashville, but Napa will always be home so I’ve decided to work and live in both Napa and Nashville.  I mean why not, right?  Owning your own business has its advantages, and providing my services in both Napa and Nashville allows me to take advantage of this exciting new lifestyle change.

What surprised me the most about Tennessee, and Nashville specifically, was how much it actually reminded me of home.  The green rolling hills (minus grapevines of course) look so much like the hills on either side of the valley in Napa.  And the weather isn’t THAT different.  I’ve been comparing everyday.  We just won’t talk about summer.  I’m crossing that bridge when I come to it.

 

I believe in nashville sign mural

 

Top 10 things I love about Nashville:

1. Tootsies-  now this place deserves a place on my top 10 list all by its self because well I love it.  Ok I’m slightly obsessed (refer to crazy face in picture below).  Being a well known honky-tonk bar, locals tend to avoid these types of  “tourist traps,” but I love the vibe, the people and the color (it’s purple, my fav).  I prefer to look at it as a place you can always go to and feel like you’re on vacation.  And good times always happen to take place here no matter what day or time it is.   It’s a magical place.   I’ve been known to force my local friends to go here.  A lot.  And they always love me for it after.

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2.  The food-  Growing up in Napa, I’ve gotten accustomed (spoiled) to having great food and wine at my fingertips.  Literally.  So I was a little shocked to find that Nashville has some independent restaurants that seriously rival those of Napa.  The fine dining here is unbelievable and new restaurants are seriously popping up all over the place.  Obviously the picture worthy foods are the ones that are awesomely bad for you and trully southern.  We can talk more about the fine dinning later.

IMG_5336I was never a huge ice cream fan until I stepped into Jeni’s.  And I wanted to move in.

 

edlys nashvilleBecause I need fried pickles and a “frito-pie” in my life, I go to Edley’s BBQ.

 

hattie b's nashvilleThe day I decided that “Shut the cluck up- burn notice” was the right choice on the spicy level for my hot chicken at Hatti B’s…. holy s**t.  I had to wash it down with ice cream after, obviously.

 

IMG_5338Desanos Pizza.  Because I could never move to a place that didn’t have good pizza.  Wait.  Is that even a thing? Pizza that’s not good?…

 

3.  The people-  I can’t say enough great things about the people in Nashville.  I lived in Southern California for 5 years and while, it was fun I definitely felt people as a whole were a bit closed off.  Northern California I feel is better in this regard, but it wasn’t until I spent time in Nashville that I really understood what “southern hospitality” meant.  People are just friendlier here.  They want to help you anyway they can without even knowing you!  There’s a really openness and vulnerability as a whole here that I’ve never experienced anywhere else in my travels.  It has already made for great and fast connections with some amazing people.  This definitely makes it easier to move to a place where I don’t know very many people.

 

4. The diversity-  Before my first trip to Nashville I had never been anywhere in the south.  Now on my 9th trip out there I’ve met so many people from all over the country that have moved there, I kinda feel like I’m in San Francisco.  Obviously the south is better of course (shhh don’t tell them I said that).

 

5. The landscape- Colors.  Need I say more.  Green everywhere and the most beautiful fall colors (totally rivals Northern California).  Oh and the houses, the farms, the fences, the barns… swoon.

nashville in  the fall

 

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6. The coffee-  OK.  I’d like to say a big fat thank you (and I hate you) to Jaime and Shannon who have turned me into a ginormous coffee snob.  I always hated coffee.  But being around two ladies who both know their s**t when it comes to coffee and who pretty much made me go to all the cool kid coffee shops, well, lets just say I’ve now gone to the dark side.  Your fault ladies.  The good (and bad) thing is that Nashville has some pretty amazing coffee shops.

IMG_7507Jaime may have already had too much coffee at this point… she likes the large sizes.

 

IMG_6747Meet Shannon.  She’s going for the shot of espresso.  Watch out.

 

IMG_7482The one time I got tea at Frothy Monkey.

 

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eighth and roast nashvilleEighth and Roast was a frequent stop due to it’s proximity to Jaime’s old house in Nashville.

 

barista parlor nashville Because who doesn’t want to see a cool lit up sign and antique pickup truck outside an awesome coffee shop at dusk?  Welcome to Barista Parlor.

 

barista parlor nashvilleThis place makes Bourbon lattes.  I obviously don’t need to elaborate on that.

 

Crema-BlogAnd this is probably one of the best tasting coffees I’ve ever had.  Say hello to Crema.

 

7.  The weather (yes the weather)-  Surprisingly the weather isn’t THAT different from Napa.  All through December and January I’ve been comparing every morning and of course taking into account the 2 hour time difference.  For most of the days in December, Napa was actually colder than Nashville.  Then Napa got that random warm 60-70 degree weather.  That changed things.  But I’m choosing to look at all the positives.  The summer humidity is great for your hair and skin, they have the most beautiful thunder and lightening storms,  it sometimes snows but not so much that it shuts you inside for months on end, and the fall leave colors are gorgeous.  Oh, and in the summer you can wear a tank top and shorts at 10pm and not need a jacket.  I’m ready.

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8.  The music/concerts- When I was planning each of my trips out to Nashville I always had to decide what event I wanted to go to and that would usually determine what weekend I would book my trip for.  The problem was that there were SOOO many ALLL the time.  Especially from spring to fall.  We’re talking awesome cheap and sometimes free amazing concerts going on all over the place.  And no its not just country music, people.  Although, yes country music is huge here, there’s literally every genre.  Nashville has some of the best music venues.  Obviously the famous Bluebird Cafe (which I have still YET to go to), the Ryman, Exit/In, The End, 3rd and LindsleyThe Woods Amphitheater at Fontanel the list goes on…   There’s also cool stuff like the Full Moon Pickin’ Party- a bunch of live bands playing out in a field.  I can’t wait to go to that and more things like it!

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IMG_7493Hanging on the grass before an outside summer concert at The Woods Amphitheater at Fontanel.

 

9.  The lifestyle-  Everything is just slooooower here.  And I want more of that in my life.  What better way than to plop myself smack in the middle of it?  It’s a southern state of mind…

 

10.  The daylife/nightlife- Tell me where you can walk into multiple bars, restaurants and even retail stores any day or time of the week and see a live band.  Nashville is where!  One of my favorite things by far is the live music that is constantly playing all around town.  I remember walking into a restaurant/bar on Broadway Street at 2pm on a Tuesday and finding a 5 piece band and singer.  And they are GOOD.  Who wouldn’t love that.  Don’t get me started on the awesome shopping, great hiking, yoga and barre studios, and cute towns all right outside of Nashville.  And thats just the daylife.  I’d need 27 more pages to write about the nightlife.  It’s called NashVegas for a reason…

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Let’s face it….

Nashville

 

Plan a trip to visit Nashville and I promise you will see just why I fell in love with it.

X,

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10Comments

10 Responses to “Napa to Nashville…Nashville to Napa”

  1. CAYCE

    LOVE THIS POST! And Nashville can’t wait to have you! I wish I could live in Napa and Nashville simultaneously……can’t we just cut out all the states in between :/ Great job getting all the important deets about Nashville into this post! XO

    Reply
    • Ashley Marie Paul

      Thanks Cayce! Fly back and forth WITH me! ;-) Can’t wait for our yoga/wine/dancing dates!!

      Reply
  2. Julie

    You are sooooo right about Nashville. Im so excited for you!!! And Good for you girly for making the move! Ive lived in Napa my whole life and I truly considered moving to Nashville as well.

    Reply
    • Ashley Marie Paul

      Thank you so much for the support Julie! You should do it!!! You know how awesome it is
      ;-)

      Reply
  3. Diana Gelow

    grEat post Ash- thank you for taking me along on this journey the last few months. Loved working with you and so happy for your bold and well planned life style change. Big hugs, d

    Reply
  4. Rachy

    Yay! Congrats on the announcement and making the move! I am so proud you are following your dreams, I will miss you for sure!
    Love ya….. A lot!
    Rachy

    Reply

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