Okay so I have to preface this post with an apology when it comes to the pictures. My phone had to be totally reset the day after I got back from Nashville and despite thinking I had backed up all my photos, almost all of them were deleted. Huge bummer. So I am supplementing with some pics from other sources (always linked/credited).
Seems a little crazy to be kicking off Derby week with a post about Nashville but I’m guessing after the next seven days of madness, you might want to take a quick getaway to relax and reset. Relaxing was all I really wanted to do when we hit the road a couple weeks ago for a quick trip down to Music City thanks to the Gaylord Opryland + Opry Mills Mall.
Is it weird to say one of the things we were most excited about was the drive down to Nashville? I mean, we love our kiddos the most but every once in a while you need a break to have a conversation that isn’t interrupted every 15 seconds by one of their questions, snack requests or momentary meltdowns.
This was definitely the most low-key trip we’d every taken to Nashville, most of the time we’re headed there for a concert, bachelor/bachelorette festivities or basketball, but it was nice to be on a slower schedule.
We drove down first thing on Saturday morning and decided to hit up the mall first thing. Wandering the mall might not sound like something monumental but it was a welcome relief to walk around with no where to be and no small humans rushing you to get in and get out in five seconds flat.
After some much needed retail therapy, we headed over to the hotel to check-in. I hadn’t been to the Gaylord Opryland since I was a kid and it was just the same in the best way possible. The atrium full of greenery was just what the doctor ordered after weeks upon weeks of gray winter.
We capped off the night with dinner at City House and then hit up Five Daughters Bakery for donuts on Sunday morning before hitting the road to head back to reality.
Since we were only there for a hot second, we didn’t get to do a ton of exploring but we did try out all new to us spots so here’s a little run down of what we got into.
* Gaylord Opryland Resort: This was our first time staying at the Opryland together and it was my first time staying there in years (lots and lots of years). The place is huge – like reminded me of a Disney resort huge – but not in an overwhelming way.
The atriums are, by far, the best part. In total, the property has nine acres of indoor gardens with more than 50,000 tropical plants. It was so nice to wander through so much greenery on our way in and out. We were lucky enough to snag a suite which had a great view of the atrium plus plenty of space to spread out. And it had a Murphy Bed which we thought was awesome and hilarious. It would be perfect if you’re coming down with kids or another couple.
We didn’t get to spend nearly enough time checking out the full property but are already thinking of coming back in the winter during the holidays with the kids. We’re also going to need time to hit up the spa, pools and handful of restaurants.
* Opry Mills Mall: The mall was kind of a hybrid of a regular mall and an outlet mall. I always want to drive out to the outlets here in Shelbyville but honestly have never made the time to do it. This was like getting the chance to check out the outlets you really want to go to – like Off 5th, J.Crew Factory and Kate Spade – while also getting to check out your regular round of stores. I also clearly did some digging around in H&M, Forever 21 and the Under Armour store hunting for things to wear once I get back to my regular body.
I ended up finding my best scores at Off 5th where I walked out with this Rebecca Minkoff bright blue bag, J Brand flares and a Joie plaid button down that I can’t wait to break out this summer – all of which rang up way under $200. I also stocked up at Aerie and grabbed this cute bag for wet bathing suits at the Gap Outlet.
After lots of walking around – seriously we walked the entire mall – we had a little downtime at Dave & Busters since Drew can’t help but play a game of Pop-A-Shot when the opportunity presents itself.
* City House: We’re kind of food obsessed and since a night out on the town wasn’t going to happen this time around, we decided to go big when it came to dinner.
We spent almost the entire drive down researching and calling restaurants trying to snag a last minute reservation. City House came highly recommended but we were almost certain we’d never get in. We didn’t end up eating lunch so we went down for an early dinner and were able to snag a table.
The restaurant is kind of tucked off the street in the Germantown neighborhood. They’re known for their pizzas and they did not disappoint. Before digging into some ‘za though, we started with the octopus (Octopus, BBQ Sauce, Celery, Spring Garlic Gremolata, Red Onion, Sunflower Seeds). The mis may sound weird but it was SO SO good. For dinner we split the steak (Steak, Soy Rub, Kale, Rice, Red Onion, Garum, Lemon, Parm) and the belly ham and mozzarella pizza with a runny egg on top. Since I’m pregnant and have the biggest sweet tooth on the planet, we went big on dessert and each ordered the Cookies + Cream Ice Box Cake.
Basically we had to be rolled back to the hotel but it was definitely worth it.
* Five Daughters Bakery: And since we were already going to need to join Over Eaters Anonymous when we got back, we swung by Five Daughters Bakery in the morning to try out the 100-layer donut which is their take on the “so hot right now” cronut. The donuts aren’t cheap but they are worth EVERY cent. They are big, insanely delicious and come in the best variety of flavors. The icing was sweet but in the most flavorful and not saccharine way and the donuts are like light, fluffy cakes with a touch of that croissant flavor.
My favorite was the strawberry cream one but the samoa one was equally as yummy. We brought some back for the kids and it was hard to keep from eating them on the drive back.
A definite must try next time you’re in Nashville. Oh and people said the lines were super long and took forever but we didn’t find that to be the case. There was a line but it moved super fast and it took us no time to get our donuts and be out the door. So don’t let that deter you.
Disclosure: Big thanks to Opry Mills Mall and Gaylord Opryland Resort for hosting us for the weekend in Nashville!