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Avec Amour : February 2016

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Nashville Neighborhood Guide: The Gulch

What's crazy about the high-rise garden we know as the Gulch, is that 7 years ago, it was barely a warehouse industrial district. There were 2 restaurants and a venue.... and that's about it. Now, it's super swanky, and if you're looking for "city life" in Nashville, that's the place you want to live.

Otaku Ramen
Yay, more ramen! We only have a few ramen places in Nashville, so this gives us more options. The vegetarian option was delicious, and I'd also recommend the pickled veggies as a starter. It's a cozy place, so plan on waiting around - but it's worth it!

Biscuit Love Brunch
What was once a food truck favorite now has a brick & mortar location, and it's DELICIOUS. Definitely not your healthiest option, but it's a tasty one. They do great breakfast and brunch options.

Party Foul
Get yourself some Nashville hot chicken. While I haven't personally tried Party Foul, mainly because I don't eat chicken, it's usually pretty busy and I bet it's great!

Burger Republic
This place has some good GF and vegetarian options. The sides are good, and I hear the shakes are delish! They have a nice patio, too.

The 404 Kitchen
I haven't personally been here, but I've heard great things!

Bar Louie, The Pub, Cantina Laredo are some chains you'll find in the Gulch if you're looking for something familiar, but I'd stick to the fun, new restaurants! 
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Jackalope Brewery
Jackalope is the lesser known brewery in town, but still a favorite. They host fun events and parties, and you can do a brew tour, too. Their seasonal brews are awesome!

Yazoo Brewery 
Nashville's favorite beer! Take a tour of our pride & joy. Definitely make sure you try the classic Dos Peros with a lime!

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Hops & Crafts
Pretty new to the Gulch, but a cool space! Lots of great beers on tap and some snacks. Stop by for a great people watching spot.

Juice Nashville
Ok, so this isn't traditional drinking - but if you want to get a green juice or ginger shot, this is your place in the Gulch!

Barista Parlor Golden Sound
For all the cool kids in town, stop at Barista Parlor. They also have their location in Germantown (and East Nashville), but this one is my favorite. There is almost no parking, but you'll find a place. Ask the barista what their favorite coffee is at that moment, and order it.
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Zolli is attached to the Jackalope brewery, and a cute little place. It's usually pretty quiet, but it's a good cup of coffee.

There's some good shopping in the Gulch, like Urban Outfitter's and a few boutiques. There's also some fitness centers. Nashville's only Barry's Bootcamp is in the Gulch as well as a barre3 location if you want to get your sweat on.

The Gulch is becoming busier than it can really handle - there are a few parking garages (one at the corner of Division & 12th) that pay by the hour, there is street parking that is controlled by quarters, and there are some valet options with certain restaurants. It's best to bring a little cash with you, regardless of your plans! 

The Gulch is definitely a hot spot in Nashville, and really close to Downtown with a more chic appearance. Have you ever been?

Other Nashville Guides:
12th South

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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Packing List for Winter in Florida

I lived in Florida for most of my life - but for some reason, I forget that it's not always HOT there! We booked a trip in January specifically to escape the winter doom & gloom, which was a good idea. But as the dates quickly approached, South Florida was showing temperatures in the 40's and 50's several of the days. Not exactly beach weather!

We ended up having two really sunny, warm-ish days (in the 70's). However, the other days went either rainy, windy and cool, or sunny and cool. Never cold, never hot. Confusing weather to pack for.

Somehow, I think I packed the perfect things for this trip. It was a lot like packing for New Zealand, where we were going to be ranging 40 degrees in temperature at any time.

It was all about the layers. I skipped short dresses and opted for two maxi dresses, which were still breezy, but kept the chill out when the sun went behind the clouds. 

A few plain t-shirts could be mixed and matched with my two light jackets. Which also could be mixed and matched between jeans and shorts. 

Like I said, what I packed ended up working out so well! I'm glad I stuck to layers instead of sweaters, they would have been too warm most days. I'm glad I had one, because I'm always freezing on the plane!

Even though I didn't get all the beach days I was hoping for, it was a good trip. I got to spend a lot of time with my family and my old crew. Next time, I'd just like a little more sunshine!

Any mixed weather trips coming up?

Standard Florida Packing List
Weekend At the Beach Packing List
What to Pack for a Cruise for Him & for Her

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Monday, February 1, 2016

This Week in Travel: Vol. 36

How's everyone's week been? 

We're back from the sunshine state, although it wasn't quite as warm as I was hoping. I think I'm about 1% more than than I was before I left, so I'll take what I can get. :) 

After epic snow fall last week in Nashville, we're back to normal weather, at least for a few days. We've had snow, rain, tornados, wind, sun, heat, cold and everything in-between this winter - I think El Nino is really having fun this time around.

I picked up a few air plants on my trip to Florida, because I couldn't get on board with paying for them - they're literally laying all over the ground near my parents house. I found two stuck on a twig, so it was all ready to go. Yes, you can pack plants in a carry on - as long as you're not leaving the country :)

Speaking of carry on's and Florida, I was thinking about doing a packing list for winter in Florida. Even though I lived there my whole life, I wanted to pack dresses and shorts only, but with some days in the 40's-50's I knew I couldn't do that! It's hard to pack for mixed weather, so I think I'll share what I did (after a few packs & repacks).

Anyway, I hope everyone has a great week and a happy February!