Yee-haw, Nashville – Here I Come!

I’m heading to Nashville soon for our friends’ wedding (get this – I’m MC’ing!). It’s my first time to the city and I’m psyched to spend a long, fall weekend in the south. A quick “blanch” will be greatly appreciated before the temperatures drop too low in Alaska.

In hindsight, we should have booked our trip directly around visiting DollyWood and the Great Smoky Mountains. But we didn’t! So, on the docket for our visit to Music City:

  • Haunted Tavern Tour with Nashville Ghost Tours, Walking tour and ghost stories? Yes, please.
  • think Tennesse is synonymous with bourbon and whiskey. When in Rome, right? Specific locations TBD, but we’ll gladly be visiting one of Nashville’s distilleries.
  • For our cultural benefit: the Grand Ole Opry and Johnny Cash Museum

Important, but not bullet-point important: barbeque, anytime and anyplace I can get it.

Broadway on Nashville at night
See you soon, Broadway!

New York, New Perspective

Every year, I mutter something about traveling to the east coast and something like ‘no New York’. Not because I’m anti-NY, but because I want to cast a wider net, travel further, etc.

And then, there’s always something that pulls me home. Last year it was the first trip to NY in ~2 years, and a surprise engagement party. This year, it was an opportunity to see my little brother, Alex, before he deploys to Afghanistan with the U.S. Army and address some compartmentalized grief from my Pop Pop’s passing at the end of 2016.

I’d been looking forward to the trip to NY for a couple months, and also feeling aprehensive about it. I was having a hard time thinking about seeing my brother, and saying goodbye to him – it’s hard for me to see his deployment through any lens except one of fear, for his safety and well-being, while he’s deployed and when he returns. And despite the fear and the tension of seeing him off, it was so fantastic to spend some time with my littlest brother and counsin Jonsey, hiking around the Heldebergs, sharing our first beer since he turned 21 years old (Bud Light for him, Heldeberg Brew Co IPA for me) and staying up late around the fire.

And the next morning, before he left… Just like decades ago, when we used to roll out of bed, just to sleep again while we waited for the bus.


I spent the rest of the trip as my parents’ shadow: yardwork, community events, homecooked dinner and more. It was peaceful, it was quiet, and it was rejuvenating. Spending the better part of a week in the hilltowns, with no places to go/people to see, was the best trip to NY I could have had. To those I didn’t see this trip – there will be more  (no matter how much I tell myself otherwise..) and I look forward to our next visits.

In the meantime, I have a fresh perspective on my hometown and the comfort it provides me, particularly in challenging emotional times. This trip reset my perspective on my priorities, it reset my running (thanks, Liz!), and filled my heart and belly with that warm feeling of family love.

Honeymoon Daydreams…

Adam and I aren’t taking a honeymoon immediately after our wedding. With an adventurous life like ours and a backdrop like Alaska, we don’t need to jet off after the celebration (not to knock a quiet week on a beach…).

With that, we are daydreaming about the Next Big Adventure slash Honeymoon. Where are we dreaming of going next? It would start…. here (here, for more information).

And for our honeymoon meals? Well, we’ll be eating a lot of….

This fall, as we start planning seriously, I’ll be posting here about our trip plans, the logistics, details and how-to’s. Keep reading!