Run to the bookstore and pick up the latest issue of Where Women Cook. Jordan and Betti share their stories and recipes from their Vermont kitchen on pages 66-75! Or click here to order online.
The Blue Ridge mountains are the real deal. We had a few friends in Charlottesville courtesy UVA and Red Light Management. Our host for the evening had just moved there and I really think it suits her Bohemian style. We enjoyed our last evening on the road. Ready for the home stretch, next stop NYC!!
It’s true, we finally got pulled over for speeding. This is probably due to the fact that the speed limit was 80 for the first part of the trip. Well, somewhere outside of Knoxville, TN it went down to 55, but Oscar stayed at 80 and they caught us. We luckily got away with just a warning, probably because Hula and Pebbles are so cute, or Liza was sitting so pretty, or my point of “the speed limit has been 80, thanks we’ll go slower as we go east” was so sound.
Our favorite pit stop was on this trip. Right by the TN/NC border. We all but ditched our Asheville plans to go rafting or ziplining or something outdoorsy there!
But thankfully we continued through the mountains to the cutest little hippie town in the east. The air in Asheville was invigorating and the vibe was calming. The Biltmore estate was gorgeous and even though it took a little while longer to get into town, it was definitely the right call to stay there. In the morning we had breakfast at the estate and then did a tour of the winery. Liza and I agreed we would come back for a music weekend soon to stay a little longer. Warren Haynes always does a Christmas show there in December so we’re putting it on our radar. Thanks, Asheville!
Nashville is doing WELL!
I’d say Nashville and Austin were the two most happening cities, and Memphis and New Orleans were the two most soulful.
We met up with some friends in Nashville who directed us to great local spots in town. Nashville has plenty to do and see, tons of restaurants and bars, and a vibrant music scene. I had only been to Nashville once on my way to Bonnaroo in 2003. The hippy, budget, quick stopover didn’t really count. Now I can say I got a good little taste of what the city has to offer. Josephine for dinner, Urban Grub for a drink, and music at Third and Lindley. It was a Sunday night so our first three choices for dinner were closed (Farmhouse, Cat Bird Seat, and Silly Goose). We’re so glad Josephine was alive, running, and welcoming. Great meal! Looking forward to returning.
Memphis is going to be our favorite, no question. We loved everything about it. A Sooouthern city. I’ve been craving a good drawl and I finally got it. It’s bustling, vibrant, soulful, and sophisticated. Our dinner tonight was a dream. I may want to fly a whole party out here just to dine at Iris and have Jeff serve us. Taxis were easy and inexpensive. The Peabody was old-school (in a charming way), happening hotel. Beale St was a hoot. Go once, and then just listen to the Marc Cohen song. I went to the Stax Museum and I could have stayed there for hours playing the trivia game and watching old footage of their acts but I cut myself off after three rounds, and Gladys Knight and the Pips doing “Midnight Train to Georgia.” In the morning we went to Graceland. Liza and I both have a new crush on Elvis. I know, #latetothegame Memphis FTW!!!
We are half way through our trip. Just about the time when it’s getting old telling everyone the trip story, when the nails are chipping, the cooler is warming, the lotions are spilling, and the dirty laundry bag is filling.
We were hoping Jackson would be the dark horse in our trip. We were originally going to go through Little Rock, but when I realized there was no way to avoid me hitting New Orleans, we decided to break up the drive to Memphis was a stop in Jackson. It was pretty sleepy, but we did stay at a quaint little hotel, Old Capitol Inn, and we did see a charity walk in the morning. Moving on.
We’re done with my left hand of the trip. Now we are outbound!
I almost skipped nola. “I’ve been,” I told myself. I’d have just been for jazzfest. Turns out there’s no way I could ever have skipped it. NOLA has a hold on my heart and soul like no other city ever will. I went for the first time in 2000 for jazzfest and it changed my life. I will always go back given the opportunity, and create one if none surface soon enough.
Loft 523 is kind of stinky. Maybe we should have stayed at The Modern. But it was a nice big room in a great part of town.
Every time I go to New Orleans I love it more. And I always have a memorable cab driver. This time, his name was Raymond, my new New Orleans grandpa. We’re going right on Burgundy.
It was nice to check on the city when it’s not a crazy festival weekend like mardi gras or jazzfest, or a friends wedding or movie shoot or super bowl. You go through Gambit weekly and there are still fifty options of music in the hundreds of venues every night.
We hit Vaughan’s in the Bywater, right near our dinner for our dose of a late night boogie. Corey Henry didn’t disappoint.
Thanks NOLA! See you soooon!
This was another big drive. A lot of the 10 and a lot of Texas. I had a slight bout of apprehension that this would go from the “Healthy and Hip X-Country Trip” to the “Healthy and Boring X-Country Touring.” But I trucked along and it wasn’t all that bad. (I just don’t have that many publicly appropriate stories.) The most noteworthy of the day was that we picked up Liza and Pebbles! So now we are two girls with two French Bulldogs. I’d like to note that we are not AT ALL like Thelma and Louise. There is nothing Thelma and Louise about our trip. Please don’t compare us to Thelma and Louise, just because we’re two women in a car and maybe Liza will hook up with a hotter, younger, newer Brad Pitt along the way.
Anyway, Austin rules. We had a lovely amazing meal at Barley Swine, fully equipped with 13 courses, a regularly scheduled dose of family drama, and a cute little front of house table.
I was ill-advised to watch the movie Nebraska. Sure, it made the latest episode of Glee all the more enjoyable when June Squibb guest-starred, but people close to me should have KNOWN my competitive streak would take over. Now I’m embarrassed just thinking of having to tell the checkin clerk at the Thunderbird Hotel that it took me 9 hrs to get to Marfa!
Also, if I had researched a little more, I would have made the Marfa nail the James Dean poster from Giant. You know, side view with the hat and his feet up. Or the Prada label, or some twinkly lights. Sorry, Marfa! You were better to me than I was to you. I’ll make it up to you next time. oxo
I could get down with Arizona. They all do 80 here. Even on side streets.
Also, the first successful Zucker family trip was in this very city. What’s my measure of success? No one cried! I don’t even think any if us fought. Me, Betti and Jim went to the Phoenician in Scottsdale over thanks g my senior year in college. If only spa, hikes, food, and golf could do the trick still….
I met up with a friend from Penn who grew up here and he took me to a Coyotes game and taught me how to drive stick in the parking lot after. (Literally, keep it clean people!)
Thanks Phoenix for the good memories 5 years and counting. *
* 17 years, but who’s counting?
Anyway, Hula and I made it to the hotel in a little over five hours with one gas/pit stop.
The Palomar was lovely, right across the street from Chase Field and US Airways Stadium, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Phoenix Suns, respectively. One of my favorite bits in their “welcome greeting” was being informed that the room keys use radio waves, so putting it next to a credit card or cellphone will do nothing to deactivate it. Now what excuse will I have for needing to sleep in someone else’s room?!?!
We made it to our only “post-drive” Pure Barre right on time, which is great because we couldn’t have made it a minute sooner!
Great start to the trip!
1 down. 9 to go!