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  • Writer's pictureElisha Bae

Nashville Trip (2024)

I recently took a trip to Nashville with my mom during Swarthmore's spring break from March 9th to the 15th. It was an exciting and memorable experience filled with art, delicious food, and some unexpected adventures.

March 9th

Our journey began with a short plane ride from Philadelphia to Nashville. We were greeted with nice, albeit a little chilly, weather. Unfortunately, we couldn't visit the Richland Park Farmer's Market as it wasn't open, so we decided to relax at our hotel. The hotel's restaurant was a pleasant surprise! I had an amazing crab pasta that I absolutely loved.

March 10th

We started our day by attending a Korean church service. The congregation was incredibly welcoming, and I even had the chance to speak with a professor from Vanderbilt about graduate school life. After the service, we headed to 12 South Street, a charming area lined with cute restaurants and boutique shops.

We stopped by Five Daughters Bakery, known for its delicious donuts. After indulging in some sweet treats, we headed back to the hotel for a restful evening.

March 11th: Art and History

Our day began with a visit to the Frist Art Museum. This place is a treasure trove of art, and I was particularly captivated by the works of LaToya M. Hobbs. Her prints and mixed-media pieces about herself and her family were both powerful and intimate.

Next, we visited the Parthenon Museum. It's fascinating to find a full-scale replica of the Parthenon in the middle of Nashville! This structure was originally built for Tennessee's 1897 Centennial Exposition and serves as a reminder of Nashville's nickname, "The Athens of the South." Inside, we marveled at the beautiful paintings and the impressive statue of Athena.

Unfortunately, the day took a turn when my mom slipped on the marble bathroom floor and hurt her toe. At first, we thought it was just a minor injury, but as the night progressed, her toe began to swell and change color. It looked like it might be dislocated.

March 12th: Overcoming Challenges

The next morning was hectic as I scrambled to find help for my mom. I reached out to the professor we met at church and Charlotte, a friend from our church back in Philadelphia. Both provided great advice on hospitals and how to care for my mom's toe in the meantime.

We found an orthopedic hospital with excellent reviews just five minutes away from our hotel and secured a reservation for the next day. Despite her injury, my mom was incredibly strong and determined to stick to our plans. We visited the Cheekwood Estate & Gardens, which was breathtaking. The various themed gardens were stunning, but the tulips were my favorite. We also enjoyed a lovely Afternoon Tea at the garden's cafe, making the most of our day.

March 13th: A Day at the Hospital and Vanderbilt

We got up early, had a hearty breakfast, and headed to the orthopedic hospital. My mom started to get a little scared, and honestly, so did I. Watching her get injected with anesthetic was tough, as the nurse had to keep jabbing around the injury. There was a moment where I got so stressed out seeing my mom in pain that I almost fainted (which would've been bad XD).

They took multiple X-rays and confirmed that there were no fractures, then tried to pull the bone back into its place. After two attempts, the bone was finally put back in place. The nurse practitioner remarked on how small my mom's toe bone was, which brought a bit of humor to a tense situation. Although her toe still hurt, my mom could walk a little more easily with the special shoes they provided.

Afterward, we went on a self-guided tour of Vanderbilt. The campus had a vibe similar to Stanford, possibly due to the medical buildings. I particularly liked Peabody College, Vanderbilt's renowned education and psychology college. If I were to apply to Vanderbilt for grad school, Peabody would be my choice.

March 14th: Discovering the Heart of Nashville

We checked into a new hotel, more centrally located in Nashville. We realized that Nashville had been quieter than expected because we were staying on the outskirts of the city. When we arrived at Honky Tonk Highway, the lively atmosphere hit us immediately, with live music coming from every corner. I even bought my very own leather cowboy boots!

We waited in line for a bit to grab some hot chicken sandwiches at the famous Hattie B's. They were absolutely delicious! The chicken was tasty on its own, but the sauce made it even better. After our meal, we visited the Musicians Hall of Fame museum. It was interactive and fun, with exhibits of famous musicians everywhere you looked. I had a blast learning to play the drums from The Beatles' Ringo Starr and singing "Hit the Road, Jack" as one of the Raelettes.

In the evening, we attended an Irish Tenors concert with the Nashville Symphony. This was a special treat as an early birthday present for me. The concert was fantastic—the singers were incredible, and their commentaries before and after songs added a personal touch. I love Irish music, and it's not easy to come across, so I was thrilled to have this opportunity.

March 15th: Departure

Our trip came to an end, and we headed back to Philadelphia. Despite the challenges, our Nashville adventure was filled with unforgettable moments, from the warm hospitality we experienced at church to the beautiful art and gardens we explored. This trip reminded me of the importance of resilience and making the most out of every situation. I can't wait for our next adventure! It was a rollercoaster of emotions and experiences, but in the end, it turned out to be a memorable and enriching journey.

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