Weddings and Road Trips: Summer Lovin’ Had Me a Blast

Hello, hello, hello! My name is Kendall, and I am kicking off our guest blog for August. I am the Branding/PR Manager for the Mesh team. I have a weakness for animals, I think in GIFs, and I want to have breakfast with Ron Swanson. Today I’m detailing some homegrown stories and tips from one of my wedding roadtrips this past year!

Back in the day, Summer was synonymous with popsicles and pool time but since growing up a bit (just a little bit) summer has begun to be synonymous with weddings and road trips! It seems like all of my friends had a secret meeting and conspired to plan weddings under two conditions: it was summer and it was out of state. Don’t get me wrong, I love my sneaky, love drunk, wedding planning friends but wedding road trips require some coordination. So, here I am, several summers and weddings wiser, wanting to inform my fellow Meshers on how to make the trek as jam packed with fun, frolicking, and festivities as the wedding itself!

The mission in mind: Dallas to Nashville in a weekend.

My best friend, and fellow wedding veteran, Alex and I were determined to make the most of every free weekend moment. Friday morning at 5am, bright eyed and bushy tailed (read: exhausted and praying Starbucks was open) we dumped our bags in Alex’s Mazda 3 and mapped our route.

I appointed myself honorary Captain and proceeded to do what I do best. Make a list!

Point A. Starbucks / Bathroom Break
Point B. Arkansas for lunch / Bathroom Break
Point C. Glorious Tennessee…Where the tree lines are the things of mountain musing, folk song dreams.

Readers Tip: When confronted with the question “Whose car are we taking?” Already have the gas numbers worked out and humbly concede if you do, in fact, have the more efficient car. Really though…who has the better speakers? THAT is the important question.

Dallas to Tennessee is a respective 9 hours. Like the best friend I am, I made Alex drive first. There’s something special about driving into the sunrise on the way to a wedding weekend…there’s also something special about your friend letting you sleep through it.

Here’s a list of other magical things:
Phone Charger – Being honest, it’s your life line.
LaraBars – hangry, hangry, go away, we’ll act like Betty White another day!
Sunscreen – You’ve seen that article about how the left side of your body ages faster from driving, right?!
Wet Wipes – between the sunscreen, kind bars, and the inevitable starbucks run – you’ll want these puppies.
Captain’s Log  & Pen – Logging receipts, gas prices, and whose turn it was to fill up. Plus, priceless quotes and memories.
AUX cord – Club De Mazda, can I hear all the people say, “heeeyyyy!”

Those half selfies that really dont need to exist
Exhibit A: Sweatshirt and LaraBar
Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 1.00.40 PM
Exhibit B: Yoga pants and iPhone charger

From 5am to around 2:30pm, Spotify served up a menagerie of oldies, 90’s staples, rap, indie, folk, and anything else our little hearts desired.  The entire Justin Timberlake 20/20 Experience later, Alex and I found ourselves in Memphis, TN desperately in need of something other than LaraBars. Memphis is famous for their BBQ so the decision was easy. After our brisket expectations had been completely exceeded we ambled back to the car feeling like true Americans. Brimming with protein and possibilities we started the second and (thankfully) shortest leg of our trip!

Tennessee roads have better curves than I do!
Tennessee roads have better curves than I do!

Readers tip: Offline mode for Spotify Premium is the tops for road tripping through spotty cell service. (Bonus tip: to maintain friendship, as DJ, take requests from the audience once in a while…even if it’s country.)

When road tripping anywhere choosing the scenic route, even thought it’s longer, is always worth it. Luckily for us every route to TN was a scenic one. Nashville came quickly as we pulled into the parking lot of a college friends townhome. (Roadtrips mean out of state sleepovers with hospitable long distance friends!) After unpacking, stretching, and visiting for a bit, we got in the car AGAIN. (Crazy, we know.) But the desire to see friends got us 9 hours already, what was a mere 45 minutes? We spent our evening reunited with a dozen of our friends over wine, cheezits, and sandwich fixings (college habits linger on) at an adorable Tennessee cabin somewhere down lots of windy roads.

Readers Tip: Sleep is not for the weekends.

Saturday came early but so did our spirit of adventure! A day in Tennessee was waiting for us before we had attended the much anticipated wedding. Rumors had been swirling about Frothy Monkey being THE coffee shop to go to. Frothy Monkey’s latte was consistently lovely. How would I know? I may or may not have ordered more than one. (I told you, sleep isn’t for the weekends!)

Frothy Monkey, change our lives.

Belmont College was a beautiful place to spend the early afternoon. Manicured lawns indicative of a massive beautification budget, buildings brimming with intellectual promise, and trees on trees on trees made for a peaceful way to walk away a part of our day.

Serious Moment: On trips I feel a sense of pressure to race around exploring so I can check off this mental expectations list I magically assigned to myself in one of my to-do list frenzies. Well, these trips have taught me a thing or two about just being in a place. Not, like, “oh, I’m just going to sit in my hotel room and watching HBO…but it’s cool cause I’m IN Tennessee.” I’m talking, go where the day leads you rather than go where the list dictates. You’ll have more fun and find some hidden gems along the way.

This way to student debt, guys!
“Alex! Pretend like you are walking!”

For lunch we wanted to see what the buzz about Pinewood Social was about. Well, good golly miss molly, I was a bee to honey. This place is kitschy Kinfolk gold. Google it, gram it, do whatever you gotta do – just look at it. Then make a plan and eat there. Somehow they made a Grilled Chicken Sandwich a new thing (psttt…Peach + Bourbon BBQ sauce is part of the mix) Oh, and there’s a bowling alley in the back. Y’know, it’s casual. Once we were done grinning goofily at our surroundings and all the musicians having lunch meetings next to us, we decided, knowing us, it was probably best that we began getting ready.

Our dear friends, Scott and Jenn, were getting married in a matter of hours and it was located somewhere in the Tennessee woods at a friends ranch. The kind of location where there are instruction like, “when you see that reeeaallllyyyyy big tree, veer left and look for that chopped down shrub. If you find that, you’ve gone too far.” Many face palms and “route recalculations” later, we arrive at a clearing. (Worth it) The wedding was a thing of dreams. In the middle of a sun soaked field, a love filled, jubilant ceremony took place followed by a night of non stop dancing under a big white tent.

Sun is setting, party is starting!
Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 12.41.01 PM
Dancing the night away! (Sugar high was sponsored by Jeni’s Ice Cream)
Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 12.32.29 PM
The send off!

We woke up Sunday, bleary eyed and bursting with post wedding glee. Plans had been made to meet up with some friends for brunch at Frothy Monkey (it’s popular for a reason, guys!) We spent our morning settled into a long wooden table, content to munch on our sandwiches, reminisce on the wedding, and people watch. Lattes, laughs, and hours later we conceded to leaving our prime people watching table and take a quick walk around Franklin so we could pretend like we didn’t all have to leave each other soon.

Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 12.33.14 PM
Taking a Sunday stroll in Franklin, TN

 Readers Tip: Gearing up for that drive back is all mental! Put your best playlist forward and settle down in your comfiest road trip clothes.

We made the long drive back and watched tree lines change, sun fade, our drive-in food pile grow, and finally our home town approach. Another wedding roadtrip had concluded. Trips like these are magical. Summer is sort of magical by default, but lets be real…weddings are essentially adults hall pass for mini friend reunions and long weekends. So, encourage those couples you know to get a move on so you can start planning next years wedding road trip!

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