I think of Gatlinburg as a rite of passage for every American traveler. Snuggled up against the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the bustling town offers a colorful juxtaposition to the ancient mountains beyond. Enter Gatlinburg and you’ll find yourself immersed in a dizzying swirl of pancake houses, souvenir shops, tourist attractions, and hordes of […]

Fun, Travel, United States

July 12, 2021

The 30 Best Things to Do in Gatlinburg

Drive a few hours north from Nashville and you’ll encounter a delightful surprise nestled in the hills of southern Indiana: two turn-of-the-century grand hotels, painstakingly restored to their former glory. ‘We need to go somewhere for our anniversary,’ a friend texted me recently. ‘We need something fun.’ ‘Have I told you about French Lick?’ I […]

Travel, United States

June 30, 2021

The French Lick Resort in Indiana is the Perfect Weekend Getaway

“I can’t believe we’re finally doing this,” I told my husband as we sat in an Inglewood parking lot. In my hands was a plain brown paper bag. We both gazed at it in silence for a few seconds before I took a deep breath and opened it. Two objects rested inside, both wrapped in […]

Nashville Guide, Travel

June 15, 2021

Believe the Hype: Bill’s Sandwich Palace Has the Best Sandwiches in Nashville

Our youngest has always been easy. He’s a natural self-starter and sailed through elementary and middle school rarely needing help or reminders from us, which is good because after 20 years of parenting, you get… well… TIRED. Even better, he’s managed to make it this far without losing his agreeable disposition. Although I had braced […]

Family, Fun

May 28, 2021

The Last One Grows Up

After what had to be the longest school year of all time, summer is finally here! Now that everything’s opening up again, it just might be the best summer ever — There’s nothing like spending a year at home to appreciate normal, everyday life and all the activities that come with it, right? I’ve spent […]

Nashville Guide, Travel

May 25, 2021

Here are 35 Awesome Things to Do with Kids in Franklin, Tennessee This Summer

I’ve learned over time that what often makes a shop or a tour or even a restaurant really, really special is the owner or guide or chef you interact with while you’re there. When I’m researching a city or town, I sort through hundreds of user reviews, seeking out the bookstore with the charismatic and […]

Fun, Nashville Guide, Travel

May 23, 2021

The Stones River Battlefield Tour is Now a Must-Do, Thanks to Its Amazing New Tour Guide

A couple of years ago, my family and I went on a guided UTV tour of an exotic animal park in Tupelo. We jounced along in an off-road golf cart through a field full of zebras and buffalo while our guide told us about the animals’ personalities and habits. As we approached a group of […]

Deep Thoughts, Fun

May 13, 2021

An Unexpected Moment I’ll Never Forget

I’m a sucker for a great French brasserie and over the years, we’ve been lucky to dine at some of the best. 39 Rue de Jean in Charleston, Echaude in Quebec City, and the now sadly closed Brasserie Les Halles in Manhattan all left me with delicious memories of crispy pommes frites, mussels steamed in […]

Nashville Guide, Travel

May 7, 2021

Nashville’s Once Upon a Time in France is a Date Night Dream

“Let’s try Birmingham,” I suggested one winter afternoon a couple of years ago. My husband and I had been brainstorming ideas for a weekend road trip in January and coming up empty. Birmingham, though, seemed plausible — It was just under three hours from Nashville and its warmer climate made a surprise snowfall seem very […]

Travel, United States

April 30, 2021

These are Our 40 Favorite Things to Do in Birmingham, Alabama

I’m trying to be very Zen about Nashville’s growth explosion and its resulting traffic and soaring prices and overcrowded everything, and really the only way I can do that right now is by focusing on the food. Until the last few years, the food scene was pretty boring here — Our restaurants catered largely to […]

Fun, Nashville Guide, Travel

April 24, 2021

The Horn Brings Sambusas and Somali Chai to Nashville… and It’s Fantastic