Cool Mural in Cincinnati

April 2019 Highlights: The Highs + Lows

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Remember the golden days of blogging, back when we didn’t care about photo-editing or SEO and pounded out posts several times a week? Well, those days are kind of back! While I still spend copious amounts of time post-processing photos for each travel post—not to mention, researching and fact-checking the history of the cities we’re visiting—I managed to publish eight blog posts in the month of April, which I’d say is on par with my early blogging years a decade ago. Yay for living in a new home conducive to writing!

Tennessee wildlife

In April, I was out of town seven nights, but took several day trips for work, as well. It was also one of our busiest months from a business perspective: We on-boarded a few new tourism board clients, sent out some massive proposals to others who had reached out over the spring, signed contracts for several speaking gigs, spent a lot of time with my niece (top priority), filed numerous print stories for upcoming magazine issues and finished up a year-long tourism video project for Rutherford County, all while making the transition to a new house and doing a bit of work on the Victorian and Myrtle. Whew! No wonder I’m even more tired than normal.

Charlotte Rose, 13 Months
Charlotte Rose, 13 Months
Charlotte Rose, 13 Months
Charlotte Rose, 13 Months
Charlotte Rose, 13 Months

Charlotte Rose, 13 Months

We also have settled into our new house quite nicely, despite it being pretty sparse in furniture for the time being—I even hosted 30 ladies in my wine club already—and it’s hard to believe we’ve only been here just shy of two months. I feel like this house was built for us, and we just love our new neighborhood so much and the fact that we have people dropping in for happy hour several days a week. If you missed the announcement that we relocated, you can read all about the Cedar House here. The Victorian is rented to travelers through the end of June, and then we’ll be listing it and Myrtle as commercial rentals going forward.

I just finished a speaking gig at a virtual conference today and have two later in May: one in Florida and one in East Tennessee. I’ll also be giving a talk on brand ambassador programs at Travel Con next month. Meet me there, or if you can’t fit Boston into your schedule then watch it all from home with this virtual pass for $149.

TravelCon 2019 Speakers

Now, onto a look back at this past month…


We started April in Cincinnati. I finally learned how to properly spell the city name, hurrah! And as expected, we positively fell in love with Cincy and its creative vibe. I can’t believe it took me 36 years to get here (other than layovers in the airport). It’s such a vibrant hub of artistic expression, from the murals to the culinary pioneers, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it. Our next travel posts will indeed be recaps of our time in Cincinnati.

Cincinnati, Ohio

We went to our first NASCAR race. And I was not prepared for how much fun it was going to be! SVV has long-time been a racing fanatic, but this was my first NASCAR experience and his first time at Bristol Motor Speedway. Read all about our thoughts on that here (with some drinks recipes to boot!).

First NASCAR race
First NASCAR race

We’re back on pretty strict Paleo (or Flex30 as we call it) while not on the road. We’re both just feeling “blah” for so long in terms of energy and know a lot of it has to do with our stress level and what we’re putting into our bodies. And why does food taste so much better, too, when you’re being mindful about what you cook and only putting clean things into your body? A novel concept, huh? We won’t be cutting out booze entirely, though I’m definitely cutting back, but reverting to clear spirits (like gin mixed with La Croix) and saving bourbon and beer for special occasions, like our travels.

While technically Panama City Beach was in March, we finally published a deep-dive into planning a weekend there. Heading to the Panhandle soon? Use this PCB weekend itinerary as your guide.

PCB spring vacation

We kicked it in Memphis for four days. We spent this past weekend soaking up this glorious summer weather—we seriously had no spring in Tennessee; it skyrocketed straight to the 80s, and I’m OK with that as long as the humidity stays manageable—checking out new music, drinking whiskey and just growing our love for Memphis even more. We’ll be writing a blog post about Memphis’ new generation of soul very soon, right in time for its bicentennial. In the meantime, here’s a recap of everything we ate and drank on our last visit to Tennessee’s biggest city a few months back.

We got to the final round of two different grants we applied to for our mural program. The interview process was, um, interesting, but we’ll find out in June if got them. Even if we don’t, we’ve had some really great discussions about public art with potential backers lately, and I’m confident we’ll be putting up some new murals this summer. (We actually have a pair going up on the dugouts of the baseball field currently!) If you love public art, we have a website and a Facebook page for a public-benefit company, DMA, where you can follow developments in real time.

Murals on the Dugouts in Manchester, Tennessee


None! That’s got to be a first. April was a pretty great month, all things considered.

Ella at the Cedar House


May has us in Florida, Oklahoma, Maryville and Huntsville for work, as well as producing another arts festival. It also has us keeping Charlotte for four days while her parents are in Mexico (*send prayers and virtual bourbon since I can’t drink it right now*).

How was April in your neck of the woods?


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