Dang, September, you came in like a whirlwind. Though I had the best of intentions, I only found time to eke out four blog posts, which may be an all-time low for me. That said, my posts have gotten longer and more time-intensive than ever—the photo-editing, oh the photo-editing—so maybe that’s just the nature of evolving something like a blog, which I’ve been managing for 11 years now.
In September, I spent 14 nights away from home, which I suppose is why the month flew by so quickly! I tied up some huge editorial projects—such as Airbnb magazine’s Nashville-themed issue, out next month—and some big content gigs. We also started video production on a pair of long-term video marketing projects we’ve taken on, so I guess you could say the month was a busy one from a work standpoint, as well.
We started out the month in the Shoals. If you missed my full recap of our three nights in Florence and Muscle Shoals, you can catch up on it here.
I went on Nashville’s News Channel 4 to talk about fall travel. I didn’t realize how much I’d missed doing TV spots until I did it. That was fun!
I spoke at TravelCon. I’ve done my best to avoid travel blogging events for a decade now, and now I’m kind of regretting that as I met so many online friends who I’ve “known” for years now but never had the chance of hugging in person. It was a really great event—so well-organized with great content and speakers—and I’d happily speak again at the Boston conference next June.
I got to spend 36 hours in Austin with my bestie, Lemon. A week out, we both realized we could take a personal day, so I changed my flight in for TravelCon to stay with her and her two pups for a night (God bless Southwest and no change fees!). It was just the break I needed amid true chaos.
I spent a weekend in the Smokies with my Footlight Fannies. The four of us who worked together in a tiny office at sea back in 2011 still manage annual visits, and for the third time, they came down to Tennessee to see me—this time, we headed out to Dolly territory in Pigeon Forge!
We fell in love with Huntsville. I seriously had no idea how cool the Rocket City had become since I was a kid. Bonus: Their new minor league baseball mascot is the trash panda!
We had the best weekend ever in the North Carolina mountains with all my brother-in-law’s family. Josh turned 30 a couple weeks ago, and Kari turns 30 next week, so Rosa (Josh’s sister) and I decided to plan a combined family getaway/surprise party in Montreat to celebrate them both. The surprise part didn’t work out, but the weekend did. There were 25 of us: 16 adults, six kids, three babies and a puppy. It was an awesome fall weekend indeed!
We’ve got TWO murals coming—and soon. In fact, they’re going to be installed in the next 10 days—eek! One is by a local, 18-year-old artist we met through the community events we’ve produced; another is a muralist who lives in Miami and has painted some of the famous Wynwood Walls and reached out to me after reading my essay on our mural controversy this past spring. He’s arriving in a week and staying with us throughout the painting process. Talk about an immersive experience!
The murals will correspond with a big art festival SVV and I are producing. If you’re in the Middle Tennessee area, we’d love if you came out and supported us for River Romp on Oct. 13. It’s FREE to attend, and there’s going to be arts, crafts and craft beer aplenty!
I’m having a mid-life crisis. (I think.) Is it normal to question everything you’re doing at 35? Don’t worry, I’m not blowing my 401K on a Corvette anytime soon, but SVV and I are discussing some major changes for 2019 in a quest to live our best lives, so what I’m saying is don’t be surprised if we do something drastic in the new year that you didn’t see coming (*cue the suspense music*).
The world, y’all. Part of this mid-life crisis may or may not be the state of our country, and when I say “may,” I mean definitely is. The last few weeks have put me in a major slump, and I’m sure I’m not alone. I’m doing what I can to try to fight my way out of it (Ella snuggles, craft beer, time with friends and my niece, planning new mural installations, plotting fun new work projects, etc.). Still, it makes you feel powerless seeing what’s going on in your own country and realizing there’s no immediate change in the future and that we may never find our way back. I’m thinking of articulating some of this on the blog in a non-political way (if that’s possible—I don’t even like to go there), but we’ll see. I will say this: Thank God for a partner-in-crime who keeps me balanced!
And to end that on a somber note (sorry…), help turn my mood around by giving me your good news from the past month!
All of my past monthly highlights can be found here.