Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Week Away

Wow, was last week a long week...

So to recap, Zach and I did a songwriting road trip last week so Zach could work on his next album.

The week started out in Greenville, SC were Zach wrote with Tara Leigh Cobble. You might remember that name since I mentioned her a few weeks back in my post titled "This is my story and a page has been turned". Anyways, TLC would totally win the senior superlative (do they still give those out in high school?!) for "best all around." She's an author, speaker, musician, songwriter, storyteller, and has one heck of a fascinating journey with Jesus. This was my first time in Greenville and I would have to say it took me by surprise.

We didn't have a lot of time here, but TLC recommended a local coffee shop downtown so we went and got lattes. Yes, this was my first coffee beverage in over 7 weeks and I tried out soy milk. It was divine.

Unfortunately, Zach and I did not get to do dinner in town due to the FAID. We scoured about half a dozen restaurant menus only to find I could eat nothing on them.
Yes, this was depressing for me. Here I was, in a new city, full of places to explore and restaurants with interesting menus and outdoor patios to try out, and I couldn't eat a single thing. Sigh. Unbeknownst to me, this was only the first stop in a loooong line of cities to come that would leave me discouraged, disappointed, and stressed. The latte was fantastic though. :)

Sadly, the FAID leaves me chained to... chains really. :) You know, chain restaurants that are located at convenient interstate exits and serve the same, mass-produced food at each location. These places are usually my nemesis and naturally places I avoid because they are so hideously inferior to "local restaurants". Nowadays though, I long for a Ruby Tuesday, Outback, Bonefish (that one I actually like), or Longhorn just so I can eat drama free!
Anywho, after Greenville we headed to Atlanta. I am so grateful to all our friends and family who let us crash with them this week. Thank you! So much!

Our time here was short, but luckily we did have time to grab a yummy dinner at Seasons 52 with my friend Tanya.

Tanya and I met back in 2005 when I started working at Gensler. I am so thankful for her friendship that has lasted though the years and treasure her bubbly, optimistic spirit.

Being at Seasons 52- Buckhead reminded me how much I love this city, or rather, being spoiled by the conveniences of urban Atlanta life. Since the Charlotte WholeFoods isn't open yet, I took this opportunity to pilfer the GIANT Buckhead WholeFoods. Gosh this place is one of a kind. Whitney Wood Bailey, can I get an amen? :) Anywho, I was pleasantly surprised to find this scrumptious gluten-free, dairy-free treat and devoured these coconut drops!
I was recently introduced to carob by my friend Lisa. It's almost like a chocolate substitute. Very interesting. Lisa and her husband Phil do a lot of raw cooking (with a dehydrator) with healthy, nutritious ingredients. After all this FAID stuff is over I am totally hitting her up for some recipes, like brownies made from carob!

After Atlanta and a quick trip to Canton for Zach to meet with a music producer, we headed to Nashville. Naturally, this included trips to all the local guitar stores. :)

While in Nashville, we stayed with Bob Fischer, a seasoned country songwriter and his wife Helen. His son Robbi actually works on staff at FHC with Zach and I. Anyways, Zach had a blast hanging out with Bobby, hearing his stories and seeing his songwriter history and success, displayed in frames, awards, and trophies around the house.
While there, Bob had Zach sign (with a wood burner) his "songwriter guitar", the guitar he has all songwriters he's worked with or met sign.

I think there are over 140 signatures all over the body of this guitar and include people like Chet Atkins, Craig Wiseman ("Live Like You Were Dying", "The Good Stuff"), Phil Vassar, etc.  I think Zach was truly honored to join them on this one-of-a-kind piece of music memorabilia.

Also in Nashville I got a little break from the FAID. Trying to find somewhere to eat that met all my dietary restrictions was pretty much impossible. I finally gave up trying and stuck with just gluten and dairy free options. This allowed us to go to one of our favorite spots, PM, for some sushi!

We also went to Taco Mamasita's and I had the first taco I've had in over 7 weeks. It was pretty basic - corn tortilla, plain chicken, shredded lettuce, and pico, but it was awesome to me.

I also spent an absurd amount of time in Starbucks this week trying to work remotely. Most of the homes we stayed in this week did not have internet access, so I tromped off to coffee shops each day to stay productive.

Here's Z sitting in the downtown Franklin 'Bucks.
While in Nashville, I also stumbled across the cutest paper and gift shop called Social Graces.
Love these!

On Friday afternoon, Zach and I got back in the car and headed south to spend the weekend with Allie. Our reason for being in Alabama was for Zach to play a memorial service Saturday night (more on this later).

It was so great to spend some quality time with our girl though. She comes to Charlotte in 2 weeks!

Checking out some cool moss on a tree. (I love how Al just found Zach's hat in the car and started wearing it. She's so sporty! :))

Meeting Rocky, Zach's grandmother's new dog.

A Alabama train
Al's so cool without even trying.
On Sunday Zach's mom opened up her coffee shop in Decatur for us, one of our favorite places to eat. Allie LOVES to help Nana run the place and takes every opportunity to take orders and make food and drink.
 Best waitress around

Allie taking our orders...
I love her framed menu
The chefs/ coffee shop extraordinaires!
Allie, learning to make expresso and lattes. This girl is gonna have quite a resume by the time she goes off to college! :)
Thanks to my MIL, I had my first sandwich in 7 weeks and it was GREAT! It was grilled chicken, hummus, avocado, spinach, and sundried tomatoes on gluten free bread. The panini press makes all the difference!
After our tasty lunches and lattes, we went on a boat ride with one of my MIL's new neighbors. The ride was a little longer than expected, but Zach kept Allie occupied and laughing via text messaging. They are so funny together. :)

We loooove our Allie and can't wait to spend our summer together!

Sunday night Z and I went back to Nashville so Zach could have his final writing session Monday before we headed home. He got some great work done on the album this week, but I must confess... I was so anxious to get home! Gosh I am such a homebody. I can enjoy 2 or 3 days away, but anything longer than that makes me ache for the comfort of my own bed, couch, kitchen, and our fair city, Charlotte. I am so thankful Zach is not a touring musician because I don't think I could survive life on the road!

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