The Insta-Home Challenge: Nashville

by Angela on May 18, 2013 · 4 comments

We’ve arrived in Music City, perhaps a few moments too soon.

We had to say goodbye to sweet Appleton, Wisconsin where we lived along the Fox River in luxe accommodations with some of our best friends.  Max left a warm, wonderful daycare called Stepping Stones, where he worked on art projects, grew attached to his teachers Rebekah and Jamie, and went to the potty successfully a few times to boot. Nashville will bittersweetly serve as our last city together as a family of three — Max and I head to Hershey, Pennsylvania next month to nest and prep for Baby Girl with my in-laws.

So, we hopped in our Vibe and drove 10 hours south to Tennessee, where we were greeted by rain. Lots and lots of rain.

However, we did spot a rainbow on our way in. Good sign?

Boy, I sure do miss our Appleton abode.  I supposed I’ve earned this reputation within the Lion King tour as some sort of housing maven — but I attribute it all to simply being the early bird. Sometimes folks (namely the young, swingin’ singles) on tour arrive in each city without any housing set up, and find deals last-minute that are on the supercheap. But traveling with a toddler and a kitty in tow, we can’t afford to take that chance. Our needs are very specific, and I will look to book a place half a year out. Most of the time, it works out in our favor, but my zealousness to book Nashville eight months ago turned out to bite me in the rear.

You see, back then I didn’t know I would be pregnant right now. Very, very pregnant. Get a load of these stairs I must climb to get to our apartment!

We live on the third floor of an apartment complex without an elevator. Now I know this statement doesn’t read so badly, as there are technically two flights to trudge up to reach our front door, but if you take into account about 30+ pounds tacked onto my lower half (and growing) and a really wacky center of gravity, my third-trimester self is none too happy. Not to mention the toddler — if Mike or I are not carrying Max up the stairs, it seems to take an agonizing 20 minutes for Max to ramble up, with an abundance of cheering and coaxing. And if you factor in carrying groceries and the like? Ohdeargod.

(A huge shout-out to my studmuffin of a husband who unpacked all of our worldly belongings from the car up all those stairs to our apartment, all by himself in the rain.)

Introducing our building at The Park At Melrose, near Belmont University and the 12 South district.

The bright side is, once we’re up top and inside, it’s quite a comfy place to kick back. We’re renting this one-bedroom unit from a singer/songwriter named Alissa Moreno — she’s written Grammy-nominated songs for Rascal Flatts, and her music has been licensed for various TV shows, including the theme song for “Army Wives.” I found her on Airbnb, and she’s been a pleasure to deal with.  Here’s the long hallway entrance, from the front door (far end) to the living room.

So…I had been looking forward to Nashville, as my last city before maternity leave and living alone as a family, to watch the NBA Playoffs every night at my leisure. Imagine my chagrin when we turned on the TV and discovered we didn’t have ESPN or TNT, just broadcast channels! Sigh. First World Problems, I complained to no one.

Our internet was suspect too, as Alissa told us to jump on an “open network requiring no password.” Ummm… evidently we were sponging off someone else, and of course our connection turned out to be spotty and slow. No way to stream video to make up for our lack of cable!  Annoyed and hormonal, I told her something had to be done — and to her credit, she responded quickly. Within 2 days we had both cable TV (with DVR and HD!) and internet (lightning fast!) at our fingertips.

Our kitchen is stocked with most everything we need, including tons of spices and vitamins, and the pantry came loaded with some organic, healthy foods to boot!

The bathtub is pretty big for the big boy, who has been using the potty somewhat successfully, in case you were wondering. He’s about 60% of the way there. (I am talking about Max, by the way.)

Our bedroom is actually on the sparse side, with no dresser drawers — but we are making do with the huge walk-in closet.

We’ve made ourselves at home with the beautiful treetop backdrop outside our living room windows, and Max’s toys are happily strewn about (and living by ourselves, I don’t feel guilty about not cleaning up every day). Can you spot Turkey in this photo?

We’ve also got access to a saltwater pool just 30 yards away from the ground floor stairs. Mike’s been working out in the fitness room when he’s not sweatin’ it out in a hot yoga studio. Wait’ll you see his next diet blog post – he’s getting in great shape, ya’ll!

On our first night in Nashville, we rewarded ourselves after our long drive with a dinner at Ichiban, an authentic Japanese place downtown on 2nd Avenue. Max is so excited to dig into his salmon.

Afterwards, we sauntered down 2nd Avenue towards Broadway, listening to the live music drift out from the plentiful bars on either side.

Here’s to Nashville!

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

George May 18, 2013 at 10:01 am

Nashville is one of my favorite cities in the country. You gotta make sure you see the Grand Ole Opry and listen to music in Music Row. Bring your kid to the Science Adventure Museum and any parks this summer, as there is always something going on. Enjoy your time there. It’s really the best.

George McKinnon


steve May 18, 2013 at 12:19 pm

nashville is one stop that my family hasn’t been to and we’re dying to get to. i look forward to seeing what the hollicks have to say about it all!


ANGELIQUE May 19, 2013 at 7:23 am



Janeen May 20, 2013 at 5:18 pm

Have fun, despite all those stairs!


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