Right before Christmas, Tyler took me to the land of honky tonks, Tennessee whiskey and hot chicken. Tyler grew up in Tennessee, so he planned a long weekend getaway for us to enjoy the colder weather on a road trip through Tennessee and North Carolina. We had the best time and saw so much in just a few days. Here is what we did and everything I brought on the trip!
Day 1: Fly To Nash
We started the trip on Thursday evening and flew to Nashville, Tennessee. Upon landing, Tyler’s sweet family picked us up from the airport. We spent the evening with them and stayed in their beautiful home. Tyler shared with me that he wanted to get on the road at 6AM so it was an early night….
Day 2: Drive to North Carolina
We embarked on our 5-hour drive to Asheville, North Carolina and quickly made a pit stop to get some coffee. Fueled by hazelnut roast and skittles, we pressed on and enjoyed the twists and turns through the Blue Ridge Mountains. I’m not going to lie, I was a little worried about the drive because I had never been on a road trip like this, nor had Tyler and I been in the car together for that long of a time period. Let me tell you, it was the most fun I have ever had driving with someone - ever. Surrounded by beautiful scenery in every direction, we listened to music, podcasts, and talked until we reached The Grove Park Inn. If you’ve never heard of the GP, check it out here. It's home of the National Gingerbread Competition where people of all ages compete for first place. The annual event makes the entire resort filled with the scent of fresh gingerbread and sugary treats.
After checking in, we visited the Biltmore Estate, America's largest home. I grew up visiting the Biltmore with my family, so it was so special to go back. It's sprawling landscape has a winery, horse stables and of course, the estate. The best time to go (in my opinion) is during the holidays because its decorated so beautifully. Since Tyler followed me around as I my eyes were in awe over every room of the tour, we finished the day with brewery stops and dinner downtown. We finished the night drinking hot chocolate served from the life-sized gingerbread bar - yes, you read that correctly! The GP creates a hot chocolate bar covered in gingerbread. We sat in their lobby near the huge fireplaces and drank the most memorable hot chocolate I'll ever have.
Day 3: Knoxville
We woke up early to enjoy the views of the Grove Park grounds then drove west to Knoxville, Tennessee. Tyler drove me through the campus of his alma mater, UT and pointed out all of the places he used to frequent. While we were in city, we strolled through the quaint town square where a Christmas festival was being held. We went to one of Tyler's favorite spots for dinner to meet up with some of his long-time friends. We laughed, shared stories and had way too much fun. Knoxville is really lovely and has great boutiques and restaurants. Our time in Tennessee was nearing to the end, so we made the most of our time by staying up late at a bar/arcade to finish the night.
Day 4: Back to Texas
Driving back to Nashville filled with memories, we raked our minds to pick our favorite parts of the trip. It was one of those weekends that we did so much that it was hard to pick just one event, restaurant, or moment as a favorite. I flew back home to Texas knowing that Tennessee is a special place to me now because of Tyler. Tyler, thank you so much for taking me back to the place you called home. Now it's my turn to show you more of Texas! :)