Saturday, July 28, 2018

a july vacation

i recently decide to fly to a few hot as hell southern states and take it all in for a july vacation. i'm sharing a few photos and links below, some of my experiences, thoughts and suggestions if you would like to hear.

we flew first to washington d.c. and stayed at the line hotel. there was just so much to love about this hotel, from their attention to detail, the overall too cool for school vibe and the food, don't get me going on the food. (their french fries are literally worthy as a meal of their own)

the line hotel is housed in what was a 110 year old historic church. we flew one way and took a lyft from the airport, the hotel is about a 15-20 minute drive from washington reagan airport and is situated in a neighborhood area so you are outside of downtown d.c. which was rather nice.

the only thing to note is that even as this hotel was pretty much eye candy deliciousness, in the evenings, as you are trying to sleep, the streets and side streets surrounding the hotel are loud. people out to all hours which was a little disappointing and made for not such a great night's sleep.  BUT, it was so gorgeous and the food, the service was so super special, so i would still go back.

oh and so if you can tear yourself away from the food and cocktails served up to perfection at the hotel, there are a number of other restaurant options close by. we gravitated one evening to a small italian restaurant just around the corner from the hotel, al volo, the pasta was homemade and when you just want something easy on the eyes and stomach, i highly recommend this little place. it. was. delish!
we took another lyft downtown one of the days while in d.c., the weather was warm but raining hard. we were eventually rained out and returned the hotel to just slow down and feel the comforts of every single space. i can't say enough about this hotel, the welcome and warm nature of it and the staff who work there.
we then flew to charleston south carolina where the weather was sultry sticky HOT. but there was something kind of addictive about being outside in it. i think it was mainly because there was alot to see and do that you just have to brave it, stare it right smack in the face and press on.
we stayed at the dewberry hotel, situated near tons of great shops, restaurants and is one of those oozy boozy southern style hotels that is perfectly dripping in refined southern hospitality. it's also a short uber or lyft ride from the charleston airport, easy to get to. the food at the hotel is beautifully presented and was delicious. i slept best at this hotel. the building is an older federal building and built like it. the rooms were insanely comfortable and quieeeeeeet!
i mentioned the heat, and let me tell ya, it will wear you down. i don't think that i've ever felt such a compulsive need, (almost to panic level!), to be near drinking water, at any given moment. you must constantly hydrate or you will not do well. to take a break from the walking, shopping, the photographing of amazing tiered homes (that charleston architecture is worth a taking a better part of the day (we toured the streets by bike) to see, really it is. we headed out on a schooner ride on the schooner pride. they offered a variety of types of cruises throughout the day, we opted for a sunset cruise and it was seriously gorgeous.
from charleston we flew to nashville tennessee. out of our entire trip to the south, nashville was my favorite city (i'll tell you why in a sec). we stayed at the noelle hotel, which was about 20 minutes via uber or lyft from nashville airport. this hotel, much like the line hotel in d.c. payed serious attention to detail, lots of brass, clean lines, comfortable furniture, great lighting and lots of little curious accents.
my love for nashville came not by way of this gorgeous hotel, but by my first glimpse of broadway, a street that went on and on, in each direction, both sides. it was endless magic. looking left and right to saloon after saloon, to open air restaurant or bar, some 3 and 4 stores high, each level hosting stages for live musicians, i just paused and literally let the sounds of live music wash over me. i was literally stopped in my tracks, and i mean quite literally, i had to sort of compose myself at how happy the sites and sounds made me feel.
(images: mine)

my mind was completely blown at the talent level of each and every musician, group, duo, trio, you name it that we walked by or sat for a while to take in (rippy's was one of our favorites for the talent level of the musician's, i could have literally sat there all day long). you are literally wide-eyed at the fact that they are not on a larger stage, THEY ARE THAT GOOD! i felt as if i was immersed in a 3 day live concert that i could come and go from. i had to pull myself away from the strip to eat and sleep. there is something so simply magic about this place that i'm already planning a weekend to go back.

so anyway, if you are in the planning stages of a trip south and have any of these spaces and places in mind, i just wanted to share some thoughts, suggestions, recommendations. and i am shouting this now: GO TO NASHVILLE, it's just SO much fun. the people are insanely friendly, the vibe is utterly positive and fun and the music, gah! the music! enjoy!