It's December and despite living in southern California, we live far enough inland and every winter we get frost and cold weather. Well, not cold by Minnesota standards, of course, but I consider waking up to 28 degree temps with ice and frost covering my car and lawn....cold. Don't get me wrong, I love it! Its a taste of winter for us. I love taking my 6:00 a.m. walk with Kona, bundled up with gloves and a warm jacket. Bruce and I can't wait to wake up to an overnight snowfall once we live in Tennessee.

Because our home is for sale and we want to keep it feeling open and uncluttered, we opted this year for a small artificial tree. After much searching and frustration for the perfect tree, we found a fiber-optic lit 4 foot tree at Home Depot. Its ornament free, but I draped strands of gold-bead and red-bead garland between the branches. It is perched prettily in the corner window on our hearth and is very beautiful. It's not the same as our traditional fresh tree which fills our house with the wonderful scent of pine, but we have a lot of delicious candles that burn every night and fill our home with yummy Christmas aromas.



Here we are now nearly four months since our summer trip to Tennessee and we are finally making the first big step in getting there. We listed our home for sale last night, culminating a month of preparation and beginning the challenge of living our lives while trying to show our home.

But, our adventure has taken off! Since we are not going to move to TN for a year (or so), we will be finding a small home to rent until we are ready to pack up the car and head East. During that time, we will also pare down to the essentials that we want to haul across country. We have already made some decisions in that regard, but there are many more to make. So much to do....ready, set, go!



Our first trip was such a successful and fun adventure. We covered a lot of the Middle Tennessee neighborhoods we'd researched online, during the 11 days we were here and this is where we believe we will ulitmately be settling. Of course, we wondered if we'd be okay with the humidity and yes, we admit that the first couple of days, it was an adjustment, but we decided that it was "do-able" and found so many other wonderful attributes to this area of our country, that in the end, the humidity factor was truly a "no brainer".

We also now have a great collection of maps of the various areas of Middle Tennessee (so if ya'all need to borrow one), just holler! It really helped to have our laptop along for the trip and access to the free wireless at the hotel, so we could pull up information to help us along each day that we set out on our own to find areas we were interested in.



We spent three days of our trip camping at the Obey River Campground at Dale Hollow Lake with Beth's brother and family (who, by the way, are already proud Tennessee property owners!) They towed their Ski Nautique boat behind their motorhome all the way from California and camped and boated for two weeks.

Dale Hollow Lake is 39,000 acres with approximately 620 miles of shoreline! We were in awe of the beauty and serenity of the lake and spent some downtime daydreaming about owning a home with views like these. We loved being out on the lake, whether in the boat or floating out on our rafts. We have great memories of the few days we spent here!

We experienced an overnight Tennessee thunder storm in our tent (with lots of wind, thunder and lightning) while trying to sleep ! And I am happy to report that we survived the experience with our sense of humor intact! However, we have decided that we will probably not tent camp again. We agree that we prefer the comforts of motorhome camping! But being the die-hard campers that we are, we will probably break out the tent one more time or two before we give in.



Here is a picture of us outside of "Legends" with our new Nashville friends, Jim and Lynnette, who we met first online via Lynette's website which, by the way, has been a source of great information and entertainment (Lynnette is a crack-up).

We had such a great time with them and look forward to continuing our friendship when we get settled in TN. Jim acted as our friendly tour guide for the evening (and he is a natural!). He really knows Nashville!

We had dinner at Amerigo (wonderful italian fare and afterwards they took us on a Nashville pub crawl through several clubs (with live music and no cover charge!) on Broadway. The clubs have bands playing in the front of the club and in the back, so you go in the front door of one bar and out the back door, in the back door of the next club and out the front door. The bands all work for tips, so ya just leave a dollar or two (or more) in the pickle jar on your way out. It's a cool way to hear some great talent.
We made our way into The Second Fiddle and Tootisie's Orchid Lounge during our crawl. We heard a great new artist at The Second Fiddle. His name is Craig Campbell and we really enjoyed his music!

Here is a shot of us at the "Wildhorse Saloon" with a couple of "locals" who posed with us..... This is a great place to come for a meal, live music and line dance lessons or just come and people watch. It is such a fun place. We plan to put on our cowboy boots and learn some line dance steps when we move here! This is a must-do place!

Amid all the clubs downtown that feature up and coming stars, we found this little place for all the "wanna be's" who are not out there every night playing gigs for tips.

Here is the Hermitage Cafe....if you are into Country music, you can catch the music video for "Babygirl" by Sugarland on CMT and see that was filmed in this cafe in Nashville...just something we found on our own!

This is a shot of downtown Nashville and the BellSouth building which is fondly referred to as the "Batman" building (see the Batman ears?). Nashville is a beautiful and charming city.


We made our first trip to Tennessee this summer. We intend to relocate to this beautiful state within the next two years and call it home.

We were amazed at all of the lush green landscape and trees and lakes and open space. We were also warmly welcomed by such sincere friendliness and hospitality from the Tennesseans we met along the way and we found it to be such a sweet contrast to the attitude of indifference that we find so prevalent here in California. It was truly refreshing and inspiring to us!

Here are a some pictures that we took on our travels toward Clarksville, which is located 40 miles northwest of Nashville and is close to Fort Campbell which will likely be where Bruce is able to secure employment (and possibly Beth too!). If not, Beth will seek a position in either Clarksville proper or Nashville.