The rain began falling early this morning. However, the soft spatter of rain that I woke up to grew into a harder, yet steady rainfall by noon and it continued all day.

We were out today, braving the rain slick roads, flooded streets and puddled parking lots.  It was, at times, a challenge, and I laughed and said that we are in training for Tennessee.  True enough, we will need to be ready for more rainfall than we get here in Southern California once we move to Middle Tennessee. 

Tonight, we are snug in our house, sitting by a warm fire in our fireplace and we enjoyed bowls of chicken tortilla soup for dinner.  Recipe follows.  It is delicious!

Favorite Chicken Tortilla Soup

2 large chicken breasts (coated in chili powder, cooked in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and shredded.

Add to that 1 onion-chopped finely, 1- large carton of chicken stock, 1 large can of crushed tomatoes, 2- teaspoon dried crushed oregano, 1- teaspoon cumin, 2 cups of frozen white petite corn, 1- 7 oz can of crushed chiles, 1 small can of black beans. 
Simmer all until heated through. 
Top with sour cream, shredded cheese and sliced avocado.  
Serve with your favorite tortilla chips or cornbread with real butter.  YUM! 

Bruce also made our "Famous Margaritas" to have with our soup. 

Fill a 12 oz. glass with ice
2 shots Cuervo Gold Tequila
1 shot Triple Sec
1/2 shot Grand Mariner
3 shots Margarita Mix (or if you want to go "lite" on your mix, use 1 single serving Crystal Light Lemonade Mix with  12 oz. water to make your own calorie free mix)

Add a splash of prepared orange juice, fresh squeezed orange juice or fresh squeezed lime juice to perfect your Margarita.

After a very busy Saturday, we are enjoying a very laid back Saturday night.  Life is good!



Because Part One of my Nashville 2010 post was missing photos, I decided to dedicate a pictorial post of our trip to Nashville. 

Downtown Nashville where old brick buildings sit adjacent sleek glass high rises and the heartbeat of Music City is held safe in her history.


 A little further outside the lights and energy, the quiet majestic beauty of her hills, lakes and colors becomes the place to pause. 

Until we return to Nashville again....



Still having a sweet time in Nashville!

Monday-- we made a  visit to Arrington Vineyards (co-owned by Kix Brooks of Brooks and Dunn) with our friend Lynnette. Sipped some delicious wines, bought some Raspberry Dessert Wine and chocolate and ate lunch at Puckett's Grocery in Franklin.  Such a great day!

Drove to Lexington on Tuesday--surprised my Aunt for her birthday and had a fun time visiting with my Auntie, Uncle Bill, cousin Debbie and her family!  Debbie is a wonderful cook and we had the most delicious food for dinner!  We stayed up til 1:00 a.m. when we ran out of steam, spent the night and were treated to a delicious breakfast before we headed back to Nashville.

After our drive back to Nashville Wednesday morning, we got in a short rest at our hotel before we got ready to head downtown for the CMA award festivities.  Lots going on and we joined the crowd all vying for a peek at the celebrities arriving on the Black Carpet.  We ate some dinner, hit  "The Stage" on Broadway for a drink and listening to the local band playing that night.

Our son, T surprised us with a visit (he drove all night from VA) and we took him downtown, toured the Ryman, ate some lunch (we each got an appetizer and shared) at the Hard Rock Nashville, stopped at The Second Fiddle and listened to the band, had a few drinks, visited with locals, ate an early dinner at the Wild Horse Saloon and shopped for souvenirs.

All three of us were exhausted from the lack of sleep the night before, so we made up for it with going to bed at 8:30 and getting a solid night's sleep. 

We met Shelly for an early morning hike at Radnor Lake, this time taking the Ridge route (steeper and longer) around to the lake.  We saw only one group of deer eating near the edge of the trail we were on.  It was another beautiful morning for a hike.

Breakfast at the Loveless Cafe.  I could have made a meal on their biscuits!! I can't get them out of my head.  We cruised the Natchez Trace Parkway and stopped for some pics and skipped rocks at Percy Priest Lake.

That is most of the good stuff...here is the ugly. (WARNING--ugly bruise pic below)

Yup, that my friends is a pic of the worst and largest of my seven (yes, seven) bruises--specifically the one I received on my left thigh.  This pic was taken 9 days after my aforementioned fall down the hotel stairs.

Enough ugly...Beautiful Nashville is helping me forget my pain. (The Cabin Fever Maple Whiskey helped a little bit, too). 

Our vacation is winding down with going to hear a friend, Mike Broward, play at a local downtown Irish bar and our last night will be spent with friends at the Nashville Predators game.

Nashville, I already miss you.



Yup, we are in Nashville, having an amazing time and wishing (more than ever) we lived here.  3 days down...7 more to go!

Country Music Hall of Fame--I was especially drawn to the songwriters' stories and loved all the costumes, guitars and boots!

Old Chicago in Clarksville--hung out with our friends, Pam and Steve, I enjoyed a birthday glass of Syrah and shared some yummy appetizers. 

Beer, Bourbon and BBQ Festival--I stuck to Bourbon tasting and found a whiskey that I loved.  Cabin Fever Maple Whiskey...can't wait to add it to my eggnog for some holiday cheer.

Radnor Lake hike at 7:40 a.m.-- cold Tennessee morning air, deer just a few feet away from us.  We also saw several wild turkeys, squirrels and "munkshins" (chipmunks)--my kids will "get" this one--and views of the lake that took my breath away. We may just take in another lake hike later this week!

Bowling Green, KY--met up with my cousin, Pam, hubby John and kiddos and had some dinner and lots of laughing and catching up.  I realized that 5 years is much too long to go without spending time with them.

On our first morning here, I took a nasty spill down the exit stairs on my way down to the hotel gym. From the 4th step from the landing, the toe of my left shoe caught and propelled me face forward down the stairs ending with my face on the landing, inches from the wall. 

Needless to say, there was no workout for me that morning (or any morning since). I had to quickly ice the large lumps on both thighs, both knees, both shins and my right elbow.  The next day, whiplash pain set in all over my body from slamming onto the floor and I was in considerable pain for two of my three days here (the Bourbon helped a lot yesterday, hehe). 

Today has been my best day and I felt good enough to get out and really enjoy our lake hike this morning.  The bruises are horrid, but I am thankful that I did not hit my head or break any bones.  AND, I am not letting it spoil my trip--ummm, maybe 'trip' is the best word to use--I am not letting it spoil my vacation.

I'll blog more in a couple of days and may have some photos to post, too! We have already taken a lot of great ones--I just need to see if we brought the right cord to upload them to the laptop....