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  • Writer's pictureCaroline

Nashville Part 1: Photos

We were driving to a high-school football game on a normal Thursday night. It was dark -- this time of year makes 6 pm feel like midnight -- and we were startled when both of our phones lit up simultaneously, nearly blinding us. You know the feeling?

"Um, did you win something?" Daniel asked, glancing down.

I scrambled to grab my phone, my mind going blank. "Congratulations," the email read. "Winner of 2 tickets to the Christy Awards Gala and Art of Writing Conference."

Well, well. I had completely forgotten my last minute email address entry back when I was helping promote this very same event on social media.

I was shocked, and being the practical, inside-the-box thinker I am, immediately started listing all the reasons I wouldn't be able to go.

Daniel tapped my shoulder. "Hey, babe, it's pretty obvious you're supposed to be there. I'm going to do whatever it takes to make it happen."

I called my friend Maribeth (of Trekking Through Hobbit Holes) and she accepted the second ticket, much to this introvert's relief (new conference in another city on my own? No thanks!) Details fell into place, and we were on our way!

We managed to turn a 7.5 hour drive into 9+ hours (who can relate to the adventure called traveling with a kid?!) but we arrived in time to unpack in our delightful AirBnB loft (y'all, check out Kristie on AirBnB if you need a place to stay in East Nashville!) and take in The Pharmacy, my brother's favorite burger joint. The burgers and homemade root beer were out of this world!

The next morning, after a clothing faux pas (see the Part 2 post for that story!) we made it to CREMA to meet dear friends and soak up those oh-so-wonderful coffee shop vibes. Daniel and I have become major foodies when we travel, and ever since we were engaged it has become our tradition to try to visit at least one new coffee shop in each new city. Their Cuban latte was perfect on a frigid morning!

We made good use of our two free hours to walk around the Gaylord Opryland Resort (and eat...again.)

It was beautiful and the perfect indoor activity! Sean loved it, too. Have you been there yet?

And then it was time for the conference! Daniel dropped us off at Lipscomb University, our notebooks, dresses, and heels in tow. The keynote speaker was Lysa Terkeurst of Proverbs 31 Ministries, and she was followed by 3 intensive workshops. Again, more about that in Part 2, where Maribeth joins me to share our thoughts on what we learned!

The awards gala was a pleasant surprise -- I didn't know exactly what to expect other than fancy clothes, dinner, and award announcements. But it was so much more -- it was an emotional and inspiring celebration of using excellence in fiction to spread the light of Christ through storytelling.

Continue with us in Part 2!

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