It’s the other half here…
If there’s one thing I’ve learned as a traveler, it’s that the best experiences aren’t planned. Lance and I recently took a quick trip to Nashville, and during our one-night stay we met some awesome people and I fell in love … with a table.
If you’ve followed posts here for a while, you might already know I like to shop. I especially like to shop while I’m away from home for things that remind me of places we’ve been. So Lance planned some time into our quick trip for me to go shopping at quirky local shops and galleries (because he’s just awesome like that).
That’s how we came upon the Art & Invention Gallery on Woodland.
It’s a fun and funky gallery with work by Nashville-area artists in all sorts of media – everything from paint on canvas to pottery to cute stuff made from other stuff, like license plates and wood.
I was perusing a table covered in clay jewelry and tiny bowls and spoons when I overheard Lance talking to someone in a back room. I wandered back there, and that’s where I met Bret MacFadyen. Bret, who owns the gallery with his wife, Meg, uses a garage/warehouse space behind the gallery as a studio, and there he crafts furniture out of architectural salvage pieces and found objects. I wandered around and looked at his creations as I eavesdropped on Lance’s conversation.
My eyes and feet kept drifting back to one piece – a coffee table that I swear was sitting in that shop waiting for me to walk in and find it. Lance introduced me to Bret, who’s incredibly nice and very interesting, but I found it hard to concentrate because with that table and me, it was love at first sight.
Fast forward about 20 minutes, and I’ve measured the table, measured the trunk of our car (very aptly named a Honda “Fit”) and discussed with Bret the backstory of the piece. It’s made from old industrial shelving, reclaimed oak boards and oversized casters. Bret hand-distressed the wood boards and painted the metal shelf with a unique finish that looks like patina on copper. As soon as I determined it would fit in the Fit, I bought the table and made plans to return the next morning to pick it up, which we did.
Meanwhile, we all kept talking, and I can’t imagine visiting Nashville now without stopping into the Art & Invention Gallery to say hello to Bret and Meg – or visiting The Idea Hatchery, an adorable cluster of indie shops next door.
(Any woman reading this post should know that if you plan to visit Nashville, Goodbuy Girls is worth a visit. Its boots are like no others.)
Now, when I plop down in our living room and prop my boots up on the coffee table, I remember a truly lovely weekend in Nashville. I say all this to say that amazing travel moments don’t just happen on once-in-a-lifetime trips to Tuscany or Tokyo or the Grand Canyon. I grew up in Nashville’s shadow, and it’s still full of surprises.
Also, the best experiences are always, always about people.