Once upon a time, two small-town girls hopped on a plane to Nashville to visit their dear friend Lauren
and subject themselves to the torture of a race called Monsoon Marathon
and participate in the St. Jude's Country Music Half Marathon.
The attentive Assistant Manager and Snack Supervisor at Chez Lauren is none other than the world-renowned, Culinary Institute of America-trained Ms. Dora T. E. Ward.
|The T. E. stands for The Explorer.|
Lauren and her staff abide by several guiding principles.
|Chez Lauren is a five-star resort. |
Baby Sis and I found ourselves in the tranquil yet unfamiliar lap of luxury during our stay at Chez Lauren. From the chocolate bar on the pillow to the french press coffee to the Sunday morning frittata, we were spoiled.
At the crack of dawn Saturday, we went in to Nashville where we spent two
hours and thirty seven minutes deliberately plodding 13.1 miles through anything but luxury.
The weather buffet offered almost every option except
snow and sun: cold, constant, steady, driving rain; wind; the occasional clap of thunder; one flash of lightning; the slightest bit of sleet; and (reportedly) hail.
|Thankfully Lauren and her nice, dry, warm car picked us up |
near the finish line.This is Baby Sis after she dried off.
Afterwards we returned to Chez Lauren for a hot bath and some
When the clouds parted, we frolicked in fabulous downtown Franklin and feasted at the Red Pony.
After being in cold, wet weather for
the longest thirteen miles that ever was
so long, we were ready to get our food on.
|OK, admittedly this is from the previous evening at another restaurant.|
Due to running 13.1 miles in horizontal rain for over two and a half hours,
we were starved to death, and there was no patience for taking pictures.
This, however, shows The World's Best Bacon Ever, coated with the nectar of the gods.
(Pardon the overturned egg which no doubt was attempting the grand escape before I could seize it.)
The food at the Red Pony, which
was consumed before I could take pictures, consisted of a tempura sushi roll with shrimp and cream cheese for an appetizer, halibut for Baby Sis, flat iron steak with chimichurri sauce
for me, and Some South American Fish Whose Name Escapes Me--with BACON JAM on top--for Lauren. Deconstructed potato soup was also involved. If by chance you've never heard of deconstructed potato soup,
you are not alone because neither had we
you really need to try it.
Bacon jam? Yes. Bacon is involved. Any questions?
After dinner, we ambled through historic downtown Franklin,
which happened to be hosting a festival.
|Vona is Lauren's absolutely adorable neighbor who|
is a minister at Franklin United Methodist Church.
She has an unflappable voice and demeanor punctuated by
a soothing Southern accent.
|This is a story for another day. |
|A good time was had by all.|
p.s. Baby Sis and I cannot thank the very gracious Lauren and her Asst. Mgr. Dora enough for their hospitality and generosity during our stay. Regarding the race, if you are able to move at all in a forward direction, whether it's walking or jogging or rolling in a wheelchair, I highly encourage you to sign up for an organized event such as this. We heard from more than one participant that the Nashville half marathon is their favorite. The city is charming but not overwhelming; the course is challenging yet interesting. Baby Sis and I will return!