"The Social Network of the South"
Last Friday, I was on my way home from spending a week at the beautiful Grand Hotel in Point Clear, Alabama. All of a sudden I get a message on my phone that I had been mentioned in a post on “The Southern C.” The Southern C wrote: "Congrats Nancy Lynne! You've won two tickets to see Sarah Darling on Sunday night! Please direct message us your contact info!" Imagine my excitement! After clicking on the link, I realized that would be day after tomorrow….in Nashville! No problem…I have thirty six hours to drive the two more hours home, pick up my dog, Toby, repack, make reservations, and head to Nashville! I’ll take that!
We left early Sunday morning for the four-hour drive to Nashville. Of course, that meant a detour through Leiper’s Fork for a hamburger at Puckett’s (since Prince’s Chicken was closed on Sunday.) Then we made our way on up, checked into our hotel, and punched in the address of the 2013 Southern Living Idea House into the GPS. It took us on a beautiful drive into the country to the community of Whites Creek. It was easy to find and was an amazingly easy venue. Since there was also a pop concert that night, I was afraid it would be a nightmare, but not so! We parked in the shade as low clouds started to roll in…not good for an outdoor concert. We got our chairs out of the car and headed in. As always, there was that bit of hesitation as to whether or not my name would really be on the list. I told the girls my name and one of them said, “Oh, yes, Nancy Lynne for Southern C and your guest!” Yep, that’s me! We made our way up the sidewalk and admired the beautiful gardens while we waited a few minutes for the “gate” to open. Finally we were in!
We made our way around to look at the house! Wow, my dream home….a place for all the kids and grandkids as well as a nook for grandma and there is even a house for Toby, my Yorkie! This is perfect! (Never mind that my kids are scattered all over….I can dream!) The house was every bit as beautiful and charming as on the pages in SL. The colors, the décor, the garden, the windows….it was all like in a dream. The decor was my favorite colors....shades of green and turquoise. I loved all the windows and open feeling of the main house and the separation of the "bunkies." I could see myself living out the rest of my life in one of the “bunkies.” And for all you other dreamers, the house will be turned into a Bed and Breakfast for everyone to enjoy in a few months.
After we toured the house, it was time for refreshments. We had biscuits made in the Southern Living kitchens served with several different flavors of Bathtub Gin jams. I think my favorite was the Lemoncello Strawberry. The watermelon cocktails looked cool and refreshing, too, but we settled for a soft drink and bottled water.
Finally, it was time to settle into our lawn chairs and get ready for the concert. As we waited, we talked to people around us and found that some came from as far away as Delaware. There was one family there who had been to Sarah Darling’s first concert in Nashville ten years ago. It was such a nice mix of people here. The venue was fabulous. It really was like a Sunday evening neighborhood picnic. People brought blankets and laid their babies down for naps. A few had their dogs. It was such a nice atmosphere and feeling of excitement as we waited for Sarah Darling to take the stage. An added bonus was seeing Lindsay Bierman who is the editor of Southern Living. He took the stage to make a short talk (it wasn’t like a speech) before the main event. Then Sarah Darling came onstage and and endeared herself to this audience. She sang her new stuff, old stuff, and all in between from Fleetwood Mac’s Dreams to her newest hit, Killing Little Umbrellas. We were a little disappointed that she didn’t do any Patsy Cline because we have heard her do that before and know that she does a remarkable rendition. This was one of the most relaxed, laid-back concerts I have ever attended…so easy and comfortable. Sarah and her band played to the crowd for about 75 minutes. Nobody wanted to leave when it was over. You could see by the autograph line how much these people loved her…men who wanted to woo her and old ladies who wanted to mother her. I will admit that I ended up in that line as well to have MY picture taken with her (and no, I won't share it.)
After it was over, we made our way across town to end the night with some Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream. What’s a summer evening without ice cream, and tonight was no exception? The line was out the door. As we waited, we examined the list of flavors such as Brown Butter Almond Brittle, Pistachio & Honey, and Riesling Poached Pear Sorbet. Since I didn’t get the real thing this trip, I had to sample the Loveless Biscuits & Peach Jam. I finally settled for the Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk with a scoop of Salty Caramel. My friend opted for the Ndali Estate Vanilla Bean with was far from ordinary vanilla. What a perfect way to end an evening!
Thank you to ATT, Southern Living, and all the other sponsors of the Biscuits & Jam Concert Series. Most of all, thank you, Southern C, for choosing me to win the tickets! There is only one concert left in this series....tomorrow night (August 25). Don't miss it!