This week, I’m participating in what’s called an alternative spring break. Through CofC, I along with 10 other ladies are heading to Nashville to work with and learn from art organizations that work with people with disabilities. Our trip is called Artistic Abilities (our insta tag is artabs:).
Though Nashville is approximately 8.5 hours away from Charleston, I loved our trip there. After an early morning pre-departure picture (we weren’t quite awake yet), one of our site leaders Kiana hopped in the driver’s seat of the big black mini van while I got in the driver’s seat of the other car fondly named “little red.”
After about two and a half hours of Madeline-with-little-sleep driving, I was thankfully relieved of driving by Sam. A little while later, we arrived in Asheville for lunch. I already know I want to go back to Asheville when I have more time and the sidewalks have less snow. It reminded me of a California of the South. An eclectic city with awesome food but also cowboy hats and country music.
For lunch, we went to this locally-farmed fast food restaurant called Farm Burger.
The fast food part is only in reference to how fast the food came out, definitely not in reference to the quality. Right after I ordered, got some water, and sat down, a waiter put both my entree and side dish in front of me. In two wooden bowls were a superfood salad (kale, beets, cranberries, tahini dressing, carrots, and whatever nutritional yeast is) and anson mill smoked gouda grits with a bacon apple chutney.
Needless to say, I fell I love with Asheville after my meal. Then with everyone’s at first hesitant then excited agreement, we walked down the block to a french chocolate shop.
Overwhelmed by all of our choices, most of us chose something I’ve always wanted to try: sipping chocolate. I ordered what’s called a pure dark liquid truffle drink: it was basically a rich and creamy melted dark chocolate bar in a cup with a spoon–this is the way that all hot chocolate should be made!
Switching to our third set of drivers with one of our awesome co-leaders Laura driving “little red”, we sadly departed America’s voted “coolest city.”
After much napping,
we arrived in Tennessee, which as we just found out is coincidentally the volunteer state.
And then after more driving (8.5 hours is longer than you think), we finally arrived in Nashville!
After parking in a very poorly designed, scrape-the-bottom-of-your-car parking garage, we walked down to the street to our hostel. Now I’ve never been in a hostel, but this one is pretty swanky and clean.
Right now, two of our lovely group members are at the store getting food to make a spaghetti and meatball dinner! And then tomorrow is cultural day!