Farm Market Hoppin’

No matter what time of year it is, a trip to a Farmer’s Market can always be a great date idea. Whether your going just for fun or to grab some ingredients for something you two want to make, it is a nice way to spend time together. In this post, I wanted to include some Farmer’s Markets worth stopping at across the United States with a focus on western Upstate New York. I’m sure you have one you’d like to add, so feel free to post in the comments section below!

 

Schutt’s Apple Mill – Webster, NY:

Photo credit: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-4jq0ad9LnKE/UIw1cMw1laI/AAAAAAAAAUc/HjyzU5gOevA/s1600/download8.jpg

Schutt’s Apple Mill is the best place for (you guessed it!)…apples! Every kind of apple you could possibly imagine is sold here year round. You can pick and choose your own in the many barrels on display OR buy them by the bushel. They also sell fresh pressed apple cider AND hard cider. Not only is it full of apples, but it is a very large gift shop, too. Handmade and specialty gifts, spices and teas, jams and honey, everything you can think of.

Bauman’s Farm Market – Webster, NY:

Photo credit: http://aicontent.agentinsight.net/f/content/254/7016bf4bc71d4c1f92d7f1ede18162eb/600×450.jpg

On our first trip to Bauman’s, we were expecting a typical run of the mill family owned farm market. We were surprised to find a fun place that actually kept us occupied for a while. Not only looking at all the different produce and products they sell, but we went during the fall season to find their homemade haunted house! It was small, but it was a nice and creative touch to give their customers something else to do while they are shopping.

Aman’s Farm & Market – Irondequoit, NY:

Photo credit: https://www.facebook.com/965WCMF/

Aman’s doesn’t just sell flowers and produce, they sell beer! Yes, over 100 different kinds of beer in fact. This place can be your one stop shop on the weekends.

Wickham Farms – Penfield, NY:

Every year Wickham Farms has a “Sunflower Festival” where you can stroll through 1000’s of sunflowers. From Red Velvet Sunflowers to the REALLY BIG ones, they have them all. This farm market also has a café and ice cream shop, kid activities, petting zoos, and so much more throughout the year. You can easily spend a few hours here if you really want to.

City of Rochester Public Market – Rochester, NY:

Photo credit: http://www.cityofrochester.gov/

The Rochester Public Market is of course the go-to place in downtown. You can try different foods from all ethnicities and purchase produce from all the local farmers in the nearby area. They have special events each month and many food truck rodeos (my favorite!).

Nashville Farmers Market at Bicentennial Park – Nashville, TN:

When we lived in Nashville, I just loved coming here for lunch and to stroll around the park. Inside the market, there are many restaurants you can grab a bite to eat and there is also a food truck or two sitting outside for visitors (I miss the Grilled Cheeserie!). My favorite part of this farmers market was the garden center where you could make your own terrariums. I loved looking at all the different plants and ideas for my own future garden. Read more on my previous post: http://www.datesinthestates.com/2016/12/11/nashville-tn-parthenon/

Midtown Global Market – Minneapolis, MN:

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In the last place of Minneapolis you’d expect a farmers market, there is the Midtown Global Market. The building also has offices and other businesses in it, but the lower level is full of different vendors. The vendors sell many different ethnic foods and crafts, even clothing. When I lived in Minneapolis, this was a popular weekend stop for me.

Maplewood Produce & Greenhouse – Shippensburg, PA:

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In this area of Pennsylvania, you will find many different Amish and Mennonite farm markets. This one in particular is one of my favorites. Their prices were great and it was a large store with amazing homemade fudge, pies, bread, and produce.

Comment below and let us know of your favorite Farm Markets in your area! We may just stop by! 🙂

Peace & Love.

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Nashville – Home to the Rich & Famous

Date idea: Be adventurous and drive around Nashville to “Ooo” and “Ahhh” at these million dollar homes.

 

While driving down Belle Mead Blvd, have you ever stopped to wonder what it’d be like to live in those houses? Working in the fast lane, that is valet parking, I’ve seemed to find myself pulling up to these houses whispering under my breathe, “Oh…my…god…”. The extravagant lighting, massive pillars, beautiful landscaping, and luxurious cars are enough to take your breathe away. It’s amazing how the houses can make you feel so small while living in a city so big.

Belle Meade Blvd is one of my favorite areas of the city that I like to show people the most. Country music artists to architects and interior designers to oh-so-many Frists live up and down these streets – many are a secret to most as they hide undercover. This article will give you a little inside scoop to some of the biggest houses I’ve come across and who they belong to.

 

Sylvia Roberts’ $19.5 million Home:

Photo credit: https://wp.zillowstatic.com/1/Exterior-2-329e19.jpg

If you recognize this house, you must be a fan of the hit TV show “Nashville”. You guessed it – Connie Britton’s character owns this home in the TV show. This beautiful Belle Meade home is located on Page Rd and is owned by Sylvia Roberts. This 6 bedroom, 12 bathroom, 20,533 sq ft. mansion hit the market last year for a whopping $19.5 million.

Photo credit: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-uBPRQNY_Gj4/UVRub1Zsw2I/AAAAAAAACTY/UVog-5ZjeaQ/s1600/Screen+Shot+2013-03-28+at+12.22.39+PM.png

 

The Arndt’s Estate:

Photo credit: http://photos3.zillowstatic.com/p_h/ISle5w613axgv20000000000.jpg

When driving down Concord Rd in Brentwood, you may look up a small hill and see this massive home. Sold to the Arndt’s in 2014 for only a couple million, this home is now worth over $30 million. The main structure at the time of purchase as shown in this photo was about 10,600 sq ft. Now with a guest house and a finished basement, the home is now estimated at about 18,000 sq ft – and the Arndt’s aren’t done, yet! When finished, the home will be about 28,000 sq ft according to the Brentwoodhomepage.com. Keep an eye out for a couple of their hot pink Rolls Royce that tend to peak out of the garage from time to time. Also, drive by at night for their wonderful light show.

Photo credit: http://www.zimbio.com/photos/Johnathon+Arndt/Newman+Arndt/1st+Annual+Nashville+Shines+Haiti+Concert/beuzqfsdmr2

 

Rich from Big & Rich’s Mt. Richmore:

Photo credit: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_tfCpanUKc0Q/TCQUD_-PUQI/AAAAAAAABng/_-mM6PMNyUk/s640/mount-richmore.jpg

When driving up Love Circle in West Nashville you may be thinking, “This is a terrible location,” with it’s small road and close neighbors. When you get to the top and ignore what Mt. Richmore looks like and actually see what Mt. Richmore looks at, you may think a little differently. Rich’s new estate overlooks the city of Nashville’s westside skyline. When the sun is setting, the view is just perfect. I know from first hand experience that this house has some raging parties on the rooftop. You can imagine how these parties have made the neighbors of this once very quiet street feel just by reading the comments on Nashvillescene.com as well as hearing about many police reports.

Photo credit: http://www.countrycalifornia.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/john-rich-house-Custom.jpg

 

Oh-So-Many Frists:

1304 Chickering Road, 810 Jackson Blvd., 703 Bowling Ave., and 1326 Page Road just to name a few. The Frist’s are one of the most popular and wealthiest families in Nashville. Some are senators, some are doctors, and for most – their wealth solely comes from the family leading the nations most successful hospital company. While your in Nashville, check out the Frist Center for the Visual Arts. An art deco museum and event venue with beautiful exhibits of fine art.

 

Vanderbilt Chancellor’s Residence:

Located at 211 Deer Park Dr, The Vanderbilt Chancellor lives a pretty comfy life in his almost 16,000 sq ft multi-million dollar home. It’s nestled in the heart of Belle Meade and is barely visible from the road.

 

Tim McGraw & Faith Hill:

Photo credit: https://dwtd9qkskt5ds.cloudfront.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/tim-mcgraw-and-faith-hill-selling-nashville-mansion-1.jpg

An astounding 22,000 sq foot house on 17 wooded acres is nestled on Crater Hill. This mansion which belongs to Tim McGraw and Faith Hill has 37 rooms, with only 5 of those being actual bedrooms!

 

Disclaimer: I loved writing this article about some of the biggest houses I’ve been to in Nashville, but please note that I only published this for fun. We ask that you do not go knocking on their doors or drive up to their houses. Please politely view from the road. Thank you.

– Crystal

 

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Our move: Nashville, TN –> Rochester, NY

No matter your situation, moving is ALWAYS stressful. I, myself since graduating high school have moved 11 times… 11 TIMES! You would think I would be a pro by now.
Since our decision to move to Rochester, NY in November wasn’t at all expected, we put my things into storage and left it in Nashville. We bounced from house to house staying with family and wound up getting jobs in Rochester as we’d hoped. We bought a house and have since settled down with only the essentials.


Here we are 8 months later and we finally took the trek to retrieve my things that I’ve been missing. We booked our plane tickets, reserved a moving truck, and a hotel during 4th of July weekend as to not take too much time off for work. What was expected to be a stressful trip ended up being the “vacation” I’ve been needing – despite us throwing our existing 4th of July party plans out the window.


We flew into Nashville early Sunday morning and instantly asked ourselves, what food have we been missing? As soon as we picked up our Budget moving truck, we headed for Edley’s BBQ. Oh how I missed their brisket plates and banana bread pudding! If you want to eat BBQ in Nashville – we highly suggest this place. I’ve been to multiple Edley’s BBQ joints and each one has a great atmosphere, so no matter what area of Nashville you may be in, have no doubts.

Photo credit: https://hugginsgroupblog.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/edleys-bbq.jpg

We packed up my stuff from the storage unit with no problem and then we made it to our sleazy, but cheap hotel before getting ready for a night out in the city. Since I picked Edley’s for lunch, Shane picked Clyde’s on Church for dinner. We’ve always loved the easy going vibe of this bar restaurant with it’s ping pong tables, shuffleboard, and laidback seating. We met up with some of my friends and had some candy shots (a popular Clyde’s favorite) and played ping pong of course!

Photo credit: http://nashvilleguru.com/officialwebsite/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Clydes-on-Church-Nashville-42.jpg

Before heading back to the hotel, we had to go to our favorite park for a stroll before crashing – we had been up since 3am! We walked from Clyde’s to Centennial Park which boasts the ah-inspiring Parthenon. I love this building in Nashville – it was my first park I ever visited when I moved to the city and after this night, it was the last. (Read more about the Parthenon in one of my previous posts here: http://datesinthestates.com/2016/12/11/nashville-tn-parthenon/)


To tour and eat our way through a little bit of Nashville in one day was a fun experience. The next day, we rolled out of bed and took off to Knoxville – a pit stop on our way back to Rochester to see friends. Knoxville has been a popular stop for us passing through – it really is a neat city to visit with it’s “Old City” and it’s “New.”


For our friends birthday – a little bar hopping was on the agenda. We ate dinner for the first time at Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe – their veggie gyro was delicious. We made our way to downtown for a drink at The Library – my favorite speakeasy bar in Knoxville. (Read more about The Library in one of my previous posts here: http://datesinthestates.com/2017/02/12/super-fun-day-trips-knoxville/).

The menu – an old encyclopedia
A fake fireplace surrounded by books and creepy old-time photos

 

 

 

 

The entrance

There are no signs for this bar so you must walk down an alley way near The Oliver Hotel and enter through the door with a red light above it. May seem sketchy at first, but inside you will find a hidden gem.

After having a few drinks at The Library, we then hopped to the next bar in the same building, The Oliver Royale (part of The Oliver Hotel). Both bars feature one of a kind, fancy drinks so be ready to pay a pretty penny. Try a Grendel at The Library or a Friend of a Friend at the Oliver Royale.

Photo credit: https://i0.wp.com/www.kandradventures.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Oliver-Royale-Knoxville-Restaurant-Review.jpg

Tuesday, on the 4th of July, we made our way back to Rochester. After our 12 hour + drive we quickly greeted the animals and went out for a walk in our neighborhood to see fireworks. Every year for the 4th of July I would be somewhere watching fireworks whether it was in Conesus, NY or Millville, PA – I never missed them! So I was damned if I was going to miss them this year. We went to the lookout near our house and watched fireworks in the surrounding towns circling the bay. We walked through smoke and watched our surrounding neighbors light off fireworks one at a time. Even though it wasn’t spectacular, it was good enough for me.

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Super fun day trips in Knoxville

Near the Great Smokey Mountains lies a beautiful and unique city just waiting to be explored. Knoxville, TN offers a little something for everyone whether you like bar hopping, shopping, paddle boarding, kayaking, or hiking, then you MUST read on! Here are some super fun day trip ideas to take in Knoxville.

The Square in downtown Knoxville

The Square in downtown Knoxville offers a unique variety of shoppes, restaurants, and bars. Two of my favorite places to eat is Blue Coast (on the corner with plenty of outdoor seating) and Downtown Grill & Brewery. Both offer a wide variety from Brunch to Dinner. The Square is a very popular bar hopping location in Knoxville. I love these bars that offer fantastic views from their rooftop such as Preservation Pub and Scruffy City Hall. If you want to get away from the party scene, there is a great little speakeasy bar that is hidden from many tourists. The Peter Kern Library is by far my favorite bar anywhere in the United States. Hidden down a dark alley on Union Avenue you will find the entrance. Just look for a red gleaming light and a security guard out front, as there is no sign. It is a nice, relaxing place to grab a pricey drink named after many literary characters and the menu is literally a thick, antique book.

The Armstrong/Strong Alley is a great spot for a quick walk through to see beautiful graffiti art. Artists have been given permission from the building owners to use this alley as an artistic outlet. The popularity and the love this alley has placed upon the city have inspired people to fund and donate to help preserve the art on the walls. You can find this alley between Market Square & Gay Street.

The city of Knoxville burned down long ago, so you will come to find that part of the city is labeled, The Old City, and the other part is labeled, The New City. Part of The New City was built up above The Old City. Some streets actually allow you to look down from the top of the street to the old buildings down below. The picture below doesn’t do it any justice, you have to see it in person!

The old burned Knoxville city underneath the new city. Those are apartments down there that people still live in!
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Valentine’s Ziplining Adventure

On a frigid Valentine’s Day morning, he whisked me away from our tiny Nashville apartment to a town in the middle of no-where called Kingston Springs. He told me which direction to drive, but not where we were going. I was built up with excitement and nervousness. We suddenly had to take a turn on a dirt road, that my Mustang barely could handle, up a hill and into the woods. I figured it out once I saw the signs for “Adventure Works” and zip lines. He had planned to do the Sweetheart Zip Tour. I had been wanting to zip line what felt like forever! We walked by a burning bon fire and approached the gazebo where our tour guides and gear were waiting. They gave us the run down on how to use our gear and properly put it on. They then continued to explain we would be going on 9 different zip lines covering about a mile and a half of wooded terrain as well testing out some of their tree top challenges. A few other couples showed up and we were good to go to the first zip line. They were very thorough in explaining how to ride down the zip lines and what to and what not to hold onto.

As we waited in line to go down the first zip line individually, my heart was pounding with excitement, and I could tell his was, too. He made me go first. I linked my gear to the line and down I went through the trees and gliding over the ground below. I approached the wooden plank where the other couples and trainer who went before me awaited my arrival. I pulled on the pulley to slow myself down a bit and instead I turned around in circles. Trying to get back to the front facing direction, I suddenly approached the plank and slid onto the light snow that covered it. As I stood upright and unhooked myself, I looked back seeing Shane getting ready to follow. My first thought was, “wow, let’s do that again!”

Half way through the tour, we got to the couple zip line where we could go down together. This was the moment we had both been waiting for. And it was so worth it. As we went down the line fast, he kissed me and said, “I love you”.

Not only were we able to zip line individually and together, the tour also consisted of tree top climbs. They had tree houses and ropes that you could climb across to get to the last few zip lines. It was a nice challenge rather than just stepping up to a plank. Afterwards, we were able to stand around the fire and hang out for a bit with the other couples and tour guides. It was certainly a chilly day in Nashville, but the Sweetheart Zip was the perfect Valentine’s Day date for the adventurous.

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Belle Meade Plantation Tour

Once a year, Belle Meade Plantation has an open house featuring a candlelight self-walking tour of the mansion and the grounds as well as free wine tasting in the gift shop, carolers, and pictures with Santa of course! It’s a fun, chilly date night activity in those winter months. You might not learn as much about the history of the property like you would in a guided tour, but there are plenty of employees (in costumes) in each of the rooms that will answer any questions you may have as well as tell you a story or two about the rooms and its contents. Having the opportunity to walk around outside with free hot cocoa and pathways lighted by candles certainly gives this night at Belle Meade Plantation a romantic night to remember.

If you would rather, Belle Meade Planation, it’s winery, and it’s restaurant is opened throughout the year and offers paid, guided tours and is a beautiful, popular place for a destination wedding in Nashville. Mansion tours are typically about 45 minutes, prices vary. You may also tour by Segway (could be fun!) and in groups.

After visiting Belle Meade Planation, we went and had a fun dinner at Sam’s Place. Great food, great prices, and fun, personable staff! It may not be a romantic dinner, but to eat in Belle Meade, you can’t beat their prices!

I hope you have a fun, romantic night!

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Evins Old Mill

Evins Mill is a small, very private resort featuring wonderful views and a romantic aura tucked away deep in the woods of Smithville, TN. Each room has it’s own private deck and scenic settings as well as access to hiking trails leading to waterfalls and gorges. It is the perfect getaway to put you back in touch with nature and to fall in love all over again.

Our Room w/ a View!

There are many resort packages including breakfast, boxed lunches, and dinner as well as spa services. On site there is a library, bar, game room, and more. My favorite part of our stay was not only the view of our room, but the hike to the waterfall. We took the daring, tough terrain hike complete with ropes along the edge of the trail to help you along the way. Once we got to the waterfall, the strenuous hike was well worth it. It was a beautiful and magnificent site that I could have spent all day admiring.

The game room, museum, and banquet rooms are located in part of the Old Mill. Take the walkway that stretches from the resort across the dam to get there. It is a beautiful location for a wedding or private party/function. At night, take a stroll across the bridge and you can hear the tree frogs echo throughout the gorges.

The walkway to get from the resort area to Old Mill

 

The resort with walkways to each cabin/room

 

Photo taken by: Ben Russell
Featured on Evins Mill FB page

Not only was our room and experience amazing, but the staff was so polite and accommodating. I would recommend this place 100%! He took me here for our 2 year anniversary and for my early birthday present, how amazing is this man?! I’m so lucky and blessed.

Thank you all for reading, Happy Holidays!

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Christmas Eve Holiday Lights Date-Cheekwood

During the holiday season, one of the best places in Nashville to go and see Christmas lights is Cheekwood’s Holiday Lights in Belle Mead. Cheekwood Botanical Gardens is a beautiful place for weddings, romantic dates, and extravagant events…Swan Ball anyone? On a side note, Belle Mead is the one place in Nashville I loved taking a drive, whether I was working a local house party at one of the mansions or just passing through, mainly due to the beautiful homes that wealthy families and music stars own. On your way to Cheekwood, be sure to drive down Belle Mead Boulevard until you reach the end to see everyone’s Christmas lights. Once you reach the park at the end of Belle Mead Boulevard, turn right and then take your first left to drive along the golf course until you reach the entrance to Cheekwood.

Cheekwood Holiday Lights is a fun date after your Christmas Eve dinner whether it’s just the two of you or the whole family. They feature about 1 million lights throughout their gardens making it the prettiest nighttime winter stroll. You may purchase the tickets online or at the gate. You can walk around sipping a hot toddy from their various drink and snack stands throughout the gardens. They have a gift shop as well as a restaurant on site and you may also take a free walking tour of the mansion.

  

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Nashville, TN Dates

Living in Nashville for a year, we realized that it’s a great city to visit, but certainly not to live. The city itself is growing at an enormous rate and the interstates and byways just can’t handle it. As a result, in my opinion, there is too much traffic, and people! On top of how many people are currently living in the city, you have tourists. Don’t get me wrong, the city is beautiful. There is always something to do, rain or shine. Many tourists will flock to Broadway (the well known party and bar street in the city), but I have a lot of other places that I prefer to go to with my date. Here are just a few…

The Parthenon:

DSC06491

In Nashville, there is a full scale replica of the original Parthenon that is in Athens, Greece. Located in West End, in the middle of Centennial Park of Nashville. It was originally built for 1897’s Centennial Exposition. I heard it was supposed to be torn down, but it was such an exact replica and adorned by many, that it was kept standing and now serves as an art museum. It’s free to walk around, and there is a one mile loop behind around a pond.

Nashville Flea Market & Bicentennial Park:

photo taken by: Julianna

Even if you’re not looking to buy something, its a fun place to walk around and take in all the different smells. Food trucks tend to gather here, including The Grilled Cheeserie which is my favorite! There are many restaurants and vendors inside and outside of the building ranging from pizza and baked goods, to yummy organic ice cream and Jamaican foods. Behind the flea market is Bicentennial Park.

You can see a beautiful view of the State Capitol as well as learn and see some of Nashville’s history. Make sure to walk towards the west side of the park and listen to the towers play some bell music every hour on the hour. I bet a beautiful place to propose to someone is right in the middle of the towers as the music plays 😉

Go to a Titans game:

It may not be the most romantic of places, but its a great place to have fun with your loved one and friends. Not only can you watch the game, but there are places throughout the stadium where you can play corn hole, have a drink at the bar, and lounge on couches while the sun sets. Did I mention the stadium food?! YUM!

Walk around 12 South:

12 South is the infamous street where you may see celebrities such as Lady Gaga shopping as well as graffiti wall art. You can do an art crawl, but I will get to explaining that in a later post! There is also some great restaurants such as Bar Taco and Flip Side (great chicken and shakes)!

Tour Gaylord Opryland Resort:

You may be thinking, why would I tour a resort? Well, you must haven’t seen Gaylord Opryland, yet! This resort not only has restaurants and shops, but breathtakingly beautiful conservatories. Orchids, waterfalls, palms, greens and plants of all kinds reside in the resort perfect for picture taking.

Those are just a few of my favorite Nashville dates! Stay tuned for more great ideas in Tennessee!

As always, thank you for reading. You all are amazing.

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