No Midnight Snack Allowed

A few of the kids waiting to come in for kids camp!

A few of the kids waiting to come in for kids camp!

I tucked myself into bed last night and my first thought was “Gosh, I’m hungry.” Normally, if I were home right now I’d hop out of bed, waltz down to the kitchen and pick one of hundreds of snacks. It’d probably be goldfish, let’s be honest, but I might have chocolate ice cream instead depending on the mood I was in. I remembered that I had dried mangos and granola bars in my suitcase but I really just wanted some goldfish. Why didn’t I remember to pack goldfish?

Just as I was getting a little frustrated that I didn’t pack goldfish I stopped myself. Here I was a little bit hungry and I was complaining that I didn’t have goldfish. I had about 60 granola bars and 2 large bags of dried fruit but not goldfish. I wanted to slap myself upside the head and shake myself “Sarah Kate, you are in AFRICA, there are over 66 million kids who will go to bed hungry tonight and every 4 seconds a child will die from it.” It broke my heart. How could I be so selfish? And to add insult to injury I had just eaten 4 hours ago, not 12 hours or even a countless number of days.

The little boy in the red had only a large shirt to wear - nothing else. Yet they're still happy!

The little boy in the red had only a large shirt to wear – nothing else. Yet he’s still happy!

Instantly I started thinking of the kids I had met earlier that day. They came rushing in the gates with tattered clothes and smiling faces.  Full of energy they ran around the James Place so happy to be able to jump rope and play soccer.  Later we sat them down to teach them a message and gave them a hard boiled egg and glass of water. As we passed the food and water out one of my team members leaned over and told me “for some of them this will be the only thing they put in their mouth all day.” ONE HARD BOILED EGG. That was it. All of the sudden I wasn’t hungry anymore.

I rolled over to my other side listening to the rain again. Not only did I have food but I had a roof over my head and a dry bed to sleep in – more than many people around me. I closed my eyes and counted my blessing just like I would count sheep until I fell asleep.

It’s “On the House” at Kitchen Notes

The past couple Monday nights I’ve been spoiled. My best friend, Libby, also known as The Local Lady, has been wineing and dining me all over town. Two weeks ago we ate at Cantina Laredo and just this last Monday we enjoyed the sweet southern tastes of Kitchen Notes and Bar Lines in the Omni Hotel. The best part? We didn’t have to pay a dime.

How did we luck out? How did we get our 3 course meals and drinks paid for? Libby has a blog and a pretty dang good one at that. Over the summer she started The Local Lady. Her focus is on “Embracing Authenticity and One of a Kind Legacies.” She works hard traveling all over Nashville, setting up interviews, and getting to know the local gems. And with today being Valentines Day, these local restaurants wanted to give us a taste of their menu beforehand.

Barlines @ The Omni

Libby enjoying her drink at Barlines

Of the two, I preferred our experience at the Omni for a few reasons.

1. They pay attention to the detail. Upon arriving they opened the door for us, made sure we knew where we were going, and greeted us when we entered the room. They had us enter a drawing for a one night stay at the Omni Hotel with a complimentary breakfast at Kitchen Notes and in each of our seats they had a gift bag. The bag contained a few gifts from local artisans along with a bit of information about the Omni Hotel and Kitchen Notes.

2. The let us try everything. Of course, it was a set valentines menu but from that menu we got to try 4 appetizers, 3 entrees, and 3 different desserts. I believe in order to make a good recommendation for your readers you should try everything. As a blogger it’s nice to be able to tell them what you liked and disliked; what you thought was the best or what could have been better… They did not skimp on anything and they were constantly making sure we had what we needed. Additionally, their set menu was composed of items off their regular menu. That aspect will have me returning even after Valentine’s Day since I know I’ll be able to get what I had year round.

3. 2 Different Restaurants, 1 Location. We had the pleasure of trying both Kitchen Notes, a southern restaurant, and Bar Lines, a “honky tonk” bar. We enjoyed a nice sit down meal and afterwards enjoyed drinks and live music. Bar Lines is mainly a whiskey bar. They try to put their focus on Tennessee and what local cuisine and drinks would taste like. At the bar, Libby and I enjoyed the “Lincoln County Maple Smash.” It had George Dickel Tennessee Whisky, Maple Syrup, Lemon, and Mint. I’m not a mixed drink girl but that was TASTY!

Overall, my experience at The Omni was enjoyable because they were focused on us. They wanted to make sure we were staying informed and having a pleasant time- and we definitely did! I would go back and highly recommend it!

 

Also, check out Libby’s Local Lady Video 🙂