Roadtrip – SAWITU Gala Weekend in Nashville (Part 2)

Did you catch my first post about the start of our road trip to Nashville? If not, here is a handy link: Roadtrip – SAWITU Gala Weekend in Nashville (Part 1)

SAWITU Gala Nashville - Garies Girl
SAWITU Gala Nashville – Garies Girl

Day 2 – South African Market

We woke up much earlier than planned since the previous room occupant had the alarm set for 6am (!) We got ready, had some breakfast at our hotel and walked over to the Hilton to see what we can see.

As soon as we set foot inside the hotel we could hear the unmistakable buzz of South African ladies. The first group of vendor tables were set up right there in the lobby and what a great job they all did! We took a quick peek and then worked our way into the main hall. So many friendly faces, so many lovely items for sale! What an excellent idea for some of our group members to show their talents and for us to purchase their products. They had biltong, pies, groceries and candy, clothing, art, handmade items, soaps and bath products, jewelry, coffee, rusks and cupcakes, to name just a few. I thoroughly enjoyed walking between the well-decorated tables, admiring the hard work that went into getting them all to this point in time. Well done ladies and gentlemen!

After a quick walk in the park to get some fresh air (and exercise) we got in the car and took off for the nearest mall. Now, we don’t normally “hang out” in malls, but we wanted to walk some more and it was just too cold outside. And it couldn’t hurt to look for something we might still need for our Gala evening. After lunch at Nordstrom’s (yes, it is a thing) we stumbled upon a lash and brow store. Cornelia has been talking about lashes for a while, but the DIY options were just too tricky. We both got a pair of lashes for our evening and boy did it make a difference! Who knew?

Nashville SAWITU Day 2 - Garies Girl
Lunch Bubbly and New Lashes!

Prepping for the Gala

We had some time to relax and have a quick drink back at the hotel before we had to get ready for the Gala portion of our weekend. I’ll spare you all the details, but we did our best to look our best. And that takes time friends!

Since we had a short walk and wanted to save our fancy shoes, we put on comfy options, popped our fancy shoes in a shopping bag and off we went. Check-in for the Gala started at 5:30 pm and we were not going to be late. The front desk was gracious enough to hold our walking shoes for us and off we went for our red carpet minute and some pictures in front of the SAWITU banner and flower arrangement. I have to say, I quite enjoyed myself here. I would say everyone needs to attend a red carpet event at least twice a year!

Nashville SAWITU Day 2 - Garies Girl

The rest of the evening was just lovely. So much trouble and effort went into the venue setup, table arrangements, the food and the entertainment, and whatever else always happen behind the scenes. All the ladies looked spectacular, dressed up in their finest and everyone was so friendly! How often do you find a room full of mostly “strangers” who kind of have knowledge of each other from the internet who just chats and are genuinely interested in hearing each other’s stories? I don’t know about you, but I don’t hear about that type of thing happening often…

Nashville SAWITU Day 2 - Garies Girl

We had some fantastic performers and the South African inspired dinner menu just brought home all those comfy and familiar feelings. All too soon it was time to wind down and our little group grabbed some Cosmopolitans in the hotel bar. When the bar closed down, we hung out in the hotel lobby chatting and laughing until finally calling it a night and making the short walk back home. It was time for bed.

Nashville SAWITU Day 2 - Garies Girl

Day 3 – Sunday Tannies Tea

The weekend had one more exciting event before we would have to face the drive home. The Nashville ladies put together a Tea Service in Centennial Park for all the visitors. And boy did they outdo themselves! Individual tables were decorated, each with a different theme, and laden down with the most amazing baked goods.

Nashville SAWITU Day 3 - Garies Girl
Tannies Tee

Big cakes, small cakes, tarts, savory snacks, and even some Amarula flavored options. Beautiful done ladies! I tried as many of the offerings as I could, chatted with my new friends and just had a good time out in the Nashville sun.

Nashville SAWITU Day 3 - Garies Girl
Tannies Tee

Heading Home

Before long, it was time to head back home. It was the end of the Spring Break week for our kiddos and we both had some tasks to complete back home before the start of the new week and the final stretch of the school semester. Traffic was a bit worse than on Friday, especially north of Atlanta where it slowed down to a crawl, but we made it home by 5:30 pm.

Thank you for a lovely weekend in Nashville ladies! And thank you again Cornelia for letting me use your photos!

Nashville SAWITU Day 3 - Garies Girl
Lovely Proteas

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