Nashville with kids: Where to go and what to do on a hot day in Nashville.

We are 6 days into our week long vacation in Nashville. Like many people frequenting the city we are here for a friends bachelor party however in our case we bought our kids with us!

After spending the better part of 5 days in party mode, today was a day for the kids and it was hot! So where do you go in the city when it’s hot and what do you do?

Here’s my itinerary for a family of 4 and the cost of the activities.

Morning breakfast: we decided to stay at the Aloft hotel in midtown. Great hotel approximately 20 mins walk from downtown Nashville and out of the party chaos. There are amazing eateries around such as the midtown cafe, the row, midtown tavern and Hattie B’s chicken. This hotel can also be free if you save up your SPG points on your Amex SPG card which we did. Being located outside of the tourist trap, restaurants tend to be cheaper however on this particular morning we decided to go to Just Love Coffee and Cafe. I would say they make the best coffee and Chai latte we’ve had so far in the US so it’s a must stop! We had a latte, Chai, 2x breakfast wraps and 1 full sized berry waffle (shared by both kids) for under $30. Not too bad when traveling and it was quick and filling. Obviously there are cheaper places to eat out there but it was good quality and a nice atmosphere so it was a plus in our books.

After breakfast we jumped in the rental car or should I clarify pick up truck (a must have when frequenting Nashville) and drove to the beach. The closest lake to Nashville is Percy Priest, less than 10 miles from the city. We headed out to Anderson Beach, $5 entry per vehicle and they have a beach, playground, toilet block and BBQ tables. If you are organized you could bring a picnic however as we had, had breakfast we were just happy to spend the day at the beach with some snacks for the kids and wait to eat lunch a little later in the day. The water was very clear for a lake and was warm at 85F/ 29.4 degrees Centigrade. Perfect temp for the little ones and it means you can spend a good chunk of the day there.

By 2pm we were getting hungry so we decided we would hit up one of the restaurants that Anthony Bourdain frequented when he shot his Nashville episode; Bolton’s Spicy Chicken and Fish. This place was great but be prepared for spice if you add it. I thought of myself as pretty well versed in spice but this was something else… for the kids you can get no spice and that’s perfect. I had medium spice and I couldn’t finish the food. I was crying and my husband who got hot was sweating like never before. We got the chicken tenders, wings and pork chops which are all hand rubbed with spices in addition to sides of macaroni, fries and corn. All up with drinks it was under $30 but we definitely over ordered and the meals are huge. If you don’t like spice get plain, I think if I went again I’d get mild 🔥🔥🔥

After lunch, which we had later around 3pm we took a drive round the city to retrace some of our steps taken on our nights out. Took a few pictures of the city from Rolling Mill Hill (around pinewood social) then headed back to the hotel to get the kids ready for bed.

All in all, a relatively inexpensive day out and ticked off a few experiences along the way. Percy Priest Lake is a great way to get out of the city on a hot hot day!

The American dream: visas and pathways to living in the US.

The United States of America, many people dream to live and work here but how is it possible? Generally speaking you need qualifications or equivalent work experience to get a work permit however here are some of the visa types I am familiar with. From my experience the US is one of the hardest places to get a working visa.

L1 visa: one of the more straight forward visas, this visa is available if you have worked for an international company in another part of the world and can get a transfer to the US office. This visa is eligible for a path to permanent residency.

E3: if you are an Australian citizen this is the visa for you. Renewable every 2 years and available with a job offer. The role does require a labor skills assessment and you need a degree or experience equivalent to get the visa. The hardest part is getting a job offer.

Diversity Lottery: controversial and the Trump government has this on their list to remove but at present is a lottery which takes place once a year in October for Permanent Residency (Green Card). One of the easier ways of getting a visa and I actually know 5 people who have won this. (All had university qualifications)

H1B: another visa which is being scrutinized at present, mainly due to the number of recruitment companies who are abusing this visa and repurposing it. This visa is big in the tech space and is for specialized roles. These positions are supposed to be hard to fill roles and in demand in the US. This visa also leads to permanent residency.

J1- if you were ever contemplating being an Au Pair this is the visa for you. You can participate in the Au Pair program for a year and live and work in the US as an Au Pair. We are currently looking to sponsor an Au Pair as we are looking at child care options once I head back to work at the end of the year. This visa does not lead to PR.

There are other types of visas out there but above are the more common working visas. Please note these are my experiences and information on the visa types above are my opinions. For more information check the US department of state for more information.