“First I Drink the Coffee” Tee similar here / Levi’s 501 Shorts in Roadside Blues / Nine West Zipper Satchel similar here / Tommy Hilfiger T Strap Sandals similar here / Circus by Sam Edelman Gray Sunglasses similar here
We’ve spent the past five days in and around Smithville, Tennessee. Two things that stood out to me immediately are 1) the weather is insane and 2) the ladies of Tennessee are some incredibly stylish ladies!
We were disappointed that every time we managed to get to the Jamboree, we were rained out. It would be bright blue skies one minute and the next we’d turn around to a black wall creeping up behind the steeple. We did, however, see some amazing places, hear some incredible music and eat some delicious food!
The food, the crafters, the music. Incredible. I have never seen so many talented people in one place in my life. The rain made it difficult, if not impossible, for us to stay as long as we wanted, but that’s Tennessee (or so I hear).
The three vendors that are sticking out in my mind (one of them will forever – he’s just that kind of guy!) are Rotten Roger, Dave Washburn and there was a lady selling the most beautiful broken china pendants but she packed up before I could grab her business card.
Rotten Roger is quite the character! He is the most charming and talented musician I have ever come across and the only vendor at the Jamboree that really seemed to attract all kinds of people from all walks of life. He makes cigar box and bedpan (yes, really and they’re called Stratocrappers!) guitars. We loved them so much, my husband bought one and is just tickled to death to learn how to play it.
Dave Washburn. This guy is an incredible artist! My husband and I have started collecting caricatures of the two of us anywhere we can and I have plans to create a caricature wall as an art installment in our house. The thing we love most about caricatures are that every one is different because all the artists have different styles and visions of what they want you to look like. Our current favorites are the one from the Jamboree and the one from my husbands’ cousins’ wedding who made us into merpeople!
My third and final favorite was a lady who makes the most beautiful pendants from old china plates. I looked through them all twice and went back the third time to see about buying one and to get her card and she had vanished. I suppose the weather got to her and she left early. Lesson learned – always get the business card before you walk away. Her jewelry was similar to this.
Congrats to all the winners! You all are so talented!
Rock Island State Park
The first day of the festival was incredibly hot – we ended up bailing about 1pm to cool off in the lake. I’m not sure if it was because we were there on a weekday or that its’ a bit out of the way, but we were one of three or four groups of people at the beach. There is a two tier picnic pavilion, the beach was pretty clean and the lake was perfect for swimming. There is a hike down to the falls but we weren’t prepared for that and opted to skip it.
Edgar Evins State Park
This park was also pretty unpopulated. We did a short half mile hike and bummed around the day use peninsula at the upper end of the park, watching the boats and geese float on by. The park seemed more popular for boating and fishing than anything else, but a nice stop to escape the bustle.
We ate at a bunch of really different places all through Smithville, Cookeville and McMinnville, so I’ll only share my favorites here.
Collins River BBQ & Cafe in McMinnville
Oh. My. Word. I will readily admit I was so surprised at this little restaurant. I ordered the Brisket Wrap- (brisket, beans, lettuce, tomato, BBQ sauce in a jalapeno cheddar tortilla) it was to die for! If you are in the area, I highly recommend slipping in to try it out.
Blue Coast Burrito in Cookeville
This super popular restaurant is similar to Chipotle. Pick your item, pick your meat and fixins and bam, fantastic lunch. There was a constant flow of people through the restaurant while we were eating lunch, so you know it’s good!
Hibachi4Hire (vendor at the Jamboree, based out of Antioch)
Both my husband and I ate here at the Jamboree. I have to admit I wasn’t feeling it because I really did not want hot food when I was already hot, but when they handed my husband his order and I took a bite – I immediately got back in line and got my own. It was all hibachi rice – vegetable, shrimp, steak, chicken. Slightly pricey, but well worth it in flavor and portion!
Cheddar’s in Cookeville
Yes, I know it’s a chain, but we don’t have one where we live. As a matter of fact, the closest one to us is a two hour drive one way. We loved it so much in Tennessee that on our way back home, we stopped at a different Cheddar’s for lunch and everything was just as amazing.
Thinking about going to Smithville next year for the jamboree? I highly recommend it!
SHOP THE POST