split: the playground of tourists, romantic ruins, and roman gods.

our room was surprisingly quiet on the People’s Square, as late night party goers, #theyachtweek bourgeoisie, and tourists rustled through the Brac tiles under the silver moon.  sleep was peaceful. 

the Croatian Sun rose early, and peeped through the corners of the veiled historic glass windows.  ethereal light blanketed our quaint space.  serene backgrounds beckoned our presence in the near distance, so we followed the sweet call.  

built for the Roman Emperor Diocletian around 300 AD, the palace is a fortress in disguise.  designed to enforce and protect. 

beyond the peristyle which houses faux Roman guard lay St Dominus Cathedral, covered in gold and clothed in oil paintings.  it was converted to a Catholic Church in the sixth century, and many Roman altars were renamed. 

during the marrying of those religions some sculptures remained, like this altar of Jupiter now named after St John the Baptist.  

at night, lights place shadow on the ancient architecture, soft live music from the peristyle dancing in the humid air.  onlooking tourists, mouth agape, flash photos and selfies and drip melting ice cream on the white Brac squares.  

the sommelier and I traverse the alleys and breathe in the swaths of dinner aromas.  

restaurants bustle, patios full to the brim with locals and strangers alike.  white wine spills from most carafes, the highly mineralized, salty liquid easily emptied from crystal glasses.  

fresh seafood packs the plates.  

lovers hold hands in the romantic ruins.  

our last jaunt of Croatian culture, the city of Split is a timeless cross mix of various influences: Greek, Roman, and Dalmatian.  

she glitters brightly in the deep blue sea, her azure heart open for all to see. unbounded by walls, Split is the unique, modern daughter of Croatia.  

a gem in the crown of former kings.  

nashville news: a weekend steeped in history

we touched down in Nashville late one night, midweek, the sun shimmering it’s reflection on the winding Cumberland as we pressed into the country music capital.

venturing into the hipsteric East End, we located our quaint Airbnb on Calvin Avenue and settled in for the night, planning an early rise to explore the Nashville Genealogy and Heritage Records at the public library.

the sun shaded and birds quiet, we awoke with chicory coffee and bacon, and faced the north winds into downtown. we scoured through search after search for ascendants of Cindarilla (Davis) Coalson, and after three hours had located census records, family trees, and possible linkages to immigrant lines in Virginia.

our eyes were then tired and crossed and our minds giddy with exhaustion, so we headed downstairs to the art gallery, where our hearts then hung heavy for the Holocaust Violins on exhibit from the Weinstein Foundation.

a refreshing lunch of succulent smoked pork dripping in vinegar based sauce coupled with bourbon cocktails was devoured at historic Puckett’s Grocery. then we piled into a trolley bus and toured around the frigid city, complete with slants of low country humor, while our bellies rested from the indulgence.

that night we feasted on Gatlin brothers classic music at the Ryman Auditorium, the sweet sounds of harmony rising up to meet us in the pews. peace and music and memories filled our souls, the notes of Dolly and Vince and Conway and Skaggs gliding through the air. exhausted, we fell into bed and dreamed of blue econoline vans and eight track tapes.

(photo credit: djemils)

the national archives welcomed our clan with fervor. stacks of rustled pages lay before us, inviting us into a hazy disarray of typewritten pages of deeds and marriage records and land sales.

rain fell at a steady pace, wetting our heads and cleansing our minds, our ancestral ties solidified. hailing from Virginia, Cindarilla did have her prince, y’all. his name was Charlie Coalson and he fought for the confederacy during the war.

later we entertained Mockingbird Bistro and all its deliciousness. my cafeteria tray shimmered in food glory as we sipped Nero d’avola in requested real wine glasses instead of the trendy plastic put before us. after milkshakes and Rice Krispie treats and cocktails in plastic bags, we drenched ourselves in drag queens and karaoke.

Bellemeade Plantation was not far from our little east end cottage… so we trekked the fifteen miles to southwest Nashville to tour the grounds and smell the air and taste the all wines made on property.

museums beckoned us with their chorus of sweetness, relaying our hunger for fried green tomatoes and Tennessee whiskey.  Dad parlayed the history of the automobile at marathon, as we entered in to a dreamy, sleepy haze.

one last pitstop on music row and we ended our trip secluded indoors with wine and movies and much needed sleep… and while history may have let us down, historical records proved us right… family is a stronger bond than any flippant friendship. much love to my sisters, my father, and those who proceeded before us. what a blessed life we all have.