Cody Hale Art

Seize The Coffe at Carpe Cafe

Cody HaleComment
 Illustration of coffe mug from Carpe Cafe

Illustration of coffe mug from Carpe Cafe

This post is a shout out to a little coffee shop in Smyrna, Tennessee called Carpe Cafe. I recently delivered a portrait to a client in Smyrna, and since it was lunch time, I decided to search for some local restaurants. I have a hard time resisting the charms of quaint little coffee shops, so when Carpe Cafe popped up on the list, I had to check it out. I'm not qualified, nor am I interested in being a restaurant reviewer, but I will say this, It was good!

The cafe makes a large variety of drinks that will accommodate most any tastes. We were recommended to try a butterbeer flavoring in our lattes, and it was magical! The food at coffee shops can sometimes be very simple, but Carpe Cafe has a large variety of sandwiches and side items. I thoroughly enjoyed their corn chowder soup of the day! When you're done with lunch, you should try one of their fresh baked sweets. It was all delicious, and to be honest, writing about it is making me pretty hungry.

The atmosphere is charming with crafty furnishings and colorful wall art. They actually converted a small piano into a side station for water and utensils! Now tell me that isn't a cool idea?! They also have a mailbox set up specifically for people to write letters to active military troops. You place your letter in the box and Carpe Cafe does the rest. This gesture alone makes me a fan.

Carpe Cafe is connected with Carpe Artista, a non-profit organization that supports the local art community. Being an artist myself, I believe groups like Carpe Artista are an important asset to the community as a whole. Art is more than just pretty pictures, it's a method of communication that makes us think about important issues, and see the world from different perspectives. I applaud organizations that strive to make our art communities better. Bravo! So, If you are ever in Smyrna looking for a quick bite and a coffee jolt, seize the opportunity to visit Carpe Cafe.

For more information on Carpe Cafe and Carpe Artista visit http://carpeartista.net/.

You can also follow Carpe Cafe on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

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Flat Rock Cedar Glades and Barrens

Cody Hale1 Comment
 Illustration of a tree from Flat Rock Cedar Glades and Barrens

Illustration of a tree from Flat Rock Cedar Glades and Barrens

Gina and I were looking for an outdoor excursion a few weekends ago and we stumbled across Flat Rock Cedar Glades and Barrens. It's located just a stones throw away from us in Murfreesboro, and well worth a visit if you are ever in the area. Flat Rock Cedar Glades and Barrens, which obviously has a long and descriptive name, encompasses everything it's title entails. The 846-acre area supports several forest types and barrens, and is one of Tennessee's most ecologically significant natural sites - See more at: http://www.tennessee.gov/environment/article/na-na-flat-rock-cedar-glades-and-barrens#sthash.fvDYMG6P.dpuf

The area contains two hiking trails, a one mile loop and a 3.5 mile loop. The one mile loop would be great for the hiker who's short on time, but we opted for the 3.5. We took our time and still managed to complete the hike in about two hours. The hike is basically just a nature walk and manageable for hikers at any level. We picked a muddy day to hike, which made walking a little more difficult, but the terrain is flat and easy to maneuver. The trail does cross several small streams, and stream rocks are always slippery, so be careful! The trail was well marked until the last quarter mile. Towards the end of the hike multiple trails seemed to converge and we got a little turned around for a few minutes, but we were able to retrace our steps and get back on track.

This wasn't a super flashy hike with views of gushing waterfalls and sculptural rock formations, but the scenic landscape was nice and relaxing. We enjoyed the serenity of the forest and grass barrens. The glistening rocks and sounds of the rolling stream had me in a pretty zenful state of mind. Gina kept finding rocks with fossil impressions, and fossils are always cool! This area finds it very easy to be green, with it's impressive supply of flora and moss. The moss is so soft you'll be tempted to take a nap on it. I also enjoyed watching the tall grass blowing in the wind as we passed through the barrens. There were a few small junk piles abandoned from the past, but they didn't really detract from the scenic views. The old metal scraps actually made me more curious about the area's history.  All in all, I definitely recommend visiting this area for a nice short hike, especially if you live in the middle Tennessee area.

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