Wednesday, October 8, 2014

What Can You Expect at the 2014 Nashville Chocolate Walk?

If you've never been to the Brown County Chocolate Walk in Nashville, Indiana, today I'm going to talk from experience about it and share some of the updates from the event with you all.  This is an wonderful opportunity for chocolate and pet lovers to connect and support an amazing effective organization that has an incredible out-alive and adoption rate.  You can read our interview with the organizer of this event in our previous interview.

As a group, The Chocolate Cult has been participating in the walk since 2009 when I went with our Chocolate Coconut Acolyte, Lisa.  We had great time and decided we wanted to make this an annual event for us.  We did run into the challenge of "too much chocolate" and large crowds but over the years we've come up with several tips to help make the walk more enjoyable and healthier that I'll share in a few moments.

The next year, 2010, we expanded our group from two to eight and headed off to the event.  Check out our sign... that was our original logo that a reader made for us as a gift.  Same shirt for me, different hair.  Of this group, one joined up with some other friends once we got to Nashville, one couple stayed together, and the other five of us did the walk as a team.  We all met up at a local restaurant at a set time and reflected on the event.

For some reason even though I recall photos being taken in 2011 (Lisa and I again), 2012 (five of us went as a group), and 2013 (four of us went as a group), no one had the photos so now on to the tips for making your Chocolate Walk in Nashville great.  Just so you know, several of the people from the above photo continued to do the Walk they just didn't come with me.

1) Don't do it alone.  Not only is it more fun with more people but they can help motivate you to keep going.  The walk covers a large chunk of Nashville and the crowds can feel overwhelming without a couple of buddies.  That said I wouldn't recommend doing it with more than 4-6 people simply because the stops on the walk tend to be in smaller spaces.  Below is a copy of the map for this year's walk at this time; I'm not sure how much, if any, it might change.

2) Carpool.  Free parking in Nashville is very limited so save your cash for lunch or dinner or even other shopping by taking a small number of vehicles.

3) Eat a small breakfast before you start.  Don't go hungry because as much as we love chocolate here, just having chocolate isn't a very healthy thing to do. With that in mind...

4) Eat a balanced lunch or dinner afterwards.  You can eat in Nashville, I prefer to do that myself, help support the businesses who take part even more, but you can bring a picnic or head back home if you like.

5) Bring containers to save chocolate in.  Bring a bag and lots of baggies or tiny cups to keep the treats you can in to enjoy later.  36 samples is a lot of chocolate. Some of these won't be food -- we've gotten pet products and massage oil in the past -- and some of the food you have to consume right away like the ice creams and drinks.  But if you can save it, do so.  You'll have lots of treats to share back home or to enjoy throughout the coming week.

6) Dress flexibly.  Start with a good pair of walking boots or shoes.  While there are little trains around Nashville you will be walking and walking, up and down hills, in and out of shops, up and down stairs, down sidewalks and through alleyways.  Also wear clothing you can take off and tie around your waist or put into a bag.  We've had all sorts of weather when we've done this so be prepared for different temps, temp changes, and even rain or snow.

7) Keep walking.  While shopping as you walk is tempting, it will slow you down and you may not finish.  As the hours roll by the crowds will build up so try to plan out your route ahead of time and avoid restaurants around lunch and dinner time unless you plan to eat there.

8) Plan some time to relax and shop when you are done.  Once you are finished with the walk and are full of chocolate or full of lunch/dinner, go back and visit those little places that caught your eye. Help support the stores that are supporting the Walk if you have the extra cash to do so.

If you've been to the Brown County Chocolate Walk in the past and have some other tips to share, please do so in our comments section below.  Remember get your tickets soon because they are very likely to sell out again.


Gina Brown said...

I'm so excited! I've been waiting all year! LOL :)

TammyJo Eckhart said...

Did you get your ticket yet, Gina?

mavido79 said...

Looking forward to it this year!

I'd also suggest to not feel like you have to go everywhere and try everything. If a location is featuring mocha fudge and you just don't like coffee, it's no shame to say "no thanks".

Also (this one mostly for the ladies) if you're going to take a handbag, consider a backpack or cross-body bag to leave your hands free. This year I'll have a small leather cross body bag and then carry my Chocolate Cult tote bag to put the extra stuff in.

TammyJo Eckhart said...

I hope I'll be able to go with you, mavido79... haven't got confirmation of ticket yet from them.

akaterrie said...

Holy Bow Wow, Chocolate Priestess! When is the Chocolate Walk? Do you need sponsors? This sounds like a great opportunity to "indulge" from afar. Could you provide info via an updated post?

TammyJo Eckhart said...

If you follow the links in the post you can find all that information out. We did an interview the person in charge of this event back in September and we'll have one final post in just a couple of weeks.

I'm gathering a group to go with me again this year and I'm going to remember to take photos this time.

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