Thursday, July 14, 2011

A long time coming!

Let's see here...Our oldest is nearly 8 years old. So that means that it has been 8 years since Art and I have taken a trip sans kids. Our 10 year anniversary is right around the corner and we needed to celebrate. Summer proved to be the best time for free babysitting help. (thanks to both of our moms for sharing the load) So off to Nashville we went. It was high on my list of must do's! I am glad we decided to do this we had so much fun!
 And we are off. Had to the the obligatory behind the wheel picture.

And here is our stop for lunch  at a small local establishment for lunch. We didn't want to eat at any familiar chains on our trip. Just local fair! We did pretty well until the drive home!

We wanted to enjoy our freedom and stop for some fun along the way. Of course we had to stop at Mammoth Caves. But by the time we arrived there most of the tours were booked up until way we had a smootch in front of the scenery and then got back on the road

A few short miles down the road we saw a sign for the Lost River Cave boat ride. Determined to be spontaneous we stopped again, but the river was flooded and there would be no tours that day. So we looked around the gift shop, snapped a photo and got back on our way.

We were exhausted by this point and decided to just get to Nashville. I was over the moon when I saw this sign.

When we arrived we tried to take a nap, but realized we were much too excited  for that. So we got cleaned up and headed out.
Our first stop...Explore the Opryland Hotel and Gardens

The hotel and Garden were really something else. Every thing was so pretty. But the place was huge. We got lost down those long halls on more the one occasion. We decided that we were happy we were not staying there! But it was fun to experience.
Next to Downtown Nashville for Dinner at Margaritaville and some shopping.

We were starting to miss having our kids to photograph. Everywhere we went we just snapped pics of each other! When in the South you have to eat some southern food and these Fried pickles were delightful

And Art had to have the Cheeseburger in Paradise, after all we were at Margaritaville

After dinner we walked the streets and ran into a few famous people
 the next morning we decided to try the Pancake Pantry for breakfast. The pancakes were the best we have ever had. Especially the sweet potato ones with the creamy cinnamon syrup. we also tries Caribbean pancakes and pecan pancakes. To this day we can Not stop thinking about them.
We got seated right away and must have gotten there in the nick of time because as we were leaving the line looked like this
I would wait in a line 10 times longer for those little treasures.
 Bellies filled then off to The Country Music Hall of Fame..

They had these phone like devices to give an audio tour as you walk through. Lots of interesting facts on those things.

Elvis had a pretty sweet ride
And a Taylor Swift picture had to snap this for the girls

One of the best parts of the museum was touring studio B where Elvis recorded over half his songs. We hadfun playing the same piano that Elvis himself used! I know, we are COOL!
And when I saw this on the floor I had to lay down for a photo
We learned a lot about Hank Williams and his family
And We took pictures of us in cowboy hats that we couldn't afford
We loved the Hall of Fame so much we almost didn't make it to our tour of the Grand Ole Opry House.
So glad we did because this was one of our favorites!

We got to see where the Artists arrive for the show. Many famous stars have walked this path.
All of the Opry members have mailboxes there

they have 18 themed dressing rooms there. this one is dedicated to couples who perform at the Opry
This bar shows the water line from the flooded that nearly destroyed the Opry house last May.  Was touched to learn more about that story. There were still places closed in Nashville because of it.
Of course we got to stand on the opry stage and sing from that point that so many great people in history have sung!

After the tour we tried to go to Walmart and we followed the GPS to this Walmart neighborhood market. It was only a grocery store. Never knew there was such a thing. And they didn't have socks which is what we we looking for! Darn! So we took a picture!

That night we had reservations at the Bluebird cafe this little hole in the wall joint where singers and songwriters come to share there talents and just maybe get discovered. Garth Brooks and others were discovered here. this was a highlight for us. We really enjoyed the music we heard. We could have listened for hours. One guy was a songwriter for this Craig Morgan hit. We loved hearing this.
Not sure if that video posted so i may have to post it later.
The next day we had some more fun stops. The Willie Nelson Museum and Cooters Garage. Had to stop there right?
We may have had too much fun with the cardboard figures! In fact Art was getting really sick of me making him pose with cardboard people.
But he was a good sport.

We took a bus tour and learned a lot of History and got to see the homes of many stars. here is where Taylor Swift lives
We also saw tons of others like Tim and Faith, Martina Mcbride, Dolly Parton, Phil Vasser, Alan Jackson, LeAnn Rimes and more I can't even remember. We sure learned a lot on that tour! It was 3 hrs long.
The highlight of that night was the Grand ole Opry show. We saw lots of talented performers. Some Old ones.
like Little Jimmy Dickens and Some new ones like Edens Edge.
Wow they were all so talented and I was in heaven.
The highlight of the night was when the Oakridge boys found out they would be the next members of the Opry and then they closed the night singing  All the Gold in California with Larry Gaitlin. What a fun night!
What a fun trip I am lucky to have had 10 years with the most wonderful man I know!