Thursday, June 16, 2011

South-East Tour Day 7 - Nashville, TN

This morning we awoke to some light rain that only lasted about 45 minutes.  After a breakfast of grits and left-over pancakes we headed to the Verizon store to pick up my new phone.  As it turns out, even though I had selected to have the phone overnighted, it wasn't scheduled to arrive until Monday, at which point we would not be in Nashville anymore.  The guy at the store was extremly helpful and called the campground we are supposed to be at on Tuesday to make sure it was okay if he could ship the package there, and he would send it overnight.  So hopefully on Tuesday I will finally be back in business with my phone ... hopefully.
After the Verizon store we headed to the reconstruction of the Parthenon.  The building was really cool.  You enter through a downstairs area that has an art gallery and an exhibit that lays out the constructions of the Parthenon from concept to a full-scale museum, including a reconstruction of the statue of Athena, which was upstairs.  The whole thing was incredibly cool.  They had cast reconstructions of actual surviving statues from the original Parthenon, and everything was reconstructed with a high level of detail and quality.  A lady who was part of the reconstruction of the statue of Athena was there volunteering to answer questions.  Aurora and her talked on and on for quite some time, and the two of them really enjoyed each other.  Another really cool part was a pair of bronze doors on each side of the Parthenon that stood about 40 to 50 feet high, but they moved with ease with only a slight push.  The plaque said that they where the largest pair of bronze doors in the world, and are not actually part of the original Parthenon, which probably had doors made out of wood.
After that we ate at an Italian restaurant named Maggiano's, which was much fancier than we where expecting.  Howerver, the kids where really well behaved, the service was great, and the food was excellent.  We even got a few compliments from those eating around us about how cute and well behaved our children where.
We followed this with a visit to the Grand Ole Opry Gaylord Hotel.  This was hands down the most amazing hotel I have ever seen.  You could tell from the bricks and windows that the building was quite old, but was kept in very good condition.  The courtyard in between the buildings had a glass ceiling built in, and was completely air conditioned.  A river ran through the different courtyards, and one area had beautiful plants everywhere, coming out of giant rocks, and planted in with the walkways.  Waterfalls, various fish, and beautiful ponds kept the kids well entertained the whole time.  Athena exclaimed that she never wanted to leave the hotel for her whole life.  And even though we walked around for a couple of hours, the kids never complained that their feet hurt, or that they where getting tired.  It came with dissapointment from all three when it was finally time to go back to our campsight.
We stopped at a Walgreens and picked up chocolate, graham crackers, and marhmellows, which we turned into smores back at the campsite.  The kids all agreed that today was a fun day, and we got them to bed in good time so that we can wake up early and swim in the lake before we head off for the Smoky Mountains.