The wheels of the bus go round and round!
With our budget on low and spirits on high, Miss Madison and I decided we were going to take Nashville by storm last Saturday. My fake southern accent had reached passable by Yankee standards although Miss Madison would beg to differ. Her eyes were rolling so much after the weekend was over she’s currently seeking out area ophthalmologists for retinal re-attachment surgery. No worries though, her vision at least lasted through the weekend. Or maybe it’s been askew this whole time I’ve known her, since she finds me, dare I say it, “attractive.” Either way, it was time for us to see if “The South shall rise again” as I’ve heard rumors of on the Internet.
Unless I’m in a super hurry, when I’m on vacation you can forget me taking the interstate to get anywhere if there is a viable route that is “similar” in terms of speed and geographic proximity. I’m not talking about trekking the land on roads labeled Bull Balls Boulevard or Goat Trail Parkway, but if there is a state highway that has a speed limit over 40 and is pointed in the direction I am aiming to go, you can bet I’m taking the scenic route. This trip would be no different much to Miss Madison’s chagrin, but thanks to my super ninja exploratory skills we found this little vintage antique store, so peace was restored in the universe.
Bring me a home where the concrete buffalo roam!
In the spirit of Halloween, Miss Madison and I dressed up as British aristocrats for the day after finding some choice threads at aforementioned antique shop. When we told the very kind shop owner we were off to The Hermitage to see Andrew Jackson’s oversized palace, she kindly reminded us that old Andy didn’t much care for any Brits so we reverted back to our civilian clothes. I might have made those last couple of sentences up, but we were off to the home of our seventh American president and war hero back when muskets and bayonets were the weapons of choice.
Quick side note, Miss Madison has been to the following places this year:
Mount Vernon– Home of the big man himself George Washington.
Ash Lawn-Highland– Just around the block from Monticello, we saw it but didn’t stop.
Hoover Childhood Home and Library– Because what else is there to do when you are in Iowa?
Truman Library and Museum– When you are a rock star teacher, you get invited to prestigious conferences.
Throw in a trip to The Hermitage, and she’s either going to be accused of stalking dead presidents or the coolest social studies teacher in the history of mankind. We visited Mr. Jackson’s gift shop and walked around a bit, but the father of the Democratic party wasn’t feeling too charitable charging 20 dollars (what a coincidence) a pop to see a big old house and hear about the Battle of New Orleans and various others aspects of his life. We did have ourselves a grand ole time (pun intended #Nashville) at the Hermitage gift shop though! Between catching up on Mr. Jackson’s life story on Wikipedia while we were there and window shopping you couldn’t have asked for a better experience!
#AJonthe20 won me nothing, also anybody in possession of a “woodchipper” five dollar bill is currently getting a hell of R.O.I. on their investment!
From there it was a quick picnic lunch at the Two River Park, and now I’ve decided I want to learn how to disc golf. This local Nashville park had a disc golf range that has to be the equivalent of Augusta National on the disc golfing circuit. I was analyzing techniques like a 12-year-old boy with his latest Lego purchase. It was also at this point I might have slipped up and mentioned something about the Opry Mills Mall to Miss Madison.
All I can say thank god we were on a shoestring budget, or otherwise, I would have had to call in the Marines to get Miss Madison out of that place. If you aren’t familiar with Nashville, TN at all, the Opry Mills Mall is where the old Opryland U.S.A. Theme Park was located. The theme park crashed and burned, so instead they turned it into a ginormous shopping complex. We got out of there with minimal damage, if we were there any longer I was going to have to ask the staff at Johnny Rockets if I could earn a little extra scratch washing dishes. When in Nashville take my advice and check it out even if your wallet/purse isn’t flush with currency.
Had to snap this picture for my Star Wars fans. For $499.99 you can have this baby built in time for the next movie and your mom will still love you even though you are living in her basement!
Better yet, if your journey brings you to the Opry Mills Mall, you might as well knock at the Opry triumvirate (big word of the day) and see the Grand Old Opry and the Opryland Hotel. They are all located next to each other. The Grand Old Opry has more history than a set of Britannica’s, and even if you prefer to get Jiggy Wit It on pop/rock/hip-hop, seeing the home of country music is still worth a look. Plus, they have a gift shop, who doesn’t like looking at the gift shop, that was the underlying theme of the weekend by the way. It costs what???? Oh, but it has a gift shop let’s take a look!
No we didn’t stay, seeing Exile in concert hasn’t been cool since 1982!
The highlight of the day though was Miss Madison’s trip to the Gaylord Opryland Hotel. It is the largest non-casino hotel in the country. In other words, IT’S HUGE! It holds something like eight billion guests, I did a quick check of room rates and for roughly $500 dollars or a boatload of pesos (not sure on conversion rates right now) you can lay your weary head on what I assume to be platinum laded pillow cases and bathroom fixtures made of 24K gold.
The reason it costs an Ivy League education to stay the night there though is because of the Atrium. It’s free to see and well worth it. Imagine a small indoor town, full of shops and eateries, all tailored around a lush tropical climate. Actually, I’ve not skilled enough to describe it in a literary sense, but my Samsung Galaxy phone with an assist from PicMonkey can probably do it a little better justice.
If ever in Nashville this is a must see!
About it for now, my voodoo powers are still hard at work as the Chicago Cubs are headed to a game five, needing only to blow two more games. Before this week is over I’m either going to be the most wanted man in Cub Land or eating a ton of crow. Although I may or may not have seen a Nashville restaurant that served bbq crow! We’ve still got another day to go as Miss Madison and I created our own Music City Mayhem!