There will probably be several other times we visit Nashville & explore, but this entry will be about our first trip. If for some reason you are in a similar situation to us, where you have family either in St. Louis or the nearby vicinity and you are somewhere east like Atlanta or Chattanooga-Nashville is an ideal meeting point.
This year since we were just married we decided we should spend our holidays just the two of us. Both of Margaret’s parents birthdays and their anniversary are in November so we ended up meeting them in Nashville to celebrate their birthdays and indirectly celebrate Thanksgiving. Unlike our usual trips, the emphasis of this trip was more on spending time with one another and less on exploring as much as possible.
We drove to Nashville on Friday and spent the evening walking around Opryland. For those who have never been there, Opryland is a rather incredible place. Inside the resorts’s walls are several rooms filled with gardens and an indoor city. Since it was Christmas time everything was decorated absolutely beautiful! Margaret’s family stayed at Hotel Preston that night, which was a unique little boutique hotel down from Opryland and it quite a strange, yet fascinating place-you can get a pet fish for the night (Margaret’s family had a little beta fish). Anyone going to Nashville who would like a funky, yet nice hotel-the Preston is definitely for you!
The next morning we met everyone at the Parthenon. The Parthenon is a live-scale replica of the Parthenon in Greece. The replica was built for the World’s Fair in the late 1800’s and definitely is a beautiful addition to the park, which was rather unkempt and drab during our visit due to construction. Underneath the Parthenon you can enter a museum that is full of the history of the site and the World’s Fair, as well as artwork. There is also a massive statue of Athena inside, just as the Parthenon in Greece. Outside the Parthenon, visitors can explore the park or drop off at a Vanderbilt game.
Afterwards we headed for a little bite to eat at Marché Artisan Foods, which on the slightly pricey end, was delicious and truly a culinary experience. The restaurant had a very European vibe, definitely making all of us feel relaxed, invited, and at home.
We then spent the rest of the evening at Opryland exploring the different rooms, gardens, light exhibits, and Christmas events. There are numerous activities including, carriage rides, a live nativity, ice-skating, an Ice! show (which Margaret’s family highly recommends), crafts to buy, the mall across the street, cute restaurants inside at your convenience, plenty of souvenirs, a massive tubing slide, and plenty more to entertain you for the whole evening. Margaret’s family stayed here Saturday evening and we were all in agreement the price was definitely not worth. it Almost all of the attractions are free to those simply visiting and not staying in the hotel. Plus the hotel itself is rather exorbitant in it’s prices, not only for the room, but the resort fee and parking. The hotel is nice, yes, full of activities, yes, unique, yes. But for those on a budget-the Opryland is definitely not a budget friendly place. Overall though, Opryland is incredible and unlike anywhere else we have visited.
The best part was definitely just sitting down, grabbing dinner, and enjoying one another and talking. We didn’t see as much on this trip, but we had an amazing time just being with family and exploring together, in a relaxed manner. Due to Nashville’s location there will probably be many more halfway, reuniting trips in the future!