Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Gaylord Opryland Hotel; Our Trip to Nashville

My boys thought I had lost my mind when I told them we should go over to the Opryland hotel and walk around on our first night in Nashville.  They could not understand why we would go to a hotel on our vacation when we were not staying there.  Even my husband thought I was a little crazy.

But the Opryland hotel is not just a hotel. 


It is immense and chuck full of gardens, fountains, and family fun.

I went to Nashville a a child and remembered so much about the hotel.  I knew that in visiting the country music capital with my kids this was one of the stops we must make.



We were only supposed to have one full day in Nashville for us to explore and be tourists.  But my husband was able to squeeze in his work on Sunday during our drive and we were faced with two WHOLE days in the country music capital.

I had found a lot of fun things to do with the kids while we were here but figured we wouldn't have time to do most of them.  Rather than stress over it or try to plan anything out we've just been playing it all by ear and we've already had such a great time!

We spent Sunday night at the Gaylord Opryland hotel.  My boys whined and complained and offered up other suggestions for things we could do instead of going there but I insisted.  By the end of the night they were bummed that we didn't get to see everything and they begged us to go back another day before we went home.  

We spent the whole night in the Delta atrium.

We ate dinner at Stax where we could pick out all our burger toppings and get hand cut French fries.  We took our burgers out to the balcony and ate while watching the boat ride. After dinner we took the boat ride and learned all about the hotel.  There were so many fascinating facts!

  • The "river" we were boating on was made up of water from all 50 states and 30 different countries.  The Gaylord Opryland hotel had sent out empty bottles of Jack Daniels to people all over the world asking for them to fill them up from nearby water ways and then all the water was mixed and poured into their river to fill it up.  
  • They have plants from all over the world too; bonsai trees, pineapple trees, lemon trees, orange trees, Indian banana trees, orchids, chestnut vines-- you name it they probably have it.  
  • They employ a whole slew of gardeners to keep everything looking beautiful.  
  • There are myriads of waterfalls and fountains everywhere.  
  • They have a replica of an old southern mansion inside the hotel that is actually a fancy steak house restaurant and our guide was telling us that old mansions had two staircase because one set of stairs was used for the men and one for the women since men were not allowed to see the ladies ankles as they walked up the stairs.  
  • The two floor presidential suite is used by celebrities and presidents and for just a few thousand dollars a night you can stay there too complete with maid and butler service.  
We walked around after the boat ride and sat to watch a free musical fountain show that kept us well entertained.  The center geyser can reach heights of up to 85 feet!  We could feel a slight misting spray as it crashed back down to the floor.  The boys loved the changing colored lights too.


Yummy!






They had such a great time that we headed back there the next afternoon too!  We walked the rest of the atriums, checked out the pools and had a lovely snack of homemade gelato.

We saw tons of fountains and waterfalls, checked for fish in every body of water we came across and the boys each made a wish in the rose fountain.  We noticed many more varieties of plants too that we had not seen the previous day.

We just loved it! 
   
The boat ride we took last night...

This is the atrium I remember from when I was a kid visiting
Nashville


Pretty flowers we saw and Alec taught me all about

Evan loved that the tree had "things" growing into the water



The fountain they made a wish in

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