Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Nashville . . . first stop for Mommy Adventure Week

My best girlfriend Ami (yes, different spelling but same name) and I love an adventure . . . and we are trying to teach the fine art of adventure to our children.  So we had a 'meeting' (read: dinner and booze) and planned up a week of fun! 

I went shopping for the first road trip of the week . . .
Keep looking . . . it's like a mecca of crap food!
And I text her this pic of the loot . . . here's what she has to say . . . and yes, this is why I love her.
I'm basically a professional road trip planner so she left the stops and tourist attractions to moi!  She's pretty much a professional navigator so she makes an amazing co-pilot! 

First up, Bell Buckle, Tennessee!  Such a cute little town . . . located in the heart of Tennessee's "Back Roads Region."  We just missed the RC Cola and Moon Pie Festival by a week . . . we made up for it though and had our own little festival! 
Nothing like a moon pie and RC Cola to feel like you're in the south!
We walked around all the little shops and stopped for lunch at the Bell Buckle Cafe . . . and can I tell you it was fab-u-lous.  Fry me some okra and I'm all in . . . Ami and I always share our meals so there were eight, count them eight, southern veggies between us . . . I was in heaven.  Definitely worth the stop, except I had to trade in our wobbly table . . . my OCD was kickin' in something serious.

We leave Bell Buckle and take some back roads on our way to the interstate.  Guess what I drove around in the road?  My little friend here with the not so friendly rattle . . .
Did I mention how much I hate snakes? 
As I pass him, I announced that I had just swerved to miss a snake.  The whole car starts screaming at me to turn around . . . in my head I think they want me to run over it, and I can't in good conscience kill one of God's creatures, even if I despise snakes.  I start screaming that I'm not turning around to run over it, and they are all like, "Duh, we just want to see it!"  Well OK then . . . I turn around and since he's so fat and slow, he was still crossing and we were able to pull up right next to him for a photo shoot.  Creep-tastic!    

Here's a pic of me driving the swagger wagon full of six kids and my crazy friend through Tennessee!  Five of the kids belong to us, and we took along a friend . . . she may or may not be scarred for life after spending so much time with us!
Mother Trucker!
So we hit Nashville in the early afternoon and head straight to Belle Meade Plantation.  We had a guided tour of the house with a lovely gentleman and learned that most of today's American race horses descend from a horse from this plantation in the 1800's called Bonnie Scotland. 

There were already sick of taking pictures!
While it was nice and all, once you've been to Biltmore, most other plantations seem rather paltry in comparison.  There was a winery there, and we did get a complimentary wine tasting . . . bonus! 

Next stop, the Parthenon in Greece . . . I mean Nashville.  Well duh, why wouldn't there be a life size replica in Tennessee?  Located in Centennial Park, it was cool to wander around, but we didn't spend the money to visit the museum.  We did shell out the cash for some sno-cones though! 
Posing like Greek statues . . .
The kids were just about done with all the "enrichment" we were offering so we headed over to our hotel . . . the Gaylord Opryland.  It was pretty swanky for sure, except for the four million high school and college kids there for a medical conference.  It had beautiful gardens and waterfalls throughout and way too many people.
On the way to the pool!
After swimming and dinner, we let the kids get all hyped up on RC Cola and moon pies . . . hey, it's their vacation too!  Really the moon pies weren't that great and most of them went in the trash. 

We did play a rousing game of Bean Boozled . . . as recommended by this lovely shop owner in Bell Buckle.  What is that you ask?  A disgusting game of trickery devised by Jelly Belly . . . spin the wheel, pick your color and hope it's the 'good' flavor!  I'll spare you the nasty face pictures.  I didn't play, but I heard that "centipede" was the worst with "skunk smell" coming in a close second.  Eeeewwwww.
My new birthday party gift for everyone!
Day 2 of our Nashville trip to follow . . .   

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