Last year when we got together with our good friends the Thompsons and McNelises from Sheridan we went back to Paris Landing State Park in Tennessee, which has been our favorite place for many years. We discovered a new winery in the town of Paris and enjoyed lunch at the Bistro there out in the beautiful, warm spring sunshine. And, as always, we enjoyed our time together. But the cabins at the state park have aged a bit (good thing we haven't!!) in the 13 years since we've "discovered" it and, sadly, many of the antique stores that we loved browsing in have either gone out of business or are much smaller.
So this year we decided to mix it up a bit and go to Nashville for our get-away time together. We rented a house together in Gallatin, Tennessee, which is about 30 minutes northeast of Nashville. It wasn't available on the first night of our trip, so we met in Clarksville, TN, for the first night. After checking in and visiting for a while, we went to the Beachaven Winery to sample some of their wares...and then for a nice dinner at Rafferty's. After that we had to make a brief stop at the pharmacy department at Target. Don needed some cough meds, Ken needed bandages for his thumb and I needed a bottle of Metamucil. (Like I say...it's a good thing we're not getting older!) Then we went back to our respective motel rooms and enjoyed the whirlpool tubs. Ahhhh... Especially relaxing because Jerry and I had driven in heavy rain and traffic most of the way.
The next day we set out to find the house and check out that area. We were all very happy with the place we'd rented. It was very nicely furnished and was warm and cozy. Warm and cozy was great because we had horrible weather the whole time. It was cold and windy and snow was flitting around ... but not sticking ...for the whole 3 days. I took this picture of the place the morning we had to leave. The sun was shining brightly. :(
On our first full day there, we went into Nashville to see the sights. We started out by going just a little out of the way to the Long Hollow winery in Goodlettsville to sample their wares. Then we had to go check out the American Pickers' store downtown. From there we went down to "lower Broad" just around the corner from the Reiman Auditorium. The weather was too miserable to walk around that area, but we drove around a little and then went to have lunch at the Big River Brewery and Restaurant. After that we went in search of the Bluebird Cafe. We've been watching the show "Nashville" and it's a place where they go to play their songs. We wanted to see if it was a real place. It is... and it is VERY small...and these fools were standing out in the cold waiting for it to open -- in 2 HOURS!!
After that we went to the Opryland Hotel and walked around enjoying the beauty of that place. This was the 3rd trip there for Jerry and me and I am always in awe of it. Ken and Shirley had been there many, many years ago and Don and Jean had never been. We walked around enjoying the plants, etc...Shirley used pretty much every bathroom they have...and then we took the riverboat ride in the Delta. I was disappointed that because of a private party we couldn't walk around the Delta riverwalk and go into the shops. (Stupid Aaron's.)
Tuesday was Shirley's birthday, so we had to do whatever she wanted all day. Sheesh. You'd think that after as many of them as she has had, they wouldn't be that big of a deal. We went into a couple of antique shops and then drove from Gallatin to nearby Hendersonville and had a nice lunch at Calhoun's. Also checked out a Goodwill store and scored a couple of bargains. Then we went back to the house to make a fire in the fireplace to take the chill off and watch a movie. Later we had birthday cake. That warmed us, too. :)
Wednesday was time to head home already. The time always goes too fast and I miss these precious people as soon as we all drive away in our separate directions. But to numb the pain, Jerry and I stopped at the Beans Creek Winery in Mansfield, Tennessee, on the way home to, you know...sample their wares. You can't say there wasn't a lot of "wining" on this trip! :)