Tennessee, April 2008

A few years ago, Janet and two of her nieces watched a TV travel show on Dollywood, a theme park located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of eastern Tennessee, and founded by Dolly Parton. They all agreed that it looked like fun and “we should go”.  Well, it took a few years, abit of planning and some frequent flier miles donated by Randy, but in April 2008 they finally did it.  As it turned out, Dollywood was only one of several fun things experienced on the trip!

The adventure started with first class seats on Delta Airlines (hot towel, anyone?).  In Cincinatti, they switched planes to a smaller “puddle-jumper”, which is way more fun to fly on anyway!  Here, Whitney and Mikaela are ready to board for Chattanooga TN.

 In Chattanooga the first night, we stayed (of course) at the Chatranooga Choo Choo Hotel.  We also got caught in a lightening storm and got soaked to the skin as we walked back to the hotel after dinner.  Good times!

We had some things planned on our trip, like Dollywood, but many of the days just sort of took shape as we drove along.  Between Chattanooga and Nashville, we found a State Archaeological Park called the Old Stone Fort.  There was not really much of the fort to see (it is about 2000 years old) but it was very pretty. Nice place to take a bit of a hike and stretch our legs.

Oh my God, Whitney in nature!  We also learned that Whitney should not wear that particular shirt under black lights.... turns out it is a bit see-through. Picture not posted for modesty reasons....

Also on this leg of the journey, we made a short side trip to Alabama so that we could say we had been there.   Never did see a state line sign, but we did find this interesting combo. All that is missing is the beer.

One of our “on the road” discoveries was The Hermitage, which was the home of President Andrew Jackson (he is #7 in the Presidential lineup). Absolutely gorgeous grounds. Lots of great history, which made Janet and Whitney very happy. Even Mik (a non-history buff) had fun.

To the right is the main house, below are some of the gardens.

Jackson and his wife, Rachel, are both buried on the grounds.  Little did we know this would NOT be our only dead President on the trip.

Trails allow visitors to wander the property and see the spring house, location of the slave quarters, smokehouse and many other features.  Very cool.

In Nashville we stayed at the Gaylord Opryland, which is a massive complex of a hotel located next to the Grand Ol’ Opry.  The whole thing is enclosed (which is probably very nice during the sweltering summers). Our room was very nice, although the food was less than special...

Janet looking tired after a day of driving with two teenagers.....

The TN trip continues....

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