When we last left our artsy heroes, they were blissfully slumbering in their luxury cabin rental, dreaming of all the fun they were going to have in downtown Nashville the next day.
Day two's adventure was a trip to the heart of Nashville, TN. Despite the opportunity to sleep in, my body clock woke me up at a refreshing 7AM (which was technically 8AM EST, so I did actually sleep in!). The night before, we had stopped at Kroger, so I enjoyed an instant oatmeal and yogurt out on the patio. Of course, it was the perfect morning! The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, and the horses were grazing right across the drive in their pasture.
After getting ready for the day, Ericka, Karen, and I hopped in the car and headed off to Melanie's house. As a home grown TN girl, Melanie was our tour guide for the entire trip. Melanie gave us a mini tour of her art studio and home. I had seen her studio so many times on camera and in photos, and being there in person was surreal. One step into her house and studio, I was like, Melanie lives here. Her paintings and love of travel were sprinkled everywhere. It made me smile inside to realize that she and the others were 100% real people, my friends. And off toward Nashville we went!
Our first stop in Nashville was delicious! Melanie took us to the Five Daughters Bakery. Considering the fact that I have four daughters, I'm one more daughter away from owning a bakery. The Five Daughters Bakery is best known for its delectable donuts. Best part for me was that they had gluten free choices that actually tasted yummy.
You might be wondering where my donut is. It didn't quite make it on the drive to Centennial Park. The park was beautiful and full of people enjoying the warm weather. Unlike back home, spring was in full bloom in TN.
The Parthenon in Nashville is a full scale replica of the original Grecian structure in Athens Greece. However, this version is fully intact, including a towering golden statue of the Goddess Athena in the center. My daughters are big fans of the Percy Jackson book series by Rick Riordan, so I took plenty of pictures.
There is also a small gallery in the lower level of the building and an exhibit area. Here are some pictures of the exhibit that was on display while we were there. The giant story book was interactive. I think my favorite piece was the multi-layer hanging sculpture on sheets of plexiglass.
At this point, our donut sugar highs were wearing off, so it was time to head downtown for lunch. Melanie took us to an indoor food court that featured all sorts of flavors from around Nashville. A stairway with a Welcome to Wine Country caught several of our eyes, and like moths to a flame, we were drawn up the stairs to an airy open restaurant at the top of the building. Here we are enjoying a delicious lunch at Sixty Vines on Broadway in Nashville.
After that we meandered out to the roof top to get a view of everything. To sum it up, Nashville is a cacophony of music, people, and woo-hoo girls on party buses! There is a bar in every building, a band in every bar, and a crowd of people packed in like sardines on the streets, in the bar, and on top of every building.
In true artsy fashion, we did a quick walk through down Broadway and then headed off to see The Hatch Show printing shop and some cool murals. We weren't able to get tickets for The Hatch Show tour that day, but we did have fun browsing the gift shop.
Worn out from the heat and the walk, we grabbed an iced coffees, chai tea for me, on the way out of town. Karen treated us all from her little zip pouch filled with coffee gift cards! One of the perks of being a teacher. We stopped for some groceries and headed back to the cabin. Ericka made us all delicious pasta & salad for dinner that night. We ate alfresco on the porch, and then got ready for our night of creating. Rebecca brought door hangers for everyone to make and Melanie provided all of the paint & supplies. We shared so many laughs and stories.
Rebecca's husband did us a favor of taking some group pictures. Every time I look at my lemon door hanger I think of these ladies. It's kind of cool that we each have this memento of friendship hanging on our doors. Day two was complete and we all slept like rocks that night!
Oh, I almost forgot one more special memory from our day...this one's for you Melanie.