And now for the exciting conclusion of our TN saga. Who will have to leave first? Will our heroines uncover new artistic masterpieces? What unexpected twist at the airport changes how Rose returns home? Read on to find out...
The answer to the first question was that Karen and Rebecca had to leave first. Karen had a long drive back to Chicago and Rebecca & her husband had to return home to finish shipments for the week. And then there were three; Melanie, Ericka, and Me. My flight was not scheduled to go out until around 5PM that evening, so we had one last day to spend together.
We decided to visit Cheekwood Estate and Gardens. Cheekwood Estate reminded me a lot of Meadowbrook Hall or The Edsel & Eleanor Ford House back home in MI. It was a quintessential estate typical of the time it was built, and modeled after English countryside manors. The lovely thing about Cheekwood is that it became an established center of art within Nashville and was opened to the public to enjoy.
We wandered the rooms of the house snapping photos and wondering what it would have been like to been alive during its heyday. Okay truth, I was also thinking about when and where we would eat lunch. I think it was a savory still life that got me on that track! As we headed to the upstairs galleries, I had to take a photo of this cool fiber optic light. The light beams came from the ceiling and stretched all the way down the fiber optic threads to illuminate the little brass lampshades at the end of each. If I had an art studio...
While the lower level of Cheekwood Estate seemingly existed in a time warp to the past, the upper level was converted into a modern art gallery. The kinetic artwork was particularly interesting. Here are two of my favorite pieces.
After a tour of the house, we headed down toward the children's gardens. The stone gazebo in the children's garden had the most beautiful woodworking at the top. I don't know why, but symmetry always gives me a little thrill! There were little tunnels in and out of the building for the children to crawl into. Melanie wouldn't accept my dare to crawl into the tunnels, but she did paint her name with water!
Next, my my wish came true; we went to have lunch at the cafe on the grounds. The gift shop had so many cute artsy and garden inspired items. Wouldn't you know they had little toads...er frogs.
With souvenirs in tow, we headed out to the garden trails. Cheekwood Gardens have several areas to explore. We walked through the more natural foot paths that took us into the wooded part of the estate. I especially loved the sculptures that incorporated water. I'm a sucker for running water, Lol!
We made our way along the trails until we were too hot and tired to go on, and then meandered back toward the main house. It was time for Ericka to hit the road back home. I know I already used this photo in the first blog post, but it's the last one we took and it's one of my favorites.
There were a few more surprises in store for me before I left TN. My faithful chauffeur, Melanie, drove us back to the mall where we began our adventure. Remember that hole filled bag I started my trip with? Well, I decided that I needed a new suitcase, so I bought one. Suitcases have come a long way in 20 years!
Then Melanie and I reminisced over all the wonderful things we experienced the last three days while enjoying some delicious ice cream sundaes (my treat). Time, unfortunately, was true to self and kept marching forward. It was time to head to the airport.
I hugged my dearest friend Melanie, thanked her for everything, and headed off with the lemon sun shining in my hand and my new suitcase rolling smoothly along. I was already thinking about the next adventures I would have with these beautiful ladies, my kindred spirits. Thank you for everything; Melanie, Rebecca, Ericka, & Karen. Until we meet again...
You thought I forgot about the twist didn't you? As I was waiting to board my plane back to Detroit, I ran into my long time friends, Amy and Jeremy G., who had come to Nashville to see Bon Jovi in concert. We had the same flight back. Long story short, they gave me a ride home from the airport so Lucas didn't have to drive all the way there to pick me up. Home sweet home.