Finally, we're nearing the end of our trip. While I am glad these posts will be over after today, I was very sad on this day while in Nashville - as I knew the trip was almost over...and we'd all soon be returning to our daily routines.
Early that morning, we set out for the beautiful Belle Meade Plantation. Currently a 30 acre farm, it was once a 5400 acre horse farm which bred the ancestors of today's racing champs. The mansion, built in 1853, was the home of the Harding-Jackson family, and our tour guide was excellent! It was once again a terribly hot day, so we enjoyed the relaxing, informative tour inside the large home before we continued our walking tour on the grounds. If you would like more information about the family and the property, see this link.
We then headed on to the Parthenon. Nashville's full size replica of the original Parthenon was constructed to celebrate Tennessee's Centennial Exposition in 1897. Today, it serves as an art museum and houses the Parthenon's centerpiece: Athena Parthenos.
Athena was considered the "Goddess of Wisdom" and "Benevolent Protector of Athens". Historians and sculptor Alan LeQuire studied every document and description they could find about the original to try to make an extremely accurate reproduction. In May of 1990, Athena Parthenos was unveiled, and here she is. And, she likes to wear sandals, also!!! She stands approximately 41 feet, 10 inches high, and that makes her the current largest indoor scultpure in the Western world. The figure she is holding in her right hand represents Nike, the "goddess of victory", who stands 6 feet, 4 inches high.
We looked at Athena and thought, "What a striking piece of art and sculpture!" It is "interesting" (for lack of a better term)and sad that individuals would once seek out Athena for answers and understanding - instead of seeking our true and living God, creator of all.
While everyone else went back to the resort to take a little rest, I went exploring through the area near our hotel. And, what did I find? Cooter's, a museum and gift shop dedicated to the Dukes of Hazzard. I saw a few General Lees, Daisy's Jeep Dixie, and Rosco P. Coltrane's police car. I also saw TONS of Dukes memorabilia created through the years. Games, dishes, tents, cars, clothes, costumes.... you name it, they had it! All of it brought back funny memories of us youngin's when we'd repeatedly yell out "Do the Dukes! Do the Dukes!" to my dad and my uncle. Each would rev up the engines in their cars to entertain Aaron and our cousin Chris, both big Dukes of Hazzard fans. Here is a photo of Mom and Dad posing outside the store the next day when I took them to see the displays.
That night, we headed to the GRAND FINALE of our trip, the Grand Ole Opry radio show inside the Grand Ole Opry House. A very nice man agreed to take our family picture before we entered the auditorium.
We were sad that we'd barely miss Vince Gill (who was performing at both shows the very next night), but we were excited to hear Diamond Rio (a band we heard at our very own Canton High School immediately before they released their first big hit and became famous.) Porter Wagoner was the host of the first half hour, and it was fun to see his new sparkly purple suit. We sat up in the mezzanine and had a great time listening to the music. It was overwhelming to imagine what it would be like to sing from that stage (or the Ryman) someday and be heard on the Grand Ole Opry radio show. So many stars through the years! And, what a dream come true it would be!
I had a wonderful time on this trip, and I cannot wait to return to Nashville. Thanks for reading the posts and helping me reminisce about the vacation with my family.