Things That Make Me Smile

mary30I’ve been walking a lot lately, camera in hand, trying to capture the last vestiges of fall and trying to accept the fact that Christmas is right around the corner! Are you finding it as hard to believe as I am? read more

Hidden Treasures

“Earth proudly wears the Parthenon as the best gem upon her zone.”

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nashville, Tennessee

A full-scale replica of Athens Parthenon stands in Nashville’s Centennial Park, exacting in its detail to the original.  The massively ornate structure, originally built for Tennessee’s 1897 Centennial Exposition, is one of the city’s main tourist attractions.

As impressive as the classical architecture is on the outside is what you will find on the inside: A nearly 42-ft. tall, gold-gilded statue of the Greek Goddess Athena.   Nashville’s Athena is said to be the largest indoor sculpture of its kind in the Western World.

The Parthenon—Athena—in Nashville—who would have thought?

Where Have You Been?!

Allow me to explain…

I know, I know, I have promised for two weeks now to share my travel tales.  Easier said than done, I’m afraid.  Since returning from LA, I’ve discovered one irrefutable truth:  re-entry into day to day life and all its responsibilities is not an easy task after weeks on the road and in the air.  It’s taken awhile but I am slowly regaining my balance and am grateful for your patience.

So, where to begin?  Begin at the beginning, of course.

In late April my husband and I decided to add a little pleasure to a business trip we were taking. “Let’s drive,”  I said.   “I’m in,” he said.   And with that, our plan for a road trip was hatched. We packed up the SUV and headed out onto the open road, ready for an adventure and bound for the south.

First stop:  Nashville, Tennessee.

Nashville— home to the Grand Ole Opry, The Country Music Hall of Fame, and Vanderbilt University— is one of my favorite destinations.  There is a down-home charm and hospitality here that is truly hard to beat.  The people are some of the nicest I have ever come across in my travels—warm, welcoming, and helpful.  There’s a great vibe in this city, like there’s a big party being thrown and everyone’s invited.

We stayed at the Historic Hermitage Hotel, named after Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage, Tennessee, Presidential estate.

This gorgeous five-star jewel, located in the heart of downtown Nashville, first opened its doors in 1910, with room rates, if you can even imagine, starting at just $2.00. It soon became the preferred hotel for the movers and shakers of the day,who just may have been lured through the doors by the hotel’s savvy advertising:  “Rooms are fireproof, noise-proof, and dustproof.”

The hotel underwent a massive $20 million renovation in 2000, and was completed in 2003.  It is the only remaining Nashville hotel done in the Beaux Arts style, and is both a member of the National Register of Historic Places and the Historic Hotels of America.

The hotel’s breathtakingly beautiful grand salon is exquisite, replete with soaring ceilings, ornate moldings, massive fluted columns embellished with marble inlays, marble flooring, stained glass, gold leafing, and hand painted ceilings.

It is truly a wow!

Our room was really lovely and had a spectacular view of the state capital and the expansive concourse that stretches out in front of it, which is the city’s War Memorial Plaza.

Love this place,  so much so that we stayed at the hotel twice during our travels, both at the front end of our trip and the back end.  The only negative?  We couldn’t stay longer :)

Much more from Nashville coming soon.


I used both my Olympus E-620 and my iPhone 4s to capture the above shots and it’s getting so I can barely distinguish the difference between the two.