InHollywood goes Country!
“Country Road Take Me Home”…two fairly quick plane rides transported me to Nashville, Tennesee! I was invited to my first “press tour”. We arrived at The Gaylord Opryland Resort (think Disneyland in a greenhouse). Nine acres of lush foliage, waterfalls and a quarter mile long in-door river are the centerpiece in which the rooms encircle. It’s epic. No, grand.
2,881 guest rooms, multiple restaurants, and a variety of stores make it a popular destination for families and conventions. It’s no surprise that the Resort recently teamed-up with Dreamworks to bring it’s movie characters from Madagascar, Kung Foo Panda, Shrek and Puss’n Boots as “life size” visitors to the resort.
Soon after arriving, we were greeted with a warm reception and a scrumptious platter from the Hotel’s “Wasabi’s Sushi”.
Get the picture?
The walking tour of the Resort proved to be nothing less then fabulous. My guide said it best: “You don’t find anything like this outside of Vegas”.
Next we visited The Parthenon. No, we didn’t lear jet it to Athens. No need to. Nashville has it’s own full-sized replica.
Housing the tallest indoor structure in the Western World, “Athena” stands at 42 feet tall.
Photographed here with it’s Sculptor Alan LeQuire, it is quite a vision! Just to make sure we mortals weren’t “seeing things”, we left the Parthenon and visited Alan at his gallery nearby. Much to our good fortune, Alan was working on a newly commissioned “Head of Medusa”.
The beautiful works of Russian Artist Murat Kaboulov were on exhibit in the front of the gallery. His pastels, watercolors, acrylics and sculptures are on display until April 21rst.
Next, we visited the Hermitage Hotel.
Built in 1910 and renovated in 2010, this historical downtown Hotel boasts a lobby crafted with Italian Sienna Marble, Cut glass skylights and a men’s room voted “Best Hotel Bathroom in America”. The Art Deco bathroom has been the set for the music videos of Crystal Gale, The Dixie Chicks, White Stripes and Alan Jackson. Take a peek:
Perhaps more a more meaningful a fact is that hotel housed the “Women’s right to vote” . Tennessee was the last state to hand in their ballot, a critical moment, and that last vote was the deciding factor! This happy news made me hungry. And just in time! A special dinner was prepared for us in the dining room of the Hotel’s restaurant, Capitol Grille. It was a preview of the spring menu and consisited of:
Pan Fried Red Mountain Trout, Bouble H Beef Sirloin (with biscuit crumble…how southern), and Spring Vegetable Gnocci. Dessert was out of this world: Chocolate Cobbler and Banana Pudding.
Alot of heart went into the presentation of the food but even more so into the creation of it. I learned that the Restaurant grows it’s own vegetables and donates it’s produce and garden space to the local food banks. Moreover, the Hotel has raised 250,000 dollars by asking guests to donate two dollars a stay. The result has been the preservation of 2500 acres of land in Tennesee.
Not to be a “Gossip Girl” but Hollywood’s hottest couple Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds recently enjoyed a stay at the Hotel.
My conclusion at the end of this wonderful first day is:
As the Sun is to the Moon, Nashville is to Hollywood.
More Astro projections tomorrow…