Monday, December 29, 2008

Nashville Zoo - Part 2

December 27
Mana got to ride on the carousel. Mana and I were really looking forward to the Lorikeet exhibit. When we first went in, the birds were not eating out of anyone's cups. The lady said that they had been really busy that day and the birds had eaten all day. About 20 minutes later, they started eating. That made Mana happy. Then I had one of the birds get on my arm. Mana was really wanting to have one land on her arm also. She was getting sad. We finally coaxed one to get on her. That made her day. The biggest grin came across her face. After that exhibit, we went to this huge playground they had there. I could hardly keep up with where Mana was. It was fun for Mana and a little tiring for me having to watch for her so closely. It was overwhelming. There was this huge rope walkway that went out over the water that ran under one side of the playground. Mana went up the whole way. She stopped half way and wanted to turn back. I told her that it was closer to finish it. She did. I was proud of her. We closed the Zoo down. We stopped by the Fazole's for supper. It is my all time favorite!! Wish we had some where we live! Then we headed home. It was a great trip! We haven't had a family trip in a long time! Looking forward to the next!

Pictures of December 27....
"Gone Wild""Carousel" "Me Feeding a Lorikeet" "Lorikeet" "My Happy Child!!" "Jungle Gym Playground""Rope Walkway""Oh NO, Watch out for that Snake!""Look What We Picked Up on the Ride Home!!""Fazole's"

Nashville Zoo

December 27
That morning, we woke up and went down around 9am to eat breakfast. It was a cook-to-order complimentary breakfast. They had french toast, fruit, muffins, eggs, omelets, cereal, bacon, biscuits and about anything else you could think of. Everything was excellent! We checked out of the hotel and headed to the Nashville Zoo, which was Mana's pick for the day. It looked like it was going to rain. It only sprinkled a little. Overall, it was a nice day. We had planned to leave in time to get to my sister-in-law's house later on that afternoon. They were having the brothers over for supper. This zoo was a lot bigger then we thought. Around 1pm, we decided to call Brian's brother to tell them we would not be able to make it. We had not even seen half the zoo. I can't believe I filled up my camera SD card. I have never done that before. It was hard to pick which pictures to post, so there is a lot.

Pictures of the animals...
"Nashville Zoo""Manameerkat""Meerkat""Chinchilla""Bird""The Rare Brian Bird""Shadow Leopard""Toucan""Mana Brushing the Goats""Llama"

The Gaylord Opryland Hotel

December 26
After ICE, we walked over to the Gaylord Opryland Hotel. It was beautifully filled with lights hanging from the ceiling. It was a huge place. There were so many surprises tucked into the little corners, walkways and plants. There were lights, elves and presents around every turn. I could have stayed there all night! There is so much to see. You could get lost in there. We walked into the Hotel in the daytime and walked out at night. They had a massive tree decorated that was gorgeous. The water show was pretty also. We got to ride on the boat that goes around the whole place. It was a nice tour. They took your family pictures there also. You guessed it, $20. I passed on that one also. Of course, I took a huge amount of pictures! I was glad we got a hotel room at the Embassy Suites. It was nice to get away from all that was going on. There were tons of people there. When we got back to our room, Mana and Brian played hang man and watched the Transformers movie. Then we all went to bed. It was a long & tiring day, but packed full of fun!!

Pictures of Gaylord Opryland Hotel.....
"All the Lights""Beautiful"
They had two weddings set up to take place that night.
This was one of the locations. The other was at a fountain.
"A Wiseman""Water Show""Massive Christmas Tree""Mana next to the Massive Christmas Tree""Hot Air Balloons hanging from the Ceiling"


December 26
Last year, I saw the tv commercials for ICE. I thought it looked like something Mana would really enjoy. We finally got to go! We called the night before to get tickets to ICE and the Rockettes. The Rockettes were sold out. We bought our tickets for ICE at the door and got in line. Not to many people were there. We were handed large blue coats to put on. When you go inside, they took your family picture and shuffled you off through the doors into a wonderful ice sculptured filled room. It was magnificent. It was cold. I read that they keep it at 9 degrees in there. There were several rooms filled with different scenes from the Grinch. In one Grinch room, there were three slides of various lengths that you could go down. Mana was unsure if she wanted to go, so Brian went up and slid down. She decided she would slide on the short one. She said it was fun, but chose not to go down again. There was a long line for them. The very last room was the nativity scene. It was gorgeous! We then went through the exit doors into the gift shop. The camera lens and Mana's and my glasses fogged up for a long time. We got Mana and I each a t-shirt and I got an ornament for our tree. The family pictures taken at the beginning were $20, so I decided to pass on that. I figured I had enough pictures to show I was there. I would love to go again another year. It is worth the cost and the drive.

Pictures from ICE....
"Walking to ICE""ICE""North of Who-ville"
"ICE Slide""ICE Walkway""Nativity""All Fogged Up"

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Off to Nashville

December 26
I have been wanting to go to Nashville Gaylord Opryland Hotel for several years. I decided that since Brian was off work for the two weeks, that we would go. I have a trust issue with letting someone else drive. It scares me greatly. But, I do not like to drive in the rain or in the bigger cities. Let me just say, I really do not even enjoy being in a car at all. It has gotten worse the last couple of years. I had to tackle those fears head on and let Brian drive. I did ok. There were a few iffy moments. We got to Nashville around 11 am and went to check in at the hotel. We did not stay at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel because it was a little more than I was willing to spend. I found a hotel that also had gardens in the atrium, so I was happy. Plus, it was away from the hustle and bustle of that area. It was very pretty and we got the Build-A-Bear Sleep Over Package for Mana which included a robe, and bath stuff for her Build-A-Bear. (Which she forgot to pack after we told her to bring one.) We headed to see ICE. We decided to go ahead and eat lunch at Dave & Buster's. I had never been to one before. I had the Philly Cheese Steak. It was awesome. The best part were the sugar covered doughnut holes. Mana loved playing in the arcade.

Pictures in Nashville....
"Brian Driving"
I have proof!
"Embassy Suites""Build-A-Bear Sleep Over Special""Sugared Doughnut Holes" "Games" "The Claw"

Christmas Day

We went to GranMary & Paw Paw's house for lunch. The whole family comes over. They have a house full. Lunch was good. Ham, potato salad, rolls, and the deviled eggs are my favorites. Misty made some wonderful turtles that were covered in peanut butter and butterscotch. My favorite is her apple cake. It is delicious! We played football. We opened presents. Josh kept teasing Mana that the HSM Dollhouse was for him. That was really funny! Before we left, Mana sang "O, Little Town of Bethlehem". Matt and RK sang "Jingle Bells". For a finale, Brian and Matt sang "Al Paso".

Pictures of Christmas Day...
"A House Full" "The Fight Over the HSM Dollhouse" "Coal for Paw Paw" " Good Catch Josh" "The Cousins" "Mana Singing" "Matt & RK Singing" "Brian & Matt Singing"