Today we headed back out to Dollywood to see what we had missed yesterday.
We watched a show about the bald eagle and the foundation. They use the animals to educate everyone about how these animals hunt and how they are being hunted. Some of these animals were amazing. They are all unable to be released into the wild, as they have had life threatening injuries or injuries where they would not be able to overcome in the wild. One of these birds has been taught to take the notes from you for donations and he puts them into his nesting box. He is so cute. Another of them has been taught only to look for pink things. Showing that birds see in colour. Very interesting.
We had booked for the afternoon to see the Dixieland Stampede. I wasn’t sure what to expect but it sounded like fun. It involved watching a story told by entertainers and horses. It was great. They had a blue grass band before the show started. They rocked the place. When we got inside we were seated in a long line, side by side and introduced to our server. We were given free refills of cool drink. The meal consisted of creamy veg soup to start, biscuit (scone) for starters, then out came the main meal…well I nearly died…they put a whole friggin chicken on my plate, along with potato and corn cob and then a slice of ham. Well I knew I was going to struggle with this. And I was right. The chicken got stuck…not so good for Jodie……very embarrassing moment was to occur.
Leaning in to tell Dave I was going to be sick and then Jodie chucking all over herself. Now that was bad enough and I thought it would be ok, as it was dark and no one would see….nope no such luck…at the precise moment they decided to turn on the house lights….arghhh Jodie shrunk into the seat….while Dave was trying to be the doting husband, he was quietly pissing himself laughing….Kodak moment!!! The staff was super wonderful though and got me some wet towels and I was able to clean up quickly….luckily for me it is never a huge chuck….apologies to those with queasy stomach’s. I was able to go on though and enjoy the rest of the show.
The show was such a blast and they have the audience participate. It was definitely worth the $50 and more. So enjoyable.
So now its time to head off to the next destination.
Well its Black Friday today…so glad that I don’t let that bother me but the weather certainly is playing along with the day. Its cold and miserable and it made it very hard to see out the windows on the homes of the stars tour in the bus. Fogged up windows. Mind you I’m not sure how, as the bus driver must live in Antarctica. He had the bloody air con on the whole 4 hour trip…Jodie and air con don’t mix…could of snapped my fingers off…brrrrr.
While the tour was interesting it wasn’t something I would recommend, as you couldn’t really see many of the houses, as they reside in gated communities or they were behind gates and up a massive drive way. But I can certainly see why they choose to live in Nashville. That place is beautiful and the homes are some of the most amazing, stunningly beautiful homes I have ever seen and the prices are cheap compared to home…..mmmm wonder if the kids want to move to Nashville????
We went to visit Dollywood this afternoon. They have a deal on, that if you arrive after 3pm , then you can re enter the next day for free.
On our way there though, we had to go through a place called Pigeon Forge….OMG it was amazing. It beats Vegas hands down. At every corner there is something incredible to see, no expense has been spared. Huge mini golf arenas, go carts, dinner and shows. There was a titanic replica ship and the most unusual thing I have ever seen, a giant mansion upside down. Its called Wonderworks and is a house of magic. It truly was a sight to behold.
We have decided to stop here for the night and head on back out to Dollywood tomorrow and then head towards the Smokey Mountains. I wonder if I can talk Dave into renting a log cabin for the night???
Well got to go and load pics and catch up on some sleep.
Well today we headed out to see the sites of Nashville. First stop being the Grand Ole Opry. We put the address into the GPS and everything was fine, until we got to the address. Dave and I followed the signs to park the car. Well we should of looked further down the street, as we parked in the hotel parking lot @ a cost of $20 mind you, only to find that the Grand Ole Opry was then another 20mins walk from the parking lot…boy did we get our exercise that day. Probably a good thing in hind sight, as we sit on our backsides most of the day, stopping to eat and then back in the car. We haven’t really found any attractions etc that have been strenuous activity. Didn’t help that I needed a pit stop…the bladder was working overtime that day. We finally made it to the Opry and had an hour spare to just sit and get the breath back…so unfit …hehehe.
Once we went inside it was a great tour backstage. Seeing where the stars play and their dressing rooms, entrances etc. I found it interesting to know that you can write to the stars at the Opry and they have post boxes there for the them. They are their for the stars to collect when they arrive to play there. So cool. It was also interesting to learn that the Opry went through a flood and 4 feet of the Opry was under water. They never cancelled any of their shows, just moved them elsewhere and they had the place back up and running 2 months later. They managed to save the original circle from the stage and it has been placed back there. People like Elvis Presley, Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Trace Atkins have all stood upon this circle and today I got to stand in their shoes. That was super cool. We had our picture taken with the mike stand and our tour guide was a crack up. I really enjoyed it and would recommend it if ever in the area.
Fan Mail Wall
Dressing Room for the Stars
The Opry Stage
We then walked across to the Opry Mills shopping centre for some lunch. We saw a sign that said Underwater dining attraction. We had to check it out. I am so glad we did as it was awesome. They have built a restaurant that has huge aquariums in it, full of sharks and rays and all kinds of fish. You walk in there and you truly do feel like you are under the ocean, except you don’t need an oxygen tank to survive!!!! We decided that we have to order fish and chips..how could we not?? Well so glad we did, it was the BEST FISH AND CHIPS I HAVE EVER EATEN. So good and worth the 20mins walk from the car park. LOL. So after our fine dining experience, we ventured back out to walk back to the car.
20mins later we were back on our way into town to check out the main st.
We took a walk up the main drag and I had mentioned to Dave that I would like to get some real cowgirl boots. So we walked into one of the many stores and I tried some on, not expecting any of them to fit, as I have trouble getting boots to fit my calves. Well much to my surprise the ones I looked at fit me perfectly. Dave by this stage was running for the door with the credit card. So with my new boots on, we went walking. Stopped for a bite to eat and low and behold we walked past a store that said, buy 1 boot get 2 free…at first I thought they meant buy one get one free but no they actually meant…buy 1 pair and get 2 pairs free…I couldn’t believe it. Dave was frothing at the mouth. Just our bloody luck. So while I went to find 1 pair of boots , I now have 4 pairs of cowgirl boots 🙂 Dave took my hand and we were out of that place like a whirl wind.
So now its back to the hotel, to find somewhere to put the new purchases and get ready to head out tomorrow. We are off to see the stars homes in Nashville and then continue on our way to Pigeon Forge – Dollywood.
Today would of had to of been a highlight of my trip. This was another bucket list item that I got to tick off.
Today we headed to Graceland. Wow what an amazing experience. It was so surreal to think that we were in the same building, walking on the same ground that once was graced by “The King” himself. He truly was an amazing man and so generous. When you go through the house , you can clearly see how much he loved his family and how much he just wanted to help those less fortunate. He presence can still be felt there. It is just so hard to put it into words. Its such a shame that he had to leave us at such a young age, but boy did he make an impact on it while he was here. Even though I was old enough to know who he was, I remember growing up listening to his music as my mum is a huge fan. It truly was an experience I will never forget and would totally recommend to anyone to do it if you ever get the chance..you won’t be disappointed.
I was amazed to learn that when Elvis purchased the property, he paid just over $100, 000 for it. Now while that would of been an obscene amount of money back then, it is a steal now. The place is huge. They have kept the house completely as Elvis had left it. The decor is unbelievable. No expense was spared. Elvis truly believed in over the top. One fact that I found fascinating was that he never wrote any of his songs. Amazing.
Dave and I really spent some time here and it was kind of freaky when we came to his head stone. Elvis is actually buried here with his mother and father and grandfather. I kind of felt like I was intruding on a very personal place but feeling very privileged to be able to pay my respects to a wonderful musician, great man and a devoted father. What an unforgettable experience.
Dave and I left there in awe of a man that changed the world of music and the lives of many.
Rock on Elvis!!!
We spent the afternoon on the riverboat learning about Memphis and those that worked on the Mississippi River. The historical cruise was very interesting. Our tour guide was great too. He knew his stuff. We are certainly learning a lot about this country and their history. I probably know more about this country than my own…lol.
After the cruise we took a stroll down the main st with the many clubs, pubs etc. It has the same feel as New Orleans. I really do love the South and the people here.
Anyway time to get to bed, ready to hit the road again tomorrow.