Tennessee Vacation, Days 4 and 5

On our second day in Nashville, we drove a bit south to go to the Stones River National Battlefield. This memorial to the Civil War was very interesting. It’s not one of the well-known battles, but it was one of the bloodiest. We did the cemetery tour. A park ranger walked with us to the cemetery and told us about the battle and also about national cemeteries in general. After an hour in the cemetery, we did the self-guided car tour and stopped a several key areas of the battle.

After the battlefield, we went back into Nashville. Our plan was to go the the agriculture museum, but that was closed. So, we went instead to Centennial Park. The main attraction there is a full sized replica of the Parthenon. We walked around the park for a while and then drove around Vanderbilt University.

We spent one last night at Poole Knobs Campground before heading East toward the Smoky Mountains. On our way out of the Nashville Area, we made a quick stop at the dam that creates Percy Priest Lake. There were so many ducks in the area and all were fairly tame and let me get close enough to get photos.

Our last stop before the Smoky Mountains was at Cummins Falls State Park where we did a quick hike to the falls. The hike to the overlook was fairly easy. If, like most of the people there on that hot day, had decided to hike all the way down to the river, it would have been a considerably harder hike.

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Tennessee Vacation, Day 3: Nashville

After a relaxing night at Poole Knobs Campground, we went to do some sightseeing in Nashville. Our first stop was Cheekwood Botanical Gardens. The different gardens were beautiful. There was a lot of color and a lot of different trees and fountains and streams.

The mansion was gorgeous (and air-conditioned which was a welcome relief on this very hot day). The second floor of the mansion is decorated as it was when the Cheek family lived there. I loved the  elaborate and elegant staircases.

The third floor of the mansion has an art museum. The exhibit when we were there was called Cracking Art. It really wasn’t our kind of art. Throughout the museum, and around the gardens, were a bunch of plastic animals. In our opinion, the bright plastic animals detracted from the beauty of the gardens.

After leaving Cheekwood, we went to downtown Nashville and walked around for a while, catching a few of the highlights–the At&T building (aka Batman Building), Country Music Hall of Fame, Ryman Auditorium, the Capitol, the farmers market and more.

Tennessee Vacation, days 1 and 2: Heading to Nashville

We spent the first day driving. We made it to Kentucky, Moutardier Campground, to be exact. Our first official vacation activity was going to Mammoth Cave National Park, which was about a 30 mile drive from the campground. While waiting for our cave tour, we did a little hiking around the park, and we had some amazing views of Kentucky.

We did the Frozen Niagara Tour, which is one of the shorter tours available. We weren’t disappointed, however. The cave is beautiful. There were so many stalactites and stalagmites and interesting formations. Our tour guide was hilarious. Or, that could just be me because I have the same dumb sense of humor.

From the cave, we drove to Nashville. We spent a little time driving around, looking at the city. We had thought about going to check out the Opryland Hotel, but didn’t feel like paying $28 to park. We went to Long Hunter State Park, to walk around their arboretum, but due to the heat, didn’t see the whole thing. We did see this deer, however, before heading to our campground.img_1801