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

 

Moutardier Campground

Our first night on vacation was spent at Moutardier Campground in Leitchfield, KY. It was a last minute decision to stay here, and we are so glad we did. We had a site right on Nolin River Lake. We had neighbors on one side, and their site was right next to ours, but that didn’t really bother us. We had our tent set up on the side on the campsite that was farthest from our neighbors and we hardly even knew they were there. This campground is run by the Army Corps of Engineers. It was well maintained and the bathrooms were clean, although they were a bit of a hike up a fairly steep hill. We could have had a site closer to the bathrooms, but that would have meant giving up the lake view. Who would give up waking up to that view? The site was only $15 a night and it was less than a 30 minute drive to Mammoth Cave National Park, which was our first destination on day 2.

Project 365, Days 210-220

 

Day 210: Vacation finally started. Our first night was spent in Kentucky, at Moutardier Campground, just north of Mammoth Cave. Our campsite was right on Nolin Lake.

Day 211: Our first official site-seeing stop on this vacation was Mammoth Cave National Park. We did the Frozen Niagara Tour and really enjoyed the interesting formations in the cave.

Day 212: Nashville was our destination today. We went to Cheekwood Botanical gardens and then to downtown Nashville. I had to get a photo of the “Batman” building.

Day 213: Today brought us to Stones River National Battlefield, a memorial from the Civil War.

Day 214: We drove from Nashville to the Smoky Mountains today. On the way, we stopped at one of the many state parks, Cummins Falls State Park, and hiked to the waterfall.

Day 215: Not the most scenic photo from today, but it’s a great reminder of one of the highlights. We were doing the Cades Cove drive today and stopped at one of the historic buildings along the way, the Primitive Baptist Church. We expected a quick stop, a photo or two and then drive on. We were blessed instead with a service. Old fashioned hymns being sung, followed by a short message. We loved it.

Day 216: Day 2 in the Smokies was the Newfound Gap Road. So many gorgeous mountain views all day long. I could have soaked in the views for hours.

Day 217: Last day in the Smokies and we went on the Roaring Forks motor trail. One of the things I was looking forward to on this drive was a waterfall called Place of a Thousand Drips, for no other reason than I liked the name. It turned out to be a really nice little waterfall.

Day 218: Time to start heading for home. We stopped in Kentucky, at Cumberland Falls State Park. I love waterfalls.

Day 219: We spent most of the day driving today. One quick stop at Fair Oaks Farms, but we didn’t pay to do any of the “adventures”. Everything was farm themed, including this milk bottle rock climbing wall.

Day 220: This sweet little girl was so happy to have me home again. She hasn’t left my side at all.