Trip to Nashville and the Opryland Hotel

September 28 - Oct 2, 2005

We left the Atlanta area early and met Philippe and Mary Sue at the Cracker Barrell on I-75 near Chattanooga for a nice breakfast and visit. Then we drove on to Nashville where Brenda had booked us into the Fairfield site near the Opryland Hotel. Jeff and family didn't get to leave Pearl River until about 3pm, so they didn't arrive until about 11 pm.

We had gone out and gotten some breakfast stuff for them and a crib and tried to the make their unit on the floor below us comfortable so they could just come in and go to bed. We were pretty well ragged out by the time they arrived since we had gotten up so early, but it was worth waiting up to see them briefly. As they arrived we got to see Elyse, and Ashleigh and Jordan had just come in and crawled into bed. We were just going to let them settle in, but Jordan saw me and said Granddad! and held out her arms. So I went in and hugged her and that one moment made the hassle of the long day worthwhile - I was deeply touched. I also hugged and kissed Ashleigh, who had been sick and was very subdued, but also responded sweetly to my greeting. So it was great to see them all after having been through so much with them over the past few weeks.

When everyone was up the next morning we went down to find Elyse playing busily in the floor, pulling up on the chairs and trying to crawl.

Darla was feeding the girls breakfast at the room and preparing to take them to the playground. Jeff needed to go to his meeting at Opryland, so we took him there and Brenda indulged me in one of my very favorite things, the buffet breakfast at the Opryland Hotel.

We enjoyed a walk through the gardens after breakfast. We love the falls and cascades, and they even have orchids. We made plans to include some of the lenten roses, right in our own garden.

On one of the elevated walkways we could see the blue sky out the atrium high above and some of the hundreds of yellow mums on the walkway on the level below us.

Our next adventure was to be the Rainforest Cafe for dinner.

The jungle motif appealed to all of us, and even Elyse was engaged and excited. The entrance featured a large animated hippo.

The entrance to the restaurant was lined with large cylindrical aquariums. Even Elyse was reaching out to try to touch the fish, and Ashleigh and Jordan were very excited.

I was amazed at the change in Elyse in three weeks time. She was much more engaged and interactive. She enjoyed the time at Rainforest and looked around at all the sights and sounds of this crazy place.

Elyse takes in everything in the gift store from atop Dad's shoulders.

Playing with Grandma Brenda and Jordan at the Rainforest Cafe.

From Nashville to Arkansas

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