Baby A turned 4 months old this January 15th, 2016. P’s and my offices were closed for MLK Holiday on Jan 18th. We decided to fulfill our long pending road trip to Nashville. Having loaded our BMW X5 with our luggage bags, baby suitcase comprising of his clothes, diapers, wipes, toys and books; his play pen, baby rocker, stroller and other baby accessories; accompanied by some snacks for the drive, we set out on baby A’s first road trip. At 11:30 AM, we started our 3 and 1/2 hour drive via I-40 and US 79 N. Baby A was comfortably seated in his car seat facing the car’s trunk. He thoroughly enjoyed watching the trees, sky, vehicles and scenery as our car zipped by. Our first destination was Shri Ganesha Temple.
Shri Ganesha Temple: A beautifully constructed Hindu temple is housed at 527 Old Hickory Blvd, Nashville, TN 37209. This temple is maintained by Kannada community, contradictory to, the usual Telugu community as other temples in the US. We reached the temple at 3:30PM, had good darshan of Lord Ganesha along with other deities; and savored the theertha (holy water) and prasadam that was offered to all the devotees. Ambiance was serene. Despite freezing temperature and chilly wind blowing to our faces, we sat on the steps at the foot of the temple and clicked some pictures with baby A.
Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center: It was 4:30 PM, 1 hour passed our check-in time, so we headed to our Hotel Opryland, located at 2800 Opryland Dr, Nashville, TN 37214. Having procured our room key, we entered the elevator which took us to our Atrium view room located on 5th floor. Sliding the room key into the slot of the front door, and entering the room, we pushed open the curtains of our room, to be introduced to a beautiful balcony that housed two chairs placed opposite to each other with a round center table in between. The balcony faced the gorgeous ‘atrium’ which was a triangular shaped courtyard enclosed by a the transparent dome-shaped ceiling exposing the sky. The atrium housed a series of palm trees and bridges that connected to rooms on either side. All the rooms were beautifully lit and it looked magnificent.
Woodlands Indian Vegetarian Cuisine – Our stomachs growled and indicated that it was time to replenish our systems with some food. Thanks to various apps on our phone, we zeroed in on “Woodlands Restaurant” for our dinner. Keying the address 3415 West End Ave, Nashville, TN 37203 into our BMW GPS, we reached the crowded restaurant. It took the receptionist nearly 20 minutes to inquire our head count and lead us to our table. Skimming through the menu, we decided to try idly-vada, rava dosa, dahi batata puri and hakka noodles to satisfy the appetite of three people. Trust me when I say this: “Food was horrible”. We were baffled to see the crowd and wondered why so many people tortured themselves with such crappy food, but later realized that it was the only restaurant with close proximity to Vanderbilt university and the sole source of Indian food for the students far away from home.
We later headed back to our hotel room and slid under our comfortable blankets, beating the cold, thus calling it the night!
The following morning, we woke up to fascinating day-light view of the atrium. Since the hotel didn’t offer any breakfast, P went down to the lobby and bought us bagels, coffee and cake from Starbucks. We sat on the balcony chairs, savoring the splendid view and the delicious food.
We checked out of our room at 12PM and decided to explore the hotel garden and other scintillating views that was always flocked by tourists. Garden was magnificent with paved stone walkways, fountain, falls and lush green scenery with rich vegetation. Posing at different points of the garden- amidst the greenery, flora, falls and fountain, we went crazy capturing pictures.
Our final destination was Opry Mills mall. It was ten minutes drive from our hotel. Mall was gigantic and housed a plethora of brands and outlets like Coach, Fossil, Gap, Carters, Disney, Toys-r-us, Tommy Hilfiger etc. Click here for the entire list of stores. Being a shop-o-holic, I went on shopping spree at Disney and Toys-r-us outlets spending money on attractive and cute baby clothes, shoes, jackets, toys and books; whilst my observant baby wandered his eyes along the beeline of stores checking them out from his stroller.
Overall, we had a great time with baby A and he was co-operative that made our journey more peaceful and enjoyable. Looking forward to more trips with him in future.
This is also an entry for Yeah Write’s Non Fiction Challenge #249