Road Trip Part Two: Finishing Nashville and the Chattanooga Aquarium

Okay, so I left off with the idea that I was done talking about Nashville, but I forgot about Cheekwood Gardens! We stopped by Cheekwood Gardens on our way out of town. It was a hot day, but nice enough to walk around a bit outside.

There was a special exhibition of large wooden bugs while we were there.

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Case in point.

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Japanese Gardens

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Really tall chairs.

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Creepy sculpture, part rabbit, part woman.IMG_0205

Interesting fact, particularly since I was staying (do I always say we or just I? Am I entirely too used to saying we all the time? Do I lack individuality or am I using the royal we?) at the Maxwell House Hotel: The gardens were donated as part of the former estate of one of the owners of Maxwell House Coffee. As the docent at the museum said, “This is the house that coffee built. Maxwell House Coffee.”

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The mansion was there but had mostly been renovated into a museum. There was a neat exhibit on Andy Warhol and his flower drawings and other information about him. Never stop learning!

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After the gardens it was time to go to Franklin for lunch. We’d decided to try a place there (south of Nashville, advertised as a quaint historic town, yada yada) called Grey’s on Main. It did not disappoint! We walked around the town a bit after lunch in search of a coffee while I sweated profusely. I did learn on this trip that I sweat a lot. I’m assuming it’s because I’m in such great shape, but still. It’s pretty ridiculous to feel one can never wear normal clothing and should always be wearing tech clothing and workout attire, and perhaps should change clothes several times a day.

After lunch we were off to Chattanooga. The plan was to get there and visit the Tennessee Aquarium before it closed. We managed to accomplish this, but barely as we didn’t realize that we were heading from Central to Eastern Time! The Aquarium was really cool in all senses of the word. I didn’t take as many pictures inside because it was dark, but the set up was terrific—two buildings and the path just flowed from one exhibit to the next so you really got to see everything without worrying about going into separate halls or backtracking. It was pretty empty too since we were there towards the end of the day and overall was one of my favorite things! Admission wasn’t cheap (I think around $25) but it was a really nice way to spend a few hours and was really well done. I’d only been to one other Aquarium, in Chicago, and I preferred this one.

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The otters were great, and one was named Louie.IMG_0232 IMG_0228

Who knew, the geodesic dome was inspired by a tortoise!

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Anyway, I didn’t mean to break these posts up so much, but I think it’s better for me to publish a short post now rather than wait until I have the time for a long one. I find myself so short on time with the usual constant feeling of being behind, and vacation recap blog posts are no exception, BUT I really want to write about it so I can at least look back later. I keep thinking of a million things I want to say on the blog while I’m driving around or doing other stuff, but then I end up doing other stuff, mostly mundane, or practicing (SO many upcoming performances, including a recital that involves solo Bach!—and I need to blog about it too so you local readers can attend)—but that’s life. It just stays busy, and mostly that’s great. I feel so much less stressed after vacation, simply busy in a good way. With that thought, I’m off to get ready for a wedding gig, and our next installment (see what I did there?) will be about Chattanooga and more of my trip.

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