Sunday, July 13, 2014

Overnight Trip to Nashville with Bethie, Gavin, & Zoe

I wanted Shawn and I to go out of town over the 4th of July weekend, but that didn't pan out due to scheduling conflicts, so instead I took my sister, my nephew Gavin, and my littlest BFF Zoe.

Saturday morning bright and early my little car pulled out of the garage and headed towards Nashville.  My first stop was to pick up Zoe, and then we stopped to pick up Beth and Gavin.


I had two days planned of the zoo, sight seeing, shopping, finding geocaches, swimming, and smashing pennies!  

We stopped at the rest area at the Kentucky/Tennessee line to use the restroom and found our first geocache.  Zoe had never gone geocaching with us before and was intrigued with the find and the process.



Gavin had an absolute blast having Zoe as his backseat buddy!


The Nashville Zoo.
First off, the temp outside the day we were at the zoo was 90+ degrees and sunny.  This already made for a miserable day.  This zoo was ok, but I doubt I'll be back.  It was a large zoo with large exhibits, which was nice for the animals, but not nice for the people when you can't see them cause they are so far away :(  I felt like they didn't have alot of animals that other zoo's have, or they only had one animal of the kind.  There was also a couple exhibits closed or under construction.  The tiger exhibit was under construction and they had 3 different types of fences around the exhibit and you could barely see the tiger, which is one of my fave animals to see at the zoo.

My favorite exhibits were the giraffes and the flamingos.  I could take pictures of the flamingos all day long!
By the time we left the zoo, we were all draggin'; we were hot, sweaty, and tired!  We couldn't wait to get checked into the hotel and go swimming!





While Bethie toured the Croft House, I took Gavin and Zoe and we went and saw the elephants and watched the giraffes.


The giraffe exhibit was one of the best.  They had a somewhat new baby giraffe that was so active.  She was running around and bucking (or whatever it's called that giraffes do).  The available bench in the shade with a soda stand near by was an added bonus.  We sat there for a long time while we waited for Bethie.


I thought we were at the giraffe's, but maybe it was the monkey's? 




The Flamingo Lagoon was my other favorite exhibit.  I love flamingos and love taking pictures of them.



These two flamingos were running around attacking and fighting with each other the whole time we were there.


Ahhh, the exit sign.  We were never so happy to see this sign!  


We all got our smashed penny before leaving the zoo!


The Drury Inn.
 I booked our room at the Drury Inn by the airport and got a great deal on it.  The room ended up costing $150.  I had a $20 off coupon and then that price included free dinner and free breakfast, and free popcorn and sodas for all of us.  For all the free stuff and the $20 off coupon, I could justify the price.  The hotel had an indoor/outdoor swimming pool that was connected so that was uber cool.  You could swim from the inside pool under a wall to the outside pool.  The room was a little small and it only had full-size beds, but other than that it was awesome.  The beds and pillows were comfy, the entire hotel was clean, and we never heard any noise from the hallways or planes flying over (it was right next to the airport).









 For the meals, dinner consisted of hot dogs, mac & cheese, chili, baked potatoes, salad, nachos and cheese, carrots and celery with dip, potato chips, popcorn and sodas.  If you drink, they also gave you a card for 3 free alcohol drinks.  Breakfast consisted of biscuits and gravy, sausage patties, scrambled eggs, seasoned potatoes, fruit, cereal, oatmeal, muffins, bagels, toast, homemade waffles, and OJ, apple juice, and milk.

Gavin and Zoe loved running around the hotel and swimming, riding the elevators, using the cards to unlock the doors, and jumping on the beds!  Ok, so did I!  Well I didn't jump on the beds!  HAHA!!

 


The next morning, we ate breakfast, checked out of the hotel, loaded the car with all our junk and headed to downtown Nashville to take in the sights.  There was a couple touristy things I wanted to do, and then just kind of drive around and look.  And if we happened upon a geocache or two, awesome!


The Shelby Street Bridge.
This was my fave thing to do.  I loved walking up the bridge (which everyone else compared to walking up Mt. Everest...LOL!) and taking in the views of the city!



Tootie found the bridge geocache!











Zoe found her first geocache in "Batman's Halo"!





The Capitol Building from the Bicentennial Mall State Park.


The Parthenon in Centennial Park.





Opry Mills Mall.
After we left downtown, we headed to the Opry Mills Mall so I could go to the Vera Bradley store.


I was disappointed that I came out of there empty-handed though :(  They had some good sales, just nothing that I wanted or liked.  By this time we were all spent and ready to go.  I wanted to go to the Opryland Hotel and walk around but we were just ready to go.

We made a quick stop at Cooter's Place to get our smashed penny, then ate lunch at the Cracker Barrel and got back on the road to head home.




We stopped at the rest area at the Tennessee/Kentucky state line to use the restroom and took the opportunity to find the geocache there too.  This time, Gavin "found" it.

 

A few minutes before we got into Owensboro, everyone was asleep and slept the rest of the way home.





We all had a great time and I can't wait to go back once the weather cools off and stay a little longer! 

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