We returned yesterday from a family road trip to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It was an amazingly beautiful, adventurous, restful time away from our every day. There are many photos to sort through, but the easiest to post is from our first stop in Nashville. We stayed in downtown Nashville with the intent of viewing the fireworks from a Riverfront Park on the Cumberland River since it was July 4th. Torrential rain squelched those plans and being in downtown also confirmed once again that we are not urban people.
As far as downtowns go, it was easy to navigate and even had a cozy feeling. The people were very nice. We're just not city people, which is why on our way out of town we stopped at a garden oasis in the city called Centennial Park which also has a replica of The Parthenon that houses the city's art museum. We did not tour the museum, but Ella, from knowledge gained from the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, identified the Greek gods sculpted on the outside. A stroll around the 1-mile path surrounding the gardens was a refreshing way to begin the day and end our time in the city. It also allowed us to see what plants thrive in Tennessee ~ we were most struck by the rhododendrons. The rest of our vacation would be in the woods, which the exception of a stop at a water park.
(Since I mentioned the Percy Jackson series, I'll add a note here. The second series with Percy Jackson, Heroes of Olympus, is much darker than the first series. So dark that I didn't let Ella finish it. The first series was very entertaining, though.)