Friday, November 25, 2011

opryland's "a country christmas"

friday, we headed to nashville for our first family vacation of the year. now that things have calmed down with baby jemma and she is doing well (thank god), we decided that now would be a good time for a final family of five destination. we chose opryland for many reasons: 1.) the travel time is only about 3 1/2 hours which makes it easy, 2.) we've heard it's absolutely beautiful during christmas time, 3.) the girls and i have never been, 4.) they say it's the perfect place for families with small children. those seemed to be the perfect reasons so we booked our stay and were on our way.

we arrived, checked in, and walked around inside all of the gorgeous holiday glory. every inch of that place was breath-taking. i really could have taken pics of every detail, but had to restrain myself. instead, here are just a few...
so we made our way to our room where we unpacked, got settled, freshened up a bit, and then decided to go exploring (or as the girls would say, "let's go on an adventure!")...we went on many many adventures throughout this weekend. after walking around the garden conservatory, the cascades, and the magnolia and delta areas, we finally made our way outside to enjoy the beautiful christmas lights. i had absolutely no idea how huge this resort was.

once outside, we walked around for a bit just taking in the pretty glow of lights that surrounded us. the weather was still unseasonably warm so we left our jackets inside and ventured through the front gardens. we came across the huge nativity scene where they played christmas music and had a little audio being played that was the story of jesus' birth. abby said that this was her favorite part, and as her and lyla both stood there gazing at the beautiful angels and listening, they folded their hands up and bowed their heads as if they were listening to a prayer. seriously, i thought it was the sweetest thing. i want my girls to be spiritual and find their own sense of companionship with God...watching this just validated that they indeed have that connection. it melted my heart. here are some pics...later, we enjoyed a horse-drawn carriage ride where the girls waved at the people going by and pointed at the huge trees that were covered in over 2 million dazzling christmas lights. they supplied us with blankets that we draped over our legs as we cuddled up and enjoyed the ride. towards the front of the resort was a 50-something foot tall christmas tree decorated in lights. it was beautiful. here are some pics...after taking in the amazingly decorated christmas scenery, we had all worked up an appetite and decided to go back inside for some yummy dinner. jay chose to eat at the nearby jack daniel's restaurant since he was craving some good home cooking and tasty meat. the waiter recommended that we order the "lemon drop" drink which indeed kept us warm and fuzzy. it was delicious, but i'm glad i just had one. after dinner, we made our way back to our room where the girls received a free christmas ornament on their bed. they were excited and i'm glad it had the year on it because i have a feeling that it'll be the first ornament of many. our holiday vacation was off to a great start. here are some pics...