Life Lately · Travel

Trip Report: Nashville Gaylord Opryland Resort


It’s hard to believe, but my husband and I just celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary.  So much has happened in those four years – Adam changed jobs, we moved, had a baby, I switched roles with my company – and so many other things!  It’s been a whirlwind.  We try to do something to celebrate our marriage/anniversary/us each year.

Sidenote: Each year, we take a picture on our anniversary with a picture of the prior year anniversaries! 


For our honeymoon, we went all out and took a trip to the islands in the French Polynesia – amazing!


The last couple years, we have stayed much closer to home.  The first anniversary we went to Atlanta and checked out all the “tourist” things.


The second year, we went to one of my favorite places – The Biltmore in Asheville.


Last year, we settled for a nice dinner in town since we had a month and a half year old baby boy.


This year, we headed west 2.5 hours and enjoyed a weekend at the Opryland Resort in Nashville.  As luck would have it – there were an extra ~100k people in Nashville this weekend for CMA Fest and the Stanley Cup Championships!  We also drove by Bonnaroo – how many more things can one place have going on at once?!

We took off work Friday and headed out early.  Naturally, Carter fell asleep 20 minutes before we got to the hotel.  We got to the hotel a little before noon, got all checked in and valet parked the car.  Our room overlooked the Cascades part of the Resort.  It was neat to have a little indoor balcony and Carter enjoyed checking everything out – as always!

View from our room — our room was the one below the bay window, to the left of the Cascade writing.

We gave Carter a quick snack and then headed down to do a little hotel exploring and grab some lunch.  It’s nice that there’s so many different restaurants within the hotel – we had everything we needed at the Resort and wouldn’t have had to leave if we didn’t want.  We made our way to Paisano’s Pizzeria and got pizza by the slice.  It’s pretty hard to mess up pizza, or so we thought.  The slices were literally DRIPPING in grease.  I’ve never seen pizza so greasy in my life.  We choked it down and then headed up to the room to get Carter down for a nap.

Then, we made a fun little discovery – the big flat screen TV in the room was a SmartTV and we were able to log in to our Netflix account!  Perfect way to kill some time while Carter napped.  We watched several episodes of “Orange is the New Black” this weekend while he got his beauty rest.

Once he woke, we got suited up in our bathing suits and headed down to check out the pool.  It was PACKED!  So much so that we couldn’t find an empty space to lay our stuff down.  We made our way over to the kiddie pool and it was pretty empty except for 3-4 other little kids.  Carter had so much fun splashing around and playing with some beach balls.  He was entertaining everyone that would watch him and he was waving his little arm off.  The kiddie pool was 18” deep and Carter took a few steps on his own!  In the days leading up to our trip, I kept looking online for pictures of the pools at the Opryland and could only ever find a picture of the indoor pool for whatever reason.  The outdoor area and pools are very nice – there’s a large pool, great size kiddie pool and a large spa.  Plus, I saw online, they’re adding a massive water park that will be open in 2018.

We swam for a bit and then headed up to the room to get showers and a nap in before dinner.  We made an early dinner reservation for Old Hickory Steakhouse in the Resort.  It was a good meal – probably the best we had at the hotel but that really isn’t saying much for the food there.  Carter had his first tastes of creme brulee and it’s safe to say, he’s a fan!  I’ve never seen him open his mouth so wide!

It was back to the room and bedtime for munckin which lead to more Orange is the New Black for mom and dad.

Saturday morning, Carter woke at 4:20am!  The bad thing about the hotel room was that once he discovered he was within arm reach of us from the pack-n-play, he didn’t want to go back to sleep!  We eventually got him to doze back off and we got another hour and a half of sleep.

We got ready and headed downstairs for breakfast.  After checking out the options, we settled on doughnuts and cinnamon rolls from a little coffee bar – Bravo.  We sat over at the Cascades water falls and Carter enjoyed that and people watching.  We walked around a little and then headed back to the room for a morning nap.  Lots of napping involved when you travel with a one-year old!

I finished getting ready while Carter napped and then we went to ride the riverboat in the Delta section.  It was a cute little 15-minute ride through a section of the hotel.  How many hotels have riverboat tours available??


We got rounded up and headed to downtown Nashville for our show at the Ryman!  Funny story, when I bought the tickets for the Ryman it didn’t have any of the acts listed.  The show ended up becoming a “Country Classics” show and we hadn’t heard of any of the acts that performed!  It was ok though, it was an awesome experience and the music was the best live music I think I’ve ever heard.  The acoustics in the Ryman are second to none and I enjoyed that it was all about the music – not the fanfare of costumes, dancing, etc.  I can’t wait to go see another show there sometime.  We saw Ashley Campbell, Gene Watson, Crystal Gale, Bobby Bare and Charley Pride.  Then, Randy Travis made a guest appearance which was fun.  He looks like he’s having a long recovery from his stroke.  Carter was a little wiggly the first half of the show, but that was expected.  By the end of it, he was just ready for a nap!  He fell asleep within 10 minutes of getting in the car seat on the way back to the Opryland.

We let him get about am hour and a half nap in the room and then woke him up so we could get dinner – it was going on 8pm and we were getting worried the restaurants would close – they only stay open based on demand.  We went down to the Mexican place and were less than wow-ed with the food.  The menu was tiny and the options weren’t the greatest.  I ordered a quesadilla and even that wasn’t good.  How do you mess up a quesadilla?  We walked around the rest of the Resort that we hadn’t seen yet and then called it a night.

Sunday, Carter was up at 4:30am again but we got him back down for another hour or so.  We got everything pretty much packed up and ran back down to the coffee bar.  We were a little rushed to get everything done because we had guided tour tickets for the Ryman at 9:30am.  We got packed up, loaded the car and headed downtown.

The tour was great – so informative.  We got to see the dressing rooms that are currently used, learned the history of the Ryman and even got to walk across THE stage.  Very cool.  We did the self-guided tour after and I would highly recommend doing the guided tour if you’re ever in the area.

That wrapped up our weekend in Nashville!  We were there about 48 hours and had a lot of fun/made a ton of memories together.  I’m already looking forward to my next trip back!

What’s your favorite weekend getaway destination?





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