Posted by: angelnorman | November 16, 2008

Family fun on a Saturday night

“What is this place?”

When I was just a wee little lass, I remember being mucho impressed by the grandeur of  Gaylord’s Opryland Hotel at Christmas time. I can remember every tree they owned on every side of the building brightly shining into the cold dark night and thinking, “Wow, surely this is the most beautiful place in the world.”

Last night, I was delighted to take Nicholas there and hear him, as we walked in and he caught a glimpse of all the lights, the spectacle, the crowds of people, and the plants around him, say to himself, “What is this place?”

It really made me smile all night. Those four little words kept me from losing my cool when I was sweating along the pathways of the hotel, wool coat on my arm and sweater sleeves pushed up as far as they could go. Those sweet little words also kept me from being too angry when, after 30 minutes of admiration and excitement, Nicholas grew bored and decided to run willy-nilly through the throngs of people in front of us. Those words saved him from getting time-out a half a dozen times, easily.

I was a little disappointed in the lights, actually. I was there last year for a scavenger hunt with a mom’s group I’m in, and I can remember passing a lot more displays as I ran through the gardens. Displays of which I thought, “Man, I need to bring Nick and Mike here and take some pictures. Nick would love this place!” I remember there being more that was kid-oriented. More Santa, more snowy scenes, more elves working, more magical settings. Last night? I don’t recall seeing even half of what I remembered. It was a bit of a bummer, actually.

Of course, it’s a tad unfair to judge them. I may be meshing all of my life’s visits to the hotel at Christmas time into one particular visit and comparing that to what we saw last night.

Regardless, fun was had by all. We had plenty of time to stop and laugh along the way, to enjoy the moment a little more than we normally do with things like that. We had the best time being us, together.

And it was good too that we kicked it off with a movie. Before the hotel, Mike and I took Nick to see Madagascar 2. We were trying to shove lots of activity into one day because Mike, sadly, is working today. Sunday is usually spent as a family in this household; it has become, over the past few months, the day we do the majority of our family time. I am normally very in love with Sunday, and I was honestly not looking forward to today and not spending time with Mike or just having all of us in the same room, hanging out. BUT I loved spending time last night in preparation for this slight change of plans. I loved being there with my boys.

Taking Nick to see a movie is like, by far, one of my favorite things to do with him. His little face is so lit up, and he notices everything around us. The people in front of us got up to go to the potty, and he was all, “Where are they going?” And he’s so appreciative of the whole experience. We got there and he was talking incessantly about Wall-E, the last movie we saw in the theater together. He kept going on and on about it, and he was seemingly so excited to see another movie with us like that. I loved it. I just thought it was so fun. Plus, you know, Mike and I have a thing for movie theaters; if you remember how I waxed poetic about “coming full circle” and whatever with the whole Wall-E experience, then you’ll know exactly what I mean.

Coincidentally, I also went on and on in the same post about how excited I was about Madagascar 2. I remember seeing that preview and being all, “EEEEEE!” which is a very Granny thing to do of me. Aw, Granny! I can work you into every blog post without even thinking about it.

It was just a really good day with my handsome men. You can see more if it too… the November gallery is updated with pics, starting on page 2.

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Responses

  1. very cool! looks like ya’ll had fun! how much did it cost to get in? I would like to take Abby.

    Thanks for thinking of me yesterday!

  2. We tried to go there one year but the parking was outrageous. I have memories of my first date with the guy I almost married at that hotel. Maybe I’ll just leave those memories there.

  3. Charlene: It was free! And if you park at the mall, it was even MORE free. 🙂 I recommend, if you go, that you bring a big purse and pack some drinks too, or be prepared to pay $3 for a soft drink. Either way! It was really neat.

    And of course! I sent you an e-card too… Didja get it?

    Mandy: The parking IS outrageous. I want to go back soon, preferably on a weeknight when fewer people are there! But, perhaps if you’re on your next trip to Trader Joe’s and you have a few minutes to spare, you could drive by and see the outdoor lights and the large nativity for free without ever having to leave the warmth of your car if you don’t want!


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