Our next stop was a new (to us) RV park on the northeast side of Nashville in Goodlettsville, Grand Ole RV Resort and Market. While we would normally stay at the Corps of Engineers campground in this area, they were all closed for the winter and this park had good reviews. It is a small, privately owned “resort” with tight spaces on gravel that include full hookups and WiFi and a store/cafe all just off Dickerson Pike. The staff were incredibly friendly and made us so very welcome. There is no dog park, but plenty of room for the kids to run nearby in a large field. It is about a 20 minute drive into Nashville from here, but is so very quiet that it is worth the “isolation”. Coaches, 5th wheels and campers made up the population and all were friendly. We would probably stay here again during the winters.
The first order of business for me was to find the American Red Cross for my regular donation. The TriStar Centennial Medical Center in Nashville was professional and so clean; I am a quick donor and left knowing that someone, somewhere, would benefit from my holiday donation!
We were here to celebrate Thanksgiving with Tyler & Susan and waited for Ryan, Katie & Ansel and Mike & Cindy to fly in to join us! Katie had rented a cute house in the Hillsboro West End part of town that gave us all room to relax and visit. (Good job with VRBO.com Katie!) The house came with a small playset and trampoline in the back yard; the cold did not bother Ansel as he wanted to “go outside” all day long!
A nearby park gave us a great spot to play, translate chase Ansel, and meet a photographer for family photos. At 2 1/2, Ansel is a handful of mischief, the photos were amazingly good though!
We also took the time to wander around downtown Nashville on Broadway, but with a toddler in the morning, the music fun had not yet begun and it was too cold to hang out too long. Another day found us driving around town like tour guides (bad call) looking at houses and churches and parks, finishing up at Belle Meade; just wish we knew more history to share!
No visit to Nashville would be complete without a drive south to Lynchburg and the Jack Daniels Distillery! We took the standard tour — Barry & I loved the chance to follow Ansel around the beautiful setting, trying to answer all his questions! “What that smell is?” “A bus! A bus!” “Where the firetruck is?”
A highlight was an evening trip to Cheekwood Estate and Gardens for the Christmas lights display. The beautiful gardens were lit with millions of lights, arches of lights, flower-shaped lights in trees, lights reflecting off water features; the gardens just glowed! The mansion was open for tours with poinsettias and carolers on the main floor; further along the garden trail was a big train display that Ansel just loved! It was fun for all of us to hang out together and especially see Tyler snuggle up with Ansel!
We had reservations at Maggiano’s Little Italy for our Thanksgiving feast — so much delicious food served family style! Another great idea Katie! We also took some time to explore the Belmont area — Draper James, women’s clothing (Reese Witherspoon is the founder!) and Frothy Monkey, coffee shop, were fun places here. Lunch took us to Urban Grub for delicious and different choices – huge seafood and charcuterie bar!
Later that day, the travelers headed to the airport to return to sunny Ft. Lauderdale. Thanksgiving was a wonderful relaxed family time, just missing Drew & JoAnn and Crit & John.
On Sunday, Barry & I waved goodbye to Tyler & Susan and headed the RV south & east toward Tampa for a business appointment…..followed by Christmas in Ft. Lauderdale!!