Thursday, June 22, 2017

Mid-South Pt.4: Nashville, Presidential Houses, And Reminders Of The Past

Connor and I got up pretty early because it turned out the hotel we had chosen was going to have the water off for most of the day due to a plumbing repair that needed to be made. The first thing we decided to do while in Nashville was leave Nashville. I had never seen a Civil War site before, so we headed towards Murfreesboro to see Stones River Battlefield. We read through the museum and did the tour to the different battle sites in the area. I thought that they had done a terrific job explaining the horror of war while also giving voices to those who had been part of the battle.

It was a hot day, but we sat under a tree while I painted and thought about how brave the men who had fought here been. Over three days more than 10,000 men had been lost on either side. It was sobering to realize that people had been willing to charge into cannon fire for their beliefs.

During part of the tour we also drove along what had been part of the Trail of Tears. (The forced Cherokee removal from their own lands.) That patch of land had seen a lot of sorrow in its time.

After an early afternoon of contemplation, we had some more time to burn before the water would come back at our hotel. We ended up driving to the James K. Polk house to learn about the 11th President of the United States. We have to thank Mason for this suggestion. He told us that there was Andrew Jackson's Hermitage to see, but also the "lesser known Polk House." I think he was kidding, but I'm glad we went. Polk's claim to fame was expanding the United States to include what would later be known as Texas, California, and Oregon. He is touted to be the only president to live up to all his campaign promises, including the one where he promised to be a one-term president.

After the Polk House we stopped by a restaurant called River Terrace New Orleans Cuisine. It was open by a couple who had fled New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. I think it is the best food I ever had. Catfish Étouffée and Key Lim Pie.... yum yum. After the meal, we headed back to the hotel.

The next day was our last in Nashville. Our flight wasn't leaving until the evening, so we made a few stops. One of those stops was at The Parthenon. I didn't realize before we visited that Nashville's Parthenon is the only full-sized replica of the one found in Athens, Greece.

It was originally built for the World's Fair, but liked so much that it was rebuilt with permanent materials. It also includes a statue of Athena inside. Connor liked that even the edges of her shoes has figures placed on them.

After the Parthenon we made a quick trip to the Haus of Yarn where I picked up a little more yarn. Then we drove over to our 7th president's residence: the Andrew Jackson's Hermitage. There was this cutout of the the $20. I think we spent a little too much time making silly faces in it. We really could have used more time to see the grounds.

The price of admission seemed a little high, but I think it was entirely worth it to see the wallpaper inside the Hermitage. We weren't allowed to take pictures inside, but this wallpaper isn't like anything you've ever seen. It is more like a giant painting of greek mythology. I was impressed. There was an audio tour that was well put together and the grounds are really well kept. We learned that young Andrew Jackson had become a prisoner of war during the Revolutionary War. When he refused to polish a British officer's shoes, the officer slashed his face and hand with a sword. Andrew Jackson had unfortunately also been the one to force the Cherokee on the Trail of Tears. He betrayed those who had previously fought alongside him in the battle of New Orleans. There were many more things to learn, and I wish we had more time to enjoy ourselves, but we had to drop off our rental car and make it back to the airport. The flight back home was pretty uneventful, which I was thankful for.

We came back with some fun goodies. First off, the yarn! The left three skeins came from Black Mountain Yarn Shop while the right two came from Haus of Yarn. From left to right we have Fern Fiber Sport Weight dyed with Weld, Fern Fiber DK weight natural color, Madelinetosh Sock in Shire (For my Mother-in-law's socks), and two skeins of The Plucky Knitter Primo Fingering in Ruffled Feathers and En Garde.

We also got quite a collection of patches, magnets, and a puzzle of patches. When I saw the patch puzzle, I just couldn't leave it behind. The patch locations have all been added to the patch map.

All in all, it was a great trip, but we came back home pretty tired. We were happy to go to bed early for the next few nights after the trip.


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