Growing up in Tennessee in the 1970s and 1980s, it was impossible to ignore the enticing stretch of Briley Parkway in Nashville that held Opryland USA theme park, the shiny new Grand Old Opry, and the posh and ornate Opryland Hotel. I went to the park a half dozen or so times with my parents or school groups before it closed in 1997, and my parents were invited to spend the night at the hotel at Christmastime when I was in college. But I only saw the hotel from the outside as we drove to the park, until my husband took me to a Titanic exhibit there in the summer of 2000 (and to the giant new shopping mall on the site of the old theme park). I still really wanted to spend the night in the hotel, and wanted to see the holiday decorations. I booked a trip for us for January 2021, but we decided to postpone it due to the COVID pandemic. Now that we are vaccinated and boostered, we felt safe enough to make the trip.
Oh wow! It was just magical. We stayed in the Delta section in a room overlooking the atrium with its indoor river: we walked around after dark to see the ate pizza on our balcony and watched the gorgeous light show. The following morning, we had the Cascades Cafe breakfast buffet and did the Delta river boat tour before heading home. I’m grateful to my hubby for indulging me in marking these two items off my bucket list ❤️