Sunday after we ate our weight in breakfast at Loveless Café we drove over to the Gaylord Opryland Hotel. You can check them out at their website : http://www.gaylordhotels.com/gaylord-opryland/ The resort/hotel was shut down after the historic Nashville flood in May 2010. I heard they had over 6 ½ feet of water in the hotel after the flood. It officially reopened on November 15, 2010.
Hubby and I actually stayed at the hotel many many years ago. I don’t even remember exactly when it was now. I have slightly narrowed it down due to the fact that while we stayed there we went to the now defunct Opryland Theme Park which was open from 1972 until December 31, 1997 and we didn’t meet and get married until 1981 so it had to be sometime between 1981 and 1997, right? Way to narrow it down! I also think it was before #3 was born (which was 1991) and after #1 and #2 were born (1983 and 1985 respectively) so it had to be sometime between 1985 and 1991.
Hubby had won some contest at his work and the prize was I think a 3 or 4 night stay at the Opryland Hotel complete with tickets to the theme park and the Grand Ole’ Opry. Our seats were on the third or fourth row and the show was phenomenal. At that time the hotel had over 1,000 rooms but I can’t remember exactly how many. I do remember also that to valet park our vehicle was $12 a day which I thought was astronomical at the time. Now it’s $18 to self park. My how times have changed! I also remember that at the time, my husband’s company had given us an “allowance” of $75 for dinner each night and at the time we thought there was NO WAY we could ever spend that much money on ONE meal. HAHAHAHAHA We went over budget every single night. Of course we ate in the hotel restaurants each night which was probably not the most economical way to go.
I remember they had a rotating bar/restaurant that we went to a couple of nights and one night as we were leaving I was turned with my back to the entrance talking to hubby and as I turned around I literally plowed over Lee Greenwood! I was looking him eye to eye since he is not a very tall man but he was every inch the gracious gentleman, taking full responsibility for the train wreck that was/is me and apologizing to the “little lady” for running into her (me) when it was totally my fault. I was so star struck that all I could do was stammer out an excuse me and then kept squealing like a little girl to hubby “That was Lee Greenwood! OMG!!! That was LEE GREENWOOD!!” It was after his hit, “God Bless the USA” so it must have been around 1986 or 1987. It was just him and his bodyguard when we saw him but I was smitten. And felt elated that he had spoken to me! Never mind that I had just about knocked him on his keister. I guess I should be happy his body guard didn’t take me out for that!
Anyway, I was going somewhere with that side bar… oh, I remember now. When we were there yesterday I asked the woman at the boat ride (yes, they have a boat ride INSIDE the hotel) where the revolving bar was she told me it wasn’t there anymore. That after it got ruined (I guess it got ruined) during the floods, when they remodeled they decided to leave it out to make more room for “the falls” whatever that meant. Maybe that was where the boat ride is now. Yeah, they have a “river” inside the conservatory that has a full sized boat that takes you around the lagoon or river or whatever they call it.
I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of or seen the Opryland Hotel but it has a freaking park inside the hotel! It’s like Central Park only smaller. Probably it’s actually better than Central Park. Doesn’t have the same crime rate and has a lot more plants and places to sit and shop and eat! I think the Conservatory part has three different levels of walkways for you to view the different waterfalls and cascades ad trees and plants. Yes, it has full grown trees and it’s all indoors and climate controlled. I’ll put all the pictures at the end, but, just keep in mind that all the pictures I took at Opryland were taken inside except for the picture of the pool. I think that is outdoors. I say think because technically that was taken indoors in the sense that I was standing indoors and took the picture through the window and I didn’t pay specific attention but it looks like its outdoors!
Back in the day when hubby and I went they also had a harp player that sat on the balcony of like one of the 4th or 5th floor rooms and they did a laser light show against that wall of rooms while the harp was played and it was very soothing. You could get a great ring side seat in the rotating bar but people would gather around and listen. The woman at the boat ride also told me that the harp player had died and then they had a piano player and now of course they don’t do either one. They also have the “Official Radio Station of the Grand Ole Opry” which broadcasts from there. I think it’s WSM.
Without further ado, I give you The Gaylord Opryland Hotel:
The following were all murals on the walls in the hotel: