Vomit free on Day Three! Maybe it was a random stomach bug? Maybe it was just our awesome luck. Either way, no more pukey kids and for that we are thankful!
Day Three took us to the top of the Dyer Observatory here in Nashville. This place is a perfect example of our favorite types of places to visit on a trip. It was 1) Free and 2) seemingly a secret from the rest of the world. We followed our Waze to a quiet wooded mountain top and found ourselves at what appeared to be a regular-ish house (save for the dome on top) with a car or two parked out front. I have a knack for finding “attractions” that you initially pull into and wonder if you’re actually allowed to be there. We once drove a few miles off our route to pull into an “American Girl doll clothing store” that was actually just a lady’s garage set up like a store with hundreds of outfits she had sewn herself. The observatory was one of those places. Also a note about these kinds of places: always always always embrace a sense of adventure and go. The people are amazing and they’re often so excited that another human being found their place that you get an amazing experience!
So, back to the Dyer Observatory. The woman working there today was seriously just the nicest. They don’t do “tours” or anything and she was basically in the middle of her office hours but she so graciously offered to give us a tour of the building and show us the telescope up close and personal. They have this amazing LED model of the 100 stars nearest to us that their Astronomer made for the observatory. It’s fun and interactive and was such an unexpected treat. The kids loved it!
After our tour, we headed into the woods to see the Star Chamber and Equinox Stones they have. I’m not gonna lie. The Star Chamber looked a little Blair Witch and opening the door to discover a hanging snake skin didn’t help matters but we pushed on and explored and it was really just super cool. My favorite part was trying to leave in the pitch dark and Trav charging the door in a panic to get out and leaving the rest of us behind in the dark with spiders, snake skins, and that pesky Blair Witch.
We packed up after that and headed to pretty much the most opposite attraction you could find: The Opryland Resort.
We had tried to visit it the day before but when we saw that parking was $30 we decided paying that to visit a hotel lobby just wasn’t our idea of fun and moved on. But thanks to some friendly locals we discovered that if you park at the Opry Mills mall you can park for free dollars, as my kids are fond of saying, and explore the hotel until your heart’s content!
The hotel was amazing. We took the boat tour through the hotel and it was a fun little experience. Was it worth $50 for us to do it? I don’t know. But the kids liked it and it kept us in air conditioning and out of the heat for a while so it served its purpose. I’d recommend it if you’re looking for a fun little diversion.
We spent the rest of our time there exploring the hotel and taking pics. It really is a beautiful place.
Our final tourist destination was the Willie Nelson & Family General Store. Here’s the backstory on this stop. A few weeks ago at the end of a busy day Thomas was like, “hey what’s up with the Willie Nelson look today?” Y’all. NO. Here’s a tip gentleman of the universe: Never ever ever tell your wife she looks like Willie Nelson. Especially not at the end of the day when she’s been around a hundred people apparently dressed like Mr. Nelson. (And no, saying you mean “a SEXY Willie Nelson” and googling that search term does not make things better.)
So, yeah, we had to make a trip there so I could continue to bust Thomas about his slip up. I even bought a Willie shirt with his adorable face on it. I plan to wear it to bed every night. Sexy Willie Nelson, indeed.
Day Three concluded with too much BBQ, a trusty roller bottle of tummy support oils, and sending Thomas and the kids off to a Haunted Hearse Tour of Nashville while I curled up with little kids and binge watched the Big Bang Theory. It was a good end to a good day.
I don’t have a clue what we’ll do for our last day here tomorrow. We check out at 11 but I can’t pick Thomas up until 4 so I’m sure we will have fun killing time!