While I might be dreading the start of school (very early mornings, less time with Connor and at home, much busier lives), Jason decided to plan a final little day trip to commemorate our wonderful time off, rather than sit at home and pout that it is nearly over.
If you know nothing about my husband, after being with him for a short while you would quickly realize that he loves several things, but two of his favorite parts of life are studying history and eating great food, so it came as no surprise to me when Jason told me what he had planned for the day.
We began with an early morning, leaving the house at 6:45. (Of course, my child, who normally wakes up at 6:15 chose this day to sleep in and we had to wake him from his slumber to leave the house, which I hate doing. However, he was in a great mood.)
|on the road|
Our first stop was breakfast, Jason's favorite meal of the day. Not surprisingly, Jason had researched the best breakfast spots in Nashville and had discovered there was a second location of his favorite place in Gatlinburg, the Pancake Pantry.
|patiently awaiting pancakes|
|my choice: Parisienne pancakes|
|Jason's go-to Pancake Pantry choice: Pigs in a Blanket|
|the aftermath of my plate (I shared with Connor)|
Once we were fueled with food, our next stop was The Hermitage, Andrew Jackson's abode, just outside of Nashville. Neither Jason nor myself had ever been, and although he was far more excited about the visit than I was, all three of us had a great time perusing the grounds. The heat was a bit unbearable at times outdoors, but the beauty of the gardens, the tour of the home, and the fact that we were together made it only a minor discomfort.
|arriving at The Hermitage|
|gardens leading to Andrew Jackson's burial plot|
|cemetery on the Jackson property|
|rear of the Jackson mansion|
After a couple of hours outside, we were ready to cool off and have lunch. We traveled a short drive south of Nashville, to one of our favorite little towns, Franklin, Tennessee. Jason and I had been to Franklin in 2008 for a short anniversary trip, and were eager to return.
|my pulled chicken and onion rings|
After lunch we walked around Franklin, checking out the shops, and then headed back to Nashville to the Parthenon. This was another place Jason and I had been, but only the exterior. This time we were at a time that the museum and interior of the building were open to the public, and it was interesting to see many of the mythological figures represented from pieces of literature I have read and even taught (particularly the Odyssey, which my freshmen read). Connor was in awe of the statues and the sheer magnitude of the building itself.
|statue of Athena, inside the Parthenon|
|Connor loved the lion on the gigantic door.|
|If you look closely, Connor and Jason are in the photo somewhere.|
Once outside, Connor loved running up and down the grass incline, and we also spent some time swinging while enjoying the beauty of the park and the Parthenon.
Our last stop of the day was dinner. When we arrived in the neighborhood (21st Street in Nashville), there were lots of great shops, so we spent a few minutes simply strolling. I am so glad we did because at a consignment store, I got the best deal of the day, a J. Crew dress for only $5!
After a while, though, Connor let us know that he was more than ready to be done with walking around in the humidity (by repeatedly screaming "milk" as we walked down the street), so we headed to Jackson's for a cold glass of milk and some food. Ever since Jason showed me the menu online, I knew exactly what I wanted to order: the croque monsieur. It is basically a ham and cheese sandwich, but made with egg-battered bread (similar to French toast, except without the vanilla or cinnamon or other ingredients to make it sweet), brie cheese, and sliced ham. It was delicious (and such a huge portion that I took half home for the next day)! My only disappointment was that I couldn't order the caprese salad as a side (The waiter said there wasn't fresh mozzarella that evening) and had to get fries instead, but Connor enjoyed them anyway.
Afterward, we headed home, and Connor watched Toy Story 2, the sound of laughter from the backseat wafting forward as Jason and I talked about our favorite moments from the day.
It was a perfect day to end one of the most fun summers of my life.