Tennessee ~ Day 2

The kids' Tennessee treat was Tennessee freshwater pearls for the ladies and a Davy Crockett raccoon hat for Hank.  I wasn't sure if he would wear it.  He use to love to dress up when he was younger.  I was very happy the hat became a regular part of his attire for the remainder of the trip.  He got many, many compliments on it, which might have encouraged him to keep wearing it.  Tennessee has the only freshwater pearl-culturing farm on the North American continent (Mine might have been from China through Amazon but they got them in Tennessee-so close enough :).
Of course you must sample some Tennessee whisky while in the Jack Daniels state, so Max got a little October treat too.
After our disappointing night in Memphis, we were ready to head to Nashville, however one of the things I wanted to check off our list first was a visit to the Bass Pro Shops.  
 What?  Yes, the Bass Pro Shops.  We have one near us, but this is suppose to be one of the best of the best.  The Pyramid Bass Pro Shops claims it is "the world's most exciting, one-of-a-kind, outdoor experience with 22 MILLION CUBIC FEET UNDER ONE ROOF!"  Well, if that doesn't sell you right there, I don't know what would?  It looked a little out of place, like they planned to build in Las Vegas but got lost and ended up in Memphis.
While I would not put it anywhere near its claims, it does have the highest free standing elevator in the nation.
The 28-story glass elevator takes you up 300 feet above Memphis.
Karlie, who has a fear of heights was quite nervous, but she is so brave she went along and was a good sport.
A very nice view indeed.
Although, I am not sure we will ever need to do it again!  Check that one off the list.
The coolest part of the Bass Pro was the underwater bowling alley.  It was the best bowling alley we have ever visited.  The ball returns were sharks, octopi, and other sea creatures.  The balls were sea monsters and pretty landscapes.  There were fish swimming all around.  Combined with the black light, it made for a very fun and unique game.
After realizing we all needed to either take bowling lessons or continue to disgrace the family name, it was time to get on the road again!
My little tribe loved watching Davy Crockett as we drove through Tennessee.   We all learned quite a bit about old Davy.  The movie sold the hat for Hank and he took it everywhere! :)
Our first stop in Nashville was the Parthenon.  Hank is studying Ancient Greece in school and thought it was so cool to see the Parthenon.  What on earth is a full-scale replica of the original Parthenon in Athens doing in Nashville, Tennessee?
It was originally built for the 1897 Centennial Exposition.  It was not intended to be a permeant structure but the cost of tearing it down and the popularity of the building resulted in the plaster and brick building to remain and be rebuilt in concrete in the 1920's.  It now serves as an art museum and the cornerstone of Centennial Park.
We had a great time walking around it and admiring the sculptures.  I can only imagine how beautiful the real one is.  As tends to be our luck, the museum was closed.  I guess it was time for a snack.
I brought some Moon Pies for the kids to try.  Moon Pies have been made in Chattanooga, TN since 1917.  They are basically a S'mores all wrapped up.  We learned the custom is to eat it with an RC Cola.  Yuck!  The kids were not fans of the Moon Pies (so it must be really bad).  I guess its a Southern thing.
 Possibly one of my favorite moments of our entire states trip came on this gorgeous fall day in Centennial Park.  We played a family game of touch football.  It was better than the movies!  Soft, warm sun with the smell of fall leaves while we played with cheers and a friendly but competitive spirit.
It was Max, Hailey, and Kaitlin against Karlie, Hank and me.  It was so sweet when a little boy came up and asked if he could join our game.  We had a wonderful, magical time playing football.  Especially because my team won thanks to our secret addition.  It was a family moment I won't soon forget.
As the sun was getting lower we had to move on to the capitol building.
Those lawmakers get out of work promptly.  We arrived at 5:30pm and you would have thought it was Sunday morning.  We had the whole place to ourselves.  We learned that Andrew Jackson was the only man to hold every elected office at the local, state, and federal level.  He was elected alderman, mayor, state representative, and state senator from Greenville, TN.  He then served as governor and military governor of Tennessee.  He went on to become a US congressman, then a senator, Vice President and lastly President after President Lincoln was assassinated.  What a man of service!  We stomped around the building for a little but then Hank took a face plant and hurt himself.  On that note we decided it was time to go check into the hotel and call it day.
Max can always find a local beer to try.  He really loves a good hoppy IPA and HopJack delivered.
Mountain Dew was developed in Tennessee as a soda to mix with whisky.  Mountain Dew was origianlly Scottish slang for homemade whisky.  Jack and Coke is also a classic mixed drink.  It's not surprising as Coke-Cola was first bottled in 1899 and Jack Daniel's in in 1866, both in Tennessee.   Max preferred Jack and Dew over Jack and Coke.  After a sip a I decided to stick with my wine.  Once we had dinner and some adult cocktails we were all ready for our two night stay in one place!!

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