Friday, November 27, 2015

Nashville: November 26, 2015 (part 2); Gaylord Opryland Resort, USA

Now, this is the US that I wanted to see, at least for a bit.  This felt like a different culture.  (Click photos to enlarge).

Gaylord Opryland Resort, supposedly the largest hotel in the US not connected to a casino.

This is a panoramic view of *one* of the atria in the hotel.

Another view of the same atrium, so you can its height.  Some of the more expensive rooms are these ones, facing the atrium.  There are restaurants and waterfalls below.
Why go outside when you go to fake outdoors inside?  One of the other atria; I think there are three in total.  There are  at least two "lobbies" where guests can check in.  There are way too many people and they (we) are all just walking around gawking at the complex.  The whole place is like an amusement park, or a giant Rainforest Cafe (TM). 

I'm alternately horrified and admiring of this type of excess.  I love it and hate that I love it.  

I know I said I would show more food, but I ate waaaaay too much and don't want to relive it right now.  There's a mall an easy walk from here, though a shuttle is available.  (It seems no one in Nashville walks more than a couple of blocks).

Opryland Mills Mall.  The kids are riding these things around the mall; they can be rented for 10 to 30 minutes and hold up to 500 lbs.  The kids just drive them around freely, no tracks.  It was weird, felt very alien.  I was trying to surreptitiously take these photos, then realized it looked kind of creepy to be taking kids' pictures, so I left.
My first true Black Friday, starting Thursday.  Opryland Mills opened at 6 PM and will stay open  until 1 AM, and then re-open at 6 AM!  A line up for the Kate Spade store,  I will say, the deals seem pretty good.
Gaylord Opryland Resort.  One of the atria decorated for Christmas
I didn't know this, but American Thanksgiving just sort of bleeds into Christmas, so it's all one huge holiday season, starting with Thanksgiving.  Christmas decorations were being put up at the Tennessee Capitol just as I arrived on Monday.  

Nashville is the country music capital of the US, (if not the world), but it's also the bible belt capital.  I didn't see much of this in the downtown, but it seems a different here at the Resort, which is away from the downtown core.

This is a dancing water fountain show set to Christmas music.  Not a single secular Christmas song.  All the songs were overtly about Jesus.

Shots from the very large nativity scene outside the hotel on one of the lawns.  There are also two bibles set up and a recorded voice reads the story of Christ's birth, quoted from the bible.

Overtly religious.  Everyone seemed to enjoy these things, though, and who am I to question?  I'm a tourist here, anyway.  The other "tourists" seem to be locals, though, which is interesting to me....  I could hear a whole bunch of locals here for Thanksgiving dinner.

After the water show, I got lost trying to get back to my room.  I was given a map but the map looks more like an airport map.  It's not just me, either.  I heard a guy in one of the hallways complaining to his wife that he thought "they" would make this place more "user friendly."   

Room numbering is not intuitive.  The room numbers are each given a letter in the front which describes which part of the hotel the room is located.  Parts of the hotel are given names, so M for Magnolia, C for Cascades, for instances.  The next digit combines with the letter to describe which elevator you should use, and the last three digits make up the room number, which don't correspondent to which floor you're on.  So,  M2123, would mean that someone is in the Magnolia part of the complex, should use elevator M2 and is in room 123.  The "1" in room 123 does not necessarily mean you're on the first floor, though.  And good luck finding elevator M2.

Anyway, my original plan was to hang around the resort for tomorrow, but I'm more likely to go into Nashville for my last day in the area.  

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