Friday, February 18, 2011

Out and About in Tennessee

We had a wonderful weekend in Nashville last week.  Far and away, the highlight was the Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art. From the architecture to the gardens, to the sculptures to the Faberg√© collection, it was absolutely worth the drive.

My favorite, the Glass Bridge by Siah Armajani, was created with the memory of the bridge designed to span the Grand Canal in Venice, during the heyday of Murano's glass industry. The original collapsed, but this one stands surrounded by oak trees.

This is bamboo in the forest near the Japanese gardens.  Almost makes me want a bamboo forest of my own.

Except I don't, because bamboo is like a tattoo for your yard.  Once it's there, it's not budging.

We also really loved the spider-web patterns formed in the melting ice over the ponds.  At some point, someone must have thrown rocks in, breaking the ice.  As it melted, it left the sheerest traces of patterned ice.

 Moments later, we literally watched as the wind blew over the surface.  When we returned 40 minutes later, most of the patterns were gone.  I shot these two photos with my point-and-shoot; I'm really pleased with how the exposure turned out, since it was entirely guesswork on my part (LCD screens not being wildly reliable).

We'll actually be going back to Nashville to meet up with some college friends of mine.  Since we weren't able to visit every part of the grounds (it's quite extensive), I'm not-so-secretly hoping to go back.

And when we return for a brief time to Memphis in June (most likely; we don't have solid dates yet), I'm hoping for another weekend Nashville trip.

In less sophisticated entertainment, we finally got to see the Peabody Ducks!

There they were! Swimming around and around in the fountain in the center of the lobby.  And after swimming, sometimes one would hop up on the ledge to get a look around...

...and preen.

Which makes sense, because it's not an insignificant audience.  We arrived twenty minutes ahead of the 5pm march out, and the place was packed!  We were able to get a spot on the mezzanine.  This was good, since we got a nice overhead view, but bad, because the flowers happened to block quite a lot of the exit.

Like, pretty much all of it.

After a while, the Duck Master (I'm totally not making this up) starts to prep the area by shoving away small children and preparing the red carpet.

Not an easy task.

After a rousing retelling of the hotel's origins - and how the ducks came to reside inside - the music played, the ducks swam more frantically, and the Duck Master called up!

And as far as I can tell, each duck jumped up.  But it's hard to say, because the flowers were in the way.

Then the Duck Master and the Honorary Duck Master (the elderly lady in the chair on the left, celebrating her 85th birthday, bless her) proceeded to walk the ducks down the red carpet.

At least that's my guess.  It's hard to see ducks when there are two adults walking behind them.  But they waddled (the ducks, not the adults) right into the elevator.

It was an excellent time.  As was dinner at Bhan Thai, which had one of the best Pad Thais I've had.  And very nice people, since I left my navy blue cardigan (the one I wear almost three times a week) and they not only found it but folded it nicely until we picked it up later.

We head back to the West coast on the 26th.  We both miss being near friends, family, and familiarity terribly.  But until then - we're still cramming in as much sight-seeing (and eating) as possible.  We'll meet Danny's cousin and great aunt at the Memphis Zoo tomorrow; Sunday, it's a whirlwind trip to Nashville.

And then...Washington!

Can't wait!

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful pictures! I love the bamboo one. I never realized it's considered a weed of sorts in warmer climates until my mom told me. Poor bamboo. I'll take some in my backyard. :)


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