Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Bit of Middle Tennessee History Trip

Earlier last week, we traveled with Chris to Murfreesboro and Nashville. While he conferenced during the day, the kids and I had a chance to see some sights. On Wednesday, when he finished for the day, we stopped by the Stones River National Battlefield to visit the preserved two-mile fields where about 23,500 Union and Confederate soldiers died in a three-day battle in late December of 1862. This battle is said to have provided the turning point in the Civil War for everything else that followed like Sherman's March to the Sea and the impending victory for the Union. Chris, JJ and I were really impressed with the visitor's center and the care that our nation has taken to preserve this site were so many died. It's really one of those hidden gems that we take for granted...Chris and I both went to MTSU, only about five miles from campus and never visited it while we attended the university. We are so impressed, in fact, that we are going to try to attend one of their fall reenactments and take the Paws with us. It was really hot that afternoon, so we would like to take some of the trails to the sites when it is a bit cooler, too.

In honor of our Michigan friends...the Kenwards and Drzicks.
Chris (1991) and I (1992) are proud graduates (B.S. degrees)of this great State Board of Regents university. The kids are posing by the old main entrance of the campus. Since we have graduated from MTSU, the enrollment has grown from about 13,000 to well over 25,000 students. Because of all the new buildings and areas, we hardly recognized it!
While dad was busy on Thursday morning, the kids and I headed to Centennial Park to see the world's only complete full-scale replica of the Parthenon. Tennessee celebrated it's 100th birthday in 1897, and this has been the centerpiece of this urban park since that time.
Inside, the re-creation of the 42-foot statue Athena is the focus of the Parthenon just as it was in ancient Greece. JJ really wanted to see this because we really like Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief. As the story goes, Percy and his companions must travel to Nashville to the Parthenon to retrieve one of the underworld stones from Athena's crown.

Sightseeing makes us very hungry! So, we asked the Parthenon gift shop lady where we should go for lunch. She suggested Elliston Place Soda Shop. Not realizing we were helping to make a little Nashville history, we settled in to wait a few minutes for them to switch to their lunch menu. A few moments later, a camera crew from their local news came in to do a story on the fact that this 1931 icon came up with the necessary funds to stay open. Within 20 minutes, people were lining up in the heat out the door and around the sidewalk to wait for one of their fantastic malts or burgers.
JJ enjoying his vanilla coke. And Tori, well, let's just say that she filled up on the chocolate malt!
Just had to share this one...Murfreesboro has some great shopping areas, so of course we had to go look around a bit. The kids found a really nice toy store. Tori loved "shopping" with a buggy cart just her size. (And no, she only got to purchase ONE small item!)

Thankfully, our travel is done for the summer. With only about two weeks left before school starts again, I have lots to do here at home! This weekend the kids have had a blast with some neighborhood activities, so check back soon for that...


Mahmee said...

It's a good thing you are done traveling. I am tired just READING about the trips. Ha ha. So much fun packed into such a brief period of time. I always forget that you start school much earlier there. We're looking at Sept 8th for kindergarten. Yes, it's a Thursday and yes, it's weird.
Hope your weather isn't too horrendous.

Kim K. said...

We are driving home from Chicago and I am enjoying your latest trip pics. Thanks for the Michigan shoutout.

Kim K. said...

We are driving home from Chicago and I am enjoying your latest trip pics. Thanks for the Michigan shoutout.

Heather said...

Sounds like another fun trip! I am leaving for NYC soon. Hope it won't be too hot. When I return, we will be getting ready for school starting on the 23rd.