It is about time to take a short break from my postings on our trip to Scotland and Ireland... They will be continued next week.
I went to high school at DeVeaux School, an all-boys college preparatory boarding and day student school that was located in Niagara Falls New York...long gone now The students were both local and from other eastern and mid-western states. We even had a Canadian in our class of 27 students!
We graduated way back in 1961…56 years ago this past June! Back in 2015, we ‘found’ each other via the Internet and we had our first reunion in East Tennessee. By popular demand…and after finding a couple other classmates that hadn’t attended the first gathering, we decided to have another reunion…this time in Nashville Tennessee.
I’ll start this posting with photos of our class accompanied by their patient spouses who continually strive to keep us out of trouble…
This is Ed and Linda. They came to the reunion all the way from Delaware.
· Much credit to Ed for several of the photos I used in this posting. After viewing his photos, I definitely have to buy a better camera! Thanks Ed!
This is Gary and his wife Belinda. They flew in from Arizona!
Gary deserves a lot of credit for his determination and event planning in putting together our reunion! He never gives up… Great job Gary!
This of course is yours truly and my better half Laurie. We didn’t have far to come for this gathering…just about a 2.5 hour drive from East Tennessee.
This is Jere and Julie. They live about 9 miles from us in East Tennessee and like myself, he is originally from Michigan. Jere was instrumental in planning and executing our first class reunion.
Bob and Barbara flew in from Las Vegas for our gathering. He was just ‘found’ this year so this was his first reunion.
Chris and Helen were also new this year. They came down from upper New York State. Immediately following the reunion, they were off for a river cruise on the upper reaches of the Amazon River.
This is our Canadian grad…Jon with his wife Sue. They flew in from Toronto. What we don’t like about Jon is that he doesn’t look as old as the rest of us do!
Don and his wife Rhonda came all the way from California for the reunion. I think that he may have ‘volunteered’ to organize the next class gathering!
Tom and Margie drove to Nashville from north Texas…just south of the border with Oklahoma. They always seem to be happy!
This photo of Bill and Cheryl is from our 2015 reunion. They drove over to Nashville from Paducah but they were only able to stay for dinner on our first night. I apologize for not remembering to take a current photo!
Much of our time together was spent reminiscing and catching up on what has been going on for the last couple of years. Every morning we gathered for breakfast and conversation in lobby dining area of our hotel.
We had a number of events and/or attractions to visit on our schedule. The premier event was a river cruise on the Cumberland River. This is the General Jackson paddle wheel riverboat.
The General Jackson is a big boat! Launched in 1985, she is 274 feet long, with beam measuring 63 feet and 6 inches. Fully loaded she can carry 1200 passengers with a crew of 157…
Part of the General Jackson Showboat cruise package included a nice buffet luncheon. As you can see, this is a big dining area and this photo shows only about a quarter of the room. More space is upstairs on the mezzanine. One of our tables is at the center front of this photo.
The General Jackson cruise also included a nice country music stage show. The music was very upbeat and it covered a bit of rock and roll too. This talented group is from all over the USA!
After lunch and the show were over, everyone when outside on one of the 3 decks to view the passing scene. The cruise took us to downtown Nashville past the expanding skyline and the Tennessee Titians Nissan Stadium.
· Nashville, known as “Music City, USA” is the capital and the largest city in Tennessee. Nashville and the area around it has a total population of about 2,000,000. From the year 2000 on, it has achieved a growth rate of approximately 10% each decade!
Most of us hung around at the front of the General Jackson checking out the sights. Gary planned this event and we all agreed that it was the highlight of the reunion!
The cost per couple was $111.00…very reasonable when you consider what was included in the price. To learn more about cruises on the General Jackson, go to https://generaljackson.com/.
I couldn’t resist… This is a collage of our honeymoon couple, Sue and Jon. Aren’t they cute together?!
After the cruise, the group headed over to the nearby Grand Ole Opry Theater for a backstage tour. We met by the giant guitar. It was a worthwhile experience. Our tour cost $26.00 per person. To learn more about different tours of this famous country music venue, go to https://www.opry.com/backstagetours.
Following out tour of the Grand Ole Opry, it was off to Gaylord’s Opryland Resort for drinks and dinner. Sue took this photo of Ed, Linda, Laurie, me and Jon in the Falls Bar area.
As you can see, the interior of this resort is eye-catching and worthy of a visit in itself. We had a nice dinner at the Cascades Restaurant…one of several dining venues at the resort.
- Parking at the Gaylord Opryland Resort is very expensive. Self -parking costs $39.00! However, if you dine in one of their restaurants, they will comp your parking ticket. To learn more about this resort and its restaurants, just go to http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/bnago-gaylord-opryland-resort-and-convention-center/.
One day was a ‘free day’, where couples could visit whatever area attractions caught their fancy. Eight of us chose Andrew Jackson’s home, The Hermitage, as our primary tour of the day. Except for the mansion portion of The Hermitage, visitors are given a device that allows them to spend as much time…or as little time…learning about the various points of interest around the property.
One of the unexpected highlights of our visit to The Hermitage was this group of 4th Graders who were ‘docents for the day’. They were stationed in key locations throughout the property telling visitors about each site. They were not only cute, they were very polite and they knew their stuff!
Admission to The Hermitage was $17.00 for seniors and $20.00 for adults. To learn more about visiting this fine attraction, you can go to https://thehermitage.com/.
After visiting the Hermitage, our group stopped for a nice lunch at McNamara’s Irish Pub and Restaurant. From the front left, Rhonda, Barbara, Bob, Tom, Margie, Don and Laurie.
For more information about McNamara’s Irish Pub and Restaurant, go to www.mcnamarasirishpub.com.
Ed took these photos…and many others…when his group visited the Cheekwood Estate and Gardens. I heard that they really enjoyed themselves. Laurie and I have been there and it is an impressive place with terrific gardens.
To learn more about Cheekwood Estate and Gardens, you can go to https://cheekwood.org/.
Ed also took these photos during his group’s visit to television’s popular American Pickers shop. Their Antique Archeology Store is in Marathon Village near the city center. It is located at 1305 Clinton Street. To learn more about the show and the store, go to http://www.antiquearchaeology.com/.
The Marathon Automobile Museum is located in the same complex at the Antique Archaeology Store…virtually right next door. From 1907 to 1914, the company manufactured the Marathon automobile. Production of these cars in 1910 actually reached 10,000. The old plant and offices are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
To learn more about Marathon Motor Works, you can go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marathon_Motor_Works.
Speaking of Automobile Museums, I don’t have any photos, but at least 2 couples decided to visit the Lane Automobile Museum, with its expansive and interesting collection of European and American vehicles. To learn more about this museum, go to https://www.lanemotormuseum.org/.
Belly up to the bar! Our last event was a dinner at Rodizio Grill, a Brazilian steakhouse on 2nd Avenue in middle of the nighttime action in downtown Nashville. From the left…Barbara, Bob, Margie, Don, Rhonda, Sue and Laurie.
At the other end of the bar, we have Belinda, Gary, Jon, Ed and Linda. From here we migrated into a very nice private dining area that Gary arranged for us at the back of the restaurant. We took some photos of the group at the table…but none of them were very great so I went with the bar photos.
Rodizio’s was a hit! Everyone enjoyed their meals. Most of the group went for the huge and expansive ‘salad bar’ ($19.99), which is way more than a salad bar! One nice touch is that gluten free items are posted as such. As for us carnivores, the skewers of roasted meat just kept coming until we were satiated! The meats served at Rodizio’s were the best I’ve had in any Brazilian Steak House.
To learn more about Rodizio Grill, you can go to https://www.rodiziogrill.com/nashville/.
After dinner, some members of our group went out club hopping in downtown Nashville and others just strolled up and down 2nd Street, checking out the attractions and the people… Laurie and I have determined that we will have to spend some more time in downtown Nashville!
One last photo. An outside contractor that was inspecting the hotel took this group photo in the lobby with Ed’s camera. We were missing Margie, Jon and Sue but this is the closest to a complete group photo that we managed. From the left: Ed, Linda, Jere, Julie, me, Laurie, Don, Rhonda, Chris, Helen, Belinda (with Mr. Pumpkin Head peering over Belinda's shoulder), Gary, Tom, Bob and Barbara.
If you’ve stuck with me through this long posting, you are either a real trooper or a member of our class! Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…
Thanks for stopping by for a visit!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave