Christmas is Coming....Uh, It's Already Here!

November 17, 2008 08:32 by ehouston

I am not usually the BAH HUMBUG type and this year I only have about 1/4 of the stuff going on as I had this same time last year, so I expect this to be a relatively easy going holiday season.  Well, aside from the visits with extended family, which are nice, but require a grueling long distance drive.  This past weekend some of said extended family came up here to Nashville to start the holiday season off right with a Country Christmas at Opryland Hotel and the Rockette's Christmas Extravaganza.  If you have never seen the inside of the Opryland Hotel and Convention Center put it on your list of things to do if and when you are in Nashville, TN.  It definitely looks like a large hotel from the outside, but not a particularly pretty building.  However, once inside you will be completely shocked by the size and extravagance of the gardens within.  Basically the inside of this hotel is a large conservatory, well several actually, and they are each home to enormous trees, plants, flowers, name it.  One area even has a "river" where you can ride a boat around for a little tour of the plant life and waterfalls.  Among the many restaurants, there is a bar and bistro that slowly spins while you are sitting at your table so you can get a panoramic view of the gardens.  In another spot you can walk under a waterfall and run through a fountain area that sprays up water in perfect drops in a cool pattern and in sync with music. 

One of the gardens pre- holiday decor.  This shot shows the spinning restaurant and bar.

This is basically the same shot at night and with all the Holiday decor in place.

So, during the holidays this place becomes an insanely decorated, kitschy bordering on tacky, Christmas wonderland.  They string lights all over the gardens inside and out, have a larger than life Nativity scene and enormous trees created from poinsettias.  Out in front of the hotel each tree is dripping with lights.  Some are encapsulated in a perfectly tree shaped netting, while others are painstakingly strung down to every little twiggy limb.  Normally, this is not the sort of thing I would suggest making time to see and I certainly would not call myself a fan of the country scene, but the Opryland Hotel at Christmas time is definitely a spectacle to see.

Now, for the Rockette's...all I can say is that if you have young children or are a fan of very campy theatre than the Christmas Spectacular is right up your alley.  The Rockette's parts are great.  The precision in which they do what they do is amazing.  And, they don't just stand in a line kicking like fools.  They do a lot of large scale synchronized maneuvers.  Those parts were very cool to see- especially the toy soldier performance.  I could have just done without all the silly songs and goofy acting that made up the parts in between.  I don't regret going to this show, but now that I have seen it I will never have to see it again, ever, never ever....ever, ever, ever....  ;0)

Note: All photos found at Google Images.  These are not my own.

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