Jason only got three days off this year over Christmas, which wouldn't have been enough time to go back to Winnipeg. Rosie also doesn't have a passport yet so we wouldn't have even been able to fly anywhere. I knew staying at our place all alone in Kentucky wouldn't feel like Christmas, so I started looking for places we could spend a few days that wasn't too far away. Shortly after moving here we found out that Nashville was only 4 hours away, and we had always wanted to go there. I immediately looked into going there over Christmas and found this amazing resort I knew we had to stay at. It's always hard planning trips with kids because you don't have as much flexibility and I didn't know how Rosie would be at 3 weeks old. Staying at a normal hotel didn't seem like a great idea because it's winter so we wouldn't have been able to do a lot of exploring outside, sitting in a hotel room would make us all go crazy and a lot of things wouldn't be open because of the holidays. Thus the resort seemed like a no brainer. We got a suite so that we would have two separate rooms so that Everly could go down before us and we wouldn't have to sit in the dark. It was such a beautiful room and the perfect little getaway.
The Gaylord Opryland Resort was even better than we ever could have imagined. It's basically like a small town so you really never have to leave if you don't want to. It has restaurants, shops, activities and is beautifully decorated for Christmas. It was the perfect decision with two little kids. We were able to go back to our room for Everly's naps and fill the day with activities. We arrived on Christmas Eve, got checked in and explored the resort. It was absolutely stunning. There were gorgeous lights everywhere, extravagant Christmas trees, gingerbread houses and so much more. It definitely felt like Christmas. As it was Christmas Eve we wanted to find a church to go to for a candlelight service. We ended up going to the Church of the City in East Nashville which was small and intimate and perfect to take Rosie and Everly to. We actually sat next to Eric Paslay (he's behind Everly in the candelight picture below), who was extremely nice and was so sweet with Everly. Only in Nashville do you randomly meet country stars at church! After church we drove around downtown Nashville which was so beautiful and drove down the iconic Broadway street. Then we looked for a restaurant but almost nothing was open because of the holidays. It was getting late and Everly was getting tired, so we opted for McDonald's in our hotel room. It was an absolutely perfect and unconventional Christmas Eve dinner.
The next morning Everly woke up bright and early. We explored the hotel again and found a cute little cafe for breakfast. Then Jason and Everly went swimming and sat in their outdoor hot tub. Ev loved it. Then we all took a long nap after our short nights sleep. After her nap we went to the Holiday Hall where there was a free figure skating show. Then we went for dinner at a restaurant in the hotel, and then bundled up for a horse drawn carriage ride around the resort. This was probably Everly's favorite thing because she loves animals. She just kept saying "neigh" and looking at the horse. The grounds are decorated with Christmas lights and an all white nativity scene. It was the perfect end to Christmas day. We grabbed a few chocolate bars and headed back to the room for a cozy evening together.
The next morning we went for a breakfast buffet and then checked out of the hotel. We headed into downtown Nashville one last time to see a few other sites. We drove around the Gulch, Music Row and saw the Parthenon. Then we started the 4 hour drive back to Kentucky. Everly slept for the first hour and was so good the rest of the ride. Rosie was also silent the entire ride and we stopped once so I could feed her. Overall the drive was a breeze and I'm so glad we decided to do the trip! I can always be a bit apprehensive before a trip with little ones because you never know how they'll act.
I definitely recommend Nashville for a family trip and staying at the Gaylord Opryland resort or at least visiting it! You can tour the hotel, eat at the restaurants and do the activities even if you don't stay there. It was a Christmas we'll never forget and made being away from family and friends a lot easier.