Visiting Tennessee

I have a long time friend who has been wanting me to visit her in her new home location. I met her during our college days. It was a big coincidence that she also has the same birthdate as I do, we worked in the same company back in the Philippines and also in the Middle East, we also went to the same university, and even took our driving class together. We, basically, had the same fate. We came in the United States at the same month and now, we are calling each other as twins. She lives in Memphis and since I have a 6-day off from work, I have decided to finally meet her in our new home country and visiting Tennessee was also on my to-do list for the year.

I arrived in Memphis early morning by riding the Greyhound Bus Lines. My friend and I met in the bus station and took me for a ride within Memphis. We have visited some sights in Memphis and we have come up with a decision to spend a day in Nashville since the drive from Memphis to Nashville is about 3 hours.

On my first day in Tennessee, we visited the Memphis Pyramid.

tn15

Memphis Pyramid

Memphis Pyramid or was known before as the Great American Pyramid and Pyramid Arena was originally built as an arena located in downtown Memphis. The structure plays the on Memphis’ namesake in Egypt and is the 10th tallest pyramid in the world. The Memphis Pyramid used to host sports and entertainment but was stopped and was converted to a megastore by Bass Pro Shops that has shopping, a hotel, restaurants, an archery range, and a bowling alley. But the most visited part of the pyramid is the outdoor observation deck at its apex. Unfortunately, we were too early that they were still closed.

tn14

Memphis Pyramid is also a tracker boat center.

tn13

Big Cypress Lodge

tn12

Stag Display

tn11

Welcome to Paradise

tn10

Stores with a pond

tn09

Stores with a pond

tn08

Bear Display

tn07

Wild Hogs on the loose

Second stop was a home of a famous singer, Elvis Presley. We went to Graceland.

tn20

Welcome to Graceland

tn19

Historic Landmark

tn16

Elvis Presley’s Mansion

tn18

Elvis’ Private Plane, Lisa Marie

tn17

Street decor

Graceland is a mansion that was owned by Elvis Presley. It currently serves as a museum and the site was listed in the National Register of Historic Places and a national landmark. Graceland has been the second most-visited house in the United States, second only to the White House. After we visited Graceland, we headed back home and called it a day.

Day 2 in Tennessee, my friend and I drove all the way from Memphis to Nashville. We left early at 5AM so we can cover a lot of nice places in downtown Nashville. We got to the capital of Tennessee at 8 in the morning and looked for a parking spot. We made sure to park near a tourist attraction and that was in Nashville Music City Center.

tn29

Nashville Music City Center

tn28tn27

Nashville Music City Center is a convention complex located downtown. It was developed by Nashville Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency. The music city center is ginormous, clean, spacious, and there are a lot of conference rooms. We got to the music center just to use the restroom, took a peek of what was going on and after that we left and headed to the next spot.

tn25

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

tn24tn23

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is one of the world’s largest museums and research centers dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of the American music. It has also one of the most extensive musical collections in the world. We were only taking pictures outside the museum since my friend and I were not music fanatics at all. So we decided to skip seeing the gallery and ventured on our next destination which was just few blocks from the Country Music Hall of Fame.

tn21

Stix Sculpture

tn22

Stix Sculpture is 70 feet tall and made up of 27 wooden poles. The poles are spaced in an irregular pattern throughout the surface area of the roundabout and the vertical degrees of the poles varies from 0-15 from the center axis. The poles were painted in stripes with different colors. Fifteen up-lights were embedded into the landscaping to light up the sculpture at night which results in a vibrant display of colors, light and shadow. This masterpiece was brought to reality by an artist named Christian Moeller. When we  got there, we weren’t amazed by the sculpture. It lack flavor but probably because it was in the morning were we can’t appreciate the lights and colors of the wooden poles. Hence, we walked forward and went to Frist Center for the Visual Arts.

tn39

Frist Center for the Visual Arts

tn40tn41tn42tn43

Frist Center for the Visual Arts is an art museum. It is located right next to Union Station. The art museum has a wide gallery space, used to present visual arts from different artists. The Frist Center does not have a permanent collection, instead, the museum focuses on creating exhibitions from around the country and the world. We didn’t go inside the museum but went through the Union Station.

tn38

Union Station Hotel Nashville

tn37tn36

Union Station Hotel Nashville was used to be a railroad terminal but now has been changed to a hotel. The look of the Union Station shows the architectural features and the details were just stunning. My friend and I walked on foot to our next tourist destination which was the Ryman Auditorium.

tn30

Ryman Auditorium

tn31tn32

Ryman Auditorium or formerly known as Grand Ole Opry House and Union Gospel Tabernacle is owned and operated by Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc. It hosts live performances and is the home of the Grand Ole Opry. The auditorium was included in the National Register of Historic Places and also designated as a National Historic Landmark as its role in country music popularity. There were a lot of tourists in the area so we just decided to go to our last but not the least destination, the Tennessee State Capitol.

tn55

Tennessee State Capitol with Andrew Jackson statue

tn53

Tennessee State Capitol

Tennessee State Capitol is the home of the state legislature and also the location of the governor’s office and is considered as a National Historic Landmark. The state capitol is one of Tennessee’s capital’s most prominent structure. In the state capitol, a monument of Andrew Jackson is at the left side of the capitol. Andrew Jackson was one of the country’s president.

tn54

Andrew Jackson memorial statue

Our last stop was in Parthenon. It is a full-scale replica of the original Parthenon in Athens, Greece. The Parthenon in Nashville serves as an art museum that stands as the centerpiece of Centennial Park and a monument to what is considered the pinnacle of classical architecture. This location has been a movie backdrop of some films such as the 1975 Nashville and 2010 Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. The Parthenon was a good tourist attraction but it lacks flavor. It was bland and was just a mere building but a perfect view for picture taking.

tn52

Parthenon

tn51tn50

The remaining hours were spent walking around downtown Nashville and just enjoying the sights, the old buildings, and the scenes.

tn33

Bridgestone Arena

tn34tn35tn44tn45tn46tn47tn48

tn49

AT&T

tn26

On my last day in Tennessee, we were back in Memphis. We just walked around Memphis and talked about how we were fascinated that we’ve come a long way just to achieve our dreams.

tn06

Memphis Street Sign

tn05

The Flag of the Nations and the Bell in downtown Memphis

tn04

Mud Island River Park

We tried to go to the Mud Island River Park but they were closed for the season when we were there and re-opened on April 2nd week. Then, we headed to Harbor Town which was just on the other side of the river. We were killing time in Mississippi River Greenbelt.

tn03

Mississippi River

tn02

Mississippi River Greenbelt

tn01

Apartments in Harbor Town

For my whole experience visiting Tennessee, it was superb. I got to see my dearest friend and spent traveling around the 2 most visited cities of the state, Memphis and Nashville. It was memorable and I just had a checkmark on my bucket list of sightseeing the Volunteer State.

 

Viva Las Vegas!

United States of America has more to offer than big cities, nice people, amazing culture, and definitely freedom. Most of those mentioned can be seen in Las Vegas. Like what Elvis Presley sung,

Bright light city gonna set my soul
Gonna set my soul on fire
Got a whole lot of money that’s ready to burn,
So get those stakes up higher
There’s a thousand pretty women waitin’ out there
And they’re all livin’ devil may care
And I’m just the devil with love to spare
Viva Las Vegas, Viva Las Vegas!

Thus, I have decided to visit the city after a year of eyeing to come and explore it. Continue reading