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A Look Inside the Gaylord Opryland Grand Re-Opening

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Ricky & I at the Grand Re-Opening Celebration

While the Gaylord Opryland Resort officially opened on November 15th, Ricky & I got to be part of the Grand Re-Opening Celebration November 18-21.

It’s been reported that the hotel spend somewhere between $5-7 million on the weekend’s festivities designed to win over conference and event planners, so I was thrilled beyond words to be the only “mommy blogger” invited to take part.

Read my quote in The Tennessean about what Opryland means to families

Yes, we ate amazing food. Yes, they treated us to star-studded private concerts. Yes, we experienced all the holiday splendor Opryland has to offer.

But more than that, we were frequently moved to tears throughout the weekend because of what the Re-Opening of Opryland means to so many of us, especially here in Nashville. Beyond the jobs being replaced and the economy restored, Opryland and its Stars (employees) embody a spirit of pride, determination and values that is second to none. From the VP all the way down to the room attendants, we personally benefited and grew from the experience they created for EVERYONE on property (not just the VIPs).

What we love about Opryland is that whether you stay overnight in their luxury accommodations or go visit the 2 million lights for free with your family, they are committed to helping your family make memories that will last for a lifetime.

I know you all want to see a glimpse of the inside, so let me share just a piece of the beauty that is the newly renovated Gaylord Opryland Hotel & Resort:

Opryland General Manager, Pete Weien, gave members of the media a walking tour through the hotel and shared his first-hand flood experience with us. You’ll also notice the set-up for the Grand Re-Opening celebration behind him in the picture below.

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General Manager, Pete Weien, overlooking the new Delta Atrium

The resort also added a new Mexican restaurant (Solario), moved the Jack Daniels Bar to “The District” area of the hotel (due to noise complaints from guests) and created the Conservatory Bar & Ravello in its place. If you saw any of the media coverage during the flood, you’ll recall these areas were under 10 feet of water:

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The new Ravello outer dining area

One of our favorite new features in the hotel: interactive maps that not only help you know where you are, but will print directions to tell you how to get where you’re going! You can also use the touch screen to check weather, attractions and so much more.

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Pete Weien in front of the new Opryland interactive directory

A rare photo of me and my husband together, in front of the gorgeous poinsettia tree inside the Magnolia lobby

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A quintessential Opryland photo

We got to experience some great food while staying at Opryland. One of our favorite experiences was at Cascades, where my husband enjoyed a traditional American lunch (including their famous Crab Bisque) and I enjoyed some yummy Japanese food from Wasabi’s:

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Sushi, Tempura & Edamame from Wasabi's

The Grand Re-Opening Ceremony was a cross between Cirque du Soleil and the Olympics, all performed right in the center of the Delta Atrium:

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The Finale of the Grand Re-Opening Celebration

We even ran into Nashville Mayor Karl Dean on our way to the Keith Urban concert! Ricky has actually been mistaken for him here (well, we were in Cracker Barrel after all), but I don’t see the resemblance. What about you?

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Separated at Birth?

I may be one of the only women in the world who is not a fan of Keith Urban, but after seeing him perform live, I must say he puts on an amazing show. He has a big heart and plays a mean guitar. Plus I appreciate that he circled the crowd while still playing and singing – Nashville loves you, Keith:

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Keith Urban wows the crowd at Opryland
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Guy Fieri cooks live (& entertains)

Guy Fieri even came in to cook for us on Saturday. He made great food, kept us laughing, and even brought me up on stage to play a version of “Minute to Win it” (again, I know, shocking to all of you that I got on stage in front of all these people 😉

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The lights in the Cascades Atrium from our balcony

There’s so much more I could share with you, but I’ll have to post more pictures later of some of the other fun things we did.

Make sure you don’t miss my video of Santa arriving to the Opryland Lighting Ceremony too!