Monday, January 31, 2011

Bedscape: Opryland Hotel in Nashville

opryland bed 2

When I got to my room at the Blissdom blogging conference in Nashville, naturally the first thing I did was photograph the bed. It's what I do.  The room was perfectly comfy, and the bathroom had two sinks, one inside the bathroom and one just outside, which is great if you're sharing a room with multiple ladies, all with different grooming commitments and schedules.

keely in room
Keely checking out our view of the snowy pool.
Blissdom 2001 Wisdom Workshops
Photo from Emmie's Mommy's Flickr stream.
The gift bag was an embroidered Lands End tote, very cute.  Happily, Blissdom did not reach BlogHer levels of swag, and I was able to escape with my dignity intact, not having bartered my soul for some canned-meat branded merchandise. Ugh, I still feel a ripple of shame when I think about it.

And this hotel, the Opryland. Oh my Lord, y'all. This is the place that got wrecked on the ground floors by the Nashville flooding last spring, yet they reopened in November. It is huge, like Vegas-huge, and is organized around three (or more?) glass-covered gardens. There are some exotic and beautiful plants there.  One of the gardens has a river running through it, and they give boat rides.  So it's all very over the top, but somehow not.  It's grand but still comforting.  Kind of like if Coleridge's Xanadu had been designed by Vera Bradley. 


Naturally, Keely and Beth and I had to take the boat ride.  Here we're setting out, and you can see that people's rooms face the garden with those little wrought-iron balconies. It's a pretty effect. It turns out that it's hard to take pictures in the dark while floating on the sacred river Alph, down to a sunless sea, but here are a few.


Just your typical purple indoor waterfall, like you have.

beth and keely

I love this picture of Beth and Keely because they look like the brightest, most attentive students in the world as they listen to our tour guide. At this point I think the guide was telling us that when they filled the river with water, at the hotel's opening ceremony, they poured it out of a giant Jack Daniels barrel. Which, of course they did. Please tell me something less surprising than that. You can't do it.

Putting aside the social aspects of Blissdom for a moment, I thought it was a good conference and well worth going to. It seemed a little more content-oriented than BlogHer, possibly because there weren't so many carnival sideshows going on all around and outside the meetings. I thought the sessions were useful, and a nice mix of big ideas and hands-on help with stuff, like photography.  The parties were nice and didn't have the sameness that the official BlogHer '10 parties tended to, as fun as they were.

The main event was getting to hang with my lovely friends, like Mary Anne and Michele, and meeting new people. I drove, which meant that I didn't have to be disciplined about my packing and could bring all the purses I want.  Also, every time we turned around, somebody was wanting to give us a manicure or a chair massage, or to stuff us with food every three hours like newborn babies, and who am I to argue with that?

And I got some ideas for this here blog. Also free panties.


Elle said...

Yah, I kinda got eventually that you weren't at a reinvention of the Soho spa way down south, but I still am not sure what it was. But not that it matters, because, yk, hotel! Towels on the floor. Shiny mirrors. Turndown!

Elizabeth said...

Ahhh, so that's where you were. I was wondering about your absence. Those blogfests sort of freak me out. I feel a bit like an outsider because I've never been to one -- it's as if I'm not invited or something even though I know you don't get invited. Anyway, I'd love to hear more!

Jenni said...

So sad I missed you girls. Sounds like it was a great conference, too. Maybe next year?

Keely said...

We DO look awfully attentive, don't we? She was a good storyteller.

Kelly said...

Glad you had fun!! What a gorgeous hotel!

Elizabeth-Flourish in Progress said...

i was doing well with the jealousy until i got the the free panties.

Amy said...

You got panties?? Free panties, and no photo? 'sup with that, Becks??

I now know my life will not reach its full fruition until I, too, take a ride on the River Alph. Thank you for putting that on my radar.

Can't wait to see what ideers you got for SubMat... xoxo

Becky said...

Yes girls, I am richer by one pair of Jockey no-line panties, in a buttery nude color that I will leave to your imagination.

Dang Keely got a pair of yoga pants from those people, continuing her streak of always winning everything.

Picture me standing in the middle of a hotel ballroom, shaking my fist at the sky, and shouting YOOOOGGAAAAA PAAAAAANTS, and you get the picture.

Amy said...

Fun!! Wish I coulda been there too. I probably wouldn't just stayed on that comfy bed, though, or ridden in the boat again and again. That hotel looks amazing!

Love the pic of Beth and Keely. They're the ones you want on the front row.

Sorry you didn't get the yoga pants. Why can't you just be happy for Keely? Geez.

Amy said...

Probably WOULD'VE stayed on the bed. Would've.

KathyS said...

That picture of Beth makes me miss grad school seminars like you wouldn't believe ... or, actually, I think you would, indeed, believe ... !

Beth said...

She is not at all kidding about the yoga pants. The disappointment, all around, was palpable. Beck didn't mention that Keely ALSO WON the Hallmark raffle, which was a cute little bear storybook thingy, but wasn't either the GE washer or the iPad, so we could live with it.

It's possible we were at that very moment watching the sweet boat tour guide tear up about how the culinary staff cooked food for everyone during the flood. She was profoundly moved, and it was sweet.

John said...

That bed was so cozy and nice... got a nice classic design too... its like the bed is calling me out.

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The Stiletto Mom said...

Loved seeing you! And I agree, we were fed every three hours like newborn babies. Sadly, I'm carrying on that tradition here during Icefest 2011. We are currently investigating cranes to get me out given the weight gain at Bliss and now this too. More of me to love. :)

Reading Rosie said...

Finally connecting your biz card with a face! I saw your Twitter photo earlier and it took me a few to realize you were the tall, gorgeous short cut blond! I had you and Keely confused. So nice meeting you at Blissdom :) Love meeting super down-to-earth bloggers. So refreshing.