I thought Las Vegas had the most spectacular hotels in the world until I walked into the Grand Old Opry Hotel in Nashville, TN.
I was returning from a two day University course at the home of the Atomic Bomb, in Oak Ridge TN. It was a stark contrast driving from Nashville to Oak Ridge, from my usual trips to Phoenix or L.A. from Las Vegas. It was a treat to see the magnificent foliage as the trees welcome winter with their display of reds and browns.
Though the weather was anything but kind, the sun came out briefly on my return drive to Nashville. I immediately pointed my car in the direction of the Grand Old Opry, determined to at least be able to say I had seen the building.
I wonder how many of you out there, who like me, have never visited Nashville, have the same mental picture of the home of country music as I had?
Somehow I pictured horses tied to hitching posts and gun fights on the main street. Jed Clampits’ and Roy Rogers everywhere.
What a surprise when I pulled my Detroit steed into the car park at the Grand Old Opry Hotel! Unquestionably the most amazing Hotel complex I’ve ever seen. Preparations were well underway for their annual Country Christmas, and staff were busily erecting magnificent Christmas Decorations everywhere. I only wish my tight schedule had permitted me to stay and explore, as it was I had only twenty minutes to glimpse what I should have liked to have taken several hours to view.
I will return!
It seemed appropriate to mention Nashville as this week I will be a special guest attending the American Country Awards Gala Presentation – right here in my native Las Vegas; at the MGM Grand Arena.
One week later I will be climbing aboard my Virgin Atlantic jet on route to London for a few days before heading off to my ‘treasure’ island. Malta – Mediterranean Jewel, as I have so often described it! My plans are to spend Christmas back on the island where my archaeological interests were first titillated.
Malta has developed as one of the prime vacation destination in the Mediterranean and offers something for everyone.
My favorite ‘timeshare’ is the incredible Golden Sand’s Resort operated as part of the Radisson Hotel chain. This is a combined resort and ‘timeshare’ development. In fact it is I believe the only ‘timeshare’ in the world that had the reigning Queen of England as a guest. Honestly – during her visit to Malta a few years ago, the Golden Sands was selected for her majesty’s accommodation.
In the late 50’s I had the pleasure of accompanying her husband, Prince Philip during his visit to the armed forces in the Mediterranean. I was at the time associated Press’s stringer in the region, based on Malta and was selected to accompany him on board the HMS Bulwark, a British aircraft carrier that had been converted for British commandos.
Enjoy your festive season,
Dr. Peter J. Shield PhD (http://pjshield.com)