Visiting Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage and Grounds | Hermitage, Tennessee

On a cool crisp early afternoon we headed for our 1:00 p.m. Mansion walkthrough reservation. A perfect day for a visit to the Hermitage grounds. Most of our time was spent outside during our visit. You can visit the grounds earlier before your mansion tour or after – or both. Either way, your visit starts with the check in at the ticket booth and then you proceed through the museum and to the grounds. There is also a nice gift shop and restaurant and wine tasting on the grounds.

We enjoyed our day very much. It should be noted that the mansion rooms are mainly roped off and you cannot enter most of the rooms but are peeking in at the doorway. Our group had approximately 12 people and a guided tour explaining each room. So as you can probably guess there was not much time to peer in as you had to let others do the same and to linger long after your group goes to the next room meant you were going to be in the way of the next group and not hear the story for the next room. Since I feel I didn’t get a good grasp of the house I bought the Hermitage guidebook. I can read more about it. This was the only downside. I get they need to preserve the things in the rooms. I’ve visited other houses and they allowed entry to the room but had furniture areas roped off and this allowed you to take in each room. No photos allowed in the house. I get it. They have to make their money somehow and if I’d taken photos I might not have bought the book. So I was ok with that. But the photos could be taken on the grounds. Even though I was disappointed about not getting to actually walk into each room, I still thought the tour and information was worth the price. So don’t read too much into my honest review of the house. We VERY MUCH enjoyed our overall time here. The staff was knowledgeable and great. I’m just an honest critic and if you know me, you know you get the good, bad and indifferent, lol!

While it was interesting getting to see the log cabins and/or slave quarters on the grounds, I mostly enjoyed the hiking around the creek and playing in the gardens. Well, I guess you could call it playing. I used my iPhone for the photos.

There was another mansion on the property – Tulip Grove. Sadly it looked to be in a state of disrepair – especially seeing the front porch. It is sad that this place is not being kept up. It wasn’t even mentioned or pointed out in any of our materials or guide – that I remember anyway. It wasn’t highlighted for sure. I think they could use this as additional money maker for them in some format. I’m sure it’s probably on the map and in the guidebook or something, but I need to read more about it.

Lots of pretty trees and magnolias on the property. The trees are huge. A few years ago a tornado came through and many many trees were destroyed. George worked at Gibson Guitar at the time and they were able to make some guitars out of some of the wood from these downed trees.

Several log cabins on the place, including the house that Jackson lived in while the mansion was being built. The grounds were just beautiful.

The hike around the property went into the woods by a stream and well, it just seemed about as near to heaven and Garden of Eden as I could ever imagine. It was peaceful.

If I lived there I would walk that path often and take seat here and read and plan and think. I believe that these were once cotton fields for a brief time just beyond the bench.

Then there was the garden paths. Just beautiful.

Yes, a raccoon sleeping on the property. We reported it and the staff said it was not rabid, just sick and they were aware. Bless him.

Then there was the museum!

So there you have a our Hermitage visit. I hope you enjoyed seeing a home of one of our past presidents. I intend to dig more into the history of it, when I have time. There are also some YouTube shows. Maybe you would like to do so as well. Or better yet, come to Nashville. There’s a lot for you to see and do and experience. As well as the communities all around Nashville too.

Would I do this again? You betcha. I’ll be back to the restaurant and for some more wine and you can join and be a member and visit the grounds, I believe. I’ll have to check out their website and give it consideration. I would love to do that hike repeatedly! The gift shop has things we might actually buy people for Christmas too. So we’ll be back! It’s a gem of an area and I’m ashamed we hadn’t been already.

I have a lot more things to share from this week as well since the Hermitage. I’m really running behind it seems. I’ll try to pop in, in the morning for the last few days updates.

Whew! This was a hard post to do uploading all the photos. I need to get ready and get into work. Hope you all have an excellent Friday.

Knoxville Getaway, Desert Door Sotol, and Wigwam Village Tee Pee Trip

We are back home from our getaway! What a fun time. We got to Knoxville yesterday at exactly Noon, having left around 8:30 or so. We gained an hour on the way. We had stopped in Cookeville for a tiny breakfast and more caffeine (unsweet iced tea for me) so our tummies would not be empty.

We arrived and I’m just in love with their condo. It’s perfect for them. They have a screened porch room on the back also! It was so nice.

Around 1 or so we ate a wonderful lunch of chicken salad on croissants – it was the Chicken Salad Chic’s chicken salad. I had saved my fruit also from chic filet as I had no spoon or fork so we included it on the lunch table along with other deli items and chips. It was a perfect lunch and then we set about doing Total Wines and then McKaye’s book store.

Total Wines is always a total blast especially on weekends when they do the tastings. I think we did about five tastings? Oh my. We ended up spending quite a bit on upgrading the liquor cabinet. lol. Both couples. The race was on money wise. We beat BIL and SIL by about $20. I stocked up on a few wines. We were out of cucumber vodka for the girly herbal weekend happy hour sippers. We bought Cognac which is good for those chilly nights and heated up in the microwave for 13 seconds while watching a favorite Netflix show right before bed. And then there was this…..

Sotol is made from this……..

The taste to me was – well- we all said it was hard to describe, which is why you have to try it. I could taste the “plant” in it. And since I like herbal, plant type drinks, it seemed like a strong plant based vodka.

SOTOL <—-You can read about it here. They call it “Tequila’s little brother”. Desert Door’s is actually made in Driftwood Texas, a little town South of Austin, TX. The one on the left is not aged and was pretty smooth – served extremely cold. The one on the right aged in oak barrels and a little more potent – ok a lot more. Still was very good – although heavy liquor not my thing. I’m all up for a taste test.

Texas Wallpaper for your phone background

There might have been another booth with a TX table cloth. lol.

We had a great time doing all the taste tests and then headed to McKaye’s bookstore. We bought a few things there. Then headed back to the condo. We got to see our nephew and his baby, Anna. And also we had to share Anna’s little potty. It actually makes a flushing sound if you push the silver handle, lol.

While getting ready to go out to dinner, BIL Kevin realized he had lost his key to his car. We ran out of time looking as our reservations at Firebirds were waiting. So we took our car and had a fantastic dinner in honor of Kevin’s birthday.

I had prime rib, baked potato and salad. Honestly could not eat it all. I don’t think I can eat as much as I used to. I had to take some of it home to the condo fridge. I think Susan was going to finish it off today as I didn’t want to have to nurse it back home on the drive.

Oh and we had planned a massive “Easter egg hunt” of sorts for Kevin’s key. We were going to keep looking til we found it. Guess who found it? Moi! After I kept asking Kevin to tell me again and again what he did when he got home. We found it in the walk in closet when he had changed clothes and laid it down. Yay! I hate to lose things and I know it was bothering him so we all kept looking til we found it.

We slept so good last night. It was a sofa in the bedroom that lets out into a kingsize bed. Wow. We had plenty of room and being that I was tired from the week and that George woke me up early to leave yesterday, I was so glad to get a good night’s sleep and sleep until l woke up – as was everyone’s plan. Susan had the coffee pot set to where the first one up could hit the button.

As I woke up it was thundering outside and beginning to rain. The storms were not severe but just a nice morning thunderstorm. I loved being able to roll over and rest some more. After George got up, I got up. And we headed out the door to be greeted with coffee from Susan. Everything was so nice. Kevin and Susan fixed breakfast of eggs, sausage and grits, and muffins.

We had thought about having bloody Mary’s and Mimosa’s but I guess we just were all content to keep sipping on coffee. We had a fun morning chatting about anything and everything until George and I told him we’d get out of their hair so they could finish out their weekend doing some other things.

We got home and headed to the store and bought quite a few things for the next couple of weeks. We needed some healthier options so we bought lots of veggies and salads and apples and so forth. I bought some squash that looked good.

And these pics showed up in my memories on Facebook so I had to share. This is us in Kentucky at the WigWam Village (Tee Pees) near Mammoth Cave. We would meet our friends Don and Lisa. We had loads of fun times on these trips in the early days.

Where we go from here?

So we are back home, settling back in and getting ready for the work week. I spent so much time there last week that on Friday it literally made me ill (sick) to go to work Friday. I was NOT feeling well and I could hardly even make myself go and do more returns, but not only did I finish quarter end a day early, I got the month end done on Friday. My month end is mini- compared to quarter end – it’s really about eight states I have to pay taxes in for the month. So I began organizing my world load for the next 8 weeks which is catching up on everything I couldn’t do last month, plus getting ready for the new quarter, moving files, storing files, and upgrading processes and procedures, and I have a big long list. Would you expect any different?

Also I have a few things on my list to do to prep for Mother’s Day. And just some extra things I need to look at and decide on the calendar. I’m going to do a Mother’s Day outing and I’ve chosen to go to the Hermitage (near by us) and learn of Andrew Jackson, see the garden’s area, and then do the wine tasting. I’ve wanted to do this for some time and this is the year. I have to look at the calendar and make our reservations.


I did not video anything from our Knoxville trip for YouTube. I just needed a break and complete getaway from everything. I’m so far behind in videos anyway – and my video’s end up being time sensitive and seasonal because so much of our lifestyle is wrapped around the season itself. And while I do have plans to catch up the channel – I’m also getting my head around a few things to do differently that will not be so time sensitive so it won’t matter what time of the year it is or how much time is passed. So the channel may change around some. However it evolves, it will be on my time frame. I still very much want to do them. I refuse to let life’s situations keep me from doing things I want to do. We’ll get it all done but it’ll just take longer to get things done. And this weekend, I wanted to be all in – plus we were in someone else’s home so all I did was take a pic of the outside, and then Anna’s little potty in the restroom. We needed a break. And we got a little break. And enjoyed our time with family. And we have some more “little breaks” we are planning excursions for as well – upcoming. It’s been a busy year and we have petered out in so many ways. I want to read more, cook more, plan more, write more, video more. I want to be out in nature more, travel more, and enjoy more. I want to work on goals and dreams and to do lists, lol. The fire is coming back in me when I allow the toxic things in my life to evaporate.

The Schedule

The schedule is pretty brutal, but when we get away for even a day, we feel like we are enjoying life again. Or even being home for a day will do that. Those days are so rare now. So today I’m feeling hopeful. But I do understand that tomorrow begins another Full Time work week + commute + plus taking care of Mom’s needs as my PT job – another doc appt, grocery run, church day and Mother’s Day come to play. I have so much laundry to do and it’s ready to be rebooted. So I’ll be back as the schedule allows and will pop in for another post. Meanwhile, Ozark is back and there’s Downton Abbey to keep us sidetracked for our nightly wind-downs. I think that is what I’ll start calling it! Our nightly Wind-Down.

What did YOU do this weekend?

New Video! Late Summer Adventures Near Nashville

Ok so, if you click “watch on YouTube” it gives you the best options for viewing, subscribing, and commenting.

In this video, George and I get out into the community and eat at restaurants surrounding Nashville, and see friends again and eat German food, and we head out to Fairvue Plantation and I took pics of the grounds. (I did not include the inside as it is a person’s home, but I took pics of the historical mansion and grounds). This was a fun video. My comfort with Final Cut Pro is showing, I think. It’s always a learning process as it will do so much. But I was able to do this one with ease, let’s just say.

If you would like to see more of these, please subscribe, give me a thumbs up, and comment on YouTube itself. It really helps the channel. And my encouragement.

There’s not a lot of “us” in this one, just spots here and there, but I do have some future videos coming up that I do have footage. I am always a work in progress. A lot of time we are just busy and I take whatever photos and footage I have for that time frame and try to make hay out of it, lol. But I’m trying to be mindful of taking more videos.

Well, I just got a text from Mom and Fancy is sick. I need to call and see what is going on. Always something.