belle meade.

For my birthday, Nate took me to Belle Meade Plantation. We toured the mansion,
walked around the winery, and checked out the sprawling property. It was cool.

This is the Carriage House. Inside were several old carriages and
stagecoaches and a sleigh. I'm thankful for my Nissan Versa.

I'm also thankful for jeans and running shoes and T-shirts.

The back of the mansion. There was a huge building to the left where they smoked hogs in large quantities.

Rocking chairs on the porch. Classic Southern necessity.
The front of Belle Meade mansion. The Civil War didn't have a huge impact on Nashville ...
when the Union army came in, they took the city without a fight. It was known as "The Great Panic."
Union soldiers were posted here to protect the house, and there was a skirmish one day on
the front lawn. As a result, you could see bullet marks on the front columns of the house.

One of the slave cabins on the property. Several slaves stayed after the emancipation and worked
as paid servants. They helped take care of the house and the horses. (The family here raised and
bred and trained racing horses ... one of them, Iroquois, was the first American horse to win some
derby in England. He was so famous that they shut down Wall Street to have a parade for him.
Kind of equivalent to winning the Super Bowl.

There was a 45-minute tour of the inside of the mansion, but no photography was allowed. Nate and I headed out for an early dinner at Outback steakhouse, and then we came home and Sam and Anne came over for ice cream cake and a round of Hearts.

Fun birthday. Here's to being 23.

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