Monday, January 6, 2014

Our Visit with Norman Rockwell and My New Favorite Restaurant in Nashville

You know what they say, "All good things must come to an end."  And we thought that day was going to be today as the kids were supposed to be headed back to school.  But--like many of you, the ice and cold temps have blown through and changed all that.  So, we get to stay in, cuddle up, do a little more arm knitting, play some more Bananagrams (we're addicted),  and procrastinate the inevitable just a little more!

It's pretty much how we spent our Christmas break with the exception of a couple of short getaways in between.  One of those was a fun trip to Nashville that we took last weekend to see The Art of Norman Rockwell Exhibit at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts.  Have any of you seen this before?

My family has always been big fans of Norman Rockwell (I know- who isn't?), and we wanted to take the opportunity while the exhibit is in Nashville to take our kids to see some of his work.

I wish I could've taken pics inside, but obviously they wouldn't allow that.  Just let it suffice to say that it was amazing.  Seeing the vivid colors in person and taking in the story of each piece he told in a way that, in my opinion, no one else has been able to equal.

All of us loved it, including our youngest, Lola.  I let her tell me the story of each picture as we viewed it together and to see her eyes light up at the understanding and hear her describe the scene only proved to me again what amazing works we were seeing.

I love that he was able to speak to all ages and identify with the American culture so well.  And although he portrayed an era that's history to us, some of the images are timeless.  

(This one is one of my faves... Going and Coming, 1947, image via.)  It's like every one of his paintings makes you want to smile, cry, or both.  I love it!

And this book is next on my list of must-reads.  Has anyone read it before?

This exhibit will be in Nashville from now through February 9.  Tickets are only $10 for adults and free for kids.  Click here to visit their site and get more info.  Totally a must-see if you are near Nashville anytime soon!

And if you're looking for a good lunch stop while you're there, try 417 Union, which is located--you guessed it-- at 417 Union.

It was cozy and cute with lots of great Southern choices on the menu.  We had the patty melt (which was yum), but what really sold me was how the hostess went on and on about how I looked too young to have these 4 kids.  That will get a restaurant a good review in my book any day!

Click here to visit their site and get more info!

This is not a sponsored post, and I did not receive compensation from the Frist Center nor 417 Union for my reviews, unless you count the flattery from the hostess, in which case, yes, she totally paid me off.

Now, who's ready to head to Nashville?


  1. ok next time steve and i have a day off to nashville it is

  2. I'm going to put this on my January to-do list!!! Thank you for the recommendations :)

  3. Yes, Julie, I have not only read but poured over Rockwell's autobiography as part of the research for my recently published book on Rockwell (which Kirkus Review named one of the best books of 2013), 'Hidden in Plain Sight: The Other People in Norman Rockwell's America". It explores for the first time the stories of the Asian, African, and Native Americans who modeled for, and appeared in, Rockwell’s artwork. Until now these depictions have been oddly overlooked, even though in presenting them, Rockwell, as he says in his autobiography, "....just wanted to do something important."

    1. Very interesting! Congrats to you on your new book!

  4. Where do you recommend staying in town?

    I was just telling my husband that I need to take my children there.

    1. We've stayed several places, but probably my favorite in town was the Hutton (I wrote a little about it here: ) But, when the whole family goes, we normally stay in a suite in a surrounding area since there are 6 of us. We most recently stayed at the Embassy Suites in Murfreesboro which was great with a wonderful breakfast as well, but it's a little ways out. Hope that helps you!


I love hearing from each of you and will do my best to respond! Thanks so much for stopping by. So glad you're here!