February 19, 2015

The Mansion at Fontanel

Last weekend, Bryan and I made a day trip to Nashville, TN. The intent of the trip was so I could treat myself to something I've been wanting for years, which I'll tell y'all about next week, but we also took the opportunity to explore a little bit of the Tennessee capital as well.

Apparently Nashville is in central time, about which I had no idea until we literally crossed the line and my car's clock changed, so our timeline for the day was a little thrown off. So instead of going to straight to the mall like we were planning, we headed to a place just outside of Nashville to see Barbara Mandrell's massive, 27,000 square foot log mansion - Fontanel. (If you're really into country music you know that Barbara is one of country's biggest stars.) Apparently it's the largest log home in the world. Pretty cool, aye?

The mansion is currently open to the public for tours, which are fully guided and last around an hour. The story behind the tour guides is actually really neat, too. In order to be a guide, you have to be a musician trying to make it in the music industry, and you must audition for Barbara's daughter, Jaime. Knowing the process of becoming a guide really enhanced the tour, and it made me appreciate the knowledge our guide had to share as well. The mansion, itself, is a little old school and outdated, but that is to be expected since the current owners wanted the mansion to be as similar as possible to the way Barbara had it when she was living there with her family back in the late 80s to the early 2000s. If anything, it just made the experience more authentic, with which I can totally get on board.

After the tour, Bryan and I stopped in the Prichard's Distillery, which is on the property, and did a quick tasting before heading to the mall. They offered rum, whiskey, bourbon, and liqueurs. And all of them were delicious - very smooth and great flavors. I even ended up going home with my own bottle of their fudge brownie cream liqueur.

If you're a big country music fan, you'd probably love this tour. I'm really not into country, but I could still appreciate the information and where I was. The mansion is something to see, but inside the mansion is a ton of memorabilia from all sorts of country stars, too. It's a country music overload, and any fan of the genre would be flabbergasted by just how much is on display here. I think it's worth the hour of your time. And afterward, you can check out the distillery. It was a neat way to spend our morning.

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