You know those ideas you have that you are absolutely certain will become part of the greatest hits of your child’s life? The ones where they will turn to you and exclaim that you are the world’s best parent and they cannot get over how lucky they are to be able to see/experience this? Yeah, well, my advice is to not let your imagination run wild.
My big guys have been interested (read: obsessed) with ancient history and the myths from these ancient civilizations since they were old enough to read. For years when I asked where in the world they wanted to go they always, ALWAYS, said Greece and specifically Athens. In their minds there was nothing cooler than seeing the history for themselves.
Fast forward a few years. They’re older now and while their interest in ancient cultures hasn’t abated – alternatively, they believe that they know it all now – their expressed desire to go to these places hasn’t come up. I assumed that just because they haven’t specifically said anything that their desires hadn’t changed. I may very well have been wrong on that.
I was under the impression that Athens was still a top destination in their minds. However, getting to Greece and Athens in particular with four people isn’t exactly something that can be pulled together quickly or inexpensively. Passports, flights, lodging, general travel funds – it was all a bit out of our current price range. So, I started researching alternatives.
Which leads to me to one of our recent trips. When looking for museums that featured prominent collections in the boys’ interests I came upon the Parthenon in Nashville Tennessee – this glorious place within driving distance from where we were living. At this point I’m giddy with excitement and imagining a wonderful trip for my guys. What could be cooler, an exact replica of the Parthenon and an exact replica of the Statue of Athena? I’m thinking nothing could be cooler. They’re thinking everything could be cooler.
However awesome I thought the place was, and however much Little and my sister enjoyed the visit, my big guys were less than impressed. Really made me quite sad so I filed the day into the drawer labeled “Something they were remember and enjoy when they’re older,” to make myself feel better.
Putting the big guys’ feelings aside, the place is amazing. Truly. We paid the small fee to enter the museum and I am so glad that we did. The Statue of Athena is the main attraction inside, but on the lower levels they have photographs of the original Parthenon that was built on this site for Tennessee’s 1897 Centennial Exposition. 1897! Can you just imagine how astounding it would have been to have been present for this event? The grandeur of it all… <sigh>
From the website:
The Parthenon stands proudly as the centerpiece of Centennial Park, Nashville’s premier urban park. The re-creation of the 42-foot statue Athena is the focus of the Parthenon just as it was in ancient Greece. The building and the Athena statue are both full-scale replicas of the Athenian originals.
Originally built for Tennessee’s 1897 Centennial Exposition, this replica of the Parthenon in Athens, Greece serves as a monument to what is considered the pinnacle of classical architecture. The plaster replicas of the Parthenon Marbles found in the Naos are direct casts of the original sculptures, which adorned the pediments of the Athenian Parthenon dating back to 438 B.C. The originals of these powerful fragments are housed in the British Museum in London.