By Suzanne Corbett, StLSportsPage Travel/Food Editor)  –Executives from both major league and minor league baseball will meet in the  Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, TN  December 3-6 for the annual Baseball Winter Meetings.

2012 will be  the fifth time Nashville  hosts the Baseball Winter Meetings, and baseball executives and the media all agree it is a great location. The Gaylord Opryland Resort  has a huge lobby and they do it up right for the holiday season. Since Nashville is such a short drive from St. Louis, it is the perfect weekend getaway during the holidays.

The Sports Zone Show with Rob Rains and B.J. Rains will be broadcasting  from the Winter Meetings  Monday-Wednesday and before we leave, and while we are there we will  also have stories and pictures on this Travel/Food page about Nashville as a tourist destination.

StL Sports Page Food/Travel Editor Suzanne Corbett is in Nashville this weekend doing advance stories, to provide us with pictures and stories about Nashville.

We hope to experience the” Lorrie Morgan Enchanted Christmas Dinner” and bring you pictures as well as some of the other attractions that make Nashville such a fun city to visit. Grand Ole Opry member, Lorrie Morgan is booked at the Opryland Hotel from  November 16-December 25, 2012 for this special presentation, and she is the featured entertainer at one of the award banquets.

Check back on StL Sports Page for articles and podcasts about baseball and pictures and articles about Nashville

For all the baseball news, follow @RobRains on Twitter and “like” his StL Sports Page Facebook Page:https://www.facebook.com/pages/StL-Sports-Page/407097975987807?ref=ts&fref=ts

Be sure to check back on this page periodically throughout the week for Suzanne’s preview articles and our pictures during the Winter Meetings.

The Baseball Winter Meetings are being held at the Gaylord Opryland Resort which is all decorated for the holidays. (Photo courtesy Jenny Barker, Gaylord Opryland Resorts)

Decking the Halls in Nashville

(By Suzanne Corbett, StLSportsPage Travel/Food Editor) –Southern hospitality and historic traditions mixed with contemporary glitz  and country charm has made Nashville, Tennessee holiday central in the Mid-South. Forget the North Pole – Nashville keeps the ho, ho, ho goods times rolling thanks to its collection of unique and diverse entertainments, and event venues  that you’ll only find in Music City.

Begin with a little Christmas shopping. Plan a day downtown shopping the eclectic shops along Broadway while discovering the historic outposts of country music as Lawerence & Ernest Tubb Records, located at 4and Broadway was the home of Tubb’s Midnight Jamboree radio show. When making the rounds along Broadway stop for a cool drink and hot music at one of the Broadway’s legendary honky tonks as Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, Wildhorse or Legends Corner. Afterwards, veer off Broadway and head to the Bluebird.

Arrive early and grab a table for the in-the- round music venue at the Bluebird Café where song writers try out new material and hopeful want-to-be country singers sing their hearts out. Don’t be surprised to find one of Nashville’s recording artists joining the Bluebird’s musicians circle since many of them got their start at the Bluebird.

For a one stop family holiday experience check out the Gaylord Opryland Resort. As all Gayloard resorts, Opryland property is  designed as a destination resort that can keep families entertained with a variety of holiday themed activities during its annual Country Christmas. Topping the Gaylord’s holiday happening list is its production of ICE, Shrek the Halls, a wonderland of over million pounds of hand-carved larger than life ice sculptures of the cast of characters of Shrek, ice slides and its signature nativity in ice. Afterwards decorate a gingerbread house at Ginny’s House located within the ICE exhibit hall. Decorating a gingerbread house is one of those activities that redefines quality time with the kids or grandkids. Not into house construction, no worries – gather round the outdoor fire-pits and toast marshmallows for s’mores.

To experience the millions of lights that decorate the Gaylord Opryland inside and out on the grounds take a horse drawn carriage ride or stroll the pathways through the Gaylord’s Atrium. Curtains of miniature lights hang from the atrium ceiling lighting the way through the floral and holiday displays. Follow he pathways and find a place to relax and indulge in a gourmet repast at one of the Gaylord’s award winning restaurants or bars as Ravello, know for inspired Southern Italian cuisine or the Falls Bar and Lounge, nestled in the atrium’s garden over looking its namesake, a waterfall.

To savor the season check out Lorrie Morgan’s Enchanted Christmas Dinner & Show featuring  music from Morgan’s Merry Christmas in London CD along with other of her country hits that have earned her platinum status. Morgan’s Country Christmas dinner is a pre-fix menu with Braised Eye of Round with a Red Wine Au Jus  asa the center of the plate and Chocolate Cherry Cheese cake with Snow Flake Sugar cookies  served as the finale. The General Jackson Showboat offers another dinner/show holiday package – the Spirit of Christmas dinner cruise. The cruise ply’s the Cumberland River and brings together a talented cast of Nashville’s performers. Steve Hall and Shotgun Red headlines the lunch cruise, who combines yuletide comedy and music that is served up along side a country gourmet inspired lunch.

Off the river and back on land The Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring the incomparable Rockettes is staged on the Opryland stage. It’s and yearly tradition and considered a must-see holiday show of the entire Gaylord Opryland complex. But wait. . .

What about the Grand Old Opry?

What happens to the Grand Old the Opry when the Rockettes come to Nashville and takes over its stage? Check back the and get the rest of the story – right here at StlSportPpage.com for the rest of the story on The Grand Old Opry  along with my top Nashville picks for sites, sounds and savory bites.

Nashville is Music City but at the Holidays they outdo themselves

It doesn’t sound possible but it true – Nashville aka Music City, sings brighter and louder during the holidays. Throughout the city music can be heard pouring out of store fronts to high profile musical theme events held at such Nashville landmarks as Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and the Tennessee History Museum.

Topping that list of traditional music venues is the Grand Old Opry, which moves each November and December from its home at the Opry House at OpryLand’s Gaylord complex to its former home at the historic Ryman Auditorium. Originally the the Ryman was named the Union Gospel Tabernacle but changed its name to the Ryman in the early 1900s.

Over the year the Ryman has hosted 20th century entertainment icons as Bob Hope, Harry Houdini and Katherine Hepburn. But thanks to WSM Radio’s move in 1943, the Ryman will always be known as the home of country music. Tickets for this year’s holiday shows are still available. The Grand Old Opry’s holiday schedule, which  includes such country stars as Vince Gill, Riders in the Sky and Alabama is on line – click onwww.opry.com.

Turing from the Opry to grand opera and symphonic music head to the Schermerhorn Symphony Center, home to the Nashville Symphony. Holiday concerts span musical genres from classic yuletide productions of Handel’s Messiah and Holiday pops concerts to special concerts featuring Kenny G and Lady Antebellum.  Before the concert plan on making it an evening at Schermerhorn and enjoy dinner at its famed restaurant, Arpeggio. Chef Roger Keenon oversees the menu that offers a three-course, pre-fixed gourmet menu option. Here’s the best news, it’s affordably priced – just $38.

Housed in the Tennessee State Museum located in downtown Nashville is the special exhibition, The Guitar: An American Love Story. The free exhibit that runs through December 30, brings together a collection of rare guitars dating as early as 1900. Included in the exhibit are guitars never before publicly displayed. Among those displayed are vintage guitars as the Rickenbacker “Frying Pan”(one of the first solid body guitars), Roy Rodgers OM-45 Deluxe guitar and instruments owned by legendary artists such as Elvis, Eric Clapton and Chet Adkins.

Country Music fans can catch the Nashville holiday spirit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s Deck the Halls where visitors are treated to festive decorations and a variety of programs in addition to its galleries and special exhibits as its current exhibit, The Bakersfield Sound: Buck Owens, Merle Haggard and California Country”.  Afterwards, take a short walk to the nearby Johnny Cash Museum and get a preview of its soon to be opened museum. With any luck you just might be lucky enough to run into one of Johnny Cash’s siblings who often frequent the current gift shop that’s attached to the facility scheduled to open in spring 2013.

For more information on Nasville’s holiday music, concerts and events click on www.visitmusiccity.com.  And don’t forget to log back on here at StlSportsPage.com for my final installment, Nashville’s Bites.