He’s definitely a little bit rock and roll! Haha!! Well, we decided that since the girls were ready for anything, we’d take a little road trip. We packed up the rental car and off we went, headed south for … NASHVILLE!! Yes, Nashville!! We cranked up my “Garth Brooks Pandora Station” and drove Eddie crazy for the next 6 hours!
It was a nice drive but not nearly as scenic as it is on the 6 hour drive to San Fran … just kind of plain. No mountains, no green trees, no cows … just a lot of open fields to see for miles and miles and miles!! The empty corn fields waiting for their time to grow again.
We stopped in Louisville, Kentucky for a quick BBQ dinner at Doc Crow’s. We had dirty rice, baby back ribs, mac and cheese, and some other stuff that was gone by the time we remembered to take this picture!
Needless to say, it was delicious and delightful!
By the time we arrived in Nashville, we were pretty pooped and we had a long day ahead of us. So we hit the hay and dreamed of Garth serenading us to sleep with …
You know a dream is like a river
Ever changin’ as it flows
And a dreamer’s just a vessel
That must follow where it goes
Those words kind of described us for the weekend! We were just going!!
Our first stop the next morning was the famous, the fabulous, Grand Ole Opry House! Even if you’re not a country music fan, you absolutely have to take this tour about country music roots and history. If you are a big country fan (like us girls!), you can go goo-goo eyed!
(**A Little Side Note: The little guy that is with us is named “Flat Stanley.” You’ll hear more about him later but just in case you’re wondering who he is, that’s Stanley!)
Our tour guide was full of music trivia and country music history so she made it both fun and funny! We found out that the old t.v. show “Hee Haw” (does that ring a bell or what??) was filmed here in the Opry House every week in front of a live audience!! That brought back great memories of Dad/Grampa because he was a “Hee Haw” fan of the biggest kind! He would have loved to see the set! The pictures aren’t great, but they may look familiar when you think about that old show!
It’s a huge venue and they fill this up 5 nights a week with different performances ranging from 2 hours to 6 hours, depending on who “drops in” on any given night. Any country star that is a “Member” of the Opry House can just decide that he or she wants to do a little performance that night and wa-la … you could be seeing Garth live on stage! We weren’t able to snag tickets for the show that night but you can bet we’ll be back here again!
They offered to let us have a go at serenading our tour group, but since I didn’t want the group to take off running, we passed!
Here are a few of our favorites in the “Member Walk of Fame” corridor …
After we finished ooohhhing and aaahhhing, we left the Opry House on a high note! We made our way into the downtown area to check out Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge and some other country favorites on their famous “Broadway Street” — it was a little wild and crazy for me and Eddie, but the girls loved it!
We had gotten a tip from a gal who was visiting from Australia that we should definitely go to “The Bluebird Cafe.” This is a little dive outside of town, hidden in a strip mall. You would think nothing of it if you happened upon it or drove by. But she gave us the story! This is THE PLACE for country singer/songwriters. Many of today’s country stars began their careers right here at the Bluebird! I know you’re going to think I’m a “Garth Fanatic,” but I’m just giving you what’s on their website:
At The Bluebird, performers include up-and-coming songwriters along with those whose music is regularly on the charts, country music as well as pop, rock and Contemporary Christian hits. Kathy Mattea was the first star to be identified with The Bluebird and is still a friend and a regular guest performer today. Garth Brooks played on both our Open Mic and Sunday Songwriter’s Shows before he was discovered – at The Bluebird – and signed to Capitol Records.
So off we went to find this place and … stand in line! Since we didn’t have reservations, we had the option of standing in line for a very slim chance of getting in to see the evening’s show. When we arrived, we counted about 20 people in front of us. The place only holds 90 people so each night after the tables with reservations are filled, they come out to the line and say, “Ok, most of you will not be able to get in to the show, but approximately __ will be able to.” That night it was “approximately 25” … we were numbers 23, 24, and 25 in line!! OMG, we were so stressed out!! What if we didn’t get in? We’d been in line for 2 hours and we still had another half-hour to wait!! And then, every time someone walked up to join another party in line ahead of us, we just knew our chances were getting slimmer and slimmer. OMG!! This is terrible!! Finally, when the guy comes out to begin letting some of our line in, he’s counting … 1, 2, 3 … 13, 14, 15 … it was so dreadful!! But lo and behold and hallelujah, he gets to us … 23, 24, 25, you can come in now! Well we about knocked him down to get inside the joint! We were so excited at that point and just wanted to take our seats to make sure he couldn’t change his mind!
It’s a very intimate musical circle and we had a blast. We heard songs that we knew and that we had been singing with the radio for years! But let me tell you … songwriters have a hard gig. They write a song, they sing it in front of venues like this to have “someone” hear it and then offer to record it on their label. If it does great, then the songwriter is paid for their work and they can cash in. But if it doesn’t, all their hard work is for naught. I’m not sure too many of us could take that kind of rejection, waiting for the “BIG ONE” to hit the charts. I know I couldn’t. But, you gotta give it to them! They are troopers and it was a wonderful evening listening to their music in their own voice, sharing their stories of writing and waiting with us. I highly recommend this as a stop on your own Nashville trip to be sure!
This was a day filled with music and the magic that goes along with it. Each place we visited was truly a “note to be remembered.” The singer/songwriter Edwin McCain nails it when he sings…
And these are the moments I thank God that I’m alive.
And these are the moments I’ll remember all my life.
I’ve got all I’ve waited for and I could not ask for more.
We all know we were blessed that day … we couldn’t have asked for more!!
Talk to you tomorrow!