Sunday, March 29, 2009

Nashville Wrap-up

Day 3 in Nashville:
On Saturday morning, we got up and drove over to the world-famous Pancake Pantry, where we were greeted by Jason's high school friend, Bruce and a line that looked something like this--but was, in actuality, way longer. ( I found this pic online. I didn't take one because I didn't want to lose my place in line.)After waiting in line half and hour and then gorging ourselves on pancakes, we headed over to Centennial Park. We went to the Parthenon:
And to the playground:
And just hung out and had a great time. (Thanks, Bruce! By the way, girls, he's single! The tall one on the left, that is...)We headed downtown just to drive around to see the sights. We ended up passing the exact spot I was unjustly pulled over by a policeman in 2007 for being an Alabama fan in Nashville the day before we played (i.e., put the smackdown on) Vanderbilt. I felt they should've named the entrance ramp in my honor or something. (I think this may be bloggable for a future "slow day.")

Afterwards, we headed back to the hotel for more (!) swimming time for the kids and Daddy and some Opry Mills Mall time for Mommy. The mall was so unbelievably crowded! I parked about a half-a-day's journey from the front door and walked in to what appeared to be the Friday after Thanksgiving. Sheesh! I only spent 45 minutes or so in the mall because it reminded me of everything I hate about the mall at Christmastime.

These were the spoils I came away with:A cute shirt/pants outfit for Luke (not on sale) and a cute top for Emma (on sale for $9.00) from Gymboree. Best purchase: Fried Apple Pies from the Apple Barn. They were so good! They left a greasy stain on the napkin. Butter overload! I also picked up some apple butter and other assorted goodies for my parents as a thank-you gift for their dog-sitting and my Daddy building us a pergola for the backyard while we were gone! (Another post for another day...)

We rode a shuttle over to the Grand Ole Opry after dinner. We had the cutest, countriest little bus driver--who told the WORST, dumbest jokes ever. We got the tickets replaced when we got there. Tickets, schmickets, who needs to bring 'em?

"Little" Jimmy Dickens started the show. He said he was 88 years old, but I think he was closer to 120. He told raunchy jokes that didn't fit the family-friendly image we'd expected. (Think Viagra) In a related note, He had a much younger wife he brought out to sing to her for her birthday. He gave her a Dolly Parton rocking chair, which she sat in while he sang/weakly warbled. Jason and I thought this was a joke. We just laughed and laughed as she pretended to dab away tears and gaze lovingly into his eyes...oh...wait..."Are they serious?" I asked Jason. "Oh. This is real?! Oh brother!" It was bizarre.

There were also square dancers:They did some mighty fancy footwork. I felt like I was watching an old episode of "Hee Haw." Luke was a-pickin' (his nose) and Jason was a-grinnin'.
Highlights of the evening were:Kellie Pickler, who seemed to be just as ditzy in person as she was on "American Idol." Shocking, I know.Dierks Bentley, who, judging by the legions of screaming girls rushing the stage, is a big deal.Riders in the Sky playing the song that they won an Oscar for on a Pixar short film. See it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJzQiemCIuYDr. Ralph Stanley, who sang a song on/from the soundtrack of "O, Brother, Where Art Thou?"
Marty Stuart and some other dudes in electric blue suits. I'm not sure it's socially acceptable for a man his age to wear a jacket without a shirt. Ick.Vince Gill, who sang a beautiful song called "Go Rest High on the Mountain."

Supposed to be a Highlight:Charlie Daniels.
(I'm not sure why, but my kids LOVE "Devil Went Down to Georgia," the edited version...)

The evening started with Luke asking Jason, "When does Char-wie Daniels come on?" "In about an hour and a half," answered Jason.

He asked Jason at least 4 more times how much time it would be until "Char-wie" Daniels would perform. Finally, it was 15 minutes until his scheduled showtime. Luke leans over to me and whispers, "Tell Emma it's 15 minutes until Char-wie Daniels. I can't wait!" He wiggled and bounced excitedly in his seat as he kept leaning over and telling me how much time was left. Finally, he grabbed my head, pulled me close, and whisper-shouted, "He's next, Mommy, Char-wie Daniels is next!"

Moments later, Vince Gill took the stage, seemingly about to introduce Charlie Daniels. Luke was quivering with excitement. Even mild-mannered Emma was giddy with anticipation. Then, it happened.

Vince Gill stomped on my kids' happiness with this statement: "Ladies and Gentlemen, I'm sorry to tell you that Charlie Daniels is under the weather and could not be here tonight." The whole auditorium simultaneously gasped and went "Awwww!" I looked from one sad little face to the other, fully expecting tears. "What?" asked Emma. "Why?" asked Luke. I explained that he was sick, probably like Luke had been earlier that week. "He probably has the flu, like you did, Buddy." They were both really disappointed--as were Jason and I--but had a better attitude about it than I thought they would. They were excited to get back to the hotel to eat the fried apple pies--as was I!

Observations about the "Grand Ole Opry:"
1. Country music singers, male and female, no matter how old, sure do love them some bling. Every last one of them had on about 18 pounds of sequins and rhinestones. "Little" Jimmy Dickens had a gold-encrusted watch that may have compromised his posture.
2. The "Grand Ole Opry" draws an odd mix of old and young. Some patrons appeared to be there for Dierks Bentley and Dierks Bentley only. Some patrons appeared to have gotten to the show in the back of a pick-up truck. Some patrons appeared to have been older than "Little" Jimmy Dickens.
3. I am NOT a country music fan. Jason is, however. The "Grand Ole Opry" is fun and interesting no matter where you stand on the issue. People watching is a fine art at the Opry.
4. The size of a man's cowboy hat is directly proportional to the shortness in stature of the person sitting behind them at the Opry.
5. The bigger the belt buckle at the Opry, the better.

We came home on Sunday morning. Luke and Emma asked me to play "Devil Went Down to Georgia" from my ipod about 22 times on the drive home. We also had to look up his video for the song on YouTube.

On Monday, Luke informed Jason that he was a fan of only one country music artist. Guess who? "Char-wie Daniels!" I was glad he still liked him after the disappointment!

4 delightful comments:

Lianne said...

p.s. Does my new background make your eyes bleed? Or is it just me?

ella144 said...

Wow, that new background is bright! What's the occasion?

Too bad you missed "Char-wie" -- he's an amazing fiddle-player.

I definitely want to hear the the Vandy cop story. And you should have a interstate ramp named after you.

Alabama Redhead said...

I think your background is proportional to the outfits of the GOO (or Grand Ole Opry!)

I've been before...it's intersting and there are normally drunk people in the back screaming for some SKYNARRD!! or something.

That was hilarious...I love Vince Gill's voice...I guess he's doing this now instead of pushing Fruit of the Loom underwear! Go vince! Looks like you guys had a great time...Apple Barn...droooool....

Vikki said...

Glad ya'll had a wonderful time in Nashville. I love when Vince Gill sings that song-I also get a kick out of "the commercials" they do at the Opry!!