(Nashville, TN) Hi 77 Lo 64 -- The weather has been dreary the last few days, cloudy, rainy, and temps mostly in the 50's and 60's. But that hasn't slowed us down. We've had a busy couple of days here in the Music City.
Our fun started on Friday with a trip downtown to visit the Johnny Cash Museum. I'm much more into music than Dee is, and Johnny Cash is probably one of the top two or three of my favorite artists of all time, so I was really looking forward to this. (Click on pictures to enlarge.)
The museum is one of the best we've seen as far as how it's laid out. It had many exhibits of his personal items.
All his Gold and Platinum records were on display.
Here's Dee admiring all the singles that were on the country and rock/pop charts. (Remember 45 rpm records?)
All his album covers were on display. They covered an entire wall.
Johnny Cash was the ultimate crossover artist who appealed to both country and rock roll fans. The museum was wonderful, and I'm so glad we visited it.
The museum is right downtown so we took the opportunity to walk around little. A few blocks away is the Ryman Auditorium, the original home of Grand Ole Opry up until 1974 when they opened the current Grand Ole Opryhouse a couple of miles from our campground. The Ryman considered the Cathedral of Country Music. They still have concerts there occasionally. It sure is a beautiful building.
We walked along Broadway, which is full of nightclubs and boot shops (LOTS of boot shops, all over Nashville).
You hear music everywhere, even on the sidewalks. They don't call it Music City for nothing. :)
After our time downtown we met for lunch with Gail and Rick, our good friends we've known since our North Carolina days. They're fellow full timers who are in the area visiting their family.
We had a great time catching up with each other and comparing travel notes. Thanks for the meet up guys!
As busy and fun as Friday was, it was nothing compared to our Saturday. We had heard on local media that Donald Trump was scheduled to appear in Franklin, about 40 miles south of us. You had to have a ticket to get in, but they were free and available online. We thought about it, and discussed it, and decided it might be fun to see what a campaign rally is like. So we went online and ordered a couple of tickets (they limited them to 2,000). Even after printing out our tickets we were still not sure if we wanted to put up with the hassle. But Saturday morning we decided to go for it. The doors were scheduled to be opened at 1pm and The Donald was to appear at 2:30. So we left in time to arrive at about 11:45. There were only about a hundred people ahead of us in line. Within the next half hour the line stretched around the building, so our timing was good.
After an hour and 15 minutes of standing in line (in off and on light rain no less) the doors finally opened. We were looking forward to finally getting to sit down. But when we got inside, were were disappointed to find out there were no chairs! All standing room only.
But we were close to the stage, only about 30 feet from the podium. By now our feet were starting to really talk to us, and they weren't happy. :) After about an hour, at 2pm, we at least had some entertainment. The Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers came onstage and sang a couple of songs. That was pretty cool!
After that, the local congresswoman gave a short speech to pump up the crowd, then right at 2:30 Trump jumped up on stage to give his stump speech.
He spoke for a full hour, and the crowd was loving it. He didn't say anything new (or controversial). But the guy definitely knows how to work a room! When he was finished speaking he worked his way across the front of the stage, signing autographs and doing selfies. We got sooo close, but not close enough for an autograph. :(
Was it worth spending over four hours on our feet? Sure. How many times do you have the chance to see someone who's (a) a billionaire, (b) a huge (Huuuuuge!) celebrity, and (c) may be President someday? But without saying too much about our political leanings, let me just say many people go to see him because of (a) or (b), and not (c). (We also got to see first hand how he tends to exaggerate the number of his supporters. He mentioned a couple of times the "thousands" of supporters outside the building, and I know there weren't more than a few hundred. It was rainy after all.)
With our feet (and backs) screaming, it felt great to get back to the car and just sit down. We stopped for an early dinner (it was after 3:30 and we hadn't eaten since breakfast) then came home to rest for a couple of hours before continuing our busy day. There were two shows at the Grand Ole Opry Saturday night, and we had tickets for the 9:30pm show. The Opryland Theater is right across the parking lot from the Opry Mills Mall, so we headed over about 7pm and entertained ourselves by walking around the mall and window shopping until it was time to walk over to the theater. (More time on our feet!) The show was great! The Grand Ole Opry is celebrating their 90th birthday this weekend. They still broadcast all the shows on WSB 650 in Nashville, and on Sirius/XM satellite radio. The show was broken into four 30-minute segments, with a different sponsor for each segment. The narrator is a legend (I don't recall his name), and he introduces all the acts, does the "sponsor messages", and generally keeps the show moving.
We saw a star-packed show, starting off with the Gatlin Brothers (our second time seeing them that day)
The second segment had The Oak Ridge Boys. (Loved hearing them sing "Elvira".)
Carrie Underwood headlined the third segment.
And finally, my favorite of the show, Trace Adkins starred in the final segment. Love that deep voice of his!
It was great seeing so many stars, but there were also many other acts, some we knew and others we weren't real familiar with. There was Jeannie Seely (very popular in the 60's), Riders In The Sky (old timey country songs from the Roy Rogers era), and some of the cast members of the ABC TV show "Nashville". Every act was very good and very entertaining, but the downside of having so many acts is the headliners only sing two or three songs. But just getting to see the legendary Grand Ole Opry was priceless! We're so glad we got to do it.
By then it was close to midnight and we walked across the huge parking lot to our car (ugh, more walking and in a nasty misty rain!) and made our way home. We were really glad to get to our soft bed after such a long day! (By the way, speaking of returning to our car, I want to recommend a great little app for your smarphone. It's called MyCar Locator, and available in the Google Play Store. It's the simplest, most reliable app I've seen for marking your car's location and making it easy to return to it.)
Today (Sunday) we met some new friends. Lisa and Tony (Dee met in the RV-Dreams.com chatroom), who live about an hour away. They drove over to meet up at a lunch place just down the street.
Tony, Lisa, and their son Rick.
It's always nice to meet new friends. Thanks Lisa and Tony for taking the time to meet us.
After lunch we wanted to go to the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Resort. I stayed there many years ago on a business trip and wanted Dee to see the beautiful gardens, plazas, and lobbies. It was less than a half mile from the restaurant where we had lunch, so to avoid the $24 parking fee (outrageous!) we had Tony and Lisa drive us over and we walked back to the car. It's impossible to describe how beautiful that place is, so all we can say is if you ever come to Nashville be sure to check it out. But try to avoid parking in their lots. It's not a long walk from nearby businesses, or even the Opry Mills Mall.
This afternoon we're getting some needed rest by parking in front of the TV and watching the NASCAR race. Tomorrow we're on the move, headed to Norcross, GA.
See you in a few days.