Well my trip to Tennessee was fantastic. I flew out on Thursday morning after I took the kids to school. My friend, Tammy, picked me up from the airport and we were quite excited to see each other. It was about a one hour drive back to Clarksville, where she lives. We stopped for coffee, had a great dinner at Chilis, did a little window shopping, and went to her house where we visited and looked at photos.
Friday we drove about two hours to Loretta Lynn's ranch. We walked Loretta's property, looked through the gift shops, and took lots of pictures. We saw her original house, which is in the movie, Coal Minor's Daughter and the one behind it that Doo and Loretta built. She still lives in that house today. She was on tour Friday, so she wasn't home. We drove all over her property, and Gary (Tammy's husband) and I snuck up her driveway to her house, but turned around because we were making Tammy nervous. She was afraid we would get into trouble. That big chicken!! Friday night we went bowling in Clarksville with Tammy's coworkers. It's quite an event they have going on there. Thirty people from Tammy's work showed up to bowl. Those people sure do know how to have a good time – hoopin & hollerin. We didn't get to bed until 2am.
Unfortunately, we got off to a late start on Saturday. It was 1pm before we left for Nashville. This took some time away from things we wanted to do. We went straight to our hotel to check in, and then headed for the Grand Ole Opry at the Opry House. Our seats were incredible and the show was awesome. We sat in the fourth row just right of the stage. When we arrived they told us that from 7pm to 8pm the show would be aired live. We saw many more artists than we expected: Carrie Underwood with a surprise visit from Randy Travis, who came out to ask Carrie Underwood if she would be the newest member of the Opry, Little Big Town, Little Jimmy Dickens, Lady Antebellum, Hal Ketchum, Jack Greene, Rhett Akins, Jean Shepard, Jim Ed Brown, The Whites, Jimmy C Newman, Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press , and Vince Gill. To my surprise, I had 5 seconds of fame on TV. I have recorded the show on DVD and will send you a copy. After the show, we had a late dinner, and then went back to the hotel. We talked with Jimi via webcam for a bit and then it was off to sleep.
Sunday we were up at 6:45am to start our day. We headed for a "Home of the Stars" tour. It lasted about 3 ½ hours, and we saw the homes of Minnie Pearl, Ronnie Millsap, Webb Pierce, Martina McBride, Dolly Pardon, Trace Atkins, Trisha Yearwood, Little Jimmy Dickens, Kix Brooks, Alan Jackson, Ronnie Dunn, and Tim & Faith plus many more that I did not take pictures of like Brenda Lee, Lorriann Crook, and George Jones' house which burned from a chimney fire last week – but he had sold it the week before that. I got pictures of all of them for my scrapbook. After the tour we went over to the Music Hall of Fame and Museum. We spent about two hours there. It was kind of neat. I don't want to sound ungrateful, because I am not, but honestly I was a bit disappointed. It really had more from the 40s through the 60s, and I didn't know who most of the people were – but I know you guys would. I took a few pictures anyhow.
We had a little bit of time to kill, but not enough to really go anywhere and do much. We stopped at a local pub for lunch and then we walked downtown (the original) Nashville. We went over to the original Ryman Auditorium where the first Grand Ole Opry shows were held, and took pictures. Then we passed the time window shopping. We were tired and I think were both ready to go home, so Tammy took me to the airport exactly two hours before my flight was to leave. It only took me 11 minutes to get my boarding pass, check my bag, go through security, and find my gate. And on top of it all, my plane was delayed for 20 minutes. Therefore, I had at least two hours to kill at the airport. It wasn't so bad though. I talked to Jimi on the phone for a while, got some supper, read a book, and began typing this email to you in word. The flight home was good, but I was anxious to get there. When it was said and done, it was 11pm when we got back to Jimi's house. We stayed the night there since it was so late.
Once I get my scrapbook pages done and next time I see you, I will show you all the pictures from Tennessee. It was a great trip. But, there's no place like home.