Monday, June 30, 2014

Summer Vacation: Nashville Part 2

On Friday, I shared about my experience on the tour of historic Studio B in Nashville, TN.  I loved Nashville so much that I decided not to overwhelm everyone with a super lengthy post about it.  In this segment of my summer vacation posts, I share a little bit about the Country Music Hall of Fame and museum.

The museum featured displays (some more elaborate than others) giving a bit of information about Hall of Fame artists.  There were artists from the early days of country music to current artists like Carrie Underwood and Luke Bryan.

I took a picture of the Hank Williams display because my pappy always loved his music.

Elvis' limo (and that's his gold piano in the back right)

The Man in Black (aka Johnny Cash)

Special Miranda Lambert exhibit


Kenny Rogers

As I said, most of the museum was small displays, and featured exhibits.  They also had a really cool area where you could record yourself singing to a few song choices.  You could also design your own album cover, and "mix" songs like producers.  It was probably targeted for kids, but we sure had fun.  As you can see in the above picture, there was a giant guitar.  There was a short set of stairs to get inside of it, and a slide on the other side.  As tempting as it was, I didn't use the slide.  I acted like a grown-up and used the stairs to exit.

The only disappointing part of the Country Music Hall of Fame was the audio tour.  In my previous experience with other audio tours, the audio component provides more information about the displays.  This one really didn't offer much information that we couldn't figure out or didn't already know from the display or our own personal knowledge.

Overall, this was an AMAZING place to visit, and if you're ever in the Nashville area, you should definitely visit!

Stay tuned for our experience on Broadway in Nashville!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Summer Vacation: Nashville Part 1

So this summer, Scott decided to take all of his vacation at once.  As you know, we kicked off our summer vacation by heading to Ocean City, MD.  We came home for a wedding reception, and headed back out on the road bright and early on the following Monday.  (Well, it wasn't at all bright.  That's how early it was....)

Our next destination was Nashville, TN.  As a big country music fan, I needed to go to Nashville.  Scott had made plans to visit a high school friend who lives in Mississippi.  When I first put the address in my iPhone to find a route, it took us right through Nashville.  That's when I knew we had to go!  I seriously loved Nashville so much, that I'm going to have to break this post up into a few segments.  I don't want to overwhelm you with all of my love! :)

Unfortunately, a couple of accidents along the Interstate caused traffic to be at a stop just outside the city.  On the bright side, this gave me the chance to snap a picture of the sky line!
The first thing on our agenda was a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum.  We purchased the Platinum package which allowed us access to the museum, the audio tour, and a tour of historic Studio B.  Our Studio B tour was scheduled for 2:30, and we coasted in around 1:30.  We briefly browsed the museum, and then met our group for the tour.

The Studio B tour was seriously my most favorite part of the day....and our whole stay in Nashville.  

Since you probably can't see what that says....Studio B was one of the first recording studios in Nashville.  Elvis, among many other amazing artists recorded here.

And yes, the blonde with the big hair is Miss Dolly Parton!
I don't even think I can put into words the emotions I was feeling from the minute I stepped into this place.  I am honestly shocked that I didn't burst into tears because my eyes were filled with them the whole time.  We got to go into the recording studio itself, and our tour guide, Abigail, played Elvis' version of "How Great Thou Art", which was recorded at Studio B.  She also told us that Elvis loved to create the right mood for recording sessions and had special lights put in.  During his recording session for "How Great Thou Art," he had all blue lights on.  To record "Are You Lonesome Tonight," every light in the entire BUILDING was turned off.

I got to stand in the exact spot where he (and many others) recorded songs, and I got to sit at what was Elvis' favorite piano.  He even wanted to buy that piano, and the studio told him no!

I could just go on and on about how amazing this was, but I will just leave you with the two Elvis' songs I shared about.  Stay tuned for more about the Country Music Hall of Fame!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Summer Kick-Off

Ok, I know that it is not officially summer according to the calendar, but to a teacher (and probably every student ever), the moment school is out, summer has begun!  (Okay, technically I still had two teacher days this week, but we already had this trip planned before the winter snow got out of control.)

Scott & I just got back from Ocean City.  We got up at 3 AM on Monday, and headed out to make sure we missed all the traffic and had plenty of the day ahead of us.

This shot is from our first day on the beach.  I *might* have texted this picture to my friends sitting in in-service on Monday captioned with, "Not to make anyone jealous or anything, but I'm pretty sure my view is better than yours." 

I got back a few "hateful" remarks.  hehe

I love playing mini golf!  I had been holding on to two free game coupons for about 4 years (literally).  Scott was shocked that I still had them.  We played this Old Pro Golf course completely free...AND it had 27 holes!  It had a medieval theme, and this was one of the coolest holes I've ever seen on a course.  If you hit your ball into the part on the left, it rolled through the wooden beam and out the box on the right.

Beach selfie!! :)

We stayed at the Shoreham Hotel which was right behind the Irish Pub, Shenanigans, which is right on the boardwalk.  We had dinner there one evening, and stopped in for refreshments more than once.  This was a yummy frozen drink called a Shillelaghe (pronounced Shih-lay-lee).  It's a banana kiwi daquiri with white, 151, & coconut rum and banana liqueur.  They were only $4 during Happy Hour!

Scott is enjoying his Shillelaghe.  

For some reason, those are all the pictures I took.  I need to get back into being a better picture taker.  I even had my camera with me at all times, and these are ALL iPhone pics.

Anyway, we also stopped in at a place called the Sandbar, which is a karaoke bar.  I had an amazing time singing my heart out!  Yesterday, we stuffed ourselves at an all you can eat crab restaurant.  It was delicious (and super messy), and we had a lot of fun!

Next week, we're off to Nashville, TN and Biloxi, Mississippi.  Neither of these are places I've ever visited before, so I'll be sure to take lots of pictures!  I started out our trip to the beach with the intention of documenting all the yummy foods we ate, and I even took a picture of my breakfast.  Then I forgot every meal after that!  Haha, whoops!

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