I can’t believe that I’ve already been back to work four days now from our mini-vacation.
Last Wednesday after I got off work, we headed south. Ray and I were going to spend a few days at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee, and my sister, Tammy, rode along with us to spend three days with her two kids and her two granddaughters, just northwest of Nashville.
Driving down, the weather was incredible with mostly sunny skies and temperatures in the low-to-mid-70s.
Our first stop for the night was in Grand Rivers, Kentucky, to eat at my favorite restaurant, Patti’s 1880s, which was lit up with a million lights.
We started off with Patti’s whole milk mozzarella cheese sticks dipped in a dark beer batter and deep-fried and the flowering colossal onion.
I had “Ella Mae’s Chicken”, which is a grilled chicken breast topped with slices of black forest ham with sautéed mushroom and freshly grilled asparagus and smothered in a homemade cheese sauce!
And, for dessert, we had Bill’s Boatsinker pie (a rich, dark double fudge pie topped with coffee ice cream, piled high with whipped cream, “drizzled” with chocolate syrup and topped with a cherry) and a piece of coconut cake.
The food at Patti’s 1880s is so delicious. And, I got to see my old college roommate, Perry, who is the executive chef there. I last saw him in 1986!
On Thursday, we visited the “Reba: All The Women I Am” exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame, which featured career mementos including awards, records, rodeo clothing, and many of Reba’s most famous outfits, including several red “Fancy” dresses.
We also saw the Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring the Rockettes, but pictures weren’t allowed. That’s a bummer because the sets and the costumes were incredible.
On Friday, we visited the most incredible display, “ICE!” featuring “Frosty The Snowman”. Everyone’s favorite snowman comes alive with hand-sculpted characters from the television classic made from more than two million pounds of ice created by 40 ice artists from China this fall.
This exhibit took me back to my childhood and I really felt like I was on the refrigerated boxcar with Frosty since the temperature inside the exhibit was 8°!
Ray and I also went down the ice slide!
Friday night, we spent the evening at “Lorrie Morgan’s Enchanted Christmas Dinner & Show”.
While she performed mainly Christmas standards and hits from her 1993 album, “Merry Christmas From London”, she opened the show with her country hits “Something in Red”, Except For Monday” (my favorite Lorrie song), and “Watch Me”.
Lorrie looked flawless and her voice was so crystal clear. I can’t wait to see her again and I may get my chance in the summer. I’ve read that she and Pam Tillis will be playing two nights in Clinton, Iowa, next June.
On Saturday, we had a lunch cruise aboard the General Jackson Showboat on the Cumberland River. Our lunch was turkey and all the traditional Thanksgiving fixings and since I didn’t get enough last month, it was perfect.
The entertainment on the cruise was comedian/singer Steve Hall and the Shotgun Red Band. Steve was hilarious and his female vocalist, Jennifer Bruce was fantastic.
Steve was even funny when they walked through the crowds shaking hands after the show. He shook my hand, looked at my shirt and said, “they can make anything out of a shower curtain!” 🙂
This is the shirt and yes, we fell for the photography sales trap of buying tourist pictures. In retrospective, I wish we had done the same for the Lorrie Morgan show.
Saturday night, we attended the historic Grand Ole Opry show at the Ryman.
Country legends Bill Anderson, Connie Smith, and Jean Shepard hosted and performed with up and comers Greg Bates and Sunny Sweeney.
Pictured below are Chris Carmack (“Will Lexington” on the ABC show, “Nashville”), Kathy Mattea, and Vince Gill and his wife, Amy Grant, and their daughter.
It was fun to finally experience the Opry, which supplied the music that I grew up on in Kentucky.
The scariest moment of the show was when 80-year-old country legend Jean Shepard fell backwards off a stool and almost hit her head on the piano. However, she was a true sport and entertainer. She sat on stage and finished hosting her 30-minute segment of the Opry, performed another song, and even cracked jokes about her misfortune.
I admit that I did feel a little uncomfortable a couple of times during the show and it got me to thinking about something that irks me about the Opry. However, since this is a fun-filled blog, I’ll explain it in details in tomorrow’s “Random Friday Thoughts”.
During our stay in Nashville, we spent a lot of time walking around the beautiful Opryland Hotel, took many pictures, and enjoyed some nice bubbly!
And, I did meet one celebrity while in Nashville and, sadly, it wasn’t Lorrie Morgan.
On our next visit, we plan on visiting the Loveless Cafe for a meal. But, our favorite culinary treat on this trip was the first night in Nashville at Solario, a Mexican buffet, located in the Opryland Hotel.
The two cheesecakes on the plate were mojito (left) and strawberry margarita. The second set of desserts were individual pecan pie, key lime pie shooters, and goat cheese cheesecake. And, of course, a strawberry margarita.
So, needless to say, I loved this trip and I’ve always wanted to move to Nashville. Could that be where we retire in a few years?