Tennessee ~ Day 3

I am a big country music fan.  I have always listened to country music, even in high school when it wasn't cool.  While I love almost all types of music, country music sings to my soul the most clearly.
 Max and I regularly attend country music concerts.  In fact we got to go to Luke Bryan with our buddies just two weeks before our States Trip.  This country girl at heart had to spend a day in the birth place of country music!
 First up was to see Honky Tonk Central.
 We did a little shopping and sight seeing.
  They were setting up for huge concert in the street, so the party was getting started early on a Tuesday morning in the Honky Tonk district.
We were looking for famous people and ran across the one and only Elvis.
We walked down to the river.  It was a beautiful day.
 I know I have to come back and visit again sometime without kids.  I mean Tequila and Cowboy in the same sign.  It might as well have said, Katie's Place!  :)
There are a few bars you can take kids in before 5 pm.  One of them is The Stage.  We learned the bars specialize in drinks and music, not so much food.  The downstairs bar didn't have any food available yet, so they invited us to the upstairs bar where they could order food from a neighboring restaurant and bring it to us.  We were eager to hear the band in the main bar because the fiddler was warming up and she sounded really good.  However, our stomachs told us to find some food.
To our surprise the upstairs was even better.  It had an outdoor patio and a great band.  Matt Marinchick sang many popular songs.  He has a velvety voice.  Hopefully he will make it big one day.  Since we were one of the few people there, they were pretty much singing to us.  The kids thought it was pretty cool (ok, so did I).
Eating out with Hank's allergies is always hard but it is particularly hard in the South.  It seems everything has eggs in it.  Poor guy had to watch us enjoy deep fried pickles and he was hesitant to eat anything.  Our lunch at Stages was another one of my favorites from the trip.  I could have sat there all day listening to live music.  But the natives were getting restless.
 The South's version of Big Foot is called the Boggy Creek Monster.  During the trip Hank earned the nickname Boggy Creek Beav-Coon.  He was being silly with this Arizona Cowboy in the bar.  It was time to get moving.  We are still calling him the Boggy Creek Beav-Coon!
On our walk back to the hotel we stopped by the Ryman Auditorium.  The Ryman was the original home of the Grand Ole Opry.
 The Grand Ole Opry was held at the Ryman for 31 years before moving to it's new location where it could seat more people and have air-conditioning.
After so much time in the car, the mile walk back to the hotel was a nice change.  We saw some lovely old churches.  There is not any beautiful architecture like this in Phoenix.
The Boggy Creek Beav-Coon had worked up quite an appetite.  We swung into McDonalds where he ate his first ever triple decker cheeseburger!  I guess I am hoping his last too.
 After we got back to the hotel the kids got to open their treat of the day.
The next day we would be heading to Churchill Downs.  You have to have a Derby hat for that!
Max said only I would bring crafting supplies on a States Trip.  Scissors, glue gun, ribbon, flowers, and feathers made for some fun Derby hats and a nice afternoon activity.
After making hats, it was time to get all gussied up for our big night out at the Grand Ole Opry!

We drove to a park near the Opry to have a picnic dinner.  It was amazing no one spilled!
The Grand Ole Opry is the longest running radio broadcast in US history.  The weekly stage concert mixes up and coming musicians with contemporary and past artist.
It is "The Show That Made County Music Famous."  The night we were there Aaron Tippin, Tara Thompson, Steve Wariner, Bill Anderson, Kip Moore, and Lee Greenwood performed.  As Bill Anderson and Lee Greenwood preformed we were surprised all of their songs we knew that other artist had made famous.  A few weeks later we were excited to see both of them on the CMA's.  Prior to going to the Opry we would have never know who either of them were.
 It had been a long day for the Boggy Creek Beav-Coon.  He cashed in his chips right after intermission.
 Lee Greenwood closed the show with his song I Am Proud To Be An American.  It was an excellent and perfect ending to a wonderful day.  I love this county and country music!

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