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Archive for May 2012

Backstage Tour of the Opry

Posted on May 31, 2012 by under Life.    

I’m really grateful for Carmen because if it weren’t for her I never would have had the opportunity to check out the Grand Ole Opry. It didn’t even occur to me to go. I’m glad that she asked me. I had no idea what I was missing out.

Brian was jealous when he found that we were going to a show. I promised to take him to Nashville and the Grand Ole Opry for his birthday this year, so that’s what we did last weekend. The one thing that Carmen and I didn’t get to do last year was the backstage tour. Our travel schedule was really tight though, and we could barely squeeze in the show as it was.

Here are some of my favorite photos from the tour…

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A photo of the empty auditorium.

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This is the artists’ entrance.

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The funniest part about this next photo is that as soon as I did it, a bunch of people from our tour group wanted to take the exact same photo. I’m such a trendsetter! LOL.

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The most significant part about this circle is that it was a section of floor that was carved out of the original Opry House so that the present-day performer is standing on the same floor that other Country Music performers of the past have stood on.

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Pretty amazing, huh?

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Brian and I got to stand on the circle.

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This is one of my most favorite photos of the evening.

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I could barely see over the lectern.

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This is a photo of our knowledgeable tour guide.

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A close up photo of the mic stand.

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They were able to salvage this art work after the flood. You can actually see the faint water stain halfway down the painting.

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These next series of photos are of the beautifully-decorated dressing rooms backstage. They each have unique themes.

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There are no closets in the dressing rooms so the performers are assigned lockers for any belongings that they wish to store.

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Wall of Opry members, the newest one being Keith Urban.

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A display case of Roy Acuff and Minnie Pearl memorabilia.

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The Grand Ole Opry post office.

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Looking up at the ceiling of Studio A.

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We took this photo while waiting for the backstage tour to begin, but I guess we weren’t suppose to… Ooops!

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Munchies at Wildhorse Saloon

Posted on May 30, 2012 by under Food and Drink, Travel.    

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Brian and I decided to stop in at Wildhorse Saloon on Saturday afternoon. There’s no cover until the evening, but there’s never any cover if you’re staying at Gaylord Opryland. Just show them your room key.

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There’s not a lot of people there in the afternoon, but it was pretty packed the night that Carmen and I were there. It was the night that Carmen made up a line dance on the fly and got everyone else at the bar to follow her. LOL.

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We got our drinks souvenir mason jars.

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The BBQ nachos were interesting. I’d never thought of putting BBQ meat with tortilla chips before. It wasn’t bad. I could have done without the sour cream, olives, and jalape├▒os, though. Blech.

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There’s horses everywhere inside the saloon.

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Of course, we had to get photos with the horses.

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Wildhorse Saloon on Urbanspoon

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Afternoon in Nashville

Posted on May 30, 2012 by under Travel.    

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Downtown Nashville is very lively. Even in the early afternoon, there’s live music playing in almost every bar. You could hear the music out on the street as you walked by. We also saw lots of interesting street musicians.

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I’m not the only one who takes pictures of EVERYTHING.

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Biker bar? ­čśë

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Tourists outside the Wildhorse Saloon.

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Wildhorse Saloon sign.

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Buy 1 Get 2 FREE on boots. Wow!

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Brian waiting for the Gaylord Opryland shuttle.

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Don’t let that face fool you. We had a great time walking around Nashville. We even found him some Thai fisherman pants at Earthbound.

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No Zumba for Me Today

Posted on May 30, 2012 by under Health.    

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They did a special blood drive at work today in honor of Preston Crane. I’d never donated blood before, so I really didn’t know what to expect. Every time I’d tried to donate blood in the past there was some kind of issue and they wouldn’t take my blood. I believe the first time I weighed less than 100 lbs. Another time I tried to donate blood, they wouldn’t take it because we’d just returned from our honeymoon and we happened to stop in Mexico.

I’ve been fighting with my weight the last few years so being underweight was no longer an issue. Just didn’t have opportunity or a good enough reason to do it. This last time, Joni asked me. I really had no reason to say no. Except Brian was very worried because I have pretty low blood pressure and your blood pressure tends to drop when you donate blood.

When I went down to the Wellness Center, which had been taken over by the Red Cross for the day, they had me read an informational booklet, asked me some questions, and had me answer some questions on the computer. Willie also took a blood sample from my finger to check my iron levels (15.1) because they won’t take your blood if you don’t have enough iron. Then he took my blood pressure, which happened to be higher than normal this morning: 100/60. I think it’s because Brian forgot to put the coffee pot in the coffeemaker and made a mess in the kitchen this morning. LOL.

Willie was fantastic. He managed to find a good vein (something that is a challenge for almost every nurse I come in contact with) and got it on the first stick. It took only seven minutes to fill the bag, which I thought was pretty good. I felt good until I suddenly felt lightheaded. It happened pretty quickly, but after the episode I had at YaYa’s last year I knew what to expect at least. I told them what I was feeling and immediately the top of the bed went down so I could be horizontal and then the bottom part went up so my legs could be propped up. They had also had me move my legs like I was riding a bike to get my blood flow going.

After a small cup of water and a little can of OJ, I got off the bed so they could move on to the next person. I was still feeling pretty weird though, so I stuck around. My office is at the far end of the building and I didn’t want to go up there until I was sure that I could make it. Within a few minutes of sitting around in the chair I felt weird again, so I went to the women’s locker room to lay down on the bench. Jodi, our wellness specialist, came to the locker room to check on me just to make sure I was okay. She also brought me a towel for me to rest my head on. She took my blood pressure which was around 87/58 or so at this time.

After I ate a small bag of raisins and drank another cup of water, I felt well enough to go back upstairs. Jodi was nice enough to walk with me to make sure I didn’t faint along the way. I felt pretty sleepy for a while after donating blood, but I guess that’s natural when your blood pressure drops. I was able to work upon returning to my desk. Isaac came to my office and talked to me about some stuff. I think some of the issues we’re dealing with at work helped to raise my blood pressure back up. LOL. I actually felt pretty normal by 11 AM. When you have abnormally low blood pressure like me, work stress can actually be good for you. Ha ha ha ha.

Anyway, Willie said no workout today. Isaac said he was able to run in the afternoon the last time he donated blood in the morning. I was convinced that I could still workout. I mean, I could take it pretty easy in Zumba if I wanted to. Brian was adamant about not working out, though. So yeah, no Zumba for me today. We should be back in business tomorrow, though. I’m ready to do some serious sweating!

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Breakfast with a View

Posted on May 29, 2012 by under Food and Drink, Travel.    

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The main waterfall in the Cascades at Gaylord Opryland.

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Brian and I woke up starving the next morning. Room service at Gaylord is a little pricey. I mean, who the heck pays $7 for hot chocolate. That’s before the delivery fee and gratuity. I figured we could walk down to Cascades Cafe to eat.

We didn’t even shower. We pretty much just went down there in our PJs. Except, I couldn’t quite traipse around in public in my PJ shorts so I had to put my denim skirt on. For not having showered that morning, Brian looked fabulous in his sweatpants and nerdy Green Lantern shirt.

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We took some photos of the beautiful Cascades surroundings while we waited for a table, but we didn’t have to wait long.

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Brian got the Cascades All-American.

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I got the Crab Cakes Benedict. It was super yummy. It took a lot for me not to wipe my plate clean.

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The cheesy hash brown casserole was pretty good too.

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Here are a couple more pictures. One last one of the big waterfall.

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You all need to check out Gaylord Opryland at some point. It’s not a cheap place to visit, but it’s beautiful and definitely worth it.

Cascades All-American Cafe on Urbanspoon

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