I finally got to visit the Ryman Auditorium for the Grand Ole Opry. I enjoyed a wonderful show from a church pew. Although this was not a religious experience for me I still had a smile on my face the entire time. I didn’t know what to expect, but I had a great seat where I could see everything. People were encouraged to sing along and run up to the stage to take photos of their favorite performers. I went to see Randy Houser, but I was treated to a bunch of other acts. Little Jimmy Dickens, who will be turning 92-years old on the 19th of this month, performed and made me laugh so hard that my stomach hurt. The man is under 5 feet tall and walked out on stage in a rhinestone studded suit! He was cracking jokes in between songs that even had his band members laughing. Did I mention that he is almost 92?! He is still up on stage playing music. What a grand ole guy! If you are ever in Nashville spend a night at the Opry. It’s worth it :-)
It was around 10 pm. Mike was hopping in a taxi. Jon and I looked at each other and decided to give the night and downtown one last chance. We walked into a corner bar where a was band playing all my favorite old and new country hits. This singer also happened to be adorable. The whiskey oranges appeared and disappeared as the night wore on in loud singing, twirling, and air rock band shenanigans. Jon left me with my new friends, Chad and Stephen Bartholomew Westington the 3rd. Before we knew it, the clock struck 2 am and the bar was pushing us out of it’s doors. In fact all the other bars seemed to be doing the same thing. Not wanting the night to end we decided to pick up some beer and make use of the heated pool at my hotel. As it turns out this heated pool was not heated so we focused our efforts to the next best thing: the stadium behind us.
Ever drink a beer on the 50 yard line at 4 am? This was our new goal, but first we had to find a way in. This task was easier than expected. Every fence has a crack. You just need to squeeze to fit and make sure the beers will reach the other side safely. We were in. The 50 yard line was in site. RUN! There are times in life where you have to run. The urge takes over and puts your legs in motion. You have no choice but to give in to this brief instance of pure freedom. You mind is free from thought. You don’t think about security men, where cameras are placed in the building, badly needing a haircut, if you will see these new friends after tonight. You just run. And it’s beautiful. After a drink on the middle of the football field the explorer urge kicked in and dragged us up the stairs. We needed to get to the top. There we would find a ledge to sit and let our feet fly over the entire stadium.
Sitting up there, drink in my hand, looking over a field I would probably never see in the daylight, I fell in love. I was in love with the moment, with the night, with my new friends, with my life. I still feel it right now as I sit here smiling at the thought of it. The sun was rising and it was time to go. I said goodbye to Chad and Stephen Bartholomew Westington the 3rd and fell into bed at 8 am with the sweet melody of Ray LaMontange swimming in my head.
And to think, I almost got in a cab ten hours ago…
I was going to write about something really frickin’ awesome today (you will just have to wait until tomorrow), but I got back to my hotel room and realized that something way more awesome happened and is still happening right now. My dad is texting me about the CMAs. He sends me a text when an artist is performing a song he likes, and even though I’m not at home I feel just a little bit closer. Once again, I have the best dad ever.
Anyone watching the CMAs? How did you feel about Taylor Swift’s performance? Who was your favorite act? Who should have one? Who is your favorite country artist of all time? And, how hot is Luke Bryan? T-shirt and jeans, mmm!