Monday, October 24, 2011


The only request my daughter had for her birthday last week,
was to spend it in New York with her best friends Reilly & Maddie.
Fall Break fell 3 days after her birthday, so it would seem like a no-brainer
C had a cheerleading competition scheduled during the break.
And for that reason, we reluctantly planned to sit tight in Georgia.

As you know,
even the best laid plans,
don't always work out.

Two days before the break,
the competition was cancelled.
It would have been perfect, 
but the airfare to NY was prohibitive.

We had to come up with a Plan 3.
Where could we go that was close by,
but fun and interesting?

We decided on Nashville.
A short 3 hour drive and yet,
I hadn't been in many years
and my children and John 
had never been.

We arrived on a balmy fall day
and went straight to the Ryman Auditorium.

As you can see, the kids were thrilled...

The Ryman was home to the Grand Ole Opry for many years.
Inside is Hallowed Ground for 
Country Music Fans.

Johnny & June Carter Cash memorabilia

My kids had never even heard of
the Grand Ole Opry
any of the singers honored inside.

But they did like the stage.

Both kids
made recording in the Ryman.

after hearing the cd's later in the car,
we Strongly encouraged 
them to stay in school.
Music does not appear to be in their future.

We walked around downtown
and listened to live music 
pouring out of every venue we passed.

Later that evening,
we went on a ghost tour.
We ususally hit one in every city
because it's always a fun adventure for our whole family.
This particular tour was in an open air hearse -
and it was freezing!

Room 711 
at the Union Station Hotel
is said to be haunted.

Isn't the architecture gorgeous?

To avoid the haints,
we stayed at the
Gaylord Opryland Hotel.
It was enormous.
Here are a few pics
from one small area of the hotel.

It was definitely a slice of cheezy Americana.

On Saturday afternoon, we visited the
Belle Meade Plantation,
 built in 1853.

It was interesting
to learn about the workings
of a horse farm in the 1800's.
Secretariat's great-great-great
grandfather was purchased by this farm.

What remains of the 5,000 acre estate is
still beautiful.

but not least,
we attended the
Grand Ole Opry.

We saw
Kellie Pickler
and Lauren Alaina
along with some old standbys
such as Little Jimmy Dickens
and Ronnie Millsapps.

The show was fantastic.

It took me back to a time
in my childhood -
fond memories
of Sunday nights
at my grandparent's house
watching Hee-Haw
and looking forward to watching the
Wonderful World of Disney
with my cousins.

I hope we are creating some fond memories for our children.
We're trying...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

the harvest party

I attended the Wolffer Estate Vineyard Harvest Party
on Sunday.
Each fall, I look forward to this event.
To me, it's the quintessential fall experience.

In fact, the Harvest Party is so wonderful,
that a few years ago
the Today Show filmed a segment on it.
L & C participated 
and of course, loved it!

(I loved going in the Green Room
at NBC with Hilary Swank
& Kevin Bacon!)

 I also loved meeting Meredith.

 The Harvest Party always brings good weather
and this year was no exception.
The sun was bright, the sky Hampton blue,
and it felt more like summer 
than a crisp fall day.

all afternoon.
They were the perfect band
for this event -
providing a great mix of classic rock,
folk, blues, and reggae.

The food stations were mouth-watering.

And everyone gathered -
food, wine, and friends
on long picnic tables.

The Derby's
Jump Off was the first event
and it was pure pleasure to watch the riders.

The winners!

Watching the Barrel Rolling was great fun!
(Even if John didn't retain his championship...)

We spent the afternoon with
good friends.

Jenn & Geoff
Kerry & Mike walked over after riding.

Jenn & Babi
As always, having fun!

And as the sun began to set,
we gathered on the terrace
for the last few minutes 
of good conversation
until we meet again.

So long, Wolffer.
I hope to be back soon!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

jiminy cricket!

The other day, 
in my second grade classroom,

I heard a shout.

"There's a CRICKET!"

"I SEE a cricket!"

"A REAL cricket!"

"It's ALIVE!"

Other voices joined in.

"We have a LIVE cricket in our CLASSROOM!"

Students began jumping up from their desks
 & running across the room
to view this aberration.
Chaos ensued.



As I tried to restore order,
I heard a tiny voice say,

"I wonder how he got out of my pocket..."