Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau


Tuesday  May 3, 2011
Seven Points COE Campground Site 18
J. Percy Priest Lake
Hermitage, Tennessee

It certainly did rain ALL night long.
It was great sleeping for sure.
According to David’s measurement
on the driveway of Site 17,
the lake has come up about 5 or 6”
since yesterday.

We didn't understand why the COE folks
aren’t lowering it like they did at Cumberland Mountain.
But then we learned that a year ago this week was
the devastating flood which destroyed a great deal of Nashville
including the Grand Ole Opry House. 

It continued to rain on into the morning.
At his insistance, I took Duckie out for a swim
over the grass of site 17.

Then I worked on directions to get us
to the Winnebago dealer in Nashville
and then to the Grand Ole Opry.
After that it was back to blog post catch up.

David made a delicious breakfast.

A closesr look at this GREAT food!

and polished up our boots for a night
at the Opry.

Here we are all decked out.
Nice boots huh??

Both the parts dealer and Camping World were
less than 3 miles from the Opry
so we set out for them plenty early.

David got the restringing kit for the shade
and we picked up some giant chocks
for those times, which seem to be pretty frequent in state parks,
that leveling requires Winnona's tires to be a bit off the ground.

And then on to the Opry. 

When I went in to pick up our tickets
the guy at the window asked me if I'd like closer seats.
"Is that a trick question??"
He said nope, how about the 3rd row.
Well all righty then!

We hadn't brought a picnic dinner
and the big shopping area adjacent to the Opry
where we had thought we'd pick up a bite  
had not reopened yet from its flood damage.
So we went into the Opry Hotel to grab a bite
at one of their "fast food" places.  
By this point we had about 45 minutes before "show time".

The hotel turned out to be a show in itself.
It's a completely climate controlled world.
Maybe this is what the powers that be intend to do when
we've destroyed all the clean air, water and there are no more natural places.
Just create a big bubble, put artificial trees inside and filter the air and
water that comes in.

We did stop gawking long enough to have dinner.

We walked back over to the Opry
got a cheezy picture.  You can have your
choice of GIANT acoustic or electric guitar
to stand in front of.
I'm definitely an acoustic!

and were in our seats in plenty of time.

We were just to the left of the stage in row DD.
We could see the sweat on their faces. 
We'd moved from row N in the middle.
But even off to the side, being so close was great.
I doubt we could have gotten any decent pictures as dark
as it was in there if we hadn't been this close.

Tonight's performances were a star studded line up in
celebration of Nashville's come back from the flood a year ago.

The mayor of Nashville was there to thank the country music
community for all the aid they had given the city.

A Minnie Pearl immitation came out to warm up the crowd
and then Luke Bryan who is a new young country star
started things off.  He was really good and
the accoustics in this large hall are phenomenal.

For any other country music fans,
he's a name to watch.  An excellent performance.
And VERY easy on the eyes!  J

Each act did 3 or 4 songs.
Next was Cherryholmes an extremely talented
family group whom I've heard on Prairie Home Companion.
Husband on bass, Wife on mandolin and their 4 adult children.

Cherryholmes finished with dueling fiddlers.
Sister and brother played Foggy Mountain Breakdown.
David says they broke the speed limit on that one.
It brought the crowd to their feet.

They were followed by Little Jimmy Dickens.
Who was a crowd favorite.
He's 90 years old,
was elected to the
Country Music Hall of Fame in 1948.
He's been on the Opry longer than anyone else alive.
He sang a couple of songs
and entertained with some very funny jokes.
Yes, he can still sing.
I wonder if his outfits were an inspiration to Elvis?? 

The first half was closed out by
The Carolina Chocolate Drops
who have also been on Garrison Keillor's show.
They are an incredibly talented
and well respected "old timey" band
that brings back early historic tunes.
All percussion was done acapella style or
with the jug as in this song.

Or with the spoons.  This man was
unbelievable on the spoons.  You could
not see them his hands were moving SO FAST.

After the fantastic performance by
The Carolina Chocolate Drops there was
a 15 minute intermission.

These pictures will give you an idea of the inside of the hall.

The show is broadcast live on the radio by WSM
and the program's announcer does the commercials
for the show right at the mike on stage. 
Not sure whether you can pick it up
other than fairly locally unless you have Sirius radio.
It is also broadcast there.

After intermission,
out came the BIG hitters
beginning with Dierks Bentley.
He sang three of his biggest hits
and the place was jumpin'.

Then came Trace Adkins who had
the crowd going wild over his dedication of
his song "Welcome to Hell" to Osama Bin Laden.
If you like a deep baritone/bass, you'll really like Adkins.
He's of course got that "bad boy" persona.

Next was Charlie Daniels who closed his set
with his famous fiddle tune
"The Devil Went Down to Georgia"
He definitely tore it up.
And he literally did break several bow strings.

The show closed out with Brad Paisley
who is apparently the current heart throb.
When they announced him there was
a literal swarm of women who stormed the steps
to the stage and stayed there his entire set.

At the show's opening, the audience was told
that they could come down to but not on the steps
to take close up pictures as long as they
stooped down so they would not block anyone's view.
These gals were stooped for 15 minutes
not one went up on the steps.

Do yourself a favor.
Whether you think you like country music or not,
if you are near Nashville, go to the Grand Ole Opry.
It's an experience no one should miss!


  1. Awwww man -- I'm so jealous!! It looked like an awesome show at the Opry. Trace Adkins and Brad Paisley are a couple of my favorites. Glad you guys had a great time!

  2. We were there 11 years ago during our "race across the country." Couldn't agree more that it shouldn't be missed if you are in the area.

    We also took a tour of Nashville and saw Ryman Auditorium, the original Grand Old Opry. You could feel the country legends in that place!!

    Love the photo of you two heading to the Opry!!

  3. Sounds like a great time. If you're ever back in Nashville at Christmas time, stop by the hotel again. It's amazing what they do to transform it into a wonderland that even adults are enchanted by.

    Happy Mother's Day!

  4. I'm not a huge country music fan, but would love to go there someday. They are all definitely easy on the eyes!

    Great pix!

  5. Oh, man, what a show! I can't believe we have lived in Chattanooga for 10 years and have never been. I love Carolina Chocolate Drops. We may need to try and check out the Opry before leaving Tennessee. Thanks for the tour!


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