Phoenix, AZ – Abundant Sunshine and Happiness!

This past Memorial Day, a trip to Phoenix, Arizona trip was planned for a couple reasons:

  • I live in the Midwest and it always seems to rain on Memorial Day weekend here (and I wanted sunshine after a long winter and rainy spring)
  • Summer is my favorite season, but in the Midwest it can be chilly, cool, chilly or extremely humid around the end of May; it’s unpredictable in the Midwest, and I wanted warm weather

So Phoenix seemed to be an excellent solution: the dessert with dry heat and sunshine, and it was!  We chose the Pointe Hilton at Squaw Peak for the extended holiday weekend; and it turned out to be perfect for us!  This resort is close to the airport so you don’t even need a car, we used a shuttle service  from the airport simply looking for a place to rest and relax; we didn’t intend to be sightseeing on this trip.

DAY 1 (Friday 5.26.17)

We arrived early, got settled into our room, then headed to River Ranch, the onsite water park, our view  perfect setting for R&R!  It was an early morning and we were tired so we had some BBQ at the Hole in the Wall then ended our day.

 

Day 2 (Saturday 5.27.17)

Started the day with a hike to Squaw Peak, gorgeous day and fun hike with Ken and Skylar from the resort, then relaxed pool side enjoying the lazy river, ending with a fun birthday, Italian dinner at Tutti Santi Ristorante by Nina, topped off with a shot of Sambuca with 3 espresso beans (which I was told represented the past, present and future) I recently searched and found the common representation of the 3 espresso beans is Health, Happiness and Prosperity.  Must try the family recipe for the Ravioli, it’s their signature dish!

 

 

Day 3 (Sunday 5.28.17)

We started with a Stretch and Relax Class at Tocasierra Spa in the morning with a wonderful instructor for the class; after the class, we asked her what suggestions she would have for “natural settings” and places to go for people who enjoy the outdoors, she suggested Slide Rock for the day, we also used the onsite workout facility, but unfortunately my son was too young (13 years old) to be allowed to use it so we went to the sports pool and enjoyed some volleyball and basketball!  We were so happy that we could rent a car for the day when we visited the concierge in the lobby; the car was onsite and ready to go for the next day; we decided to depart in the morning for Slide Rock State Park.   The concierge also told us about a fabulous airport restaurant in Mesa, AZ with incredible views, so we planned to visit there for lunch after Slide Rock.  The evening featured a dive in movie and the nights get cool, so we enjoyed sitting fireside and having smores to end the evening.

Day 4 (Monday 5.29.17 – Memorial Day)

Three days was enough time for all of us to enjoy poolside activities and we were ready to explore with our rental; the 3 hour drive to Sedona from Phoenix is beautiful once you hit the Red Rocks and heading to Slide Rock State Park was even more gorgeous  (click to view the trip); lunch at Mesa Grill was fabulous too!  We absolutely loved Sedona and spent time shopping at the retail there too.  By the time we got home, we didn’t have much more energy, so the next day we were treated to a Swedish Massage to end our visit, just before heading back home.

Day 5 (Tuesday 5.30.17 – Spa and Departure Day)Tocasierra Spa

We were so pleased with the resort and the staff and had a wonderful trip; it was a great long weekend visit and highly recommended.  We ran out of time to participate in the miniature golf, but night time would have been fun!

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A Taste of Cali: 5 cities!

Traveling and exploring the outdoors are definite favorites of mine (tied with music, of course); but there are so many places to go and things to see with limited time that planning can be time consuming.  It’s hard making decisions on what to see when we want to do it all.

This trip, we were lucky enough to have family living in California, who provided local insight and created this perfect “Taste of California” itinerary: visiting Sacramento, Folsom Lake, Lake Tahoe, Napa Valley and San Francisco.  Brief highlights and pictures of the places and restaurants we visited are included next, all highly recommended. Hope you find something you will enjoy when traveling!

SACRAMENTO

First Stop:  A visit to the  historic town of Old Sacramento shortly after our plan landed, we had lunch on the stationary historic riverboat located on the Sacramento River, the Delta King and drove around Old Sacramento to sightsee.OHBU4633

Capital Park    Capital Park is home to the California Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial and landscaped with numerous varieties of trees, plants and flowers native to California. Of course after the park we had to get Gelato.

We also visited the Sacramento Choral Society to hear the music of Downton Abbey, after having dinner at the nearby Esquire Grill.

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Folsom Lake

The sun rises over the lake, but unfortunately I took some wrong turns and didn’t make it there early enough. The lake level was down in March to accommodate the future snow melt, but it was gorgeous even with low lake levels.  There are bike and walking trails leading to the State Park and lake, as well as a nearby bike rental place, perfect for morning exercise and exploring!

Lake Tahoe

Definitely a highlight of the trip!  The weather turned beautiful when we visited.

Before arriving at Lake Tahoe, we stopped at this cute place with Chalets banked along the rushing water of the South Yuba River:  Rainbow Lodge; so picturesque!

Arriving at Lake Tahoe…ready for lunch…must stop at Garwoods!

Look at this lunch view!

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Garwoods at Lake Tahoe
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Garwoods at Lake Tahoe- that view!

Squaw Valley Ski Resort…next stop

Resort at Squaw Creek– the perfect place to relax and enjoy the views!  Very quiet in March if you are looking for privacy!

Empire Mine:  (Grass Valley, CA)

Learn about the Gold Rush, see the estate and visit the mine.

Napa Valley – off to the wineries

Lunch first at Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch

Sterling Vineyards : the tram ride is unique from other area wineries. Sterling Vineyards is elevated and tucked into the mountainside whereas other vineyards we passed were in the flatter valley areas.

Beringer Estates: Tour the cave and the oldest continuous running winery in Napa Valley; they didn’t even close during prohibition because they provided wine to the Catholic church for communion!

The Harvest Inn – a relaxing place to stay after visiting the wineries and excellent dinner!

From Napa to San Francisco stopping for lunch in Larkspur, CA at  “Left Bank Larkspur Braserie”

San Francisco Arrival….it was a wet one!

but cleared for us to enjoy a beautiful setting and dinner at Sutro’s at the Cliff House

The next day cleared and we took the tour by water of the San Francisco Bay area,  the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, and the Oakland Bridge then had lunch at the Crab House at Pier 39, then visited China Beach, Golden Gate Park, and had diner at the Beach Chalet Brewery & Restaurant to watch the Sunset.

 

This itinerary worked perfectly and we didn’t feel rushed, still had time to relax and enjoy the places we visited on the “Taste of Cali” trip!

Waiting

Thought and Questions on “Waiting”?

Personally, I’m not one to wait, “patience is a virtue” doesn’t  come naturally to me; I’m all about taking action. As time progresses, I’ve acquired more “tolerance”(the best descriptive word to me) for patience, even though it’s not natural for me and a continual struggle.

EXPERIENCES

Not waiting has given me some amazing opportunities: ones I wasn’t fully ready for, but worked out. On the other hand, it’s also put me in bad situations. So what is the right choice waiting or not waiting?

In 2017, I’ve made some changes, and realized that I probably need to work on patience and waiting.  For the first time ever, I searched “waiting” in the back of the Bible I bought and read the passages:

waiting-reference

 

Waiting and patience are not natural to me, so this is a change I will try.  Sometimes the application of what we read to our own lives is confusing…to me at least, but I’m trying!  I already heavily booked my weekends through mid June, so I’m going to try to hold back now and slow down.

WAITING

I can see “both sides” of this:

A) Patience and waiting can bring good things, like the examples in the Bible

however, I’m also a strong believer in:

B) If you want something, you have to get off your butt and work for it, you can’t wait for it…

So which is it?  Or does each one apply to different subjects?  Or is this taking it out of context?  Questions!!?

Pros

  • We get what we truly want; we don’t settle for something less.
  • Waiting means trusting in God’s timing; having faith…

it’s interesting that I bought this necklace awhile ago, maybe I was missing “a message” to me?

Cons

  • Experiencing patience: time feels like it’s slowed down, and not in a good way
  • Missing an opportunity (even though this is true, if we act on this, aren’t we are acting out of fear, which often leads to regret?)
  • Not taking action to achieve; Inaction – we aren’t using our time wisely if we wait? This is probably the one reason that I don’t often wait…

This past weekend’s message at The Crossing was about:  suffering > perseverance > character > hope ….maybe this thought I woke up with, on waiting, is something I need to explore more?  I don’t have the answers!

CHANGE, RELATIONSHIPS, MUSIC

It’s 4:30 am and this is what comes to mind?  Well, why not write about it?  Most people are probably still sleeping, so when this happens to me, seemingly out of nowhere, it’s time to write about it, because it doesn’t happen all the time.

Tomorrow will be one month before February 14, 2017…. Valentine’s Day, so maybe it’s a good time to do this?  If you’ve seen the acronym CRM in business: Customer Relationship Management, this is somewhat related, but in this, it’s personal and it relates to Change, Relationships and Music.

ABOUT MUSIC…

“Passion for Music” probably means a lot of different things to different people, but for me, it means music is a constant in my life, and will always be, I’m rarely in silence from the time I wake up until the time I go to sleep, music surrounds me and I couldn’t imagine it any other way!  That is why I refer to it as a passion of mine.  Music has an incredible power and can literally change an emotional state for us, that fact still completely amazes me!  If I think about that fact, music truly is more powerful than drugs or medication; it really is!

Here are a few links and examples of this:  Music is a source and a gift for health and wellness and used for the following, to name a few:

Military, Autism, Alzheimer’s, Correctional Facilities, Trauma, Medicine, Pain Management, Young Children, Depression, Substance Abuse

http://www.alzheimers.net/2014-07-21/why-music-boosts-brain-activity-in-dementia-patients/

http://www.musictherapy.org/research/factsheets/

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alzheimers-disease/expert-answers/music-and-alzheimers/faq-20058173

Getting back to music and relationships, for me, and others I know, a certain song will bring back memories of a person, an experience or a specific time in life, just like a photograph does! Music captures the emotional state of being in that moment of our memory.  What we remember in life is our experiences and how the experience made us feel and if music is a part of someone’s life, it gets tied to music, good or bad! The same holds true for people in our memories, what we remember in life may not be the exact words spoken, but how the person made us feel.

It’s interesting how we may relate a certain genre of music, a musician, or a song to a person in our life, just because of an experience.  I am one who connects first with the melody, the rhythm, the sound, including the voice.  The music can be amazing alone, but when the right voice is paired, it becomes incredible and irreplaceable. Eventually I learn the words, but I have friends who immediately seem to pick up all the lyrics.  I connect with the message in the lyrics, but I’m usually one of the last to memorize the exact words for some reason.

ABOUT CHANGE….

Change can be uncomfortable, even when change is chosen, it happens when a person finally faces the fear of the unknown and decides facing the fear is better than remaining the same.  Change makes us grow, improve and learn, but it’s not easy.   In my experience, music helps us get through change.  Sometimes change happens without our choice, but it always seems to result in growth, self- improvement and learning if we stay positive with our outlook and thoughts during the change.

Change can be good, sometimes it forces us to do things we never thought we would be able to do. We may not know our strength, until the only choice we have is to be strong.  Change is about improvement and improvement is good!

Change is also about becoming a better person, it doesn’t matter how long we’ve been a certain way, if we don’t like that way, we can change it at any time, but it’s a decision that only we can make, no one can make that decision for us.  Because change is uncomfortable, we need to want that change more than anything because the effort to change will require commitment and isn’t easy, it’s work.  But I believe we can be anything we desire, it just takes effort; nothing lasting comes without continual effort and commitment. If we want it, work for it!

ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS…

We learn the most about relationships from experiences and observations.  And those who’ve had a lot of life experiences know more, but the key to success is applying what we know, experienced and learned to improve our relationships.

This relates to the “Never Settle” topic: if we learn something once from a bad experience, then don’t settle into that familiar place again, because if we are not making a change, we are likely going to get the same results and that is how people get stuck and stay stuck, don’t do it.

Experience also relates to recognizing good experiences and applying them.  We often become so immersed and self-absorbed in what’s happening in our lives, that we forget to be grateful for what we have and forget to show appreciation for those important to us.  That forgetfulness lowers our quality of life in relationships.  Relationships need attention and when it’s not given, the relationship suffers.  It’s important to recognize what we value in life, what means the most to us. We don’t have unlimited time, so the time we do have should be spent on what is most important: our priorities.

Relationships will always experience change and they only last if there is a reciprocal involvement, they don’t if it’s one-sided.  Let that person, who is important in your life know they are important.  Relationships are constant work, but rewarding.  If we get lazy with relationships, we can lose them.  If those who are important to us are not treated as a priority, we lose them.

CRM- Change, Relationships, Music

Pulling all these topics together, there are some good examples of people doing things right, and I personally respect them for this.  My blog since inception has been tied into Instagram, which is an interesting media, and powerful, so be careful how it’s used because it can make a difference: both good and bad as I’ve experienced.  As you know, I love music and follow some of my favorite musicians on Instagram.  I look forward to posts about upcoming events or concert details because sometimes that is the way I find out about new festivals, events, etc.  I also like seeing the journey musicians go through:  the creation, behind the scenes joking, and rising in success; Instagram is a great tool for connecting with fans.  There is also something that some do well and that is appearing authentic and inspiring.  While we all know that no one is perfect (everyone is human and imperfect), and everything is not as it appears on social media, there are a few who do something a little different and step out of the norm.  I can’t even imagine what it is like for musicians and their partners to have a long-term relationship, talk about a massive amount of work to keep it real and keep it a priority especially with all the outside influences!  But there are a few who seem to do this well, they appear genuine, know their priorities, live by them and are very inspiring people because of this.  They have a special gift – musically talented and staying true to, and publicly acknowledging, their values, especially in a culture that often glamorizes the opposite.  These are a few that stand out to me:

@lukebryan, @sammyhagar, @thomasrhettakins, @michaelraymusic, @flagaline

There is also one more on this list, who isn’t really in the music arena…yet (haha)…but if you follow him and know his very early on comedy scripts, you will know the tremendous amount of change that he has been through, a master of change and very inspiring:  @kevinhart4real

There is no time like the present to Make It Count –  create an incredible relationship this year and get out, enjoy the music!

 

 

 

 

2017?

So what will 2017 be like?

Reflecting on what happened in 2016 helps me focus on how to make 2017 better, below is an outline of my end of year thoughts and action plans (the first chart is  blank, if anyone wants to use it for themselves, and the second one is filled out- hopefully the filled-out version will motivate me to follow through, after publicly stating this):

2016 Reflection My Thoughts 2017 Plans 2017 Specific Actions
For what am I grateful? Make plans to do something that enhances, improves, what I am grateful for:  Make It Count, Make a Difference.

 

What did I enjoy most? Spend more time and energy on what I am passionate about and identify ways my actions will benefit others:  create purpose!

 

What did I do to benefit, give back to others who are important to me? This is success.  Continue with more and if something is lacking make specific plans to elevate this action.

 

What improvements did I make from the prior year? This is success.  Continue with more, what else can be done? Change is constant, keep it up, find ways to improve more, or lose it; complacency will lose it.

 

What didn’t work out? This is failure, but temporary, because I will learn from it and make changes.

 

What were the challenges? List them along with what I learned from it.

 

What did I want to do, but didn’t get around to doing it? Schedule it in 2017.

complacency

2016 Reflection My Thoughts 2017 Plans 2017 Specific Actions
For what am I grateful?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

·        Faith

·        Family

·        Friends

·        Health/Fitness

·        Music

·        Nature/Outdoors

·        Travel Opportunities

·        Business Opportunities

·        People who have supported/mentored me throughout my life

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make plans to do something that enhances, improves, what I am grateful for:  Make It Count, Make a Difference.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

·        Get involved in a helpful way with church to contribute/give back with my time

·        Plan and Spend quality time with Family and Friends

·        Research and Improve Nutrition through better meal planning

·        Schedule 3-4 days of workouts per week and stick to it

·        Support Musical Artists by attending concerts, buying music, blogging

·        Nature/Outdoors/Travel:  plan trips and share experiences and resources with others

·        Make weekly goals and follow through to grow business

·        Find an organization that helps people act and improve themselves; I’m not much a believer that “just dumping gifts in someone’s lap is the best way to make a long-term difference (if they are not trying to improve themselves on their own), but I want to help people who are trying

 

What did I enjoy most? ·        Time spent with those I care about

·        Music

·        Traveling

·        Improving via Design or Personal Fitness

Spend more time and energy on what I am passionate about and identify ways my actions will benefit others:  create purpose! My Lifetime Goal/Dream:   I have a grandiose dream of creating or being involved with a luxury get away place that provides a place for people to get healthy, relax, work on fitness and enjoy music – all without leaving the getaway place.  A place for others to recharge, reflect, improve.

 

What did I do to benefit, give back to others who are important to me? ·        Time spent with those I care about, I tried to be present whenever someone needed it.

·        2016 I probably spent more time than ever before reflecting, so next year I want to increase the time spent in action.

 

This is success.  Continue with more and if something is lacking make specific plans to elevate this action. ·        Increase time spent on actively giving back to others – this area needs improvement for me.
What improvements did I make from the prior year? ·        Stayed physically active throughout the year

·        Attended more often at Church

·        Acted to improve my situation, rather than complaining about it

·        Acted on Real Estate renovations

 

This is success.  Continue with more, what else can be done? Change is constant, keep it up, find ways to improve more, or lose it; complacency will lose it. ·        Continue plans and focus on health and fitness

·        Get more involved with church

·        Find other opportunities to renovate real estate

·        Continue focus on self-improvement/purpose

 

What didn’t work out?

 

·        Failed relationship

·        Relationship damage with others

This is failure, but temporary, because I will learn from it and make changes.  

·        Try to keep interactions peaceful

·        Make efforts to repair relationship damage with others

 

 

What were the challenges?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

·        Stress

·        Turmoil

·        Negativity

·        Disrespect

·        De-valued self-worth

·        Flight

·        Escape

·        Sadness

·        Emptiness

·        Simply existing, not living

·        Fallout

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

List them along with what I learned from it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

·        I learned to Let Go.

·        I learned not to let significant time pass without positive action and improvement in any given situation.

·        Improved Independence

·        Let go of stress related to unimportant/insignificant events

·        Remove myself from turmoil and surround myself with positive people

·        Exercise relieves stress

·        All people deserve respectful interactions, even if there is something bad happening

·        Self-worth: continually work on self-improvement and don’t be affected by others who de-value that self-worth- ignore it

·        Fleeing from a problem doesn’t solve it; it must be tackled head on

·        Get away from environments that can’t be improved and cause sadness

·        Improving my relationship with God and following what I am passionate about removes emptiness

·        Pursing a passion with a purpose leads to happiness and is living, not simply existing

·        Change will create fallout; that is a tradeoff unfortunately and will require more effort to improve but if not; let it go; nothing forced works in the long term.

·        Finding forgiveness for “wrongs” because they fueled improvement, so the “wrongs” turned into a positive outcome.

 

What did I want to do, but didn’t get around to doing it? ·        I wasn’t as affective as I wanted to be in 2016, because I didn’t spend enough time on it. Schedule it in 2017.

It is important to me to live life the way it matters most: TODAY.  When I look back on 2016, I can’t really say that it was a good year, or a bad year, because there were both experiences, almost to the extreme at each end, and somewhat surreal in retrospect.  So many disruptive changes occurred all at once (my dad’s death, a new business venture, loss of employee benefits at my current job but at the same time, my best year ever there, a divorce, giving up a condo on a lake, moving into a new home, renovations, challenges with my kids brought on by the divorce; it’s just been busy); so, I’m hoping that 2017 will be a little bit calmer.  I welcome change, just not as much disruption all at one time, it was an emotional roller coaster year for me and a bit of a blur with so much happening.

I plan to make 2017 a better, calmer year.

I also will pray for guidance, every day, in 2017, it can’t hurt, that’s for sure!

I hope to have the opportunity in 2017 to work with other motivated individuals, to pursue further success in life, because that aligns best with my passion: continued improvement.  This is what I do in my current real estate career (help successful people become more financially successful) and my new business venture (which provides motivated people an avenue to become financially successful).

If you read the original reason, “ABOUT”, from the menu in my blog, which I just started three months ago, this is it:  I am looking to connect with like-minded people and collaborate. 

I realize the internet is filled with a lot of fake people and get rich quick schemes…and this is NOT me, nor what I’m pursing.  I believe I put enough information out there about me, my thoughts, in my blogs, so you can get to know me and hopefully realize I’m a “normal” person, if there is such a thing.  If you search social media (Twitter, FaceBook, Instagram):  annm2705, you will find all my information.  I’m simply at a point in life, ready for the next step in a new venture and excited about the possibilities and opportunities in life.

A Night in Nashville- Say “Yes” to Adventure

ROAD TRIP PLANS

Every road trip I’ve taken seems to end up with unexpected happenings and this was no exception!  But this time, it started with an unexpected beginning, which was a text from my friend a week before asking if I was up for a road trip to Nashville the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  Well, there was no hesitation to that question!   I had no plans, so YES!!

FRIDAY NIGHT – DR ZHIVEGAS

The trip would have started Friday night, but I already had tickets to attend the second annual Black Friday Ball concert with Dr. Zhivegas, and wasn’t going to miss that.  My intent was not to stay out that late (last time it was 3 or 4 am because we had breakfast after) but not this time, I thought, because we had an early departure Saturday morning at 7:30 am. But when it’s a fun concert, it’s hard to leave and I didn’t pack until Friday night either due to a busy week, so I finally got to bed at 2 am Friday night.  Oops!

This was the Black Friday Ball (current pop music, followed by 70’s music and then Prince):

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SATURDAY- DEPARTURE

The alarm went off at 6 am and I got up, showered and packed some snacks and drinks for the road and thankfully my friend, Krista, picked me up and I didn’t have to drive having only 4 hours of sleep.  We had another friend going with us and picked her up, then we were on our way!

SATURDAY- THE DRIVE

One would expect to sleep, but not when you have a couple of friends in the car; we spent the 4.5 hours talking!  When we arrived in Nashville this song started playing ironically.

Woke up in Nashville

SATURDAY – THE HOTEL

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We had an early check in and were able to drop off everything in the room.  Along the way, we also found out that another friend of Krista’s and her husband were in Nashville, visiting from Virginia.  So we arranged to meet them at Tootsies.

SATURDAY – TOOTSIES

This was a multi-story honky tonk bar with a roof top outdoor seating.  It was a packed deck at 1:30 pm when we arrived, so we sat inside near the band.  We heard a couple bands play and the local TV station was recording for a promotion of next week’s event, so the crowd got all wound up with that.  It was a fun little bar, we had lunch there and visited with Kim and her husband.  After awhile, Kim and her husband were ready to head back home, so we decided to try another venue.

 

SATURDAY – HONKY TONK

We decided to explore Honky Tonk, Krista has been to Nashville before but Doneen and I have not so we followed along.  This is a 3 story building with 3 different stages on each level, so we started at the top and worked our way down.  The bands were a lot of fun and the crowds kept growing, the place was packed, the sun was going down and it was getting colder, so we decided to head back to the hotel, have dinner and change.

Before we made it, we decided to stop at the Tin Roof and really enjoyed the band there, so we stayed for a little longer before going back to the hotel.

 

SATURDAY- HOTEL

We stopped back at the hotel, changed and then had a substantial meal before heading out again, because this was going to be a long night ahead of us.  We had hilarious conversations and enjoyed the friend conversations and stories of other adventures in the past!

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SATURDAY- TIN ROOF (AGAIN)

We enjoyed the band at the Tin Roof, so we went back again after dinner and heard two more bands. People were having a good time at this point!

The bands were so entertaining and fun; there was a third band that was supposed to start next and evidently all the tables and chairs had to be cleared out because it was going to be a lot of dancing for this band.  We wanted to stay, but we also heard from Krista’s sister in law that David Ray was playing at the Honky Tonk Bar across the street and he was really good.  So we decided to head back there and see if we could find him.  We found him!

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SATURDAY- HONKY TONK (AGAIN)

David Ray had to be my favorite band of the night, he played country and 90’s alternative music, so of course we danced most of the time.

I was starting to get super tired at this point with 4 hours of sleep the night before and even drinking straight Red Bull, the tiredness was catching up.  But our tour guide, Krista, said we just HAD to make one last stop:  The Stage.

SATURDAY – THE STAGE

So we made it to The Stage and the place was packed.  Krista knew just where to head and we went to an elevated inside deck where we could see the band a little better.  It didn’t take long before we were dancing again and awakened!  So about 2:30 am, it was time to leave so we headed out.

SATURDAY – THE HOTEL

We arrived at the hotel and this was going on in the lobby.  This craziness was so unexpected and added another element to the unexpected evening.

Besides this, there was a very interesting couple in the lobby who shared stories about snakes and asked about how to pick out the right boots.  You just can’t make up stuff like this. So we were entertained longer.    We shared the elevator with a couple of the Vanderbilt Football players who had just played earlier that day and finally made it to our rooms!  “Nash-Vegas!” the place where no one sleeps!  We made it to the room with exhaustion, it didn’t take long to be deep in sleep after that day!

SUNDAY – DEPARTURE

It was a much quieter drive home…everyone was exhausted, but had such a great time.  It will be a trip we will never forget!  It may even end up being an annual excursion? The short trip felt much longer because we just didn’t sleep!  But it was certainly fun and worth doing again.