We chuffed into Nashville around 6 pm. and managed to get the last 2 rooms at the La Quinta, or so the desk clerk would have us believe. All I wanted was a hot shower, some food and a chance to stretch out on a bed someone else made up for me.
FOTI had other plans. He gave me time to shower and run a comb through my hair then skippered us over toward the Gaylord Orpyland Resort parking lot. I saw what was coming: A fabulous meal at Opryland Mills Outlet food court. This put me in a bit of a mood. I am a class act; I wanted dinner at Olive Garden and nothing less would do.
The Gaylord Opryland Resort parking lot is the size of a small European country. I’d bet Luxembourg would fit in there with some room to spare. As far as I could tell, it was full to the brim. “Hah!” I thought, “That’ll teach FOTI to cheap out on the Olive Garden!” As luck would have it another enormous Tahoe was pulling out of a space right across from the entrance to the Outlet food court. “Premium parking!” gloated FOTI, “Wait ’til I tell the World Traveler!” FOTI has recently developed an appreciation for locating a “premium parking spot” usually only found in senior citizens who live in Little It’ly and drive Lincoln Town Cars.
I grumble, hop down from the runningboard (!) and head for the damn food court. FOTI and the boys, however were headed in the opposite direction, toward the Opry itself. “Where are you going?” FOTI called, “I wanna get some photos of this place.”
Now I have been after that man since January to book tickets for the Opry. Not only did he not organize tickets, he was going to bring me up to the front door, take photos, then sweep me off to a fine trans-fat filled dining experience at the Opryland Mills food court.
He took a few photos then moseyed on over to the ticket window with the boys and I following in his wake. On the way, Cousin Minnie Pearl greeted us with an enormous “Hooooooow Deee!” Charlie Brown and Joe College took this in stride and “Hooooooow Deee’d” right back at Cousin Minnie. “Who’s that?” they wanted to know. I explained that it was Cousin Minnie Pearl and then they wanted to know, “Are we really related to that woman?”. By the time we got to where FOTI was, we were just in time to see the cashier handing him four tickets for seats on the main floor for that night’s show! Charlie Daniels was playing! Christmas had come early to me in Nashville and I forgot all about being hungry.
We caught the last minutes of the first act but hadn’t missed much; there were 6 more to follow! There were Between sets, the tall man sitting in front of me turned around and aksed me if I could see alright, otherise he could scooch (he really said scooch) down in his seat. Once again, I was flabbergasted by southern manners. I’ve seen a bit of the world. This doesn’t happen any place else. I assured him that there was no need to scooch down and while the announcer did the ads for Cracker Barrel restaurant, I finished my hot pretzel.
Shows at the Grand Ole Opry are broadcast live. It is the longest running radio program in the United States (650 WSM on your am dial). My husband was amazed at this. He thought it was just theater. We’d seen the “Buddy Holly Story” musical a few years ago, and the audience becomes part of the show in the last act. FOTI was convinced the same was happening here. “I love how they just remove the 4th wall,” he said, proving to me once again that he is not quite the redneck he pretends to be. “No 4th wall, baby, “ I whispered, “we are live and on the air!”
The outrageously talented Miss Morgan Frazier
Exile –I’m such a dork, I always thought they were a disco band.
John Conlee — Mr. Old School
The Willis Clan– an amazing bunch of kids. I think they outnumber the Osmonds!
Mr. Charlie Daniels and his band.
After the Show
* Photo credits from the Opry go to FOTI this time. I was too entranced by the show to pick up my camera.
Image of Minnie Pearl from Google.