Monday, July 8, 2013

A Nashville 4th!

It was very different to not attend the fireworks in Corporate Woods in Overland Park, KS for the 4th of July this summer, a show that I have attended for almost every 4th for as long as I can remember. 

This year, we made plans to go to Nashville to watch a show that makes the top 10 list in the nation! We had all sorts of activities planned for the 4th. But it rained ALL DAY! So gloomy. Not a great way to celebrate. We were supposed to go for an hour long horseback ride at the stables on post early in the morning, but waking to thunder and pouring rain told me that would be canceled.

We did go to see Despicable Me 2 and had to walk a thousand miles in the rain to get inside the Opry Mills Mall - that place was packed! The movie was hilarious and very enjoyable, despite the lady that would not stop talking next to us. She was less well-behaved than all the children in the theater! Hate that.
This was the view we had from our hotel room. We had a good view of Broadway street and Bridgestone Arena.

So we bar hopped a little and ate some BBQ before making it down to the stage where The Band Perry was performing!
Fortunately, it was only raining, and not pouring, so we didn't really get that wet, thanks to the umbrellas.
But it was SO. MUDDY. We were lucky to find grass to stand in.
The Band Perry was so energetic and fun to watch! They of course sang their latest song, DONE., and they also did a few patriotic mash-ups, as well as some well-know favorites.
It's really hard to get good photos of events like this!
The rain thinned out the crowd somewhat, so even though we arrived only 30 minutes prior to them taking the stage, we were able to get pretty close!

We were also entertained by an old man in front of us who danced throughout the concert. It's a shame the weather was so would have been so fun in warm, sunny weather! There were food vendors everywhere and lots to see. It would have been fun to check those things out, but the squishy mud made it really hard to get around.

With the fireworks starting at 9:30, we decided to leave the concert area a little early to avoid the crowd. Being dark and muddy, and only one exit in the direction we needed to go, I foresaw at least one of us falling in the mud in the crowd. So we relocated to the riverfront across from the football stadium to watch the fireworks.
It was a great show synchronized to a recording of the Symphony. It was supposed to be a live performance, but water and musical instruments do not mix. It was tough to hear the recording where we were at, but it was still really cool!
I have never seen a fireworks show quite like this one!
Group shot!
Unfortunately, we were downwind, so our whole area was filled with smoke, making it almost impossible to see any of the finale. I got firework dust in my eye.
We decided to walk back to Broadway before the show ended; it was a little eerie with all the smoke and people moving away from it with the finale still going. There were so many fireworks going off at once for so seemed like the earth was exploding! Its a shame we couldn't see it - based on the rest of the show, I'm sure it was AMAZING! The whole thing was about 25 minutes long.
We had planned on hitting up the bars again, but you could just see all the people filtering into the bars the farther up Broadway we went; we figured most if not all of them would be full. A lot of people never left the bars because of the weather. So we just went back to the hotel. I was splattered with mud from the knees down (I even stopped to attempt to wash my feet in a street puddle - that's how bad it was), and still couldn't get the debris out of my eye. I was kind of a mess. 

After washing my feet, then my flip flops (which had absorbed SO much mud), THEN rinsing the tub out, I was definitely ready for some eye drops. Fortunately the other 3 people I was with had all had eye surgery and had drops with them. So thankful for those!

My eye felt much better in the morning. I didn't have to work until later in the afternoon, so Chris and I decided to be touristy around the city. First stop: Krispie Kreme!

I got a dark chocolate caramel and filled-with-some-sort-of-magic donut. Chris got his go-to favorite: glazed and chocolate frosted with sprinkles. SOOOO GOOOOOD! We anticipated stomach aches later.

Then, I got to facetime with Haley! I've been anxiously awaiting the wondrous iPhone purchase from my sister to allow this to be possible! Isn't she sweet?! She even gave me kisses (on the phone screen, haha)!
Our drive took us through the Vanderbilt campus, which is very pretty, by the way. We made our way down to Belle Meade, which is DEFINITELY the Beverly Hills of the area. Amazing neighborhoods with multi-million dollar houses.
One example:
No cookie-cutter houses around this town!

2 more days of rainy weather...and we finally made it to the Carnival on-post! Chris won me a patriotic Care Bear, which ended up costing $25. The guy was talking so fast and confusing us both with the game rules of dart-throwing; we walked away knowing we had been taken advantage of. Oh well. Oh, and we won a goldfish by throwing ping pong balls into small fish bowls, but we didn't really want it and were hoping to just give it to a family nearby. But everyone already had fish! The game was pretty easy. (Beer pong practice, haha!) So we left the fishie there for someone else to win.

We ate footlong corndogs and chicken on a stick. We walked around for awhile; I was impressed with the variety of rides. We decided it would have been much more fun with kids. Hoping that day will come soon! cute! I'm going to re-stuff it. It's filled with styrofoam beads, not fluff. Can you say RIP OFF?!
Saturday night was the only night that the weather cooperated for some fireworks of our own. Dukie and I rode shotgun to a friend's house off post.
I had to teach him how to stick his head out the window.
He had a lot of fun playing with his doggie friends.
A rare shot of them all sitting. Lookit how big he is! 27 pounds already!
Ribs, burgers, pie, and SPARKLERS!!!
This one's my favorite. It's like little stars:
It was a long, rainy 4 day weekend, but we still had some fun times. I have this up on the front door for the holiday:

 So fun! My sister made it for me when she came to visit a few weeks ago.

We saw so many fun places while driving around Nashville after the 4th. We decided that once a month, we will pick a new restaurant to try, alternating whose turn it is to pick. Lots of date nights in the city to come!

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