Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Bucket List Surprise

I couldn't decide if I should name this post "Checking off the bucket list" or "The best surprise" so I decided to combine the two. :)

My previous posts stated that I turned 30 a couple of weeks ago and that my amazing, romantic husband had planned a surprise getaway for us. He lead me to believe that we were spending last weekend in Denver, kicking the trip off with a hot air balloon ride. I was more than happy to spend the weekend in Denver. I knew we would have a ton of fun. Little did I know that he had been planning a much bigger surprise all along...

Early last Thursday morning we dropped off the kids at his parents house and made our drive to Denver. Caleb had printed out directions to the "hot air balloon" place and as we got closer I made the comment that we were awfully close to the airport. At that moment Caleb turned to me and said "Christine, we are getting away for the weekend, but everything I've told you about where we're going and what we're doing has been a lie".

I instantly looked puzzled and begged for him to tell me where we were going but he refused. He told me I would know when we got to the gate. He was successful in hiding the airline tickets from me all the way through security and as we approached our gate I was able to read that we were headed to Nashville!!

I have always dreamed of going to Nashville. I have always loved music and when I was young I often dreamed of moving to Nashville and getting "discovered" and having a music career. Even though my dreams changed slightly as I got older, my love for music stayed strong and I still yearned to visit "Music City".

After we found our seats on the plane, Caleb handed me several birthday cards from my family and his. He explained that they all had known about the trip for over a month and they had all contributed to the trip. Some gave money and some bought us tickets to the Country Music Hall Of Fame and Museum, The Bluebird Cafe, and some bought us gift cards to Nashville bars and restaurants. I was in awe of the generosity of our families and I've never felt more loved or spoiled. My excitement grew as I opened each card. By the time it all sank in, I was completely giddy with excitement.

After landing we checked in at the hotel and got ready to head out for the evening. I had slept horribly the night before (2.5 hours of sleep) so I knew I wouldn't be able to last too long.

We drove to downtown Nashville and just walked around for a while taking it all in. You couldn't pass a single bar or restaurant without hearing the live music filling the streets.

We ended up having dinner at a nice italian restaurant named Demo's. Someone had given us an insiders tip and we asked for the sauce sampler which wasn't on the menu. The waiter quickly came back with some bread and 9 different kinds of sauces for us to dip our bread into. It was delicious!

After dinner we went into one of the bars and watched one of the many bands play for a while. Due to my sleep deprived state we didn't last too long and headed back to the hotel for a good night's sleep.

The next day (Friday) was our biggest day. We went to the Country Music Hall Of Fame and Museum. First thing on the list was a tour of Studio B, where many famous artists have recorded many famous songs.

Once inside the studio, they showed us the piano that was Elvis Presley's favorite. They still keep it in tune and people still use it for recording today. We all got a chance to sit at the piano for pictures.

After the Studio B tour, we headed back to the museum. Outside the museum was a huge open courtyard. You could walk up and down and see who got a star on the Music City Walk Of Fame. Caleb and I had a little fun reading the names and posing next to a few of our favorites.

Then we headed back inside the museum and hall of fame. We spent the entire afternoon looking over the entire museum and enjoying a nice lunch.

And of course we couldn't leave without trying on a few cowboy hats. ;)

That night we headed to the Bluebird Cafe and that was my favorite experience! We got to see four songwriters (Danny Flowers, Gordon Kennedy, Janis Oliver and James House) that have all written famous songs. They took turns performing and I was surprised to learn so much about them in such a short time. Janis Oliver was Vince Gill's first wife. I was also surprised by how quickly I recognized their songs and how close we sat to them. They were close enough to touch. It was SO much fun to watch them perform. Thank you Jenn for that amazing gift!

The next morning (Saturday) we headed to the Ryman Auditorium. The Ryman was originally built as a church building and became the first location where they hosted the Grand Ole Opry for many years. In the 1980's they moved the Grand Ole Opry location to a new building, but many people still perform at the Ryman today. I couldn't get over how old, yet beautiful that building was.

Of course I had to get my picture taken on the Grand Ole Opry stage. :)

My only regret is not taking advantage of the opportunity to record a song at the Ryman. I looked over their very short list (I expected there would be a lot more than 10 to choose from) and declined. I wish I had at least tried to record 1 of the 2 songs I recognized.

After leaving the Ryman we spent some more time walking downtown and then headed to the Opryland Hotel.

The moment we walked in I was in awe of this place. As Caleb said, it was one of the most beautiful and grand man-made structures we've ever seen. It's so large and breathtaking. With the all glass ceiling, the live plants, flowers, and trees, and the river large enough to take a boat on (yes, they offered boat tours), you could easily forget you were inside a building.

We walked for hours and hours and still didn't cover the whole facility. We didn't want to leave but we were getting weak from walking and we were hungry so sadly, we left. We went to a restaurant close to the hotel called the Grand Ole Opry Grill where they have live performers all the time.

After dinner we went to Franklin, a small town about 20 minutes away from Nashville and walked around and had some frozen yogurt. Most of the shops were closed in Franklin so after eating our froyo we went back to downtown Nashville.

We went back into one of the bars on Broadway and enjoyed some drinks and listened to another live band. After an hour or so we headed back to the hotel.

The next day we slept in, packed up and flew home to our babies. I told Caleb it was a good thing we had family back home because I wouldn't have wanted to leave. It was a wonderful trip, and one that I'll always remember.

Thank you to my incredibly loving husband for planning and surprising me with this trip and to our families for making this the best birthday EVER!! Thanks to you, my 30's are off to a wonderful start!


Jessica said...

Wow! What an awesome trip you had! And what a GREAT hubby & family! Kudos to your hubby for pulling that off! Happy Birthday!

Courtney said...

I was waiting for this post! I'm still amazed at how romantic your husband can be with you. Seriously, can you tell him to talk to the rest of the husbands? =)
I love the cowboy hat and you on the Grand Ol Opry stage. You look like you fit in very well.

Becky said...

I was so excited to read this post!! Caleb filled us in on his little plan on New Year's Eve and we were so excited for you!!! Nashville is such an awesome place, I'm so glad you guys had a chance to get away and see all the sights!!

Michelle said...

I love this!!! I want to go visit Nashville so bad and seems like you were able to see it all! My college roommate is from Franklin so I def need to go visit her and see Nashville too. I'm such a country music girl that I know I would love it!
Tell Caleb that we all give him props!

Kelsey said...

Oh Christine, what an AWESOME surprise!! I have always wanted to go to Nashville too, so I can totally understand your excitement. It looks like you guys had such a great trip! :)

About Me

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I am a daughter of the King. Saved by grace. Follower of Christ. I love my God and I believe that he is faithful and true to his word! I'm still figuring out and trying to follow his plan for my life. I am a wife to my best friend Caleb, a mother to my miracle babies (they are my greatest joy and challenge), a sister and best friend to 3 passionate women, and a daughter to 2 amazing parents that continue to teach me what it is to be real and faithful to God and his word. I am lucky to get to be a stay at home Mom (thanks to God's provision). I love music, singing, coffee, cooking, baking, traveling, our beautiful state of Colorado, and mostly being with the family and friends that I love!

Husband, Caleb

Husband, Caleb
Caleb is an amazing husband and father. He is always so good to me. He is my best friend. He is the romantic one. We love to laugh and spend time together. We've been married for 7 years and I just love that I get to spend the rest of my life with him.

Our 1st Miracle

Our 1st Miracle
Elliana Faith... God blessed us with our first miracle little girl in December 2008. She is sweet, smart, spunky, funny, strong willed, precocious, extremely outgoing, vocal and so full of life! She brings us so much joy.

Our 2nd Miracle

Our 2nd Miracle
Ethan James,.. God blessed us with our little boy in March 2011. Ethan was a bit of a surprise and an even bigger miraclle. Ethan is ALL BOY! He is very active, into sports and running around. He is also sweet, introverted, affectionate, and laid back. These days he often has us laughing, he's starting to show a little bit of "clown" in him. He makes our hearts happy too. :)

Our 3rd Miracle

Our 3rd Miracle
Emsley Jeannette... Our surprise baby girl was born on June 11th, 2013 and came into the world 4 weeks early. Her first 2 weeks of life were spent in the NICU, but due to God's hands and the prayers of many people, she grew quickly and came home to join our family! She is an easy, sweet baby and we are enjoying getting to know her personality.


We fight one day and then the next day we're fine. We're always loud and crazy when we get together. We're very passionate. We've been through it all together, lots of ups and downs. We're eachother's biggest supporters.


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