Watch out everyone – the sky must be falling!! How else can you explain the fact that Mom agreed, once we got to the Country Music Hall of Fame this morning, to take a complementary wheelchair. I almost fainted. She even hates the fact that people think she’s handicapped when she uses her cane – which she does most of the time now due to her severe arthritis. But she’s always said she’d never use a chair unless she couldn’t walk.
My husband and I had been to the Hall of Fame before and I knew it had more walking than she could manage. It certainly causes my fibromyalgia to kick up. But it was one of the places she really wanted to go. I think she realized it might be too much. I know she did afterward, because she actually said so.
When you visit the Hall of Fame, they send you to the 3rd floor to start the tour (thank God for the elevator), then you work your way back down to the 1st floor. They begin with a history of country music. There are sound proof kiosks that let you listen to some old examples of the music as you go along without the interference of others’ conversations. Elvis’ “solid gold Cadillac” is on display, complete with its TV (with “rabbit ears”). There are the costumes of many country stars on display – Mom especially enjoyed some of those as we commented on the amount of work each one would take.
There was a gold record wall where you could open selected “record cases” to hear a song by the artist. The museum currently was showing a special display about the Williams family, Hank Williams and Hank Williams Jr. There was a video tribute to country music over the years, with profiles of a number of artists. Some exhibits featured the instruments and some the advances in recording techniques. You could tell that just by listening to the difference between the early, scratchy sounding recordings and the polished recordings of today.
Our last stop before we went to the 1st floor was the Hall of Fame Rotunda. It features plaques of all the Hall of Fame members as well as some art and information. Sadly, one of my favorite country performers, Eddy Arnold, had passed away some days prior to our visit. The museum had a special display that showcased his work in the entryway to the rotunda. His wake had been held in the rotunda and when we visited the day after the funeral, there were still many large floral arrangements and plants set up near his plaque on the wall. The whole room still smelled of flowers. It was a bittersweet moment for me, since the person who had introduced me to his music was my mom, who passed on only a few months ago.
When we got back to the first floor, we stopped at the small cafe in the atrium for coffee and a rest. Mom and Dad had really enjoyed the tour. Then my husband got the car and picked us up. We took a driving tour of the honky tonks. Even though Mom had told us she was going into one when she was here, I think she was a bit tired and the thought of walking to get there changed her mind. We passed by the Ryman Auditorium, where the Grand Old Opry was originally broadcast (my husband and I have been to the Opry there, as they still do use the refurbished building at certain times of the year). We circled the block a couple of times so they could get a good look.
We drove over to the Opryland Resort and the Opry Mills area and decided to take some photos at the Grand Ole Opry venue in the daylight. My husband picked up our tickets for Saturday night from the box office while we were there – much easier than the night of the show. We also shopped in the Opry Shop, which allowed Mom and Dad to look around without the crush of pre- and post-show shoppers.
Lunch was at Applebee’s about 2:00 PM. It was practically deserted – just the way we like it. The food and service was good, as was the company.
When we got back to our rooms at the Embassy Suites about 3:30, the housekeeper was still cleaning Mom and Dad’s room. So we all went to our room – which hadn’t even been touched yet!! Not happy. As soon as she finished their room, Mom and Dad went to relax. My husband and I went down to the lobby as she was now still 2 rooms down from our room. We talked and stewed. About 4:15, my husband went to the front desk to ask them to check on our room’s status. It was finally done – and they were very embarrassed, since we had had to wait for our room the day before when we checked in.
We didn’t get very much time to relax before we went down to the Manager’s Reception with Mom and Dad. I really didn’t feel like going, but went anyway in the interest of trying to make everyone happy. I really didn’t need the diet soda and nacho chips. But the wine did put Mom in the best of moods again.
My fibromyalgia really began to act up, especially in my legs and back. I’m sure it was from all the walking and standing at the museum. So I caved in and took a muscle relaxant. When I took my sleep medication shortly afterward, it didn’t take long for me to be ready to sleep. And I really needed the sleep, because we had a bit of travel the next day.