Thursday, January 20, 2011

Hello Dolly!!

Happy Friday! Happy weekend! Yeeeeeeeee haaaaaaaaaaaw! I spent the past week in Nashville, TN enjoying the history and wonder that is country music. While I am partial to dance music, I appreciate all different forms of music . I also love the interesting people who are in the music business. So many entertainers are such characters - I knew I would fit right in!
I found out that Dad was taking one of his trips to Nashville to do some song writing with his friends there, so I waited for a chance to sneak into the car. I wanted to surprise him when we arrived in Nashville. My opportunity presented itself when Dad propped open the door from the house to the garage and went upstairs to get his suitcase. I scurried into the garage and prayed he had left one of the car doors open. He had! I slipped myself under the coat he was bringing along that he had thrown into the backseat. I had to stay really still and hope he didn’t throw anything heavy on top of the coat. I breathed a sigh of relief when he got in the car and closed the car door. I heard the garage door open and we were off!!
I was planning on popping out from under the coat when we arrived in Nashville, but I had eaten a hearty breakfast of Friskie’s and had washed it down with big gulps of water before I had stashed myself in the car. I was not going to be able to make it the 9 hours to Nashville without getting out of the car to go potty. Dad stopped for gas several hours into the trip, so I figured it was time to surprise him… and relieve myself. When Dad reached into the backseat to get his wallet out of the coat I leapt out from under the coat. Dad jumped back and hit his head on the inside roof of the car. I could tell by his face he was REALLY surprised! It seemed to take him a moment or two to realize it was me – it might have had something to do with the fact he was seeing stars from the blow to his head – but he smiled when he recognized it was me. He hugged me and told me he was happy to see me. He asked if Mom had known about my plan. Oh no! I hadn’t said anything to her – she must be worried sick about me!!! Dad called her on his cell phone and assured her that I was fine. I got on the phone and apologized to Mom and then excused myself to head to the bathroom.
I’m glad I popped out early. I got to sit in the front with Dad and sing along with the radio and the CD’s he had brought along. It gave me an opportunity to familiarize myself with some of the music I was soon going to be hearing. The trip took a little over 9 hours. Boy, was I glad to get out of that car when we pulled up to the hotel!!!
We started out bright and early the next morning. Dad had some appointments, so I was free to do the touristy things in which Dad is not interested. I figured I would start off at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

I was able to get a crash course in country music. It didn’t take long for me to find an artist who was so much like what I imagine I would be if I were an entertainer. Wow! What a dynamo! She wrote songs for herself and others, recorded songs, acted in movies, scored a Broadway musical and won all sorts of awards. I figured Dad must have heard of her, so I would ask him if he could arrange for me to meet her.
There are so many thing s to do in Nashville that I didn’t know where to head next. As I was deciding, an odd building caught my eye. That must be the “Batman” building my Dad is always talking about. I stood and contemplated it for a moment and concluded that it did, indeed, look like Batman. I imagined how funny it would be if Batman stood in front of the Batman building. I stood on the street giggling. Now, THAT would be a picture!

I figured I would just walk along the street and experience whatever I happen to run into. I popped into one store and bought a couple of different cowboy hats and some bandanas with the last of my jerky selling money. I can’t wear the same thing every day! I continued on down the street and came upon a giant guitar. I thought I had seen another one earlier, and when I questioned a passerby, they confirmed that there were several of these monstrous guitars throughout the city. How cool. You know I had to try and play it, much to the amusement of others on the street.

It didn’t take me long to get tuckered out – especially after the long trip the day before. I figured I’d go back to the hotel and nap and do most of my sightseeing the next day.
When Dad got back to the hotel, I told him about my day and my new idol. He said he could spend some time with me the next day and that he had some friends with the Grand Ole Opry that would be able to get us backstage. Oh boy! I had learned about the Grand Ole Opry at the Hall of Fame, so I knew it was a special place. I made sure to go to bed early so I would be at my best the next day!
I was up early and sat around waiting for Dad to be ready to go. I told Dad I needed to stop and buy – well, I guess he would have to buy - something special for me to wear to the Opry. We went to several stores before I found the perfect outfit. It wasn’t cheap, so Dad said I would have to do chores to work off the cost of the ensemble. I don’t mind doing chores if it means I can look fabulous!!!
We went back to the hotel so I could change. It was a little tough cinching my waist to fit in my new dress, but I used a bandana to squeeze in my middle. Before we headed to the Opry, Dad asked if I was sure I wanted to be that dressed up – after all, it was a matinee. I didn’t care. I thought my outfit made me look just like my idol. Dad agreed. With that settled, we headed off to the Opry!
I was quite the hit of the backstage area, and just about everyone came up to me to say hello. I was standing looking out from the side of the stage when the Opry stage manager asked me if I could sing. But of course! The stage manager motioned to the talented gentlemen on stage and they waved for me to join them. I was a little hesitant since there were so many people in the audience but then I remembered the Dogwood Festival and New Year’s Eve. There were a lot of people there too, and I hadn’t been scared. I trotted out to the center of the stage and they handed me a microphone.

I received quite an energetic round of applause which made me glad I had bought such a great outfit. The other performers offered up several songs they could play for me until they hit one I knew. They launched into “I Will Always Love You,” which is not an easy song to sing, but I was able to howl all the high notes quite nicely. When I finished, the audience erupted into thunderous applause and they jumped to their feet. These people acted like they had never seen a cat perform on stage before!
I stopped to take a bow several times as I walked off stage. Wow! That was fun!
I was led to a dressing room in the back. I presumed it was to allow me to freshen up a bit after my performance. There was a knock on the door and when I opened it there stood a group people, none of whom I knew. One had a big camera and he walked to the back of the room. I wondered what was going on until I saw her. My idol, Dolly Parton!! She was even more beautiful in person than she was in pictures! I squealed with surprise which made her giggle. She hugged me and told me what a great job I had done singing her song. She told me she thought I looked so pretty, which made me giggle. She asked my name and proceeded to sign a picture for me. I was so excited. What a great souvenir of my special day!

The photographer took a few pictures of us and then as suddenly as everyone appeared, they disappeared. As I stood in disbelief, staring at the signed picture of Dolly, Dad came in and smiled. He had done all this for me! He had known Dolly was going to be appearing at the Opry and he had arranged for me to meet her. What a great Dad!!
We watched the rest of the show from backstage. It was great. I couldn’t believe how talented all the artists were. When it was over, Dad and I said goodbye to everyone and thanked them for a wonderful time. I was tired and hungry so we stopped to have something to eat and then headed straight back to the hotel.
I could go on and on about all the fun I had and the cool stuff I saw during the rest of my stay - the Ryman Auditorium, Opryland, RCA Studio B, Tootsie’s, Printer’s Alley - but my little paws are getting tired from tippy tapping. I will tell you that after we checked out of the hotel, while Dad went to one last writing appointment, I took care of something that had been driving me crazy every time we went around the traffic circle where 16th and 17th Avenues converge with Demonbreun St…

Much better! My work here is done. Back to Fayetteville!
It was great to get back home and see Mom, Tristan and all my friends again. That’s the nice part about travel – it makes you appreciate home. Now I’ll need the weekend to rest up from my vacation! Hope you have a relaxing weekend as well!

Love & licks,

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