Friday, 12 October 2012

Travel Journal #1

   Hello Readers! 
Of course you've been dying to know what shenannegans I have played part in on this wonderful continent, and you shall find out all right here. I blogged the day after our arrival across the pond and if you missed it, you can read about the journey here:
Otherwise, the rest of this post will take the form of a Travel Journal, as well as future travel updates. Enjoy!

     Tuesday 18th September 
London - Chicago - Nashville - Gallatin

     Wednesday 19th September
Woke up to a beautiful poolside sight. Sat in the glorious heat for a bit, went to the church building to pick up the projector for presentations. Anna May made me a pitcher of sweet tea! Evening service at Bill and Anna May's congregation.

     Thursday 20th September

Late start, went shopping for some cowboy boots for me - no success. Looked round the Opryland Hotel, where we took lots of pictures and rode round the river on the wee boat. Went to TNT (Church youth group) with Will, beat him in pool :P then we got sweet tea from MacDonald's - Only in the South.. He then taught me how to drive in a parking lot! Introduced him to some decent British music and chatted for hours. Great times.

     Friday 21st September
Sunbathed! Something we don't get to do properly in Scotland... Dad went to see Ian Starrs for lunch and Gina came over with the boys, we chatted by the pool (as you do) then got stuff sorted for a big family meal.
   The children and grandchildren of the couple we're staying with all came over - The Carnes' (Jeff and Annette, Will and Clay), the Anderson's (Reid and Sheila, Ivieann and Allie) and the Butterfield's (Keith and Gina, Steven, David, Jonathan and Matthew). 
   Jeff brought over his guitar and after we ate we set up a bonfire and I played and sang for a bit. Lovely stuff. Then Clay, his friend Nick, Will and I drove to 'the ridge' to see the city lights at night, then casually on up to Kentucky and back. Just for a ride, so I've now been to Kentucky! Got malts from Sonic. So good.

     Saturday 22nd September
Went to Allie's softball game in the morning, she's quite the wee pitcher and her team won 12-2 so they're pretty good! Got cowboy boots!! On sale, twice over, good deal. 
Went quad biking, or 'four-wheeling' and had a bit of an accident... But I'm fine! Wasn't THAT bad of an accident, but I've got a few bruises I'll recover from easily and I bust my lip open, and they know lots of people who repair bikes... On top of that I got stung twice by a wasp, for the first time. I'm not allergic - thankfully. 
Then we went to the Grand Ole Opry (after me putting on lots of make up to cover the bruise developing on my cheek..) in Nashville - the show that made country music famous! Also the oldest show streamed on live radio - so there was an announcer who read out sponsor's advertisements which added greatly to the comedy factor. The show is a must if you're ever near Nashville, the line up changes frequently. We saw: John Conlee, Eden's Edge, Connie Smith, Mke Snider, Andy Gibson, Exile, Jean Shepherd, Jesse McReynolds, Opry Square Dancers, Riders In The Sky, Jimmy C. Newman and Lee Greenwood. Jolly Good times. 

     Sunday 23rd September
Wore my new boots to church! Exciting stuff. Had pot luck lunch with the congregation and a few people had heard me sing in the service and wanted to sing more with me so a small group of us sat on the pews and sang for about half an hour, was lovely. Some of the folk were heading to a nursing home to sing some more, so we went with them. Will and I went to Sonic after that, drove round for a bit and hung out with Clay before going to the evening service at their church. Went for dinner with Will, Clay, Nick, Caleb and his sister (church friends) at O'Charlie's then got ice cream at Baskin and Robinson's! Back to Bill and Anna May's where Clay proceeded to give Dad an hour long crash course on American football, so we're both quite clued up on the game now! 

     Monday 24th September
Up early to have breakfast with Anna May and Will. Got ready, did washing, edited photos from Saturday. Went to Walmart after lunch, got a cute maxi dress for $9! And some pj things for me, Shanae and Sara :] also some snacks for the journey tomorrow - Root Beer, Dr P, Gatorade, Ritz, Oreos and mini Snickers. Had dinner at Chilli's with Bill and Anna May, Annette, Dad, Will and Clay, then went to their church service - Can I get an Aaamen'ah. Went bowling with Caleb and Will, and I lost APPAULINGLY. Dang it. 

     Tuesday 25th September
Today I slept in, got up at about 8.30. Annette came over with Reid for lunch, we had roast ham and veg with rice, brownies and ice cream for pudding - feast! Nom. Dad and I left at about 1.30 for Henderson. Beata and Alex (children of Blackwelder's) contacted us to ask if I wanted to go with them to volunteer at a ranch which charitably, in association with a children's disability clinic, hosts sessions with physical therapists to take children round on horses  doing various activities with them whilst they practice their balance and use different muscle groups in positions on the horses. I said of course, so we met with them, and they showed me their own horses and goat and dogs before taking me to the ranch. 
It was really fun, Beata led the horse in '8' shapes, in circles and such whilst the therapist interacted with the child on the horse, Alex and I holding onto the harness to keep him steady as we went along. It was a really good experience and the wee man did so well, when we told him to kneel on the horse he went straight and stood up, clearly having seen others do it before and just thought -nope, not messing about with that, just go straight to it! Brilliant. I'll definitely look into doing it somewhere in the UK... 
   After that we went to Sonic and I got a burger and a shake nom nom nom. Then Alex drove me to Steve and Marie's. Here now, Marie and I got talking about University and English things, was lovely. Leaving for chapel tomorrow at 10 then lunch then skadoosh to Searcy! 

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