Well, my big Labor Day trip to Nashville and Memphis is over--hard to believe. I was surprised how much I enjoyed both cities. Liz and I did a lot in our 4 days.
In Nashville, we went to Bellemeade Plantation, The Hermitage (Andrew Jackson's home), the Country Music Hall of Fame, Ryman Auditorium, and the Grand Ole Opry. I also walked past the Tennessee state capitol building. I have never been a huge country music fan, but recently, I have been appreciating it more and more. As I told my dad when he said "You never liked country when you were a kid...you'd make fun of me!," it's one of those things that you need more life experience to understand! I walked away with 2 country music CDs at the end of it all. One of the exhibits at the Country Music Hall of Fame was on Ray Charles, and in a taped interview, he quoted, I think, Duke Ellington, who said "There are only two kinds of music: good and bad," and I am learning more and more how true that is.
In Memphis, we did the "Elvis" thing. We went to Graceland. We also went to Sun Studios, where many famous people got their start--including "the King," Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash. It's also where one of my favorite bands U2 recorded Rattle & Hum. At night, we went to B.B. King's blues club. I bought the CD of one of the guys who sang there--he played guitar with his tongue, and so I had to get his music!
Our last morning, we went to the National Civil Rights Museum. This was a bit intense. It's located in the old Lorraine Hotel, the site of Dr. Martin Luther King's assassination. I left feeling a little down, in thinking about how recent all of the events were, and how truly, there is so much work to go in achieving equality for all. I was definitely amazed by the courage of all those who were engaged in the fight for civil rights. It's truly inspiring. But, at the same time, the experience of seeing King's assassination spot was sobering...it was a somber end to our fun trip.