part 1 concluded with the awesome Indelible Grace concert.
Thursday morning my dad dropped Bobby off downtown for early morning meetings and my parents & I had breakfast at the hotel and then joined him late morning. We all walked around the convention center for awhile, checked out the exhibit hall, and then sat in on the business meeting/assembly before having lunch at Ribby's (?) bbq on Broadway.
That afternoon, I went back to the convention center and my parents walked around downtown. They found Elvis!
Once the business meeting recessed for dinner, it was a mad rush to figure out how to coordinate a gathering between me, bobby, erik, joy, currie & abby. (all neighbors from seminary) the original plan was to meet downtown, but that didn't work, so we had to all drive from several different directions to meet at abby & currie's hotel room past the airport. it was crazy, but so worth it! I loved every minute with them and wish we all still lived in the same apartment building. they are part of the biggest reason I didn't want to move away from st louis. I can't believe we are all so far apart now - Missouri, Oklahoma, and New Jersey - oh my! thank goodness for GA! :) We didn't get any pictures of our hotel room dinner gathering, but we all drove back to the convention center for the worship service, so I got to get these two pictures.
Currie, Abby, and Ellie
Me, Joy, & Abby
I thought the night was over following the service, but it had only just begun... the business meeting resumed and went until 12:15 am! My parents went back to the hotel room and I was a zombie waiting around. Fortunately some friends from oklahoma had mercy on me (they saw me sitting by myself dazed and bored to tears) and invited me to hang out with them at the hotel lounge. But then they left and the meeting kept going! I really wanted to listen and follow along with what was happening, and I tried, but it was soooooo looooooong. ;-) here was my view that night:
and then... it was finally friday. normally the assembly would be over by now, but they reconvened for a few more hours in the morning. bobby spent the morning and early afternoon downtown and my mom & I spent them at the neighboring hotel's pool. I was foolish and got way too much sun. the worst burn I've gotten in a LONG time. that evening, we met up with Joy & Erik again, along with two more seminary neighbors, Parker & Nicole, and had dinner at Otter's. We love Otter's. And friends!
we said our goodbyes to the swansons for the last time and did some touristy things like walking around centennial park & the parthenon.
saturday morning we drove out to franklin - went into a couple shops on main street, walked around a cute little shopping mall thing and got some kettle corn at the farmer's market. we looked for celebrities but never saw any. boo! we went back to the hotel and got ready in the afternoon, ate pizza & food my mom brought from new castle, and then went to the Grand Ole Opry! Because of the flood, they had to move the Opry from the Opry House back to the Ryman Auditorium, so we got to go downtown again.
The show was lots of fun. Our seats were one row in front of where we sat for the hymn sing. Isn't that funny?
There were not a lot of people that we knew, but the Opry is still great because it is unique and classic. We all watched/listened to it growing up, so it is still a part of our history. Everyone sang a song or two, including the main attraction, Wynonna.
sunday morning we all went to worship at christ community church (pca) in franklin. we've been there once before, but it was my parent's first time. we all loved & appreciated it. after lunch in franklin, we went back to the hotel to begin packing and surprise my mom with early birthday presents, and my dad with a belated father's day present: playing catch in the hotel parking lot. after all that fun, we got ready and went back downtown to check out nashville's 4th of july festivities. we knew it would be crowded and hot, but it was way more crowded and hotter than we imagined.
we weren't able to get anywhere near where the entertainment was - julianne hough, jaci velasquez, and trace adkins had a little concert on the riverfront. my mom sneaked down and took this picture of julianne
so after battling the crowds for a couple hours (and seeing some cool things) we decided to check out a few honkytonks, since it was our last night and that was one of the things we wanted to do most, and it was a blast. we went into robert's western wear and heard some of the greatest musicians I've ever heard.
we stayed for a few songs, then headed to our car to start driving out of town and find a place to park to watch the fireworks.
what a great way to end our visit to nashville! :)
we left monday morning after stopping to see some friends from norman that just moved to nashville that weekend. my parents arrived back in western pa at 9/10 and we arrived back in norman at 11. we were quite tired, but so happy to be home and see our sweet little furry friends. we missed our animals a lot on this trip, but are so thankful they could be safe at home, and that we have great friends who came to take care of them!!