(189) Music-Themed Travel, Part Two

Part Two  — Vacation 2013

Our family vacations as a child always included historical sites. My parents took us places like Edison’s birthplace in Milan, Ohio, Gettysburg, Dealey Plaza (where Kennedy was shot) and Washington D.C. Vacations are always more meaningful when the history of the area is attached.

Our first trip in 2013 was planned to be close to music, mountains, and rivers, yet a little history came our way while we were driving through Birmingham, Alabama. On a hot afternoon, we stopped at Kelly Ingram Park, the site of the 1963 Children’s March, with the Sixth Street Baptist Church proudly sitting on one corner, and the Civil Rights Institute across the street. I have been teaching the Children’s March and the bombing of the church to my students for years, and to actually be standing in the place where it all happened was definitely a dream come true.

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We went on to Nashville, and did all the highlights – Grand Ole Opry, Country Music Hall of Fame, tour of the Ryman Auditorium, and a fabulous morning at Studio B on Music Row. It was during this trip that I learned to love Elvis Presley for the first time, after just giving him a mild pass all these years. I’ve been hooked ever since.

Sarah Jarosz plays the Grand Ole Opry
Sarah Jarosz plays the Grand Ole Opry
Bill Monroe’s mandolin
The Ryman — Mother Church of Country Music
Jim at the piano Elvis played, Studio B

After Nashville, we moved on to Indiana, Gatlinburg, and Asheville. What stuck with me was how I could not get Nashville out of my mind. I kept wishing we were back there, even as I enjoyed the beloved rivers and mountains. This was how I knew we needed to go back to Nashville.


I wrote about my top 10 favorite moments in a previous blog, linked here.



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