Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tennessee - Day 1

I don't really want to remember my nightmare of a journey to get to Tennessee yesterday, but I do want to remember all about my first day here!

Tennessee is:

---The Walking Horse Hotel---

We are staying in this cool little hotel with a lot of history! It's in the town of Wartrace, population 610. The hotel was built in 1917 and was recently purchased and renovated by a man in memory of his wife who died from cancer. She was an amazing singer and loved music so he is trying to bring that into the hotel. In her name, he constructed the Chais Music Hall where he has aspiring musicians come and entertain on weekends.

Downtown Wartrace. It's right across the street/railroad tracks from the hotel. Everything closes at 5pm so I probably won't get the chance to do some shopping, dang it!

---Cicada Bugs---

We were so lucky to be able to experience Cicadea Bugs since they only come out ever 13 years! The come out of the ground once ever 13 years and fly around and make tons of noise for about 5-6 weeks before they all die, make a mess all over the place, and nobody sees them again until 13 years later. They are HUGE UGLY bugs! And I don't do well with bugs! Pretty fascinating little life though.

---Tennessee Walking Horses---

Have you ever seen a World Champion Tennessee Walking Horse? Today was my first time too! Not much of a horse person, but I never even knew what that was before touring Joe Fleming's Stables. He has 90 Tennessee Walking Horses and 2 World Champions! Shelbyville is the Walking Horse Capital of the World! Every year, for 10 days before Labor Day, the whole town of 17,000 goes crazy with the Walking Horse Festival. Schools even close as their population triples when people come from all of the place to show their horses. The locals take off to Florida for the week and they rent their houses out for like $7,000 for the week! Pays for their whole trip! So, anyways, walking horses have these special platform shoes on their front two...feet? hooves? Whatever, like I said, I'm not a horse person. Anyway, they raise their front two legs really high when they walk and their back two kind of sway like an elliptical does. They are very smooth and the riders don't even bounce up and down when they...walk? Anyway, cool to see, but I think I'm allergic to all animals!

---Beautiful Scenery---

This is pretty much what the view consists of...rolling hills and lots of trees. Everything is SO green and beautiful! I couldn't get enough staring out the windows.

---Bell Buckle---

Cute name for a little town, don't you think? Bell Buckle was established in 1852 as a railroad community. I can't find the population, but I do know that it is home of the RC Cola and Moon Pie Festival coming up here next month. We had dinner at the Bell Buckle Cafe...true downhome southern cooking. Everything was fried...fried okra, fried corn, fried chicken, etc, and for dessert we had grit cake and oatmeal cake. It was actually really good, and you can bet I bought some moon pies to take home to the kids!

Cute little row of shops, don't you think? I loved it!

---My Dream Houses...for a day---
So obviously I took this picture from the car, while we were moving, with my phone. But, you get the point. Beautiful country homes, a lot of them plantation style like the Carmichael Plantation on Sweet Home Alabama. They are all acres from each other and no joke, as we drove past, people were sitting on their porches in their rocking chairs just watching the grass grow. I just want to experience that life for one long day!

---To End the Night---

I found this beautiful park with a walking path right around the corner from the hotel. I was so excited to take a quick run before the sun went down. It is a lot more humid here than I'm used to so I was dripping sweat, but the air felt good. So much easier to run at 700 feet instead of 4000. I even saw lightening bugs! So cool to see their blue lights flicker in the fields!

It was a great day! I like Tennessee as a place to visit. It's...charming. Makes me want to see more of the East and definitely makes me want a southern accent. I'm just not going to come during tornado season next time.

Oh yeah...and I worked a little bit...cuz that's why I'm here!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Dance 2011

Lyrical : True Colors

Jazz: Single Ladies

Hip-Hop: Whip My Hair

Brooklyn started Hip-Hop this year and LOVES it! She likes being a little extra sassy and being encouraged to have attitude. She loves getting her hair and make-up done and hanging out with all the other dancers in the locker room in between dances at competitions.

Recital is this week! Yeah!