Yesterday I got back from the most amazing 3 week road trip with my parents. I got to cross some new places off my list, finally made it to New Orleans, then discovered Nashville, as well as a few things about myself. Here’s a little recap.
Our first stop was really short, but we got to see the Liberty Bell, and I climbed the Rocky steps, with a few victory poses along the way. This was also the start of the BGB’s 10 Day Challenge, which was harder than I had expected it to be, since so much of our time was spent driving and exploring. Although I enjoyed the whole thing, my favorite part was the writing exercises, because it really led me to discover my strengths, my passion, my obstacles, and why acting is so important to me. The free challenge is over now, but I think the audio is still available on their website.
I had already been to Washington on a school trip back in hish school, but I still wanted to see everything and hear it all again this time.
This is somewhere I had never been before, and my dad didn’t quite understand why my mom and I were so interested in this town, especially when we didn’t know exactly what we wanted to see. It was just a beautiful, historic southern town, like the ones we are shown in movies. Seeing it in person, Savannah is breathtaking. The historic district does kind of make you feel like you are stepping through time, with all of the beautiful squares and the houses that are preserved with historic accuracy. We ate along the water at a place called the Bayou Cafe where we tried crawfish for the first time. The entire meal was delicious. We also took a ghost tour, which is maybe something I might believe in, but definitely not something I expect to see on a tour. Still, I really enjoyed hearing all of the stories from the past 😉
This was the original destination of our road trip, before we extended it. We came with intentions of swimming, relaxing and…that’s pretty much it. This is where I finished the 10 day challenge, and discovered Lean In for Graduates. The book inspired me so much that it will be getting it’s own post in a few days, but reading it really changed my perspective on a lot of things. I also read a book called Resistance, written by a friend I went to school with, which inspired me to really work on publishing one of my own stories. In the end, Florida was relaxing, with lots of reading and swimming and shopping and visiting Downtown Disney and Universal City Walk, but it also got me inspired and excited for what comes next 🙂
This was the stop I was most looking forward to. I have been trying to find someone to go to New Orleans with me for quite some time, and put it on my list of 30 by 30 specifically so I could make sure it would happen. Although it wasn’t like I had pictured it to be, it is still definitely something to see. Everything we ate was delicious, and we got to see a wedding parade our first night there. As far as exploring went, we took a lot of streetcars and walking tours, sometimes in the rain, but it was so hot that we were okay with getting a little wet most of the time. On our last day, we went to Cafe du Monde for breakfast, explored the French Quarter on our own, and took a boat tour where I met Michael Raymond-James, who was a pure delight and ended the New Orleans leg of our trip on a very high note 🙂
We had two main things to see in Memphis; the National Civil Rights Museum and Graceland. We got to see both, and I spent the majority of my time in the museum chocked up and trying not to cry in public. Maybe not the happiest place to be, but definitely worth a visit if you find yourself near Memphis. It just gets you thinking and hopefully makes you feel things that will lead to doing things.
This probably turned out to be my favorite stop. It was the one my mom was most excited for, and we listened to country music during about 90% of the trip to prepare for this city and the concert in the next one. We didn’t spend a whole lot of time there, but we made sure we saw the biggies. Our first night there we went to the Grand Ole Opry for Rascall Flatts, Chase Bryant, Gloriana, the Gatlin brothers, etc. That was the first time in Nashville that I wished I could sing, but it was definitely not the last. The next day we went to the Country Music Hall of Fame, which has these recording studio booths where you can record yourself singing a selection of songs. This reminded me that I am not meant to be a singer, but also made me really wish it wasn’t so. We also checked out the Ryman, but our favorite part of Nashville was definitely the Bluebird Cafe. We went to the early show, which had 4 songwriters in a round, singing songs that they had written. It’s a really small venue and we were a lot of people, but it didn’t feel crowded, it felt intimate. We had never really heard of the 4 artists beforehand, but we ended up knowing some of their songs, and the whole experience just blew me away. I wrote the names of all of their songs on my napkin to make sure I could find them, and loved being able to go up and actually meet them after the show was done. My original interest in the Bluebird came from watching Nashville, but it became my favorite part of the trip on its own merits.
We came to Ohio so my dad could go to a Memorial Golf Tournament, so my mom and I hung out and went to the movies on the first day. We saw Aloha and Spy, which was absolutely hilarious, pretty much the whole time. If you haven’t seen it yet, go! We told my dad that if he felt left out and wanted to go see it, we had no problem watching it all over again 😉
When we found out we would be spending time in Ohio, my mom and I also found something more interesting for us to do, and got tickets for the 3 of us to go to the Dierks Bentley Sounds of Summer concert. I am a huge fan of lyrics, which lets me love songs from all genres, as long as I like the words, but Country Music often tells a story, and I love that. Canaan Smith had the first set, then he came out to talk to some people and was super nice to let me and some other people get a picture with him. Maddie & Tae were inspiring and Kip Moore interacted with the audience so much that we were treated to a live proposal from a couple in the pit. Dierks Bentley was the cherry on top, singing all of our favorite songs, sharing stories and doing a double encore. We also witnessed a whole lot of tailgate parties. Maybe next time?
And now, today is the first day of the rest of my life. I had an amazing vacation, but this is where I take everything that I have learnt and give my dream my all. I made a deal with my mother that if I am not a working actress by the time I’m 30, I will find another career, and I don’t know what that would be, so I need to make this work.
If anyone is interested in forming a Lean In Circle (more about that in my next post), or a Mastermind Group (kind of Bonnie Gillespie’s version of a Lean In Circle, but for actors (or entrepreneurs) instead of for women), leave a comment or message me. I don’t know about you, but being accountable to someone definitely pushes me to do and be more than me on my own 🙂
“Keep on climbing though the ground may shake, keep on reaching though the limb might break. We’ve come this far don’t you be scared now, ’cause you can learn to fly on the way down.”
-Maddie & Tae