Wrapping Up Trip #1 to Tennessee…

…and on to the next! But first, let’s talk about my FIRST trip to Nashville of the week.

The beginning of the week consisted of visiting the bestest best friend in the whole wide world. I actually flew into Nashville to visit with her AND Caroline! Two flights to Nashville definitely made for an eventful week, but some things are worth the extra effort, like visiting with your BESTEST best friend in the world. I like to look at it as adventure. The unexpected Greyhound Bus trip to Birmingham was a special kind of adventure… more on that in a second.

Katie33 – Version 2

This current plane ride makes the fourth plane I’ve been on this week and 7 different airport visits, which is probably not a record for some people, but I think it’s a record for me. Katie was taking a training down at Maxwell AFB in Montgomery so while she was visiting Caroline in Nashville I flew in, enjoyed some of the Country Music Festival, did some geocaching, sweated a lot, and then drove with Katie back down to Montgomery to spend a few days. While I was there I got to go on a self-guided tour of Maxwell AFB (where I got to sweat some more) and hang out with some Stuwe family friends, complete with a delicious homecooked meal, a tour of Auburn University, a Toomer’s Lemonade (it’s the thing they’re famous for, I’m told), and dinner at “Mama G’s.” OH. AND. Some of Katie’s friends from training invited us to this thing called an ESCAPE ROOM, or BREAK OUT ROOM. It was the coolest thing. It might even be better than laser tag at Hard Knocks. Check out the link:

[Link to Break Out Montgomery]


In short, you get ‘locked’ in a room with a scenario and it is your job to solve a series of puzzles to solve the scenario and escape the room. Ours was Museum Heist, where our task was to find the stolen painting that had been hidden in the room and get it to the gallery opening in time. We had one hour to find clues, solve puzzles, and open all the locks. It was VERY well put together and clever. We sifted through the room filled with little artistic figurines, books, a scrabble board, and pictures all over the wall in order to find combinations to locks that gave us more clues that led us to the STOLEN PICTURE OF THE MONA LISA! We managed to solve the room and break out in 55 minutes. I know, my first thought was, “I’m not sure I want to sit around trying to solve one puzzle that will open a lock for an hour…” but it ended up being a series of little puzzles that fit together and required all members of our 6 person team to work on tasks separately and also work together. Like I said, super cool. Katie and her friends went back the next night (I was on the way home) and did another one of their rooms. Personal Note: find one of these in NC!

SPEAKING OF MY TRIP HOME… what. an. adventure. I was scheduled to fly out and be home by 10am Wednesday morning. Well. Tuesday night, while watching our Netflix documentary and enjoying our chocolate covered strawberries, my phone rings. It’s American Airlines letting me know my flight has been cancelled. Nope. NOPE NOPE NOPE. Things I don’t have time for in the midst of moving out of an apartment, cleaning out a band room, and packing: THIS. After some creative restructuring, I’m on a flight that will have me home by 3pm, but I have to get to Birmingham. This is where I experienced my first ever Greyhound Bus experience… I’ll compare it to Waffle House… it’s not just a meal, or in this case, a ride, it’s a cultural experience. I get on my bus to Birmingham, find an empty seat towards the back with a nice looking lady, and have a seat. Here’s our exchange:

“Hi! I’m Jordan.”
“Hello! I’m Bama. Well, the name’s Kelly, but I just got out of prison yesterday and that’s what they called me in there.”
“Oh! Okay! Nice to meet you.”
“Yea, you too. I’m just ready to get home. I’ve been in prison for 36 months for some stupid [stuff] and I just want to go home.”
“I bet!”
*small talk continues about our final destinations*

Turns out, most of the adults in the back of the bus with me were making trips home from being released from jail or prison. If you follow me on Twitter you saw the whole exchange of quotables… it was definitely an entertaining ride. They were having a great time, at 5 in the morning, and I just tried to soak it all in until I fell asleep for the rest of the ride. When we got close to the Birmingham bus station I elected out of grabbing a local taxi or bus to the airport and called for an uber driver. I’d never actually organized and taken an uber ride before by myself, and only one other time with another person, so I was nervous and skeptical. Success! A gentleman with a Lexus is out front with the taxis waiting for me! Turns out he was a retired cop for Birmingham. As much as the Greyhound Bus trip had gotten my nerves rattled, this definitely calmed them. He was very nice and we talked the whole way to the airport.

The rest of the day went smoothly. And now it’s time to get ready for my next adventure… On to Nashville round #2 for Blast rehearsals!

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