Southern Country Vacation

Atlanta, GA · Nashville, TN · Orlando, FL · Cape Canaveral, FL

We took a vacation in the South from June 11-24, 2011 and visited the states of Georgia, Tennessee and Florida. We found people to be most friendly and I didn’t expect any different in the South. I did not realize how much I missed good ol’ southern cookin and we enjoyed some good meals. Our time in Atlanta, GA was spent visiting some interesting places including the Coca Cola Museum, Jimmy Carter Museum (Carter Center) and the Martin Luther King Historical Site & Museum. Our time spent in Nashville, TN was all about exposing ourselves to the history and enjoyment of country music. Dennis had never been to Nashville and always wanted to go there and see everything. Brooklyn City boy hits Nashville and I showed him the way with some good ol’ southern hospitality. We visited the Country Music Hall of Fame/Studio B Tour, Ryman Auditorium and attended a live radio broadcast concert at the Grand Ol Opre. We took a short drive to nearby Franklin,TN and toured the largest confederate hospital at a nearby battlefield. We visited the hometown of Country Music stars “The Judds” and visited their local diner . We would love to live in the Franklin area because of its beautiful country sides. We have country and horse ranches just a couple miles from our home but the grass is not that beautiful green on them hills, it is gold. After our visits to Georgia and Tennessee, we embarked on a 4 day cruise and spent few days at Disneyworld before flying back to California. This was one of the fastest moving and action packed vacations we have made because of the amount of road/sea travel and places we visited. A lot of logistical planning was made into this trip before we left California to maximize on saving costs. I am amazed how well we managed to deal with the high temps and humidity during our complete trip. I can easily adjust to the humid climate but it’s more of a challenge for Dennis because of his health issues. I watched out for him every bit of the way. One of our secrets to success was that a pool was always nearby for our use.

- Dave McGrath-Wagner

Atlanta, GA
June 11-12 & 15, 2011

Dr. Martin Luther King Historical Site

Dennis and I visited the Dr. Martin Luther King Historical site located in downtown Atlanta on June 11th, 2011. The visit was a moving experience for the both of us. We saw a very good museum with a large number of displays of pictures and other stuff providing all about the life of Dr. Martin Luther King.

- Dave McGrath-Wagner

The Coca Cola Museum

Dennis and I made a visit to the Coca Cola Museum on June 12th, 2011. We enjoyed the eye opening displays showing the history of Coke internationally.

- Dave McGrath-Wagner

Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum - The Carter Center

Dennis and I made a visit to the Jimmy Carter Presidential Museum on June 15th, 2011. This experience was a wonderful look back at the Presidency of Jimmy Carter. Amazing the things he did and more so what he does now to help make a positive difference in the world.

- Dave McGrath-Wagner

Atlanta Braves vs New York Mets

Dennis and I took in a game at the home of the Atlanta Braves on June 15th, 2011. This was the first time I was at the stadium since attanding the Olympic Games there in 1996. Dennis had never been to the stadium and this was a good time to watch his Mets play the Braves. The outcome was exactly what we wanted and we also enjoyed a great thunder and lightning show too. There was 2 rain delays before the game ended with the New York Mets winning 4-0.

- Dave McGrath-Wagner


Nashville, TN
June 13-14, 2011

Our two day visit to Nashville, TN and and surrounding areas was lots of fun with visits to the Country Music Hall of Fame/Studio B Tour, Ryman Auditorium, Downtown Nashville & Music Row along with the Grand Ol Opry. We took a short trip to Liepers Fork, TN which is the hometown of the country due "The Judds".

Downtown Nashville
We first arrived in downtown Nashville and got a good parking spot and had breakfast before all the shops and bars opened. We enjoyed the time spent downtown at teh shops. Almost all of the bars had live country bands playing music and the crowds were not that bad. Most of the fans who attended the Country Music Festival the day before had left town.

Ryman Auditorium
The Ryman is the "Mother Church of Country Music". The place is beautiful and the acostics are great. Dennis and I had our pictures taken on the stage in front of the stage set of a band that was to perform that evening. We were amazed to find that the ticket prices to concerts to this venu are relatively cheap in comparison to what we pay for shows in the San Francisco Bay Area. You can see some of the very best in country music at the Ryman Auditorium.

Country Music Hall of Fame

We were in Country Music heaven with our visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame on June 13th, 2011. We went down memory lane while viewing the many pictures and displays depicting country music's past. We also took in a Studio "B" tour as part of our visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, TN.

Grand Ole Opry

We saw a number of artists perform for the live radio telecast on 650 WSM Radio on June 14th, 2011. Live WSM Radio shows at the Grand Ole Opry normally include artists that are considered new, current headliners and a legend. A typical show may include up to 12 performers. Our show included performances by Jim Ed Brown, Chuck Wicks, Jean Shepard, Eden's Edge, George Hamilton IV, Dailey & Vincent, Jimmy Dickens and Darryl Worley. We recommend if your visiting Nashville to attend one of the scheduled shows at the Grand Ole Opry.

Jim Ed Brown

Chuck Wicks

Jean Shepard

Eden's Edge

George Hamilton IV

Dailey & Vincent

Jimmy Dickens

Darryl Worley

The Backstage Tour
We took the backstage tour after the show and viewed the different dressing rooms, green room and walked on the stage. We had pictures taken of us standing on the circle. Some fans on the tour actually took a moment to sing a song to the empty seats so they could say the sang at the Grand Ol Opry.

The dressing room used by a lot of the female stars like Reba McIntyre The Green Room
Dave standing on the circle of wood that was taken from the original Grand Ol Opry. Dennis taking his turn in standing in the circle
The Green Room


Orlando, FL
June 16-19, 2011

we made another visit to Disneyworld and it was as always "The Happiest Place on Earth". We had our normal round of charactor meals with our friends. We did a lot of swimming during the day and night until midnight on a few nights at the Port of Orleans Resort. We enjoyed staying at the resort and may return again on another trip. Disneyworld had some late hours for resort guests so we enjoyed kicking back during the day and heading to Disneyworld at night.


Cape Canaveral, FL
June 20-24, 2010

Monarch of the Seas
4 day cruise to Nassau and the Bahamas

Dennis and I took a 4 day cruise onboard the Monarch of the Seas. This was the fourth time we cruised on the Monarch of the Seas. Dennis surprised me with my first cruise on her when the ship was homeported in Long Beach, CA. These short cruises are always alive and this one was no different. A good mix of young and old out to have a party. We met some very nice people from both Cape Canaveral and Kentucky. We spent a lot of time sharing the cruise experience with some first-time cruisers from Kentucky. We gave them our pointers and did what we could to make their experience the very best. The weather was great and the scenery was spectacular.




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