So a week ago, I got home from Nashville. Since then, I've been so busy that I haven't had the chance to properly put my experience in perspective. Photos are, however available here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2160613&id=120402019&l=625edd19dc and here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2160621&id=120402019&l=315d07afbc
I think I will number Nashville among my favorite American cities to visit. There is just so much to do and see by way of live music, sightseeing, amenities, and yet, like Edmonton the city has a smaller town feel to it. I highly recommend visiting (in particular I recommend people who really like music [of ANY type, not just country], like my father to go!).
Convention itself was one excellent time, overall. I enjoyed running into familiar faces nearly everywhere I went — there were fare more CKI alumni present at this convention than ever before in my recollection. I also ran into many other CKI supporters including my fellow DAs (past, present, and future plus assistant admins), current CKI members and of course KI staff who were very familiar. Then there were some of my favorite Kiwanians, new friends and new faces, and of course my very familiar We-Can Kiwanians.
— The Grand Ole Opry (with amazing stars! Did you know that they have real commercials?)
— Jack's BBQ (so yummy!)
— Broadway Brewhouse (72 beers on tap — we counted the taps!)
— The Past Perfect Restaurant (the decor and atmosphere was excellent even if the server did forget to serve me a few times)
— The Country Music Hall of Fame (including Elvis' Gold Piano and Gold Cadillac)
— The Parthenon (yes, Nashville has a scale replica of Athens' Parthenon)
— The Ryman Auditorium (the Church of Country Music)
— The Wildhorse Saloon (we had a private party there! Booking the whole place, and had great live music, buffet food, drinks, dancing, line dancing lessons and more!
— BB Kings for the SLP Alumni reception (great to convene with some of my CKI 03-04 Governors, and my fellow Admins among others… including Paul Palazzolo, 09-10 Kiwanis International President)
— The Stage (one of the Honky Tonks with continuous live music — the band took no breaks and ONLY played GREAT songs!)
— The pedestrian foot bridge and great photo ops
— Swimming at the hotel pool
— Having a ridiculously awesome hotel room (at the Hilton)
— The Nashville Social (for guests from not-the-USA — I met people from Panama, Japan, and Canada among others)
— Judson Laipply (of The Evolution of Dance fame! I even got my book signed, and met him yet again)
— Denver and the MileHigh Orchestra (great music! Reality TV can select some decent music sometimes)
— Sweet Tea (oh how I love this delicious stuff!)
— yummy southern BBQ food
— the swing in the park
— Celebrity Impersonators (including Dolly Parton, Minnie Pearl, Elvis etc.)
— Loads of great experiences with far flung friends!
Suffice to say: I can't wait for next year in Vegas! Perhaps I'm a Kiwanis convention junkie or something, but what can I say — these are some of my favorite moments — reuniting with some of the most awesome service-minded people plus some great sightseeing and fun for good measure!