A short time ago in a galaxy in close proximity to ours we commenced a journey of discovery to the land that is known as the mighty US of A. It was the first time for these newbies to head across to the centre of this Universe and we were both excited and felt a little trepidation not knowing what to expect.
3/9/2017 - Fathers Day
Fathers day amid the emotion of an unexpected family tragedy and the expectation of a pending tragedy we celebrated as best we could with the kids and then had a massive lunch with Dad, then it was head into Brisbane to be closer to the airport for tomorrows flights.
I was nervous about the travel and worried about those we were leaving at home to cope emotionally. I so wanted to hold my family close during this time. Maybe the distraction and grandeur of the Good 'Ol US of A will be what I need.
4/9/2017 - FLY OUT DAY
HAPPY BIRTHDAY HARRISON
Harrison flew to Fiji on his first birthday and now turning 10 he fly's to the USA.
Nice that he also arrives in the USA on his 10th birthday so he was wondering if he gets two presents.
Brisbane to Sydney seemed tame in comparison of what was to come. But to traverse to the opposite side of the globe takes time. So at 12:30 pm we commenced what would be the longest leg of our entire trip. 15 hours from Sydney to Dallas Fort Worth. The kids handled the travel like seasoned veterans and we all managed to get some sporadic sleep. A couple of movies each helped us pass the time and the occasional snooze. I know the old saying "a watched kettle never boils" but flight status checks every now and then helped track our progress.
As i write this we are 52 minutes from Dallas, somewhere over Texas after skirting along the Mexican border. More to come as we celebrate Harrisons birthday US Style.......
The whole sleeping on the plane thing is never easy when you're 6ft 1 and the guy in front of you has to violently recline his seat 2 hours into the flight. I mean it's 2 PM buddy are you having an afternoon nap!!!!
Anyway we made it to the land of opportunity, home of the free and checked into to our hotel in Dallas.
Jetlag is a bugger...... just saying! We spent the afternoon by the pool with a couple of beers / ciders and the kids had a swim. We crashed out early, me by 7 the rest by 8 but at 1:30 AM, BAM!!!! Eyes wide open and hello world. News from home isn't great as mum was admitted to hospital again. Finally nodded off after listening to SEN Radio via my phone back in OZ. Although its hard to sleep on your side wearing whopping big headphones.
5/9/2017 - The Worlds Largest Honky Tonk
All awake and a Buffett breakfast kicks of the day. had our first language barrier this morning when Bec wanted Tomato with her omelette, well you know how the song goes "You say Tomato, I say Tomato ......." .
Going to head out to Billy Bob's, the largest Honky Tonk in the world. We headed out to Fort Worth where there boys were a little shocked to see a civilian with a gun on their hip! But we were in the middle of cowboy country. We went to the Rodeo Hall of fame, they had some amazing stuff including Roy Rogers (doesn't everybody) horse Trigger. Jackson and Harmony even got to sit on a longhorn!
And this man who was in the hall of fame as a Rodeo Clown. A hero Just the same!
Then we checked out Billy Bobs. They say everything is bigger in Texas but I couldn't imagine the size of this place. A massive stage and dance floor, bars everywhere, a massive arcade of games and pool tables and, wait for it, an indoor Rodeo arena!!!!! Yep everything is bigger in Texas.
Had my first "Bud" in the USA at Billy Bobs and this is the guitar bar in the venue.
We couldn't stay too long because we had to get back for our flight to Nashville.
AT 2:55 we headed out of Texas on American Airlines. As we boarded the two grey haired pilots offered the kids pilot's "wing" badges. I couldn't help but think these guys could be "Clarence Over" and "Victor" from flying high.
"Have you got the clearance Clarence" "Give me the Vector Victor" "You have Clearance over" "No No its Clarence Over"
A great flight and we landed safe and sound in Nashville Tennessee. We were met by Kristy and Trav and Jamie and then it was off to their beautiful home in Hendersonville. One quick stop on the way, the bottle shop. And they had 1.75 litre bottles of Johnny Walker Black label, so big you needed a handle to pour it, everything is bigger in the Home of the Brave.
6/9/2017 - The Tourists
First real tourist day and what a day it was. First Stop, the Grand Old Opry. We did the backstage tour and boy oh boy stood on that very circle of wood that Hank stood on all those years ago. It was a pretty emotional experience walking through the place where my heroes played. Seeing the plaques on the wall of all the guys who sang those songs that id heard my dad sing as a child.
As i stood on that circle of wood taken from the original stage at the Ryman Auditorium I felt the history run through me.
BUCKET LIST ITEM CHECKED - Stand on the Opry Stage