In the summer of 1983, our family went on a vacation to Nashville, Tennessee. It took a couple days to get there. We drove down in a real neato RV. Driving in an RV was cool. You could lay down in the bed in the back if you were tired, chew on some munchies at the kitchen table if you got hungry, and take a leak (or worse) in the bathroom if necessary.
Once we arrived in Nashville, we headed first for the Nashville KOA. There were probably hundreds of RV's parked there. Some people just had pop-ups, but that doesn't mean we thought we were better than them. They had a freakin' huge arcade in the main building. All my favorite games were there, including Gyruss and Tempest. And lots of food. This was gonna be cool.
The next day, we headed out to the Opryland amusement park. They had a crapload of music shows to see, but also quite a few rides like the roller coaster, merry-go-round, etc. I remember being flabbergasted at how many people my age were wearing these shirts:
I wish I could have been as cool as they. One other thing I remember about that day is my sister getting sick and throwing up. My parents kept an eye on her the rest of the day. Incidentally, the Opryland amusement park closed its doors in 1997 mostly because they didn't have any more room in which to put newer rides to keep up with the times.
While in Nashville, we also went on a bus tour through some of the notable areas in town, including the Parthenon, a full-scale reproduction of the original Greek one.
On one of the evenings, we went into the KOA campgrounds' concert hall. We listened to some good ol' country music and actually had our picture taken with one of the singers. That singer ended up being...get ready...Vince Gill.
Just kidding, but wouldn't that have been something?
We also went to the Grand Ole Opry. I was into pop music at this time, but it was a pretty good show.
Next, we were off to Memphis and Graceland. Graceland had just opened a year or two prior (Remember that in 1983, it had only been 6 years since the King had passed on). We saw his tennis courts, his living room with 3 tellys, his gold albums, even his grave. The only place we couldn't go is upstairs where he actually passed.
After that, there was another amusement park to go to. It was called Libertyland and upon arriving at the park, my sister threw up again. Can you believe it? And she hadn't even gone on any rides yet. Oh well. This park has also since closed (in October of '05), again in large part due to not being able to keep up with the bigger parks.
It wasn't long before we headed back home to Minnesota. The following summer, we again went to Nashville, this time without my mother (she was living on her own now), but with my dad's business partner and her friend.
Inspired by my travels, I wrote a short song about our adventures down south. I called it "Nashville Tours" and for backing music, used the piano theme from the movie "Ghostbusters". I recorded it one afternoon while living in the trailer that my family resided in (don't ask). The chorus went like this:
Nashville Tours, those good ol' Nashville Tours,
Let's Go to Nashville, those good ol' Nashville,
Let's Go to Nashville, those good ol' Nashville