Several years ago, our family of three started taking annual “Sine Die Adventures.” [Read more about how the name came about here.] The first year, I had no idea where we were going until we got to the airport and was thrilled to travel to Chicago and essentially, have the entire city to ourselves. [Read more about that here.] Here is the video of Steve learning where we were going:

For our 2nd Annual Sine Die Adventure, our daughter Meghan and I planned the trip for Steve and he was blown away when we announced at the airport that we were going to be traveling to Nashville, Tenn., where we would tour the Music City on a Segway, attend the K-LOVE Fan Awards, and  meet Duck Dynasty’s Phil, Kay, Jase, and Missy Robertson. While Steve’s music interests span from Mozart to Les Mis and Santana to Tom Leher, for the past few years, he’s really gotten into country music, so Nashville was a perfect destination for our Sine Die Adventure. He had also been watching A&E’s Duck Dynasty and had mentioned more than once that, someday, he’d like to met the family patriarch, Phil Robertson. After we booked plane tickets, I heard on the radio that Phil Robertson and other family members would be hosting a Christian radio awards show in Nashville the weekend we had already planned to be there. Perfect!

Just hangin' out with the Robertsons.

Just hangin’ out with the Robertsons.

We gave Steve a local weather forecast for our destination the day before we left and he packed his bag with absolutely no knowledge of where we were going. Once inside Eppley Airport in Omaha, we told him the destination and little bit about our itinerary and let’s just say, he was pretty excited.

One of the amazing indoor gardens at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville.

One of the amazing indoor gardens at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville.

We stayed at the Gaylord Opryland Resort which was an amazing hotel with comfortable rooms, incredible indoor gardens, and lots to see and do. We went on our first-ever Segway tour and I can’t believe I waited to so long to try the two-wheeled wonder. Steve had always wanted to try them, but I had resisted. Let me just say, Segways are a blast! We were able to see so much of the city in so little time. The Segways were super easy to operate, even for someone pretty accident prone like me.

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Next, we toured the historic Ryman Auditorium. Opened in 1892 as the Union Gospel Tabernacle, Ryman Auditorium was built through the efforts of steamboat shipping magnate, Thomas G. Ryman. The Victorian tabernacle had no air conditioning or dressing rooms, but the Opry fit the Ryman beautifully. The show broadcast from the venue, which came to be known as the “Mother Church of Country Music,” until March 15, 1974.

Part of the original stage (the circle) at the Ryman Auditorium was cut out and placed center stage at the new Grand Ole Opry. It was amazing to think about all of the country music artists who had performed in that very spot.

Part of the original stage (the circle) at the Ryman Auditorium was cut out and placed center stage at the new Grand Ole Opry. It was amazing to think about all of the country music artists who had performed in that very spot.

We sat in the “church” pews, looked at museum-type displays and were even able to stand on the stage where some of our favorite country music artists (including Jim Ed Brown, Loretta Lynn, Garth Brooks, and Trisha Yearwood) once stood.

After our tour, we had lunch at Merchant’s Restaraunt where Steve was especially excited to try the duck fat tater tots.

Duck fat tater tots. Yum!

Duck fat tater tots. Yum!

That night, we went to the Grand Ole Opry where we saw an incredible lineup of country music artists perform, including Riders in the Sky, the late Jim Ed Brown, Vince Gill, and Amy Grant.

After the show, we took a backstage tour and that fantastic. It was fun to see the dressing rooms and get to stand centerstage.

One of the dressing rooms at the Grand Ole Opry.

One of the dressing rooms at the Grand Ole Opry.

The next day, we took part in all of the K-LOVE Fan Awards activities which were a lot of fun. We got meet lots of Christian music artists in a very casual setting and we all collected autographs that we later donated to a non-profit organization’s silent auction fundraiser back home.

Getting autographs from Jase and Missy Robertson. Super sweet people.

Getting autographs from Jase and Missy Robertson. Super sweet people.

That night, we got all dressed up and arrived at the venue early to see the artists on the red carpet before the K-LOVE Fan Awards Show at the Ryman Auditorium.

Christian music artist Kari Jobe arrives at the K-LOVE Music Awards.

Christian music artist Kari Jobe arrives at the K-LOVE Music Awards.

 

Check out Steve's camoflauge tie and vest!

Waiting for the Christian Music artists to arrive on the red carpet before the K-LOVE Music Awards.

One of my other surprises for Steve was that I had not only managed to pack his tuxedo without him noticing, but I also had rented a camouflage tie and vest for him, since the stars of Duck Dynasty were hosting the show. He loved it, and I just say, he looked fantastic in his formal attire.

The show was amazing. I think we saw about 30 live performances, and all of our favorites were there — For King and Country, Natalie Grant, Tenth Avenue North, Meredith Andrews, Matthew West, Kari Jobe, and Big Daddy Weave.

The long weekend was over way too soon and we all wished we had more time in Nashville. Let me tell y’all, this was one place we will definitely visit again.

  • Late breakfast, early lunch. Time got away from us this morning so we had a bit of a brunch. We have been on an oatmeal kick this year for several reasons. It's inexpensive, filling, tastes great, and is typically readily available at grocery stores and hotels that serve breakfast. ⁣
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One cup of oatmeal cooked in water is about 160 calories (and a "green" food on our @noom weight loss app). We like to add a teaspoon of brown sugar, a little cinnamon, and lots of fresh berries. Other options are: bananas, nuts, nutmeg, diced apple, flax seed, or dried fruits. ⁣
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What is your go-to breakfast these days?
  • See how we lost a combined 150 pounds in a year while traveling! It was one year ago this week that we began our healthy living journey. We are travel bloggers with a new post (just click on the handy dandy link in our bio) about what we've lost and gained in one year.
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See what we've learned about calorie density, exercise and ourselves in the process. We are so thankful for the resources that have helped us, including @noom and the @mayoclinic Healthy Living Program. (This is NOT a paid partnership) We feel like new people and hope our story will encourage someone else who wants to make a healthy lifestyle change. To stay up to date with our weight loss and healthy living journey, be sure to follow @PostcardJar on social media.
  • Our daffodils are in full bloom here in Nebraska and they just make us smile. We brought the  bulbs for these flowers from Ann's first house when we got married and moved here. Ann had dug them up from her grandma Rashleigh's home in Fremont, Nebraska, and her grandma had brought them to the U.S. from a trip that she took to England. ⁣
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Ann's grandma passed away several years ago. Each spring, these flowers bloom and remind Ann of her grandma and her beautiful soul.
  • We love to travel but we're staying home to flatten the curve. As travel bloggers, writers, and influencers, we all have canceled trips, postponed adventures, and rescheduled experiences. ⁣
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We know this is temporary and soon enough, we'll be traveling again. But for now, we are all staying safe at home and encourage you to do the same. And while you’re home, check out some of these influencers’ feeds for travel inspiration.
  • Last week, we had the pleasure of making handmade pasta (via the internet) with our friends, Deb and Massi, who were in their home kitchen in Italy. ⁣
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You can read all about it, and get the recipe, on our blog. Yep, you guessed it, the link is in our bio. ⁣
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We met Deb and Massi of @italyunfiltered a few years ago when they created an amazing food and wine itinerary for us. We've remained friends and it was so good to see them, even if they were a world away.
  • We were supposed to be in Rochester, Minnesota, this week for Ann to see a cardiac sarcoidosis specialist about some recent issues with her heart. Of course, we did not travel to Rochester for her scans and doctor visits because of the coronavirus outbreak.⁣
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Instead, her cardiologists called her from their homes and her scans and tests will likely be delayed until June or July. We'll keep in close touch with them if anything changes, as well. We are so grateful for all of the healthcare professionals who are continuing to work crazy hours from home as well as in our hospitals around the world.⁣
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This is such an unprecedented and stressful time for all of them. Words will never be enough to convey our gratitude for the roles they are playing in the battle against this deadly virus while caring for those with other diseases and illnesses at the same time. ⁣
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Every healthcare provider we've talked with in the last two weeks has had the same message for those of us who don't have to go to work at a hospital. ⁣
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Just. Stay. Home.
  • Yesterday was Day 16 of social isolation for us. Because of Ann's underlying heart condition and suppressed immune system, we've cooked all our meals at home (no takeout). We've starting to get more and more creative as time has gone by. ⁣
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Last night, we made chicken and shrimp vindaloo and learned online how to make homemade naan.⁣
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It wan't as good as our favorite Indian restaurant, The Oven, but it did satisfy the craving we've had for Indian food. ⁣
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What are you craving these days?
  • We moved our living room furniture around this week and put two swivel chairs near the sliding glass door. Each day, we take time to turn around, rest our minds, enjoy in the view, and just be. #webelieveinhome

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