We got up the following day at 7:00am, left the room by 8:00, went thru McDonald's drive-thru for breakfast, and were on our way. Bruce was driving and the GPS system was in place. Nashville, here we come. All the country radio stations were talking about the CMA's that night. They were all playing music from artists who were nominated. It was great! We first drove straight to the Grand Ole Opry and Opry Mills Mall. We wanted to look in the gift shop at the Grand Ole Opry but only ended up purchasing something for my mother-in-law for Christmas. Then we went to the mall and wondered if we would really be able to walk the whole thing because it looks HUGE from the outside. We parked at Dave & Buster's and went in through their entrance. We didn't stop in there at that time but continued on and began checking out the stores in the mall. We are actually pretty quick shoppers. If a store doesn't look appealing to us, we don't go in. Shoe stores look appealing to B1 and me, sports stores to Bruce, and a handful of other stores to all of us. Anyway, about 1/3 of the way through, I noticed a little stand in the middle of the walkway called "Gigi's Cupcakes." Basically they were gourmet cupcakes in many different flavors with a LOT of icing on them. All 3 of us are suckers for icing. B1 and I bought one, intending to share it. Before we walked away from the stand, we had purchased 2. We each gave Bruce a small bite of ours and he declared that he needed one as well! Funny. But they were really good!
OK, so we did actually finish walking around the entire loop of the mall and it didn’t take all that long, maybe 1.5 hours. We ended up in Dave & Buster’s and ate a nice meal there as well as playing some games. We then headed to downtown Nashville. I think by now it was about 3:00pm. We found a good place to park for $10.00 which was only about 2-3 blocks away from the Sonnet Center, where the award show was to be held. Our plan was to just casually walk around downtown Nashville, looking for some souvenir stands or shops. We walked towards the Sonnet Center and noticed a big crowd of people hovering around outside. There was also a tent set up. I asked Bruce what was going on and he said he was sure it was the red carpet area. Cool! So we walked up, stretched our necks, and saw what we could see. People were already pretty deep as many had been there since about noon. B1 and I decided it would be cool to stay and watch people arrive. We had heard a few big names who had supposedly already arrived. I don’t know what they would be doing there so early?!? But anyway, Bruce wanted to walk around and I wanted to stay at the red carpet. B1 was torn. She went with him for a little while but then came back to stand with me. We really didn’t see much. You knew when people arrived because the crowd went a little crazy. But then again, there were television crews there and they were telling the crowd to whoop and holler for the cameras.
The red carpet area was big. I mean the part we didn’t even see was big. We could see a long white tent where, after the stars got dropped off (most of the time by a limo driver), they went into. There was a car parked just outside the tent that the stars were signing as they got dropped off. They ended up giving this car away for some type of charity I believe. We moved around from place to place to try to get a better view of things. It was neat just to people watch. At this point of the day, we were all dressed in jeans, warm shirts, and jackets. Many of the people, however, were dressed for the show already. Some of those women had to be cold! Sleeveless and sometimes even strapless dresses were popular. Guys wore anything from jeans to tuxedos. Hair, make-up, and jewelry were definitely paid attention to while preparing to go to the show!
Around 5:45pm, B1 and I decided we needed to go back to our van and get ready for the show. We weren’t sure where we were going to change and as it came down to it, we just changed in the van, with one of us holding a blanket up to shield the other. Rednecks are we! We had both purchased a new pair of shoes (of course) earlier in the day for the big event. She wore black pants, a colorful short-sleeved shirt, and her new shoes. She had also straightened her hair that morning. I also wore black pants, new shoes, and a red and black long-sleeved dressy top. Bruce opted to remain in his jeans! We tried not to claim him! LOL.