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63rd International Convention

Harmonet Reports

First Impressions of Nashville

My family left Raleigh early Saturday morning to pick up
my 12-year old son from Scout camp up near Mt Airy, NC.
We headed southwest down the Blue Ridge Parkway from the 
Virginia/North Carolina border almost to Asheville, 
stopping at Linwood Caverns for a quick tour on the way.

We had to detour off I-40 three different times due to 
road construction and heavy traffic slowdowns, and had to
detour off the Blue Ridge Parkway once due to construction.
We battled heavy blasts of rain that swept eastward as well,
but we finally reached Nashville at about 8:15 Saturday 
night, 14 hours after leaving home!

It was easy to find our way downtown, and one of the first
things we saw was the large revolving guitar showcasing 
the local Hard Rock Cafe. A few blocks later we found the
Hilton Suites hotel, a 9-story square-ish hotel similar
to an Embassy Suites layout, with the rooms lining the 
outside and a huge atrium opening up to the top floors. 
A large sweeping staircase commands the main lobby area,
with eating areas to each side and the main desk off to
the side. Beautiful dark polished wood blended well with the
sparkling marble stonework. 

We checked in easily and also noted the tickets for the 
free breakfast buffet and happy hour each day, and went
to the room. Our luggage (and my desktop computer, which 
I was biting nails over as the bellhop carefully handled 
the 17-inch monitor and tower) made it safely to the room
and we soon set up and unpacked.

We were able to wander around a bit, walked over to the 
Renaissance Hotel (headquarters for the convention) a couple
of blocks away, and got registered (this year for the first
time you can type your name and chapter/chorus info into a 
bank of computer screens and within seconds a laser printer
prints out your name badge just the way you like it! Just 
pick up a plastic badge holder and you're all set...much 
better and faster than previously! Plus, the printout included
coupons good for discounts at Harmony Marketplace, as well
as free chances to bid on Harmony Foundation auction items
(with the hope that you'll purchase additional tickets at the 
booth!). Harmony Marketplace was all set up with tons of
merchandise, and many other companies had booths set up and 
manned, selling barbershop related services, recordings, and 
the like. 

The convention staff is friendly and very helpful, and everything
seems to be ready to go. In the coming days we would take a 
few side trips to the Opryland Hotel, the Hermitage (home of 
President Andrew Jackson), the Country Music Hall of Fame and
Museum, and other local attractions. Nashville is a great place 
to take the family, and a great place for barbershop music! 
It's gonna be a blast!  

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