Travel Thoughts by Kim
Let’s go on an adventure together….to Follow the Music!
Music….it can take you back to some of the best memories of your life with just a few notes. So, it’s no surprise that music was a big part of many of my favorite trips. Some I specifically targeted because of the musical memories they represented and some had a musical element I stumbled on while there. So, let’s “follow the music” together.
In 2006, I talked my Mom into meeting me in Las Vegas when I was there for a work trip. It was around her birthday and love of the Beatles was something we shared, so I surprised her with tickets to a Cirque du Solei show at the Mirage called “Love” – all based on Beatles music. It was a fabulous night and an amazing memory for both of us.
I’ve talked in these articles a lot about the 2016 Most Excellent Adventure I took in a motor home with my brother and sister-in-law. Our first stop was the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, OH. If you’ve never been, it is a great adventure and not all that far. The exhibits are wonderful. It made for an emotional and entertaining day. Loved it!!!
On that same trip, I was able to spend three days in New Orleans during our time in Louisiana. While music wasn’t the main focus of that trip, it ended up being a huge part of it. The jazz musicians that were all over the city provided lots of special moments while strolling to enjoy the eclectic city and awesome food.
I often say my 2017 trip to Iowa is my most surprising trip. I needed to check it off to meet my “visit all 50 states” bucket list item, but I wasn’t expecting much. Well….I ended up absolutely loving Iowa and really want to go back. One of my favorite memories of Iowa was the day I drove to Clear Lake. Just after midnight on February 3, 1959, singers Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper, and Ritchie Valens died when the small plane they chartered crashed in a corn field just north of Clear Lake, Iowa. I spent some time in the Surf Ballroom – the location of their final performances prior to getting on the plane meant to take them to the next city on their tour. It is still in use for performances, but it is also maintained as a wonderful museum to all the artists who have performed there over the years – including a tribute to that final performance dubbed as “The Day the Music Died”. After leaving the Surf Ballroom, I drove out to the crash site. It is in the middle of nowhere on a long dirt road. To get to the site, I had to walk about a quarter mile down a path through a corn field in the rain and mug. I found the spot – memorialized with the names of those who died and markers that represent them and cried my eyes out. The entrance to the path is marked with a monument with glasses like the ones Buddy Holly wore.
Earlier in 2017, I went to San Francisco during the 50th anniversary of the “Summer of Love”, which took place in 1967, and visited the Haight and Golden Gate Park – both areas made famous by all the hippies and legends from the Summer of Love. What a thrill that was for this old hippy.
When I went to Kentucky in 2019, I got in to my hotel about dinner time and was really tired after a day of delays in airports. But, I happened to notice a theater across the parking lot and decided to look into it. It was called the Derby Dinner Playhouse and I found out that night they were doing a dinner theater performance of “Million Dollar Quartet” – the story of the night of December 3, 1956 when Sam Phillips got Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis together for the first and only time for a jam session and made Rock and Roll History at Sun Records. I suddenly got my second wind, found out the show started in 20 minutes and they could accommodate a single….I reserved a ticket and high-tailed it over there and had the time of my life! What a show…..and what a great accidental “find”. I sang along with the rest of the audience to every song.
Also in 2019, I was thrilled to get to spend some time in Liverpool, England and walk the steps of the Beatles! I cried almost the entire time I was there! It was part of a cruise and the ship was docked in Liverpool Bay on the River Mersey – you know – the river mentioned in the song “Ferry Cross the Mersey” by Gerry and the Pacemakers. I toured “The Beatles Story” – an exhibition chronicling their amazing career, walked down Mathew Street where the Cavern Club is – the club they got their start in, I saw Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields, the homes where Paul and John lived with their families and where they went to school and church, and so much more! It was an awesome day – the thrill of a lifetime!
Then, I crammed a TON musical memories into a single week in Memphis in 2021. I stayed at Graceland and did “all things Elvis”, spend a couple days wandering around downtown Memphis with the history of the blues oozing out of every crevice, took a day trip to Tupelo, Mississippi to see where Elvis was born and spent his childhood, enjoyed a couple hours at the Rock and Soul Museum, ate BBQ at BB King’s restaurant, strolled along Beale Street, and toured Sun Records – where so many legends recorded their early hits. I even got to go to see The Monkees in concert on Graceland. WOW!!!
There are a lot of other music-related destinations I hope to visit someday…..but, if not, I’ve definitely had my share of thrilling and memorable experiences “following the music” in my travels.
There are far too many specific blog links to reference here. So, if you want to read more about any or all of the places I mention in this article, you can go to my blog: www.thoughtsbykim.com, find the “search here” box and enter any key word to find the post that covers the topic you are looking for. The only exception is the Las Vegas reference – that trip was pre-blog, so you won’t find more info on that one.
Click the following links to check out my blog posts for tons of great photos and interesting information about the history, culture, economy, and other cool trivia associated with Bermuda: