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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Southern States Tour! Day 12: Birmingham, AL

It was a long day today, but we feel so grateful for the opportunity to have visited Birmingham, AL. We left at 7:45 am in order to be on time for our first stop at a Children's Hospital. On the way into town, however, we could see the recent damage caused by the tornados and storms that recently occurred in this area. It was truly humbling. Please include the people affected by these storms in your thoughts and prayers.

We loved our time at the Children's Hospital! We performed right in the lobby, and the longer our program went, the more children came to watch. There really isn't anything quite like performing for children. We were so happy to be there, and I think that they were happy to have us!

After the hospital, we headed to the Alamabama School for the Arts to do a workshop. Today, the band and performers were combined in the workshop! One of the jazz combo's from the school performed for us as well, and they sounded awesome. There is a lot of talent at that school!

After our workshop, it was time to prepare for our Fireside. We headed over to building, where we were served very delicious burgers and dogs! Once again I must say how spoiled we are on tour! The Fireside was an incredible opportunity for us. It was a pleasure to talk with and get to know the members here.

After the Fireside, we boarded the bus for a red-eye drive down to Atlanta, GA! Stay tuned!

Southern States Tour! Day 11: Memphis, TN

Walkin' in Memphis! That was our theme song today as we visited the beautiful city of Memphis, TN! We had a bit of a drive, so we left Nashville at 7:45. Our first stop in Memphis was the St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. We shared a 30 minute version of our show with them, right in the lobby. We enjoyed seeing those wonderful smiling faces looking up at us as we performed at the hospital.

After the visit to the children's hospital, we headed to a workshop with the students of Germantown High School. If we are ever feeling a little low energy, our visits to the high schools will always pick us back up! We had a very fun workshop at the high school, and wish them well in all there performance endeavors.

After the workshop, we had "a little less conversation, a little more action please." We drove to Graceland, Elvis Presley's home! We didn't tour inside, but we spent a little more than a half-hour visiting the gift stores, and signing the wall outside the property. It was amazing to see how he is still "the King!" There were so many visitors!

Our show that night was exciting to say the least! The big thrill for the night was a broken tooth! One of the performers happened to make contact with the bat that we use in our show, and his crown cracked into two pieces! After a quick scramble, the tooth was super-glued back in before the end of act one. Other than the tooth, the performance was a lot of fun. The theatre was was beautiful too!

Tomorrow is a long day, so keep reading!

Southern States Tour! Day 10: Nashville, TN

We hit the road nice and early at 7:30 am! We had a bit of drive ahead of us, but we were excited to be heading to music city! Unfortunately, our workshop for the day had fell through, but that left us with some time to do some sight-seeing! We first took a drive down 'music row' where Ron, our incredible band director, and a former student gave us an informative tour of the area. We were lucky to be with such knowledgable guides!

After that was a really great visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame! We spent almost two hours roaming the halls, and I know that some of us who weren't country fans to begin with, left as new converts to country!

After our tour of the Country Music Hall of Fame, we headed to Hillsboro High School for our show. When we got there, there was still some preparation that needed to take place, so some of us got to take a little shopping trip across the street to the mall! Lots of free time today!

Our show was a lot of fun. We adjusted to our new space, and we had so much fun performing for a very excited audience! We had the show choir from the high school sitting in the front two rows, and they could've been the only ones in the theatre for all we knew! They were cheering so loud! It was a fun show, and we are grateful for all the people who have worked hard in preparation for us. Tomorrow, yet another big day! Stay tuned!

Photos from today:

Some Young Ambassadors stand in front of a wall covered with gold
and platinum records!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Southern States Tour! Day 9: Knoxville, TN

Another day, another adventure! Today, our first stop was at the Pigeon Forge Rehab Center. We got to know many new friends, and we shared a few of our numbers with them! They were very happy to see us, and we only wish we could have stayed longer. That's the hard part about touring; leaving our new friends!

After that, we enjoyed some very rare free-time! We hit the outlet stores in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee! We enjoyed a few hours of shopping, relaxing, and some of us even enjoyed go-karting! It was a lovely break in our busy schedule. A little side-note: Dolly Parton was born in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee!

After our little shopping jaunt, we were off to our venue. We arrived at the beautiful Clayton Center for the Arts, and our girls were in for an exciting surprise! Our hair and makeup was tone by the Belleza Salon and Spa. It felt like a regular old day at the spa! The performance was great, and we felt so special. Our presenter went full-out for us!

Tomorrow we are off to Nashville, TN. Music City here we come!

Photos from the day:

Monday, May 2, 2011

Southern States Tour! Day 8: Knoxville, TN

On the road again, to the "greenest state in the land of the free", Tennessee! What a place to be! Our first stop was at the University of Tennessee Football Stadium. It was gigantic! College football is definitely a way of life here in Tennessee. It has over 100,000 seats in this gargantuan stadium! We met there with some of the folks that have been preparing over the last year for us. They arranged an awesome tour of the facilities there, and even took us to the bookstore to pick up a little keep sake. Sports fan or no, this tour was an incredible experience.

After the tour, we took off to a workshop at Karns High School. Both the band and the performers had an awesome time with the students. The performers got a special performance from "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers", the musical they are putting on! They were awesome! The energy from the student really gave us a boost.

We then had dinner at the Bryce home. They were so kind to host us all. The YSA's in the area prepared the food and let us relax before our fireside. The fireside was another wonderful experience. This tour is jammed packed with them! The spirit was strong, and we enjoyed getting to know those who attended. Tomorrow, we are back to performing our show! So keep reading!

Photos from today:

Now that's a big stadium.

Our fearless directors take press conference in the media room at the stadium.

Some of our beautiful girls against the beautiful Knoxville cityscape.

The YA's with our presenters, and Knoxville natives at the stadium

The YA's with the students of Karns High School

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Southern States Tour! Day 7: Asheville, NC

We had such a beautiful sabbath here in Asheville, NC. First, we had the opportunity to attend the Atlanta, Georgia Temple re-dedication via satellite. The Spirit was strong, and we are grateful we had the opportunity to be in attendance.

It was truly the day of rest today, as we were able to relax and catch up on some much needed sleep! Some of our gracious host families showed us some of the natural beauty of the area by visiting nearby points of interest, such as the Blue Ridge Parkway. The South is a very beautiful place, there is no doubt about that!

We also had a fireside tonight and it was well-attended! We were overwhelmed by the spirit that the members of the local stake brought with them. It was yet another wonderful experience for the Young Ambassadors. There isn't much more to report from today, but stay tuned!

Photos from today:

A beautiful waterfall along the Blue Ridge Parkway

Some our ladies after the fireside!