America’s Birthday Week

At work this week I spent quite a bit of time running the prompter for our shows.  The guy who usually does it, Hunter, got married last week so he is honeymooning!  I also of course got to practice a lot.  Our morning anchor stayed late with me Tuesday morning and recorded some things with me for my tape which was a lot of fun.

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I also found out that Ginger Zee (Good Morning America) and Stephanie Abrams (The Weather Channel) work out at the same bootcamp as I do!  This was pretty cool!

Barry's Bootcamp Rocks

Barry’s Bootcamp Rocks

For the first half of the week, I worked in the mornings and worked out in the evenings then went to bed early… as usual!

Nashville is gorgeous

Nashville is gorgeous

On the 4th of July I went into work for a little bit and recorded a few things.  Then I just drove around for a long time.  It was pouring down rain most of the day so I wasn’t real sure what to do.  I drove around admiring the gorgeous homes, did a little shopping (AKA splurged on some new workout gear) and then I went and saw a movie.  You get a few weird looks as a 20-something by yourself when you walk into Monsters University, but I LOVE Disney movies.  And as I sat watching the previews thinking about how everyone probably thought I was weird for being there, I realized why I love Disney movies.  They are always positive, uplifting, and have a wonderful message.  Monsters U was hilariously accurate about how college life is and was so encouraging.  I love movies that motivate you to believe in yourself.  That’s what our kiddos need to be watching (I’m still a kiddo, right?)

After the movie I came back to my apartment and could not figure out what to do.  The Nashville fireworks have been ranked one of the top shows in all of the U.S.A.  But it had been raining all day, who knew if it would stop long enough.  I finally ended up putting some jeans and a ball cap on and walked down to the riverfront just to see what was going on.  It was still slightly raining, but I mean it’s a once a year event… and I did not want to miss out.  Last week when my family was in town we met a wonderful girl who is very in touch in Nashville.  She had told me to call her and she might could get me into the VIP areas of the celebrations.  And she delivered!  I have no idea how many people were in downtown Nashville, thousands and thousands, it was amazing.  With her special passes we were able to stand front row (in front of the fence!) for The Band Perry’s performance.  And then have drinks/food/ and the best view of the firework display!  It was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity.  Thank you SO much Anne Elizabeth!

The Band Perry

The Band Perry

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Fireworks

Fireworks

So much fun!

So much fun!

Friday morning when I woke up it wasn’t raining!! That sounds silly, but I was so excited!  I went over to East Nashville to do a little exploring.  They claim it’s the “hipster” part of town. I had lunch at The Pharmacy, and man was it yummy.  The restaurant had tons of outdoor seating, which is where I opted to sit, the weather was amazing.  Cloudy, about 70 degrees and no wind.  All of the food was locally grown, including the beef.  To be honest, I don’t really know what “hipster” means, but if it means living in a part of town where there are lots of old restored homes and restaurants that serve all local foods…. count me in!

Creamsicle

Creamsicle

Yummy Local Burger and Fries

Yummy Local Burger and Fries

2013 AMS Broadcast Conference

Last week I had the awesome opportunity to attend the 41st American Meteorological Society Broadcast Conference… yeah long name.  My friend Olivia flew out to Nashville to attend with me!  She just got her first job doing weather in Macon, GA!  Big props to her!  But anyways she flew out late Tuesday and I took her down to broadway to hear some music and grab some BBQ.

Wednesday the conference began and we were able to hear James Spann give the opening talk.  For those of you who do not know him, he’s the Chief Meteorologist at the ABC affiliate in Birmingham, Alabama.  And for my Oklahoman’s, he’s the Gary England of this area.  Check him out on twitter @spann he has over 100,000 followers.  His talk was about the lessons learned from the Tuscaloosa tornadoes. And let me tell you… It was motivating.  I had chills through most of his talk. Oh and by the way…. I get to go down to Alabama and do a job shadow with him next week!  We listened to talks and demonstrations all day, it was a fantastic learning opportunity!  I also finally got to meet Carrie Rose.  She was an intern for Gary England back in 2004 and then began working for him.  We’ve kept up with each other over the past few years since I’m sort of following in her foot steps, but it was fantastic to finally get to meet her!

Carrie Rose

Carrie Rose

Olivia and I went out to lunch… I took her to my favorite restaurant here in Nashville, Whiskey Kitchen.  Seriously everything I have tried there is fantastic!  But while we were out to lunch I saw a tweet from Carrie…. Gary England, himself snuck into the conference and was doing a talk during lunch.  I was so sad to think that I had missed him.  Luckily, he came back!  It’s pretty cool to look up to someone for so long… work for them, and still love them!  Getting to see Gary was fantastic, and take a look at this photo!

Shelby Hays, Gary England, Carrie Rose, Gary Lezak

Shelby Hays, Gary England, Carrie Rose, Gary Lezak

Gary’s intern gang!  You all know I interned, well Carrie interned back in 2004 and Gary Lezak in 1988.  Such a fun group of people and I’m so thankful to have them all as mentors now!

Thursday was fantastic as well with many many informational talks. I also got to meet a lot more people, meteorologists from Colorado to Wisconsin. Fantastic people!  And also got to meet Mike Bettes from the weather channel and hear his story about how he got caught in the El Reno tornado.  Quite scary.  So happy the conference just happened to be in Nashville while I was here.  Definitely something I plan to attend in the future!