Lindsey Stirling, Southern Festival of Books, and Millers Thrillers...Oh My!

First week into my vacation with the bestie ( #friendcation ) and we have already packed in so much!  If you follow me on social media - @danafraedrich on Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter and whatiftales on Facebook - you'll know we've already seen some awesome fire dancers at Millers Thrillers (click the link for the video) and made a some days of it at Cheekwood Botanical Gardens and various 12th South eateries.  But wait!  There's more!  We also saw Lindsey Stirling perform last night and will be headed to Disney later on this week!  One thing at a time, though.

Okay, Millers Thrillers first.  Or, as you might call it, why Dana is a terrible best friend.  To be fair, I did warn Sally ahead of time that there would be a lot of walking...through the woods...and that there would be some claustrophobic moments.  Hey, I offered her an out.  For context, Millers Thrillers is a haunted woods and zombie paintball shooting hayride event in Columbia, TN.  They do it every year, and it is great!  In my opinion anyway.  The haunted woods portion is a 45 or so minute hike through creepy, dark woods full of people that jump out and scare the crap out of you.  It really is well done.  Sally and I held hands almost the entire time while the hubs went ahead and, at times, just noped the heck outta there --> when we walked through the chainsaw lunatics, he was basically "Peace out, ladies.  Good luck with your lives" and left us to it, at which point Sally had to straight up shove me towards the exit because I kind of just froze and screamed.  So much fun!  Not as fun when we went through the creepy, smoke filled, green light, can't see five feet in front of you area.  Sally had to close her eyes through that bit.

Me: "Don't worry.  I've got you.  And I'm holding onto Mike ahead."

Person I'm hanging onto: "I'm a lady."

Me: "Oh!  You're not my husband."

Once again, Mike abandoned us...okay, that time he legitimately lost us.  The green smokey bit led to a maze full of black walls and black plastic sheeting.  That's when Sally's inner badass came out and her scales tipped from "okay, starting to panic" to "F this.  We're getting out of here".  She found the wall (remembering that Mike had said earlier in the night that, in a maze, you always look for the wall and then follow it to the left).  When we found the exit, she even went back for another group that had been lost with us.  She's the coolest!  Then there was the zombie hayride, which was basically shooting zombies with paintballs from a massive, armored vehicle, which is inherently awesome.

Speaking of awesome, we also saw Lindsey Stirling for the first time.  This was for her Brave Enough tour.  I am a big fan of her music, and Sally, who had not really heard much of her music, was good enough to agree to come.  Here are some pictures!

As you can see, there were sets and backup dancers and lights and costumes.  That explains why there were about six trailers outside the theatre.  It was very well done.  Also, as a former technical theatre student, I always find going to live shows really interesting because I usually know how the sausage is being made, so to speak.  I like identifying how the special effects are done and watching the gnomes (or stage ninjas, as Lindsey was calling them) do their work.  AND SHE HAD A PUPPY!  Yeah, this basically ticked all my awesome-boxes plus a few extras.  If you're able to go see her show, you definitely should.

And last but definitely not least, there was the Southern Festival of Books!  We had to go on Friday, as we left for Disney on Saturday (lots on that next week), and it was a bit miserable because of cold rain.  Still, we had a nice time wandering around and perusing the tents.  And my books were included at the Nashville Writers Meetup table!


So yeah, definitely a busy week.  And now I have to end this post because the (pro-tip) the wifi in Disney is pretty terrible.  I'm not 100% sure all my pictures have uploaded.  Fingers cross you guys get all of this.  Thanks for reading!