This was the 6th year that NBC Daytime had participated in the Fan Fest that the Country Music Association holds every year in Nashville, TN. It is such a fun event for all of us to be a part of. This year Bryan (Lucas), Christie (Carrie), Darrin (Max) & Rachel (Chelsea) from Days attended. From Passions it was Galen (Luis), Mark (Fox), Adrian (Miguel) and Emily (Fancy). We had such a fantastic weekend together. We always have so much fun together - and Fan Fest is basically one long party!
Friday night we all traveled together to the Coliseum to introduce each act on the main stage. It really is incredible to stand there and speak to a crowd of 35,000 + people. It's funny - millions of people watch Days, but it's such a completely different experience to be live in front of such a huge crowd. We were standing back stage as Kenny Chesney and Wynonna performed - the crowd just loved them! It really blew me away to see what incredible performers they are.
Saturday we signed autographs at the convention center during the day. Galen and I signed together, and we got through a couple hundred people on our shift. We heard some funny stories from the fans who had been their earlier with Bryan and Christie. Galen and I had so much fun together - we learned so much about each other's storylines from the fans. Soap actors always get such a kick out of swamping stories about the crazy scenes we've been through recently.
(While I was getting my make-up done for the event Saturday night, I finally caught The Cable Guy with Jim Carrey on TBS. Austin has been after me forever to see it and he was right... it's hilarious.)
Saturday night is the big NBC After Hours party at the Wild Horse. It is this great evening that NBC puts together every year. There were about 1300 people there this year (Thank you to everyone who attended for making it such a successful event!) This year Darrin and Mark sang - I never knew how talented Darrin is! He was so fantastic. They both were. Galen and I hosted the whole thing, doing Q&A's with all the actors, a Deal or No Deal game where we gave out some prizes to audience members and we showed some highlight reels from both shows. The sound system made it a bit difficult for the audience to hear us during the Q&A's, but when Bryan got out there and teased the audience by beginning to unbutton his shirt, he won them over without a doubt. Lol.
Sunday we wrapped up the weekend with another autograph session and some good, old-fashioned BBQ. Yum. We met a lot of fans on the streets of Nashville as we did a bit of shopping too. (I got a fun cowboy hat - of course!).
I wrote in the blog on my website on Friday morning before I left on the trip. I was so sad to be leaving Ben for so long. I can't express how excited I was to see him when I got home. He had such a big smile on his face when I walked through the door. Our scenes wrapped up early on Monday so I got to spend the whole afternoon with him. Ben has this little fire engine that he LOVES. He gets inside and turns the wheel and everything while one of us pushes him around. He makes hilarious 'siren' noises too. His legs are finally long enough that he was beginning to push it a little bit himself - Fred Flinstone style - but he can't really get enough momentum yet. But he's working on it!