Halfway Through My 44th Year

I am halfway through my 44th year and my bulletin board of activities is over half full – and I have so much more do to before October 4th. This is going to turn out to be one of my best years.

Just a few weeks after my 44th birthday, I was off to Memphis for the Grand Opening of the Guest House at Graceland, a beautiful resort next to Graceland that exceeded my expectations. During my stay in Memphis October 26 through 31st, I stayed at the Heartbreak Hotel for its final night, enjoyed everything the lovely Guest House had to offer, attended ribbon cutting ceremonies, panel discussions with folks from the Elvis world such as Priscilla Presley and Jerry Schilling, sort of met Jerry again (well he said hello to me) and attended the first two home Grizzlies games. If you would like to read more about my amazing extended weekend in Memphis (including photos and videos), please click here.

Just a few days after I returned from Memphis, I was off to Glen Burnie to attend the Maryland State Athletic Hall of Fame Banquet on November 3rd. I was there to witness my favorite Brady Anderson get inducted. I was seated at the third table from the stage, but dead center. There was also a silent auction, which I won a framed autographed Brady Anderson Orioles jersey. Cal Ripken came out from behind the stage to induct Brady. I ran into Brady alone in the hall and congratulated him and he said, “Thank you.” Then I asked him for a photo – he said of course. He put his arm around me, and I put mine around him. After I took about five selfies, he said I’m glad I looked taller than you in the picture. He walked away then I realized none of the photos took. I was crushed! About 10 minutes later, I found him alone walking up to the bar and told him I don’t know what happened but none of the photos took. He said, “probably because I was in the picture.” Then I snapped one real quick, but it wasn’t as good as the ones that didn’t take but at least I got one to remember the night – not that I could forget. If you would like to see all my photos from that night, please click here

A few weeks later on November 23rd, I drove up to Philadelphia for the Grizzlies – 76ers game. Since it was Thanksgiving Eve, I left VERY early to avoid traffic and just hung out at Xfinity Live until the doors opened. My Grizzlies won in Doublt Overtime and I met and my photo with Marc Gasol – and didn’t get my Thanksgiving turkey cooked until 4am (I like a turkey sandwich for breakfast on Thanksgiving morning.) If you would like to read about this exciting game and see the vids and pics, please click here.

I had a great Christmas with my parents and Cindy’s family and celebrated Cindy’s birthday at the new MGM Casino at National Harbor. Then on January 18th, Cindy and I went to the Grizzlies – Wizards game in DC. We took the metro into the city and pregamed at the Green Turtle before the doors opened. Sadly the Grizzlies did not win, but I did finally get to meet and get my photo with Chandler Parsons. To see all my photos and videos from the Grizz-Wiz game, please click here.

A little over a week later, I was headed to Ft. Myers, Florida to celebrate my mom’s 70th birthday on February 1st. My parents and I had a great time! We went to Happy Hour, hit the slots at the casino, had the best meal at an exclusive restaurant and of course Mom’s Birthday Party/Driveway Cocktails/Pizza Party. To see all the photos from my four days in Ft. Myers, please click here.

I went back to Memphis March 1-5 for the Grand Opening of Elvis Presley’s Memphis, which is the new visitor and entertainment center at Graceland. It was absolutely fabulous! We took the Ultimate VIP tour, which was about 10 of us with a tour guide and included lunch (eat at Vernon’s Smokehouse it’s delicious!). We went back through the mansion again again that day and stayed until they literally kicked us out. We stood in the foyer looking into my favorite Living Room for an hour while other groups just passed us by. And the ‘we’ and ‘us’ I am referring to are my new Elvis friends I made on this trip. My favorite Caroline introduced me to her friends Julia and Delia, and hung out together most of the weekend. There were no panels or conversations, but there were Elvis movies throughout the day every day. We went back through the new exhibits every day, and I at all my meals at EPs Bar and Grill at the Guest House. I again stayed at the wonderful Guest House at Graceland.

So far this year (my 44th year, not the calendar year) that’s four Grizzlies games, two trips to Memphis, one trip to Florida and a Brady Anderson Hall of Fame Induction Banquet. What I have to look forward to the rest of the year is the U2 30th Anniversary Joshua Tree Tour with 10 concerts in June traveling to Chicago, Pittsburgh, Miami, Louisville, Philadelphia, DC, New Jersey and Cleveland, three NKOTB concerts also in June traveling again to Philadephia, DC and Cleveland (actually I’ll already be in Cleveland for the U2 show), one Neil Diamond concert also in June in Baltimore (June is going to be insane!), a Howard Jones/Men Without Hats/Modern English/Paul Young/Katrina and the Waves 1980s concert also in July in Baltimore, an amazing full week in Memphis back at the glorious Guest House at Graceland for Elvis Week (the 40th Anniversary!) and a Depeche Monday concert in September in DC with Cindy.

About Deena 'On the Road with U2' Dietrich (547 Articles)
My name is Deena Dietrich. I live in Ellicott City, Maryland with my 2 dogs Elvis and Cilla. I am making my way as a Social Media Manager, Blogger and now Author. I have written my U2 memoir 'On the Road with U2: my musical journey' (available on amazon) about the 75 (now 90 and soon to be 100) U2 shows I have been to ZooTv to 360 and the places I’ve seen and the people I’ve met along the way. My motto is “It is better to regret something you have done, than something you haven’t.” So follow me on my journey as I pursue my passions in music and sports: U2, Broncos, Elvis, Grizzlies, LMP, Orioles, NKOTB. Please connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Google+ or you can email me at deenadietrich@gmail.com.

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