Disclaimer: the following post is in no way unbiased. The writer is currently nursing an enormous girl crush on Lauren Alaina.
Over the weekend, we held an event in the soon-to-be-open Cracker Barrel in Tualatin, Oregon (our farthest west location yet). Several adorable students from the Youth Music Project came and had lunch with their parents. Afterwards, they were treated to a live private concert with Lauren Alaina. It was so sweet it practically made my teeth hurt. Not only is Lauren super talented and beautiful, she is also awesome with kids and completely hysterical. She got down on the floor to write a song with them, sang along to their jingly tambourines, and answered the question, “Why?” at least 72 times.
The kids (and their parents) were pretty much beside themselves about the completely perfect performance. After the sing-a-long ended, she posed with every child, parent, and Cracker Barrel staffer and signed autographs for them. While the line for a photo wended through the dining room, one parent turned to me and said, “My mind is completely blown. This is the most amazing thing that’s ever happened to me.” Her very wise seven-year-old daughter offered this advice, “Me too, Mom, but I think if we all jump up and down, we can handle it.” So jump up and down we did, and I, for one, felt pretty amazing about it.
I had a chance to sit down with Lauren for little Q&A –
Q: We’re so happy to have you here in our fist Portland-area store! What do you like most about Portland?
A: The city has the best vibe and atmosphere – the climate is so different from Nashville. It’s really refreshing. All the majestic trees are amazing – it reminds me a little of Twilight. And I love love love Twilight.
Q: What is the one thing you can’t travel without?
A: A book! I love to read. I’ve been reading the Jack Reacher series – they’re a true escape when you’re stuck in an airport. Oh, and also a onesie.
Q: What is on your playlist right now?
A: I’m obsessed with the new Bruno Mars album. And I love Sam Hunt’s “Body like a Back Road”.
Q: What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
A: I’ve got two – in the Front Porch series y’all did, I got to sit down with Dolly Parton. She told me to always remember being a public figure doesn’t mean you have to make everything public. Protect your brand and keep some things just for yourself. It’s especially true now, I think. Also, wear shorts under your dresses on stage – really sound advice.
Q: What’s your favorite thing in the Cracker Barrel shop right now?
A: I need to get these boots for my niece! They are so precious.
Later that afternoon, Lauren’s single, “Road Less Traveled,” took the number one spot on the country billboard charts, and humble, happy tears ensued as she called what seemed to be every member of her extended family. One publication called this an “ugly cry” but I can assure you, it was a completely lovely cry.
The woman is a complete Georgia peach. You should totally buy her album:
Learn more about Youth Music Project:
Interested in the Tualatin Cracker Barrel?
Jack of all trades, master of….oh, never mind.