DIXFIELD — Spending a week and a half on a tour bus and in a Tennessee hotel with country music performers from across the nation and Canada was a great experience for Rumford nurse Mandy Bither Jordan and her 17-year-old daughter, Melanie Jordan.

And the road trip to states and places they’d never been to was equally divine. 

Last year at a Maine music competition Jordan finished in second place, qualifying for the North American Country Music Associations, International Competition at Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

“If I could have FedExed the dogs to Tennessee, I don’t think I would have come back,” Bither Jordan said.

While they were waiting for Melanie’s competition on March 15, Bither Jordan said they got in some sightseeing and visited the Hollywood Wax Museum.

“We had the best time ever there,” she said. “It was a riot.”

On the return bus ride home, Melanie said she’d complained that she’d never been through a big city before. Bus driver Larry Sprague overheard.

So he took his 13 fares on an impromptu detour into downtown New York City, just for Melanie.

“I wasn’t expecting going through New York City and the Bronx,” Jordan said.

Bither Jordan said Sprague took them to Ground Zero, Manhattan, the Apollo Theater, 42nd Street, Times Square and showed them the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty.

“He went out of his way to make her happy,” Bither Jordan said.

“It was pretty neat,” Melanie said. “It’s something I’m never going to forget.”

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