Emily Maynard Blogs: Meeting Dolly Parton and Confronting a Vampire Detector

"As soon as I heard Dolly Parton's voice I could have died!" the Bachelorette admits

Photo: Craig Sjodin/ABC

Hey, everyone! I can honestly say that this episode had some of my very favorite dates!

I’ve lived in Charlotte for a long time, but I never in a million years imagined I’d be climbing the wall of a museum that Ricki and I go to often. Judging by Chris’s face when the ropes came down the side of the building, I think he would’ve rather been at my house carrying in all my groceries like Ryan did last week!

As scary as it was climbing up the side of the building, the fact that there was a huge storm heading our way made it that much worse. Not only was I scared of falling, but also of getting struck by lightening!

My conversations with Chris are always so easy and I feel so comfortable around him, so dinner went great. I was so surprised to hear that he was only 25 years old, because he’s so mature and I always assumed he was older than I.

The very first night Chris and I bonded over our love of country music, so after I found out Luke Bryan was going to be performing, I knew he was the perfect guy for this date. And to have Luke Bryan as the soundtrack to our very first kiss made it that much more memorable!

Can’t get enough of The Bachelorette? Check out Chris Harrison’s blog on EW.com!

Keep Friends Handy

I’ve always tried to surround myself with people I trust, so I thought what better way to get to know these guys than to have my best girlfriends meet them? This date was one of my favorites, not only because I got to sit around and girl-talk with my friends, but I also got to see a completely different side of the guys.

I think every Bachelor/Bachelorette should get to have their best friends on call, because they saw a lot of things that I never would’ve known! One of my biggest fears going through all of this is that I’ll get to the end with the person I truly think could be my husband, only to find they saw me as a trophy at the end of a game that they just won. I want the person I fall in love with to fall in love with my heart, not my appearance, so that’s why Ryan’s comment really struck a chord with me.

At the after party I knew there was something wrong with Tony, so when I found him so upset outside I felt awful. I know first-hand how hard it is to be away from your child, and that’s why my heart just broke for him. As great as Tony is, I couldn’t look at him and know without a doubt that in the end he was going to be my guy, and for that reason I didn’t feel right about keeping him away from his son any longer.

He was so sweet and gracious that it was hard for me to watch him drive away, but I knew he had an excited 5-year-old waiting for him at home. I gave Sean the date rose because not only did my friends love him, but we had an almost instant connection that I feel really began on this date.

To say that I was nervous before my date with Arie is an understatement! I swear, I think I changed my outfit 20 times before I was pulled out of my house, because I just wanted everything to go perfectly. As nervous as I was, within five minutes of being in the car with Arie, he had me laughing so hard my stomach hurt!

Hooray for Dollywood

I took Arie to one of my favorite places, Dollywood, and being from Holland, he didn’t quite understand my obsession with Dolly Parton but he was still such a great sport about it all. The entire day was so perfect that I didn’t think anything would make it more memorable, but as soon as I heard Dolly Parton’s voice I could have died! I don’t think I’ve ever been so shocked in my life!

She has truly been one of my idols since I was a little girl, and I think every song on my “Top Played Songs” playlist on my iPod is a Dolly song. She couldn’t have been sweeter or more down to earth, and I can’t say thank you enough to her for making my childhood dream come true!

But even if she hadn’t shown up on the date, I would still say that my date with Arie will always go down as one of my favorites, because we had an instant connection that I was worried I wouldn’t find coming back as the Bachelorette. Not only is Arie a gorgeous man, but he has a heart of gold and he’s a great kisser! Does it get any better than that?

The rose ceremony was crazy, to say the least! Alessandro’s comments definitely threw me for a loop, but that wasn’t even the craziest thing he said. What you all didn’t get to see is that he thinks of himself as a “Vampire Detector” and let me know that not only was there a vampire in the house, but he also had me join him in the woods, which explains my combat boots as I was walking him out.

When he took me out to his special place in the woods, I saw that he had hung crosses from every limb on every tree and in that moment I knew we were living on completely different planets. I do appreciate Alessandro’s honesty, but maybe he should try to keep a house plant alive before we test his skills out on my daughter!

Thanks for watching!

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