Hello, beautiful readers! Today is day 24 of the #RRBC 30-Day Blogging Challenge! I had my poetry club meeting after work today where we focused on revising their Piano Slam poems. After my son finished coaching flag football, we headed home. I cooked dinner and watched a show with my son. Exercising is becoming more difficult as we get home around 6:30 p.m. and I don't want to eat much later than that. I've got to figure out how to make this work.
Are you ready for my next road trip? 2020 kept everyone, including my family, home so there was no road trip that year. By 2021, we were hesitant to travel, but knowing that almost the entire trip would be out in nature, we decided to go. Thankfully, none of us caught COVID during the trip.
That year, we visited Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina in 35 days. We finally got to the Great Lakes!
We began in Helen, Georgia, which is a quaint Bavarian-style town. My dad had found this gem and wanted to visit it since he had lived in Germany for nine years, and nostalgia was calling him. We walked around and enjoyed the little village.
Then, we went to Chattanooga, Tennessee, and stayed in the cutest little cottage. My son and I slept in the loft, which wasn't such a great idea for me because the fire alarm went off in the middle of the night (twice) and I sat up quickly (twice), bumping my head on the rafters and getting a huge bump above my eye. There was no fire, just a faulty smoke alarm.
We went to Rock City Gardens and explored the trails within the rocks.
We also went to Ruby Falls and enjoyed the caverns and waterfall.
We took some time to walk around Point Park on Lookout Mountain as well. Then, we explored the city a bit.
Because we love Gatlinburg, Tennessee, so much, we went back there on this trip. We stayed at Brookside Lodge, which had a huge room that overlooked the brook.
This time, we went to Ober Gatlinburg, which is like a little fair on top of a mountain. We took a cable car to go up there. Whenever we were indoors or in small spaces, we wore masks just to be safe.
We visited Anakeesta, which is an outdoor theme park on top of the Smoky Mountains. It's full of great picture spots, which I had a blast enjoying.
My son and I visited Ripley's Aquarium while my parents rested. Anytime, we can be around sea animals, we are in our happy place.
Of course, my son and I couldn't go to Gatlinburg and not visit Pigeon Forge to go river rafting. We had a hilarious guide who made the ride even more fun than it already was. The first time I took my son river rafting, we sat in the back, this time we went straight to the front on our class 3/4 river ride.
And we hooked 'em and cooked 'em again at the English Mt Trout Farm & Grill. We enjoyed it so much the first time and enjoyed it again this time.
Then, we stopped at Rock Island State Park on our way to our next destination. The waterfalls there was just stunning!
We then headed to Centennial Park in Nashville, TN, and visited the miniature Parthenon.
We visited the Andrew Jackson Hermitage and the Belle Meade Plantation to take in a bit of history. Then, we enjoyed live music at the Wildhorse Saloon.
Our next stop took us to Cave City, Kentucky, where we stayed in Wigwam Village No. 2. Fun fact: this hotel inspired the cone hotels in the Cars movie!
We hiked Mammoth Cave National Park. We toured the Hidden River Cave and the Louisville Mega Cavern.
Then, we headed to Illinois to visit my uncle and aunt at their home. We had a great time visiting with them.
From there, we went to Abraham Lincoln's home and burial ground to learn more about the president's life.
We traveled for a bit more on Route 66 and stopped in Pontiac, Illinois, to take some cool pictures. In Cheyenne, WY, they have painted cowboy boots. In my area, we have painted cows. Here, they had painted cars. They were adorable!
Chicago, Illinois, was our next stop. We went to 360 Chicago and tilted over the city, which was a bit nerve-wrecking. We walked Magnificent Mile and went to Millennium Park and took pictures with the famous Cloud Gate.
Then, we drove through Wisconsin and went to Munising, Michigan. My son and I kayaked to the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore while my parents took a boat tour. I was not expecting the lake to have waves like the ocean and got quite nauseous on the way back.
The next day was the 4th of July, so we spent the day visiting waterfalls in the area. I've mentioned before the my mom and I love the energy at waterfalls. We went to Horseshoe Falls, Wagner Falls, and a few other small ones.
We made our way to Tahquamenon Falls State Park the following day. Right when we got there, the sky opened up and dropped buckets of rain, but that did not stop us from seeing the falls.
We visited Fort Mackinac on Mackinac Island State Park next and took a horse and carriage ride through the island, another first for my son.
Then, we were off to Westlake, Ohio, where we had fun perusing the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park and taking pictures with the scenery. And I found more willow trees! :-)
Sugarcreek, Ohio, was our next destination. We stayed in an Amish community and learned about their lifestyle.
We also visited The Farm at Walnut Creek and had some interesting interactions with the animals there.
In West Virginia, we stayed in a cabin on the edge of a steep hill. It was scary getting down to it, but we survived. The cabin was equipped with a foosball table, which we took full advantage of. We also visited the Blackwater Falls and Elakala Falls.
We stopped at the New River Gorge National River and explored the area.
We went to the Grandview Visitor Center of the River Gorge as well and got to watch a deer nursing her fawn on the road.
In Asheville, North Carolina, we visited with my mom's cousin and then explored the Biltmore Estates. The gardens are absolutely beautiful. We found a field a sunflowers, which just happens to be my favorite flower, so I took a picture with them as well. And I found more willow trees, so I was in my happy place.
We stayed the night in Charleston, South Carolina, so we walked around a bit. This was another place that was underwhelming for me. Still, we made the best of our resting stop. Then, we headed home.
Have you ever visited any of these places? Are there any you want to add to your bucket list? I'd love to hear from you.
Yvette, once again your travels are awe-inspiring, not only be you've visited so many places, but because you remember so much about them. We've been to North Carolina, specifically the Outer Banks, and loved it there. Any place along water is wonderful to me. Beautiful pictures and great post!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Maura Beth! I love North Carolina, but I've never been to the Outer Banks (yet). I love the show on Netflix and hope to visit it one day. Thanks for sharing! :-)Delete
Another fun travel adventure! Thanks for sharing, Yvette!ReplyDelete
Thanks for stopping by, Jan! I'm happy you enjoyed it. :-)Delete
Yvette, your photos and travelogue always put a huge smile on my face. I especially love where you have two photos side-by-side with you and your son at the same place in different years. It's amazing how quickly he's grown! I've been to several of these places, including Rock City Gardens and Ruby Falls. I want to visit many of those waterfalls and Helen, Georgia. Your mom is a trooper, traipsing around with her sore knees. I see where her daughter gets her gumption.ReplyDelete
My mom had difficulty with this trip. She didn't do most of the hikes because her knee was really bad. We took the walker and wheelchair on this trip. She definitely was a trooper, though. She didn't want to miss out on the experiences with us. Thanks for your comments, Patty! :-)Delete
It is amazing how your son has grown through the sets of pictures, I have seen. He looks a lot like his mother. And you were also in my home state, Georgia!
Thank you, Pat! I appreciate the compliment. I have enjoyed our visits to Georgia. :-)Delete
Wow! How long was your road trip? You visited a lot of places. The only road trip I've done was to Montreal and Quebec.ReplyDelete
This was our longest road trip at 35 days! I'm blessed to have the summers off because of my job. Thanks for stopping by, Susanne. :-)Delete
Hi Yvette! This was quite the trip! Your son is so lucky to have you as his mom...your pictures are absolutely beautiful! : )ReplyDelete
Donna M Atwood
D M Atwood
Aw, thank you, Donna! I am just as lucky to have a son like him. He's the perfect travel partner, and he loves it as much as I do. Thanks for stopping by today. :-)Delete