Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Road Trip!

Over the weekend, on Sunday to be exact, Rusty and I celebrated our seven year wedding anniversary! Thanks to my amazing husband and his wonderful listening skills, he took me to Nashville. You see, I have been dying to go to Nashville for quite some time. I mean, it's where all the country music stars live and where some even started off. So cool!

Friday morning we loaded up and kissed the kids good-bye. That's right, this trip was just for us! It was sad to leave them behind, but it was a much needed getaway.

Our initial goal was to get to Memphis in time to tour Graceland. That didn't happen. So, we hit one of the restaurants I had read about for an early dinner. If you ever go to Memphis, and you want good BBQ, please, I beg, go to Central BBQ. The ribs were amazing, the beans were delish and the greens were pretty darn good. Skip the coleslaw, it is not good. YUMMMM! Also, I somehow stumbled across a ranking of the best places to eat in Memphis and #1 on the list was a donut shop. I couldn't miss out on that! So, we headed to Gibson's Donuts after our dinner and boy, am I glad we did! The red velvet donut is AMAZING!

After driving a little further, we decided to stay the night in Jackson, TN. Wasn't the cleanest town I've ever been to, but we had a place to rest our eyes before we resumed our travels Saturday morning.

Saturday we stopped off in Hurricane Mills (Loretta Lynn's Ranch) and walked around. It was beautiful and it is amazing what all she has done with the property. We decided against taking the paid tour, but did get a good look around the grounds.

 It was finally time to head for our main destination! Arriving into Nashville was exhilarating! After a stop off at the hotel we walked downtown to checkout all of the sites, shops and bars. I loved hearing all of the local bands as we wondered down the street. It was insane to see so many bars with live music and families going in and out. But the atmosphere was far from a bar scene, it was just fun music. There were some great musicians.

After walking all over downtown, it was time to stop in and listen to some music. Plus, I really needed some water! We decided on a place and it was nice to sit in the cold  A/C while we listened to an outstanding singer, Jackson Delaney. I think I could have stayed and listened to him until his set was up, but we had a date at the Grand Ole Opry.

Our night at the Grand Ole Opry wasn't filled with a bunch of young performers that we knew, but I got to know some of the older country musicians a listen to a few up and coming singers. It was such a fun night! Rusty and I walked out wanting to tune in every Saturday. It was an awesome experience.

 For our actual anniversary, we decided to make the three hour drive to Pigeon Forge and go to Dollywood. We rode new roller coasters and were able to experience a new park. It was perfect.

To be perfectly honest, I wasn't entirely thrilled with the idea of driving three hours there and then three hours back at the end of the night, but I am so glad we did! It turned out to be a perfect and wonderful day.

On a side note, we learned that there is a time change when driving across the state of Tennessee and oddly it is 3/4 of the way across the state. We lost an hour at the park, but gained it back in time for us to go to sleep.

This roller coaster was awesome! I had never been on one like this before. You sit on either side of the track with your feet dangling. Crazy!

After a fun filled day, the nice man in the gift shop told us that Smokey Mountain Brewery in Gatlinburg was a great place to grab a bite before heading back to Nashville. He was spot on! Not only was the restaurant wonderful, but Gatlinburg is such a quaint town. We will be going back to Gatlinburg some day soon.

 We decided to do the beer sampler, since I have never had a beer I really like, and I found three beers in the tasting that I really liked! Not only did we like the beer, but the food was SPECTACULAR! I had chicken with broccoli in a cheese sauce and Rusty had steak with mac and cheese. After I took one bite of his mac and cheese, I ordered my own side of it!! It was so good I could have licked the ramekin.

On our way to Memphis, we stopped off and had breakfast at the Loveless Cafe. Yummo! Great biscuits and homemade jam. I wish I would have had the biscuit sampler for breakfast, but instead I went with a boring old omelet. Oh well, maybe next time!

After breakfast, it was time to head back to Memphis so we could tour Graceland. I am so glad I can finally check Graceland and Nashville off the bucket list! They have both been there for quite a while.

I thoroughly enjoyed the tour. It was wonderful to learn so much about Elvis. I just wish I could have gone upstairs!
 Living Room
 Jungle Room
 Jungle Room
 TV Room
 TV Room
 Game Room (that is fabric on the wall and ceiling)
 Jungle Room
 Jungle Room
 Jungle Room

 Trophy Rooms
 He was given this TV for high record sales, I think it was in the 60's that it was given to him!
 Elvis and Priscilla's wedding clothes
 This was his racquetball court that has been turned into a place to display his many gold records

 His cars...

 How cute is this?!


One of the air planes. The other one had gold plated seat belt buckles and the sinks had 24k gold flakes in them! 

Before leaving Memphis, we headed to Gus's Fried Chicken since I read pretty incredible reviews, and it did not disappoint! Best fried chicken I have ever had in my life! We also went ahead and tried sweet potato pie, YUMMY!! My new favorite pie!
After dinner, we made the long trip home. It was great to sleep in our own bed and wake up to our sweet boys this morning. It was nice to getaway, but it was nice to be home!

It's hard to believe that we've been married for seven years. Our lives together have had so many good times and a few hard times, but we have done it together. I married my best friend and it crazy that I can love him more today than I did eight years ago, when we started dating. I am one very lucky girl.

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