Road Trippin’ in 2016: Part 3 (AKA: the end)

Day 7: Chattanooga – Alabama – Mississippi

We let the girls spend the entire morning in the pool in Chattanooga instead of doing much sight-seeing. We were tired and it was overcast so it seemed like the thing to do. I’d like to go back someday, though, because it seemed like a really interesting place. We did go up to Point Park before we left to see the view and it was pretty awesome (and totally worth the drive up the mountain to get there).

One of Jerm’s many poses. He was especially into modeling this day.
Yall, let’s talk about my hair on this trip. It was a horrible disaster-y mess. I’m trying to grow my grey out and that awful blonde was not doing me any favors. I was in the process of trying to figure out what on earth I could do to it because I didn’t want to dye it dark again, but looking back my indecision was probably not the way to go….
Dramatic much?

We accidentally detoured into Georgia while trying to create our own “shortcut.” Turns out it wasn’t our best idea and added like an hour to the trip. I had planned a stop in Birmingham, just for the fun of it, but we ended up skipping it because we had spent so much time that morning before leaving Tennessee. So our grand total of experiences in Alabama was blaring “Sweet Home Alabama” while driving through it as fast as we could. Honestly, I don’t think we missed much.

Two time zones!

We pulled in to Jackson around dinnertime and were pretty much ready to be home at this point. I remember being grouchy and tired and done with the sightseeing and hotels and car and all of it. We had the pool all to ourselves that evening and let the girls swim until they were exhausted. And then I somehow managed to forget all our swim stuff in that last hotel. At least it was the last night or I’d have had a mutiny on my hands.

Day 8: Jackson – Vicksburg – Louisiana – Dallas

We were ready to head home, but we didn’t want to skip the Military Park in Vicksburg, and we’re so glad we went. It was one of those places where you really need hours and hours to explore and read about, but we took an hour or so and drove through, seeing all the high points. Pretty amazing stuff. I remember memorizing a speech in 5th grade about the battle at Vicksburg, but seeing it in person made it so much more real.



We only made one stop in Louisiana. These guys aren’t really my thing, but Jerm likes them and we were literally driving right past it so we stopped to see what we could see. Which was pretty much a lot of duck calls.

And that’s it, folks! We got home, returned the car, and vowed we wouldn’t leave home again for a good, long time. And then the next week I drove to Temple. It was just one of those years.

Around Here: January

My mind refuses to accept that we’re already well into February, but computers don’t lie. Except when they do…mainly when I log in to Facebook and see all kinds of malarkey. (That whole thought was just an excuse to use malarkey cause it’s an awesome word.) But anyways. Here’s a bit of what we’ve been up to so far this year.

  • Not pictured, but taking up gigantic amounts of time: school. Lots and lots and LOTS of school. We’re all tired of it and it’s only February, yall. Our schedule has been kind of weird and wacky so we’re fitting it in around all the crazy.
  • We had a tiny dusting of snow early in the month and the girls promptly bundled up and reveled in it for about five minutes. Then they got cold and came inside forever. 😀

    Cause Southern girls gotta do what they gotta do
  • Jerm took me out to a gorgeous little bakery/restuarant downtown called Bread Winners where we had the most amazing smoked gouda fondue I’ve ever tasted. We split the chicken and waffles and I was seriously sad that we couldn’t finish the fondue…my heart has been longing for it ever since. 😉
    Isn’t that brick wall behind Jerm awesome? It was such a cool building!

  • My sister made an impromptu visit at the end of the month and we had such a good time having her here with us. We spent a few days in Temple with grandma and the fam there, had some amazing Mexican right on the river, and of course made the obligatory stop at Buccee’s to load up on completely unnecessary trinkets/treats/etc.  
  • We also stopped by Magnolia Market on the way back to Dallas. It’s one of my favorite places to wander around, ever. You might even say the bakery there is my happy place. 😀 
    I’ll never get used to Texas weather. It was chilly in the morning when we left, but by the time we left the market I was DYING in those boots and flannel. I hold to the belief that it should NOT be 80 degrees in January.

     

    So those are the highlights. We have a lot of stuff happening in the next month or two, so I’ll share about that as it happens. Remember how as a kid January and February were like the slowest months ever? I’d be down with that.

Friday Five: the Austin edition

I’ve wanted to explore Austin for a while now, so we took a trip down last weekend to see what we could see. Following is my list of five things we saw, ate, or experienced while we were there.

#1 – The capitol
So this was the obligatory stop, but it was actually pretty cool. The girls even really enjoyed it (mainly because there were a lot of stairs, which is always a bonus in their opinion) and neither Jerm or I had ever been. The capitol building was huuuuuge. I guess everything really is bigger in Texas.

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He wanted to point out the republic part...
He wanted to point out the republic part…

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The staircases were very Gone with the Wind grand.
The staircases were very Gone with the Wind grand.

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The Samson pose.
The Samson pose.

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#2 – The bats

So I read about how there are millions of bats that emerge from the Congress Bridge every night at dusk, which seemed pretty cool. I knew Jerm and Mad would both really enjoy seeing them, so we planned our evening around it. Except, we waited for over two hours and they never came out. We could see some of them circling under the bridge, but it was pretty much a bust. The girls were totally over it by the time we left and I’m not sure seeing the bats would have even mattered at that point.

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#3 – The view

We stopped at Mt Bonnell on the way into town because it was supposed to have a killer view of the area. And seriously, it really did. Even though it was hot out, this was one of my favorite parts of the trip. It wasn’t a hard or serious hike, but it was nice to walk a little after being in the car all morning and the views were beautiful.

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You can see Austin behind us. We're pretty much the worst at selfies,ever.
You can see Austin behind us. We’re pretty much the worst at selfies,ever.

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#4 – The weirdness

No doubt about it, Austin is a little different. It actually reminded me of Portland – kind of hippie. For whatever reason, street art is a big deal there, so we stopped at a park to check some of it out. Graffiti really isn’t my thing, and in retrospect, I would rather have picked one of the other sites (more painting, less graffiti), but oh well.

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I took this photo for Phil.
I took this photo for Phil.

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#5 – The chow

Austin is known for it’s BBQ and it’s food trucks, so we tried a little of both. Personally, not a giant fan of BBQ, although southern stuff is so much better than anything I tried growing up. Still, Jerm and I weren’t too impressed, but I think it’s just not our preference.

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Monte Cristo from Hey! You Gonna Eat or What food truck. (Apparently it's won awards.)
Monte Cristo from Hey! You Gonna Eat or What food truck. (Apparently it’s won awards.)

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We did a few other things, too, and had a great time. Have you ever been to Austin? What did you enjoy? I love exploring new places.

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New Orleans

I love travelling and seeing new places so I jumped at the chance to visit Louisiana for the first time when Jerm offered to take me down for the weekend.

And now I’ve been to Louisiana and never feel the need to go again.  We had a good time, the food was amazing, and we were glad to go home.  We spent a lot of our time wandering, trying to find places, and operating on vague ideas (like, “hey, let’s go find some authentic cajun food. We’ll just head towards the middle of town…” Uh…okay.  Maybe not the best plan.)

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There were lots and lots and LOTS of bridges.  We went over them all, I think.

The food was fantastic.  We paid $20 for parking to get that authentic cajun food and stood in line forever for fresh beignets. We also stopped for Pinkberry, which was very un-Cajun of us. But it’s good, too.

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We wandered around the French Market and saw all the sights (which felt much safer by daylight), and tried fried peanuts, shell and all (verdict: ick). photo 1 (2) photo 1 photo 3 (2) photo 3 (3)edit photo 3 photo 4 (2) photo 4 (3)edit

We took selfies and Jerm considered leaping over this fence just to see if he could.

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I tried new things: po boy’s (super delish), cappuccino (don’t judge), and the already-mentioned peanuts and Pinkberry. We tried to sample our first taste of Indian food but when we got to the restaurant it looked a little dicey, so we opted to not tempt fate right before a 9-hour drive back home.  We’ll have to save that for adventure for another day.

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Adios, New Orleans.  Adios, Louisiana.

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Tuesday Letter

Dear Madeline, you’re really a nut. Especially when you draw super long, twisted snakes and then when we comment on it’s extreme length reply that “yeah, it’s because he really needs a haircut.” Dear Susannah, when did you become so grown up? It kills me when you very seriously say stuff like, “Mom, I’m tellin ya, it just wouldn’t be good.” Dear Jerm, thanks for not making us do the entire haul to Colorado in one day. I don’t think I could have handled any more “are we there yets” by the time we got to Amarillo. Dear Mad (again), No, you can’t “dwound” as soon as your head goes under the water in the pool. But I know it was scary. As you say, “good gweef.”

Ten on Ten (the Ten on Eleven edition)

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Ten hours.
Ten photos.
On the tenth.
(Except when it’s on the eleventh…)

Sunday was too busy to try to fit in photos every hour, so I waited until today since Jerm and I were travelling.

My handsome travel buddy
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Eek! Finally made it to an IKEA!
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Hello, beautiful-ness.
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Awesome old courthouse
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Where we ended up when the GPS freaked out on us
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Finally made it to Enchanted Rock…and the park was closed.
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In my favorite little shop in Fredericksburg
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The loveliest library I’ve ever visited. I wonder if they’d let me move in?
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I’ve been dreaming about this stromboli for over four years now.
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Guess who I saw in Fredericksburg? Kevin James’ twin! Seriously, this guy looked and acted just like him.
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Ten on Ten: August edition

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Ten hours.
Ten photos.
On the tenth.

8am – Time to start the goodbyes

9am – Chub-a-licious

10am – Treasure hunting

11am – Just for Ty

12pm – Lunch on the road (bad mom)

1pm – Oh wonderful HEB

2pm – Where we spent a good portion of our day

3pm – Getting closer

4pm – Well this just makes me sad…

5pm – Finally!