Monday, June 10, 2013

Family Roadtrip: Texas to Tennessee

This past week we took our first family road trip out of state with baby Eli to attend a wedding in Tennessee. Packing for a road trip with an infant requires an immense amount of prep work. The days of throwing an outfit in a bag and picking up forgotten necessities along the way are long gone! I spent a week preparing for Eli's first trip- finding road friendly healthful snacks, collecting/cleaning/organizing clothes and toys and travel baby gear, and making sure wedding gifts were ordered and delivered. After all the prep work was done I felt like I needed a vacation from preparing for vacation!

Luckily, hubs takes over the driving so once we're in the car my main job is to entertain baby and dole out snacks. While I'm gradually overcoming my dislike of driving in new places, I am incredibly grateful that Michael is always willing to take on the task of getting us to our destination safely! One note to new parents is to go ahead and mentally commit to having one parent ride in the back with baby the whole time. I ended up spending 90% of the 12 hour trip in the back, wishing I had planned for more room.

We reached our first destination, a bed and breakfast in Mississippi in a little over 10 hours. The innkeeper was full of Southern charm and gladly allowed me to search for eggs from her laying hens. This is the view that greets you as you pull into the estate:



In addition to having hens, the grounds also housed horses, geese and goats. I wanted so badly to take this little "nubi" home with me!




After an enjoyable breakfast the next morning, we headed off to Graceland for a tour of "The King's" homeland. While I've always wanted to visit Graceland, I was a little surprised at the relative "ordinary home" feel of the Graceland mansion. Even adjusting for the design of the 1970's, Elvis did not appear to live like an American royal. His main rooms, kitchen and living areas certainly had touches of grandor but overall it was a very homey environment-imagine the Brady Bunch winning the lotto.


The formal living room:




The kitchen:


The dining room:



The iconic gold sink on board the "Lisa Marie":



Little Eli enjoying his Grandpa Bailey:



We even toured Elvis' collection of vintage cars and I learned a few new facts along the way. Did ya'll know that Elvis was born with a stillborn twin? Hubs proclaimed that Elvis must have absorbed the life force of his twin, which would account for his larger than life vitality. I think that makes pretty good sense to me.

We spent the remainder of our trip at a second bed and breakfast. I was too distracted to take pictures from that home but we had an enjoyable stay none the less. We packed in as much history and fun as we could. We toured President Jackon's estate: The Hermitage, sampled a variety of local BBQ {they've got pulled pork down but their brisket can't match the Lone Star State}, and we even made time to tour the Jack Daniel's Distillery. The Jack Daniel's Distillery tour was a definite highlight and I highly recommend making time for it if you are ever in the area!

The Hermitage:



Jack Daniel's Distillery:



















Most importantly, we attended the sweet and Southern wedding of Ky and Becca. While watching these two "babies" get hitched certainly made us feel very seasoned in our years, the love these two have for another and for God is impossible to deny. We were elated to join in the celebration of their union and can't wait to see what the future holds for this loving, intelligent and pretty darn good looking couple! And while I am not one to cry at weddings, I did get a tad misty eyed at the Mother and Son dance. I can't help but feel that in the blink of an eye I'll be dancing with Eli at his own wedding. I know we've all heard it a million times but "they grow SO fast!".



We ended the night with a few round of pictures and a good helping of "Tennessee tea". In case you didn't know, there is a limited edition of Jack Daniel's called Tennessee Honey. That's exactly what it is: smooth and sweet whiskey that will give your sweet tea a little Southern kick! We may have brought home a bottle.

Family of Three!

Four generations:




The best looking man in the place:


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