The Anna Roo is on a road trip over the next couple of weeks and wanted to share with you about it here.
This week has been full in every way. We started out by preparing for our trip, there was luggage everywhere. Mom made exhaustive lists of what all we needed to pack and in what bags, but she was still freaking out a little about doing it wrong. This will be their first out of state road trip with a kiddo like me. And it will last 2.5 weeks.
I was very helpful taking everything in and out of the bag over and over.
When Wednesday came we packed up our final things and said bye to work, home, and Texas until October, we were all as excited as a Roo with a box of cookies. Thursday morning we ate our leftovers outside for breakfast. Eating up what was left in the fridge and avoiding any mess. I loaded in the car with all my traveling buddies and we were off.
Mom and Dad seemed so surprised with how well I did on our first leg of the trip. Of course I can make it to Dallas being mostly self entertained, I am 1 and a half. After lunch we jumped back on the interstate with our sights set toward Arkansas.
We made one stop on the way there at a rest stop. This was my first of many surprises for Mom and Dad, my diaper leaked all over the carseat. Yikes! Then as I went around hugging all of the tall pines of northeast texas, I tripped over some roots and scratched up my face pretty good. The scabs will make for some memorable pictures during the trip. I think they make me look as tough on the outside as I feel on the inside. So Mom put a towel on the car seat and baby wiped my face before heading onward, what else could they do?
We were able to make it to Hot Springs before dinner and enjoyed the beautiful lake house we were offered to stay in by a dear friend. It must have been at least half a century old and it was positioned right along Lake Hamilton. I could tell mommy felt it was very peaceful. We watched the sun go down and fish jump out of the water for bugs!
The end of day one and 482 miles.
The next day we were ready to explore, anxious for all that awaited, but I am not gonna lie it wasn’t without a few hiccups. Mom and Dad learned a lot this first day about traveling with a little one like me. Surprise surprise they woke up to a sopping wet little PJ’d Roo. I watched patiently as they struggled with directions, gear, and my forgotten shoes. We parked in the wrong place and got lost on a trail, silly old ma and pa. We had a little talk about how our anticipation led to a few unrealistic expectations and then were able to enjoy the day so much more.
We dipped our fingers in the hot 143 degree springs, toured the other worldly bath houses and traversed some of the trails. We even had lunch at the only brewery on a national park the Superior Baths Brewery. Mommy said that at the end of it all she felt like taking a long relaxing bath. Tennessee was calling our names and the day was getting late, so we were not able to do one of the scenic drives into the mountains of Hot Springs, but next time.
Hot springs National Park will go down in history as my very first National Park. It is unique within the park system, being both the first protected land In the United States and the smallest National Park. It is also nestled so close to the city center and contains lots of interesting history. I think it was a great National Park, but hey what do I know it was my first one.
We had some major mileage to hit today, so we headed out on the highway going, according to my calculations, East. We crossed over a large river before we stopped in Memphis for a dinner stop. To my parent’s surprise I made a mess in my car seat again. This was beginning to feel like a pee themed vacation. Soon they figured out that when when I am in my car seat my diaper can not fill up all the way because the back side is smooched. Hopefully thier new revelation will help, my seat is starting to get a funky smell. We didn’t see much of Memphis, but what I saw I liked. We ate and played at a great park right next to the Mississippi River. It was a quick hello and goodbye until we were off to Nashville again.
We finally arrived in Nashville, and somewhere in the mix of events in Hot Springs I fell asleep for 15 minutes while on a walk and so choose not to nap the rest of the way. This means we drove the full 6 hours from Hot Springs to Nashville and I didn’t sleep a wink. I just asked mommy to entertain me the whole way, my favorite was when we watched Space Jam. As I was going to bed in my hotel fort I saw mama run off to wash all the pee pee clothes, sheets, and seats. Thank goodness, because I didn’t want the fine people of Tennessee to think that this is how all Texans smell.
432 miles completed and a total of 914 in two days.
We woke up in Nashville ready to explore the city. We started out at 6th and church street, we made a quick turn inside the beautiful Hermitage Hotel, before checking out the capital building. Then my mule horses paraded me around the streets of Nashville like the super star I am. All I need is some big hair and I would have been headlining that night. We went up and down broadway and 2nd street, taking in the sights and sounds of the music city. It reminded me a lot of my hometown of Austin. We had chosen to do the walking first thing in the morning because yesterday one of the lessons we learned was not to try to do any hiking in the middle of the day when they heat is hottest. I highly suggest this to anyone traveling with one like me.
At the end of broadway was a little riverfront park that we enjoied for a while before heading out to the Adventure Science Center. We had a lot of fun and it was great for running out my energy. I think the place might have been made for kids a little older than me though, maybe 5-10 years old. My favorite part was the train in the very front. Parts of it felt like a carnival with science information, but we are glad we stopped in for a quick look.
Now it was time to get back on the road again, we had more to see and do. We continued on our eastern adventure. Daddy was very adamant that he introduce mommy and me to “Appalachian style” biscuit restaurants, so we stopped at the first Bojangles that we saw. I think the lady behind the counter thought we were a little odd, because daddy was taking us around the fast food joint like it was a museum.
But now full of food we were ready for the next adventure, Burgesses State Park. If you are traveling between Nashville and Knoxville you should definitely plan to make this stop. In a 1.5 mile loop we were able to see one set of cascades and 3 impressive waterfalls. Each waterfall getting bigger and bigger, mama said the tallest one was 136 feet. The hike was enjoyable, especially if you bring a mommy and daddy to pick you up when you get tired. It was truly a magical place.
We then jumped back in the car and headed toward the Great Smoky Mountains. We decided to take the scenic drive into town going south of Knoxville and through the park for the last 45 minutes. Our car had seen a lot of miles and a lot of towns over the last two days.