Battlefields

Hey Guys!! We managed to sneak in four National Park Units during our 16 week travel hiatus! One of them, Homestead, I’ve already posted about. I’m going to try and squeeze both of the battlefields into one post. We’ll see how it goes.

I’ve confessed to y’all before that when we started this nomadic lifestyle, I didn’t plan any battlefields at all. I wasn’t interested in walking around a big field that so many people had died in, but then we toured our first battlefield. Little Bighorn Battlefield was…eye opening. It was also during this visit that we all realized how important it is to go to these battlefields. To learn, to see, to remember. The boys learn more history in one day at a battlefield than they do in a week of history lessons. They retain the information. They get to put a physical place with the stories. Needless to say…we visit every battlefield we can. It makes me sad to realize everything we would have missed if Jerl had never talked me into Little Bighorn.

The first of the two battlefields we visited was Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield. We spent some time going through the museum and getting ourselves aquinted with the overall view of what happened at Wilson’s’ Creek before we set off on the auto tour.

I feel like you can get a better idea of what the soldiers lives were like and who they really were when the National Park Service has displays like the one above set up with personal items.

It’s always nice when there are a few trails that lead you off the main auto tour road. We hiked this short one to see Wilson’s Creek. The spot was kind of grown over, so I didn’t get a good shot of the creek itself. We were impressed with the size of it though.

The Ray house was used as a Confederate field hospital during the battle,

but was originally used as a post office since it was built along Wire Road. It was called Wire Road because of all of the telegraph lines that lined the road linking the nation.

The battle at Wilson’s Creek in 1861 was the first official battle of the Civil War to take place in Missouri.

Missouri saw fighting for the next three and a half years as raiders destroyed anything military or civilian that might possibly aid the enemy.

There were sooo many pretties at this battlefield,

but in the interest of keeping this post semi-short I’ll just

share these three. This last one is my favorite. I have no idea what it is, but I love the way it looks…and the purple color!

We ended the day with some grub. We went to the Black Sheep in Springfield and got one of the biggest burgers we’ve ever seen! It tasted as good as it looks!

The second battlefield we visited was the Pea Ridge National Military Park in Arkansas.

I love it when there are interactive displays! It keeps the kiddos more engaged and curious.

Are you wondering what the answer is to the question? What did soldiers carry into battle? Half of a two man tent, a miniature bible, a blanket, letters and photos from home, tobacco, a small sewing kit, and some personal hygiene stuff like a razor, brush, soap…and if they were lucky they might have a spare set of socks and a shirt. This, of course, would vary from soldier to soldier and what they could afford to bring with them from home.

I can’t tell you how many battlefields we’ve been to off the top of my head…quite a few. This was the first time we were able to hold one of the guns the soldiers carried. The guns were heavier than we thought.

After we perused the museum, we set off to explore the battlefield armed with a map, the audio tour, and my trusty camera. We encourage y’all to purchase the audio tour any time it’s available at a battlefield. It truly adds so much to the whole experience.

In all of our travels, we’d yet to actually set foot on the Trail of Tears. The boys have learned about it…we were close to it several times, but this was the first time to walk a part of Telegraph Road. Telegraph Road would later be renamed Wire Road.

Pea Ridge was the battle that kept Missouri in the Union.

Each battlefield is different. Different landscape, different feel, different story.

Elkhorn Tavern was used as a supply base for the Union until it was captured and held by the Confederate troops.

It ended up being a field hospital caring for both Union and Confederate wounded. The original tavern was burned in 1863 by Confederate guerrillas.

This field was the main battlefield at Pea Ridge. There are some traces of the trenches the soldiers dug. If you look very closely, you can see a cannon here and there. And if you listen hard enough…you might be able to hear the echos of the gun shots, the shouts of the men, and the canons going off.

The boys learned some valuable history and earned another Junior Ranger badge at Pea Ridge National Military Park. It’ll be our last battlefield for a while since we’re heading west for the next year.

There weren’t as many pretties at Pea Ridge, but I do love this one.

In the next post I’ll finish up with the National Park Units we visited while on our travel hiatus! There’s just one left, but I thought this post was long enough as it is. So, stay tuned!

See y’all down the road!

Categories: Arkansas, Foodie Find, Missouri, National Park | Leave a comment

Branson Day-Trip

Hey Guys!

One of our favorite days during our 16 week travel hiatus was the day trip we took to Branson, MO with my (Jennie’s) parents!

For as long as I can remember, my parents and I spent time in Branson every summer. I love that I’ve been able to show my boys some of the fun I had growing up and give them some Branson memories of their very own! This was the first year they were all tall enough to ride the go-carts solo.

Fitz’s Adventure was new to all of us.

The Dude and I loved the rope coarse the most.

It’s not really for the faint-of-heart. It’s all perfectly safe though.

You’re strapped into a harness then clipped onto a safety rope.

Even Littlest did alright on the rope coarse once he got over being up so high.

Rope coarse not your thing? You could do the wall climb! Yup, that’s Littlest, The Dude and me trying to make it to the top.  The wall climb was the hardest activity there for me. Not because of the height thing, but because I’m short, and out of shape. I think every muscle in my body was sore the next three days!

The two little boys both tried this.  The Dude got really close!

 

Littlest took several turns in the laser course. There’s a viewing room so I got to watch him in action.

There’s a huge plane suspended from the ceiling that you can climb up to. We did a few times just so the boys could sit in the cockpit and mess with all of the buttons, switches, and levers.

Fritz’s Adventure was new for all of us. It was so fun running around being a kid with our kids! If you’re ever in Branson, MO…this place is definitely worth an afternoon!

We spent the evening at the Dixie Stampede. Another first for all of us.

This show had it all! Action,

adventure, music,

games,

and food! Food that you get to eat with your fingers during the show…which…is very cool, unless you want to take pictures.

Let’s talk about the food. You get a soup (this was really good), an entire small chicken, half a baked potato, a slice of pork loin, corn on the cob, and a biscuit. No silverware required.

You even get dessert! Score! It was all really tasty! I’ve been to quite a few of the shows in Branson and this one was so unexpectedly fun. It’s different than any of the other shows I’ve been to. Y’all should totally go check it out if you haven’t already!

The last thing we did was visit Branson Landing. The two little boys rode the zipline across the river. It goes pretty fast!

We found a soda shop that sells every kind of soda imaginable.

And I do mean every kind. Dinosaur Dung soda…I think I’ll pass.

Littlest found a Peanut Butter & Jelly soda that he had to try. He drank the whole thing. I’m still not sure if he actually liked it…he’d make a face every time he took a drink of it.

Mr. Man found a Chocolate Soda. He said it was really good!

We had the best day in Branson with my parents. We got to experience several firsts…which for people who’ve been to Branson soooo many times is hard to find. And, we got to share some of the oldies-but-goodies with the boys.

See y’all down the road!

Categories: Destinations, Missouri | Leave a comment

Travel Hiatus

Hey Guys!! We took a hiatus from traveling this past summer and spent time with family and friends in MO while we worked on some projects around the RV. We spent 16 weeks having fun, touring National Parks, and catching up with family and friends.

If you ask the boys…they would tell you one of the best things about our hiatus was being able to shoot off fireworks.

One of the downsides of being nomads is missing out on holidays with family. We were away for the July 4th celebrations the last two years.

We didn’t get to celebrate on July 4th this year either…but we were only four days late.

When we go back to MO we always stay in my (Jennie’s) parent’s driveway. We driveway camp. The boys love to play games and spend as much time as possible with family while we’re back.

They also love all of the toys…

that they have access to while driveway camping. 😉

Shhh…be very, very quiet…he’s hunting birds. Magnus spent the summer stalking birds aka we put up a bird feeder to keep him entertained. He’s very serious about his bird stalking.

I tried to get a video of him chattering and charming the birds, but every time I’d get close enough he’d stop. Apparently, he’s a shy hunter. Who knew cats could be shy?

Sadi spent the summer doing what Sadi does best…sleeping. And eating. She’s a champion eater.

We took a mini trip up to Omaha, NE to visit friends and see the eclipse! You can read all about it here.

We also made it to a local Vietnamese festival! Please don’t ask me to spell out the name of the festival. It’s an annual festival held every August in Carthage, MO.

We had a great time wandering around, drinking boboa tea, shopping,

and eating. Guys…the food! We didn’t get anything that wasn’t good.

Speaking of food…

one of the things we look forward to

is hitting all of our

favorite foodie places. Bonus points for anyone who can name all four different places in the pics!

I’ve got a few more posts planned to catch y’all up on what we did over our travel hiatus. We’ll talk about the National Parks we visited, a fun day trip to Branson, and all of the projects we’ve been working on…along with some not so fun things that happened, so stay tuned!

See y’all down the road!

Categories: Eclipse, Foodie Find, Keeping It Real, Missouri | Leave a comment

Little Rock, AR

Hey Guys! Are you ready for the second part of our Arkansas adventures?

The main reason we were in the Little Rock area was to visit the Arkansas State Capitol Building. Y’all know about our rule of visiting the SCB before we can put the state sticker on our map.

We enjoyed the Arkansas SCB. It has a lovely dome! There’s something to be said for clean lines and modest decorations.

It had not one, but two of these fantastic staircases.

Both of the House and Senate Chambers were locked. We didn’t get to go inside, but I did snap the picture above through the window. I do love stained glass domes!

I love these big brass doors! I had The Dude stand in front of one so you could get a better perspective of their size.

I would have to say the best part of this SCB for us was the State Treasury room

where they let us hold half a million dollars!! Guys!! Have you ever touched so much money at once?

We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to hold the money ourselves. We each got to hold the stack of money while the tour guide (I’m so bad with names) told us a bit about the history of the safe. He also gave the boys some perspective on how much money it takes to go to college and raise a kid. I think they were pretty surprised. We asked if he’d ever had anyone try to take off with the money. He said he hadn’t, but they do school fieldtrips there and he had one kid refuse to give the money back to him. I would like to have seen that conversation.

The other place we really wanted to visit in Little Rock  is the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site. One of the things we really love about being nomads is the ability to take the boys to places where our Country’s history happened. We feel like it makes a bigger impact to see it in person rather than just reading about it in some book.

We weren’t alive in May of 1957. We’d, of course, learned about what happened at the Little Rock Central High School during that turbulent time, but we hadn’t learned much about it with the watered down version that’s taught in schools. We really didn’t know anything. The Visitor Center laid out really well. There’s so much information you could spend the better part of a day reading though it all and watching the videos.

 

I’d never heard them called”the Little Rock Nine”, never thought about how brave they must have been, how hard they had to work to stay in school while so many wanted to find reasons to kick them out, and how they were representing an entire group of people. The whole world was watching these nine high school kids…just waiting to see if they failed or succeeded. That’s a lot of pressure. Reading about each of their stories was eye opening for all of us.

The Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site includes the Visitor Center, this gas station where protests took place, and the High School itself.  The high school is still a working school so the only way to tour it is on a Ranger led tour. We, unfortunately, didn’t get to go on one. I would have liked to, but timing didn’t work out.

We made a quick stop at The Old Mill Park which is a re-creation of an 1880s water-powered grist mill. You might recognize it from the opening scenes of “Gone With The Wind”. It was a busy little park! You can go into the mill and look around.

The Old Mill Park is dedicated to the memory of the Arkansas pioneers. The park is nestled at the end of a finger of Lake Number Two.

If you’ve followed us for long, you know that we love our burgers. We found a great foodie spot called Big Orange. The burger above is the Farmer’s Burger with a fried egg, bacon, lettuce, tomato, red onion, and aioli. It must have been good because it didn’t last long!

I had the Smashed Avocado Burger with avocado, pepper salad, Havarti cheese, lettuce, tomato, and garlic aioli! It was delicious! Those fries you see in the background are the State Fair Fries which include chili, cheese dip, two different kinds of shredded cheese, pickled jalapenos, fresh jalapenos and red onion. The were totally not on my diet and I didn’t care at all…they were definitely worth it!

Pretties! There were tons of them!

I’m sure I took way more pictures

of pretties than I needed to.

I found this one at the Old Mill Park. I love the color and how different it looks!

That’s all for Arkansas! See y’all down the road!

This is the last post for the #minieasternloop2017

Categories: Arkansas, Capitol Building, Foodie Find, minieasternloop2017, National Park | Leave a comment

Hot Springs National Park

Hey Guys! We spent one week in Arkansas, but we crammed so much into that one week I’m going to break up our Arkansas adventures into two separate posts. We’re going to start with Hot Springs National Park!

Bathhouse Row

Confession:  I didn’t really want to go to Hot Springs National Park. I could’t figure out what could be so interesting about a hot spring. Did I really want to devote an entire stop to this area? When we visit some place it’s not just for a weekend. We devote an entire week to two weeks to each stop. I questioned whether or not this National Park was worth the hassle of staying so far from Little Rock (which is the main reason we were going to be in the area). Now, don’t get me wrong…we love our National Parks…it’s just that usually, National Parks are…well…bigger.  I’m talking about Parks and not Monuments or Historic Sites or Battlefields.

Fordyce Bathhouse/National Park Visitor Center

The day we went it was soooo busy. Finding a parking spot wasn’t easy. Let’s just say, I was still skeptical when we walked into the Fordyce Bathhouse. It wasn’t looking so hot for Hot Springs, so far.

Ladies’ Bath Hall

The boys grabbed their Junior Ranger booklets and we set about exploring the museum in the Fordyce Bathhouse. The National Park Service has restored quite a bit of the Fordyce to what it looked like back in it’s heyday. In the picture above you can see one of the stalls used for a womens bath.  The uniform you see is what the attendant would have worn.

Treatment room

The museum in Fordyce Bathhouse you get to walk through the “ritual” of a bathhouse visit. These visits were a three week long regime of daily baths,

Gymnasium

workouts in the state-of-the-art gymnasium,

Massage therapy room

massages with

the newest devices and tinctures,

and a variety of specialty treatments. The room above was for podiatry…all afflictions dealing with the feet.

Beauty salon

When all that steam from the hot spring water ruined your hair, you could stop into the beauty salon and have it fixed. Check out all of the old beauty equipment!

Therapy bathtub

During the mid- 19th century, Hot Springs catered to the wealth of America. People came from all over the country to have a spa vacation at one of the famous Bathhouse Row’s “temple of health and beauty”, but the wealthy weren’t the only people lining up to get into one of the spas. The mineral rich, hot spring water was said to be a cure for what ails you no matter what that ailment was. Many people came for physical therapy in specialized tubs like the one above.

Bedroom

While the bedrooms were on the small side,

 

the bathhouses offered ample rooms and activities to allow for socializing in the evenings. The mannequin in the photo above kind of gave me the creeps. I really kept expecting it to move. Maybe I’ve watched too much sci-fy.

Men’s bath hall

The first bathhouses weren’t really bathhouses. They were wooden planks surrounding excavated rock where the bathers’ would soak their feet. The first “bathhouse” which was more like a log cabin was built in 1830. During the height of Bathhouse Row, the spas were very elegant with stained glass, fountains, and works of art to make an establishment that rivaled those found in Europe.

Please do not urinate in vapor. The things you have to tell people.

 There was a time when the opulent spas attracted not only the wealthy, but also sports heroes, politicians, and even mobsters. Hot Springs became just as known for gambling, prostitution, and organized crime as it was known for it’s water. The success of Bathhouse row has gone up and down through the years. During the 1940s there were twenty-four bathhouses in operation. Only two spas are operating today. You can go to the Quapaw or Buckstaff Bathhouses and soak in the hot spring water for a fee. The Buckstaff has been in continuous operation since it opened it’s doors back in 1912 and is the only continuously run bathhouse on Bathhouse Row.

While most of the springs have been covered and sealed off to prevent contamination, you can still see some springs bubbling up and running down the mountain to collect in pools of 140° water.  So, why is the water so hot? It may surprise you to find out that Hot Springs isn’t in a volcanic region. The water you see in the picture above started it’s journey about 4,000 years ago as rain water seeping into the ground. The rain water is heated naturally by rock that’s under immense pressure at a rate of 4° every 300 feet. The rain water is then forced back up though fractures where it will take about a year to return to surface. The park collects 700,000 gallons a day. Here’s a tidbit for you: the water that you see flowing in the picture above started as rain water when the ancient Egyptians were still building the pyramids!

Not far from Bathhouse Row is the Hot Springs Mountain Tower where you can get a birds eye view of the area.

There are even some hiking trails around!

We hiked to Goat Rock to check out the view. It was an easy one mile TAB (there and back) trial, but it was so incredibly hot. We ran into an older couple who had hiked from a near by campground. They were lost with no water and no map, but didn’t seem to be worried about it. Guys, if you’re going to hike…have a map and please carry water. Be smart about your explorations.

 

We saw tons of these little lizards during our hike. They were everywhere!

We even ran into this little lady. Can you see her? This little deer is a master at hiding and camouflage.

Ready for some pretties?

There were quite a few different pretties around during our hike.

We were there late Spring, early Summer. Some pretties were still just waking up.

I know, I know…it’s a weed. But, it reminds me of a serious case of bedhead. 😛

We had a great day learning about the springs, tasting the water, and exploring Hot Springs National Park! Even though it’s the smallest and oldest National Park there’s quite a bit to see and do. We easily filled an entire day and could have spent another day hiking more. So, what did we learn? Sometimes there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to National Parks.

See y’all down the road!

#minieasternloop2017

Categories: Arkansas, minieasternloop2017, National Park | Leave a comment

Pizza Roundup Rod’s Pizza Cellar

To my fellow pizza lovers I bring a pizza post from Hot Springs, AR.

Rod’s Pizza Cellar is a really good pizza place! The decor reminded me of the typical pizza parlor with green and red checked decor.

Rod’s was made on July 4th and has been open for 42 years.

The pizza that started it all for Don’s Pizza Cellar is The Godfather pizza and it is really good. The Godfather pizza has Canadian bacon, cheese, sauce, Italian sausage and  peppers. The cheese is on top of all of the toppings to help hold it all on the pizza.

The restaurant itself is pretty clean and the food is good, did I mention Don’s has a buffet? Well, it is a good buffet with a nice selection of all the pizzas Don’s Pizza Cellar has to offer.

Dessert was also offered with the buffet. My favorite was the strawberry shortcake!

You don’t like buffetts? No problem! They also have a full menu you can order from!

Now with all that, I’m giving Rod’s Pizza Cellar a 5 star review.

See y’all next time on…

Pizza Street!!

Categories: Arkansas, minieasternloop2017, Pizza Street | Leave a comment

World of Zoo Memphis Zoo

To my fellow pizza… wait, that’s a different post.

To my fellow animal lovers, I bring a post from Memphis,TN. It is really cool walking up to the zoo, looks all Egyptian and neat.

At the zoo, the Memphis Zoo, that have all kinds of animals, like leopards,

red pandas,

birds, and

cheetahs.

All the animals at the Memphis Zoo seemed to be comfortable in their enclosures.

The zoo was nice and clean too.

They have loads of neat animals. We really liked the hippo habitat because you could get a look above,

 ground level, and even

below the water! Which means you’re for sure going to see the hippos!

There were several baby animals when we visited!

I love how fuzzy the baby orangutan looks! The exhibits looked nice and clean and the staff were all nice.

At the Memphis Zoo they have really impressive Lego sculptures!

They’re HUGE!!

Look how detailed the Lego sculptures are! Amazing! Can you imagine putting one of these together?

Each exhibit is decorated to match the cultural area of the world that the animals are found in.

 The Memphis Zoo is one of the only 4 Zoos to have the Giant Pandas.

The Memphis Zoo were granted permission by the Chinese government to care for YaYa and LeLe in 2003.

I got to get really close to a giant panda, and that was awesome because giant pandas are my favorite animals!

The Memphis Zoo houses over 3,500 animals on 76 acres of land. That’s a lot of animals!! But don’t worry, you only have to walk about 2 miles to see all of the exhibits and there’s a tram tour you can take if it’s too hot or you’re hurt and can’t walk.

They also have, drum roll please, Polar Bears!! This polar bear wasn’t as active as the one in St. Louis but it was still cool.

The zoo opened in  1906 and is rated as one of the top 5 zoos in the U.S.A and I can see why. Healthy, happy animals with cool habitats make a great zoo.

Well I think that about sums it all up, I give Memphis Zoo a 5 star review.

See y’all at the Zoo!!

Categories: minieasternloop2017, Tennessee, World Of Zoo | Leave a comment

All Roads Lead To Memphis

Hey Guys!! We spent two weeks eating in exploring the Memphis area!

The day we ate at Central BBQ a huge storm blew through Memphis. When we got there, it wasn’t storming yet and there were quite a few people at the outside dining area enjoying some live music. We opted to eat inside and boy howdy…I’m sooo glad we did! We’d just gotten our food when the heavens opened up and tried to blow everything outside away with rain and wind!

We all got different things. I got a smoked chicken sandwich and I have to say…it was probably one of the best I’ve had. I’m particular about my BBQ sauce. I like my sauce to have a nice smokey, savory, with a hint of sweet flavor. Central BBQs sauce was just that for me. None of us found anything to really complain about…other than the tons of other people in our way. It was super busy even with the storm!

The other BBQ place we tried was Corky’s.

Jerl couldn’t say enough good things about these ribs. He especially loved the area toward the middle where the wet and dry kind of mixed together. The only bad thing I have to say about Corky’s is that their sides are really small. You can see them and the ribs in the picture above. I feel like for the price…there should be some more food on that plate.

We’d just come from falling in love with the Nashville Hot Chicken so we gave Gus’s Fried Chicken a whirl. Guys, it was so stinkin’ good!! And! It was completely different than the Hot Chicken we got in Nashville. The crust was different, the spice was different…but it was still nice and juicy and full of flavor! You might remember at PepperFire you could choose your level of spice…you have the choice of no spice, all the way up to melt yo’ face off spice. At Gus’s there’s only one level and it’s not bad. You could tell there was spice, but it was more flavor than heat.

Gibson’s Tastee Donuts is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We went twice in the two weeks we were in Memphis and there was a line both times. Now, I’m not sure if it was because I hadn’t had a donut in so long or if Gibson’s makes their donuts with crack…I don’t know…but these were some of the best I’ve had.

 The last foodie place is called Dyer’s. This burger place has been open for over a century serving up deep fried burgers and fries! These burgers aren’t gourmet…these are greasy diner burgers and they’re pretty darn good!

During my foodie research, I learned about Dyer’s fried pb&j dessert. We had to try one, right? It felt oh, so wrong to eat…but gosh…it was really tasty! Are you beginning to think all we did for two weeks was eat? LOL! We did other stuff, I promise!!

We took a stroll down Beale Street which is a melting pot of jazz, blues, rock n’ roll, and gospel. The street is lined with clubs, shops, and foodies.

A. Schwab is a general store that has been in business on Beale St since 1876 and is the only original business remaining on Beale St today.

Most items in A. Schwab are your typical general store type things. The custom made Hoo Doo kits are something I hadn’t seen before, though. There was a whole section full of hoo doo items to make your own custom charms and potions. It was kind of fun looking through all of the times! On one side of the store was an old fashioned soda counter that is still in operation. A. Schwab is a neat store to spend some time in while getting out of the heat.

There were several of these guitars sprinkled throughout Beale St. This one was our favorite.

We went to check out Graceland. If you don’t know who lived there, I’m not sure I can be your friend anymore.

We din’t want to fork over $50 a piece for each of us…so this was as close to the home of Elvis as we got. Bummer.

We made it to the Memphis Zoo! It was fantastic! The Memphis Zoo is solidly in our top five…it’s battling it out with the Houston Zoo for our number one spot.

Littlest is doing a Zoo Review so I’ll let him fill you in on all of the zoo details in a post next week, but I do want to share this Lego sculpture with you! How cool is that?!?

The RV park we stayed at was right on the banks of the Mississippi River so we got to spend two weeks watching the barges go up and down the river!

We loved taking walks by the river several times a day. Some parks are easy to get some walking in and some parks are almost impossible to get any kind of mileage in.

These pretties were in our park. I really enjoyed walking by them everyday!

Here’s one more pretty…because y’all know I’m a sucker for the pretties.

That’s it, Guys! We had a blast exploring and eating our way through Memphis!! The boys have already made plans to visit again!!

See y’all down the road!

#minieasternloop2017

Categories: Foodie Find, minieasternloop2017, Tennessee | Leave a comment

Pizza Roundup 5Points

To my fellow pizza lovers, I bring to you a post from Nashville, TN.

In Nashville there is a good pizza place named 5Points, now this place has pizza by the slice (New York style) that is bigger than my head! Cut from a 20 inch pizza!

They also have delicious Stromboli’s

and pizza, of course!

They also have some pretty darn good garlic knots, not as good as Posti though.

The decor is nice and the service is good, I didn’t need the bathroom so I couldn’t tell ya if it’s clean.

With all that I think that 5Points deserves 5stars.

See y’all next time on…

Pizza Street!!

That was a big slice a pizza.

Categories: minieasternloop2017, Pizza Street, Tennessee | Leave a comment

Nashville

Hey Guys!! Welcome to the land of boots, Tennessee Hot Chicken, and country music!

We were a little worried about the park we stayed in during our stay in the Nashville area. When you look at it on the Googles you can see that it has railroad tracks on one side and highways on two sides (it’s shaped like a triangle). In my mind I had us laying awake all night listening to the sound of trains or traffic. We ended up by one of the highways which was a blessing. The train tracks were busy. We didn’t really notice the train noise where we were, but the spots right beside the tracks…I’m guessing they didn’t get a whole lot of sleep. It was a busy park and we were all crammed in. I managed to snap the picture above while we were in between neighbors.

We made it to our 41st State Capitol Building in our 42nd state! Bonus points to anyone who can tell me why the numbers don’t match up!

The Tennesse SCB was small, didn’t have a dome, and was dark. It was hard to get good pictures of anything. The bottom floor was painted in dark browns and the lighting was dim. You can see it in the picture above. I know I’m shooting toward a bright door…but seriously guys, this is what it was like walking through it.

I love this spiral staircase in the library!

Tennessee is only the second SCB out of 41 that had a wonderful balcony we could actually go out on! I love it when we find something different in a SCB!

Nashville has several great murals! We only sought out two of them and there was a line at both to get photos.

This mural was so fun! What a great idea to have an interactive mural! Littlest volunteered to be my assistant for both murals. He’s a pretty good photo buddy.

We stopped by the Grand Ole Opry one afternoon to check it out. We didn’t get to do a tour or stay for a show, but we did get to look at the building and hit the gift shop!

I went to the Grand Ole Opry about thirty years ago with my parents. I can’t believe how much the area has changed! It was during that first visit that I had my first Goo Goo Cluster. We had to get a few Goo Goo Clusters while we were in the gift shop…purely for nostalgia… *wink, wink*

Nashville is known as the “Athens of the South” so they decided to build a replica of the Parthenon for the 1897 Tennessee Centennial Exposition.

Inside the Nashville Parthenon stands a 41’10” tall Athena. To give you a little size perspective, Nike stands in Athena’s right hand and is 6’4″. We got there right when the building was opening and were lucky enough to get some shots in before the mass of people made it up to the statue.

I love the tile work on the outside.

 The building underwent a major renovation in 1920 and reopened to the public in 1931.

We, of course, found some foodies! Nashville is a big foodie town. Our first foodie find was at a place called The Pharmacy Burger Parlor. We waited an hour to get into this place…but check out that burger! This Stroganoff Burger is solidly in my top five burgers. The mushroom stroganoff bechamel sauce was ah-mazing!!

We would never have found Pepperfire Hot Chicken if our waiter at The Pharmacy hadn’t suggested it. I didn’t even know that Tennessee Hot Chicken was a thing…but let me tell you…we know now and we are fans! So, what you’re looking at in the picture above is a deep fried grilled cheese sandwich with two Pepperfire chicken strips on top of it. Guys…we loved this place so much we ate here twice in one week.

The Dude and Littlest both loved the chicken and waffles meal known as the AppleFire. Now, don’t worry, if you’re not into spice, Pepperfire offers a Southern style aka no heat option. There are seven different levels of heat. I got the mild and it was plenty spicy. We were told to go down a level from what you can usually handle. I think that was sound advise. I can handle some heat and my mild was just right.

I found some pretties! The ones above were in the RV park we stayed in.

There was an entire row of these beauties ranging in color from purple

to this light pink.

We really enjoyed our time in Nashville, TN. The city reminded us of Austin, TX. They both have that laid-back, foodie, hip vibe. We don’t usually care for the state capitol city, but I have no doubt we’ll revisit Nashville!

See y’all down the road!

#minieasternloop2017

Categories: Capitol Building, Foodie Find, minieasternloop2017, Tennessee | 4 Comments