The house was cleaned.
The yard was mowed.
House sitters and kitty keepers were arranged.
IT WAS TIME FOR OUR ANNUAL #We5AmeriKings ROAD TRIP and we were READY! Radley was so excited that he literally could not sleep. He was in our room 5 times and finally fell asleep a little after midnight which made a 5AM wake up call even more brutal. But, everyone was all smiles when we pulled out of the driveway.
We have a ton of ground to cover this trip going from CS - Memphis - Louisville - Maryland/DC - OBX - Atlanta - Baton Rouge - Home so we are setting off on a TWO WEEK voyage and by the end, we will have the entire southeast US crossed off our list, adding SEVEN new states to our count!
We make it a point to stop at all the welcome centers when we cross the state line. Gives us an opportunity to stretch, learn something new and...
score group pictures where all of our faces and bodies fit in the picture! This usually takes less than 15 minutes and then we are right back on the road!
Our first stop was Little Rock for lunch. Since we had been there before we wanted to see something new and head somewhere the kids would enjoy and the Julius Breckling Riverfront Park was perfect. Ryan prepped lunches while I sat with the kids at the splash pad and I would be lying if I didn't admit that I was tempted to join them in that cool water.
This little space was delightful for big and little kids - CS take note and up your splash pad game!
Ryan had our picnic all set up by the time the kids were ready to dry off and we scored a table in the shade which was just a miracle of all miracles.
The kids painted some rocks to leave at different stops along our trip and each one left one in LR. Sadly, Landry's made it in to the river and even though Ryan risked life and limb to retrieve it, I think it will be a long time before anyone finds her hidden treasure.
Little Rock has an amazing trail system and we could have walked for hours visiting all the connected paths, but since it felt like we were inches from the sun, we decided to get back in the car and head to Memphis.
We waved at the Tennessee sign since we had been there twice before and we were all a little anxious to get to dinner.
You can understand why. Gus's did not disappoint one single bit... in fact, it had an extra surprise of SPICE. Y'all. You have been warned. The kids were troopers but they weren't playing with the kick.
ps. Landry ate that entire bowl of beans.
We were all in bed early and up ready to continue on our way, but first I wanted to go snap some pics at these awesome murals we spotted on the way to dinner.
They could not have been more perfect for my budding artist...
and lover of all things pink!
I would match them every single day if I could!
We hopped back in the car and made our way to Nashville. Now, you can clearly make Nashville your entire vacation. Music Row, museums, live entertainment, amazing food... this city has it all. However, this was just a stop on our journey so we settled on a picnic at Fannie Mae (Dragon) Park...
The girls could have stayed there all day finding their favorite characters among all those mosaics. And we lucked out because the serpent had been closed for restoration for the past two years. What an awesome community project! ?
From there we headed to the Capitol - and I should note that Ryan named this his favorite state capitol to date. (WHAT?!) He just really liked that so many presidents were from Tennessee and the way they were highlighted in the building
The kids seemed to have a good time, too. And if you look really close, you can see Radley in all three of these pictures. Ha!
Me: Are you sure the Capitol is in the picture?
Also stranger: ....
A few miles later and.... our FIRST NEW STATE!
We were so excited and couldn't wait to get our hosts waiting across those state lines. But, listen here closely... this is a road trip PRO TIP... make sure you account for the time change when texting people. I let them know that we were going to be there right at 5pm...and we were in Texas time. In Kentucky time, it was 6pm.
And y'all... this was who was waiting for us!
This was also waiting for us.
From top to bottom: Alpaca, bison, kangaroo, and wagyu.
No I'm not kidding and yes they were all DELICIOUS!
If you are in or near Louisville, check out Game!
After delicious food with amazing company, we needed to top it off with a little sweetness so we headed to Austyn's favorite treat spot and Louisville original, the Comfy Cow.
I'll let you decide if they enjoyed it...
We headed back to the Pryors for the evening where the kids were most impressed by their BASEMENT. Seriously, they couldn't get over how cool this house was and Ryan and I couldn't either. He immediately did what he always does and looked up real estate in the area. We stayed up late, played catch up and our beds hit the pillow full of happy thoughts.
The best part about all of these trips are the memories we make with the people we love. How lucky are we to have precious friends that treat us like family and make the drive more than worth it. Our first two days were so good to us and I am just overwhelmed with gratitude for the opportunity of this journey.