Saturday, June 30, 2012

Family Road Trip | Tennessee

We are back from a little early summer family road trip.  We rented a  bus  minivan, packed up, and headed south for a few days.  We are a relatively short drive from Nashville and thought the boys would have a blast staying at a gigantic hotel, exploring the music scene, and making some new memories. And they did. We did too.  Here are a few pics...

road trip essentials: movies + basket of snacks + children in separate rows + ice cream 
{yes, that last one was messy}

We stayed at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel.

Everyone knows hotels are half the fun of any trip and 
what could be more fun that one with a river and boats running through it?! 
The pools were great too and there was plenty of room to get lost exploring.

 {phone pic}

We spent a long afternoon enjoying the music and scene on Honky Tonk Row.

Charlie could have listened to the musicians and bands ALL DAY LONG.
Andrew and I did a little shopping in between acts...

He left the store with a cowboy hat and I left with a pair of boots!

We also made a trip to nearby Franklin, TN just outside of Nashville.
Oh my goodness, is it charming!

Plenty of cute shops for me and fun shops for the boys.
Please note Andrew is still in cowboy hat!

We stopped for lunch at this yummy and cozy bakery.  
Blue and white checked tablecloths on the tables, the smell of fresh baked bread heavy in the air.
Notice that sign??  Yep, 107 degrees!  It was STEAMY.

The best part of lunch though, was getting to spend it with Linsey and her gorgeous family.
Linsey and I became friends a couple years ago through our blogs and getting to meet in real life was exactly as I expected.  She is, in person, just as sweet,  pretty and genuine as she is on her blog.
She recently moved from Houston to Franklin and is busy turning their incredible new farmhouse into a home. I wish we could have had more time together but we talked as much as we possibly could from children to paint colors and hopefully we'll see each other again!  I'm so bummed I didn't take a picture of our families together!  {We both had our cameras too! bad bloggers!} 
We managed to take one of us {thank you, JD}...

On or way back to Cincinnati we stopped halfway to do a little cave exploring...

{when nature calls...  which is often when you are 3...}

{Very appropriate foot attire for a hike in the woods.  I can hear my Dad saying that right now! In my defense, it was too hot for socks and sneakers! I only slipped once!}

Thankfully the cave tour was by boat.
This particular cave had once been the hide out for Jesse James, and earlier in history, a place that housed camps from both Union and Confederate soldiers.  There was lots of folklore and terrific stories about a man eating swimming hole, missing bodies, lost horse drawn carriages and such.  
Perfect for boys! 

Now we are back and resting up. We had a great time, however don't be fooled, traveling with kids is tiring, shared hotel rooms and musical beds even more so {I might have contemplated taking a pillow out to the mini van at 4:00AM just to get a little peaceful sleep}, but well worth it!  
Lots of good family time!  If you are close, I do recommend Nashville for a family trip. The people are so welcoming and there is plenty to see and do. Liking country music is essential!


  1. how fun. I have always wanted to go to nashville but was'nt sure my kids ( 3 and 6 ) would enjoy. perhaps you changed my mind.

  2. Isn't that a fun hotel?! You could spend many many days in Nashville and still not take it all in. You look like a Texan in your hat! And that little bakery looks won-der-ful!! How in the world does one choose when you have that many choices?
    Looks like a fun trip.

  3. I've always wanted to go to Nashville. It seems like such a fun city.......and Franklin, TN? I've never been there either but I've read so much about it. I want to go to Blackberry Farm one day! Im thinking maybe for my 40th birthday. Looks like a great getaway!

  4. Hi Tessa. Your trip looks like so much fun! Nashville seems like a great place for a family getaway. Love your plaid dress/shirt? You always look so adorable!

  5. I love Franklin - and at Christmas? Gorgeous place to shop. Have you seen that quote - "You know you're a mom if going to Target alone seems like a vacation and going on a family vacation seems like work."

  6. oh my goodness! The whole time I was reading your post, I wondered if you were going to show pics of you and Linsey!!!! I'm so glad you met her! I'm trying my best to figure out how we can make a trip to Nashville just so I can meet her! :) Uh oh. Did that sound as stalkerish as I feel like it did? :)

    Your pictures are wonderful.....I think my favorite might have been the one with your little guy dropping his drawers for potty time. :) The very next picture showed him guzzling more drink....3 is such a fun age!!!! I miss that age with my kiddos so much!

    I also LOVED the one of you in a cowboy hat....or should I say Cowgirl? :) Awesome trip!

  7. Sorry I missed you!
    I am in LOVE with your plaid dress.

  8. Can't believe you were in my neck of the woods! You should of had a blog signing:) I never tire of our charming town. Next time you come to town maybe you can offer some shopping decorating seminars like Eddie Ross!

  9. We LOVE Nashville! So glad you got to experience it. AND..looks like you were in Bowling Green which is also a great little town and home to my alma mater, WKU! :-) How did you feel on that boat ride when you had to duck way down to get into the cave?!?

  10. What a great road trip! Love the look of Franklin - I'm sure I would adore such a place. And how great that you got to meet a fellow blogger. May have to take the fam to Nashville ourselves!

  11. So glad you had a great time in Nashville. I lived there for almost five years after college and I still miss it.

  12. hope you had a wonderful trip to my hometown of nashville...and i grew up in franklin! My sister, aunts and mom and grandmother always did and do meridees's for our special lunches!

  13. I'm still pinching myself that we got to meet in real life! I'm already dreaming of our next visit! This one was just an appetizer! :) So sweet of you to include me in your plans. I picked all my paint colors and am eager for movers to come on Friday with all our stuff! Happy 4th! Xoxo!