What you may ask is the “Mother of all Road Trips”, and to that I will answer 7,500 miles round trip is the “Mother of all Road Trips”. Holy monkey nuts, yes 7,500 miles round trip, that is what we took on this summer.
- # One Traveling Companion
- F, the running teen
- Bebe, the horse girl
- Me 🙂
- A, F’s girlfriend
- One new Toyota 4 Runner
- One borrowed Roof Top Cargo Carrier
- Five well packed duffel bags
- Three long-boards
- One guitar
- One ukulele
- An amazing sense of ADVENTURE!!!!
I will take you on a journey that will take us through:
- New Mexico
Yep, that is what we set out to do, and that is what we accomplished. An amazing adventure, one that we will not forget. Fraught with laughs, farts, death defying feats, and long drives that seemed to be going no where!
# One traveling companion was in charge of packing the car, from start to finish, we would stand there with the bags surrounding us and he would call out what he wanted. He became the KING of packing that SUV, as the girls started to purchase things along the way, such as two more Ukelele’s and two short-boards! Like we didn’t have enough musical instruments or modes of transportation already. He did all the packing of all and new with care and a smile….. Bless him!
We took shifts in driving between # one traveling companion, better known as Brad and myself. Several times we let F and A drive but for the most part especially along the coastal highway it was Brad or myself. The girls hung in the back, Bebe had her seat behind the driver, and the other two took turns sitting in the middle. We were off…..
The first morning July 19th, we left at 4 am so that we could after about six hours stop and play at the human hamster trail in St. Louis, Mo: The City Museum … WOW! If you live in the midwest and can make it to St. Louis within four hours this place is well worth it. General admission is $12.00 plus tax, check out the website link to see other details….. It was an old shoe factory, and some very enterprising individuals turned it into a brilliant playground.
You can climb, crawl, squirm your way all around the inside and OUTSIDE of this old factory. They have rebar, human slinkies, ladders, old shoe slides that are 10 stories to slide down and so much more. I cannot attest to the ultimate fun they had, as I suffer from a nasty fear of heights which prevented me from participating in all the excitement. That said I can share the pictures and say that I did not get one text or see one Facebook post from any of them, this tells me they had a BLAST, along with when they came out I was confronted with…. “Mum, if this is the start of our road trip, you are doing amazing, this was Fantastic!” Yeah Mum Score = 1, Kids Bored = 0
The kids big and small wrapped up playing around 2:30pm and we headed off to Germantown, TN. We arrived that night and checked into our Holiday Inn, we had signed up for the IHG Rewards program and each night would give us rewards points that would eventually gives us free nights!!! I have got to say that almost all of the Holiday Inns we stayed at did not disappoint and the one in Germantown was one of the best! Michelle the breakfast Queen was friendly and full of information on the area, she made a mean breakfast too.
In the morning we drove over to Graceland, home of the King of Rock & Roll; Elvis Presley. Oh my I was only 7 living in England, when he passed away. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would be walking up to the gates of Graceland. We didn’t actually walk, but caught the tour bus from across the street and entered through those famous gates. Up the driveway we went, and at the front of the house we were let off the bus to walk through the front door of his home. Breathtaking to say the least, it churned up so many feelings that I didn’t really think were there.
I had as a little girl been able to listen to Elvis and loved his music, so to be here in his home, was a dream come true. You are given a tour of the first floor of the home, the upstairs still to this day remains private, you are then led through to the history of Elvis. From all of his awards, to his costumes he wore on tour, to the day he wrote out 40 checks to 40 different charities for $1000.00 a piece on a single day. From the home to the history we then venture into the racket ball court where he spent his last hours, as you enter you are told this and this is where the goose bumps appeared and I teared up…
Can you believe that, I was so emotional. At the end you are led to the Meditation Garden where you are able sit and ponder, Elvis Presley along with his parents Gladys and Vernon Presley and his grandmother are buried here. A memorial gravestone is also here for his twin brother Jesse Garon who was still born. It is a moving and iconic piece of history, and I am glad that we were able to tour the home.