Monday, June 4, 2012

1,500 Mile Road Trip

Several months ago, my good friend Sara mentioned that she really wanted to take a trip somewhere. I mentioned that I would be in for a road trip and suggested we do something over Memorial Day weekend. Luckily, she thought it was a great idea.

Now that it is over, I can honestly say that it was a great idea! 1,500 miles in four days! We are rocking women! We were very fortunate in our travels; we only had about 45 minutes or so of traffic around Chicago and other than that, we didn't run into any traffic or accidents. I was glad to see that in 1,500 miles, there were no accidents! We saw a lot of police while we were heading south, but barely any heading back north.

Coming back from Nashville, we took I-24 to I-57 in Illinois. I HIGHLY recommend this route going north and south. There was almost no road construction on I-57 and hardly any cops or semi-trucks. There weren't any big towns, which I assume cut down on cops and trucks. However, it was A LOT of farmland!

Yeah, who would have guessed?? Farmland through the Midwest!

We left on Thursday and quickly (but safely) drove south. We spent the first night a little south of Louisville. Next time I'll have to spend some time in Louisville; it looked like a great city with a lot to offer. We woke up Friday morning and hit the road to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. I would love to say that we had a great time tasting bourbon and causing a ruckus, but we didn't. We were good and didn't even taste the our defense, it was 10:00 a.m.! We enjoyed visiting Jim Beam and Maker's Mark.

Maker's Mark is extremely beautiful. It is tucked away and takes you off the beaten path. My GPS decided to really take us off the beaten path. It took us through several farm and country roads that we probably should not have been on. But, we made it (again safely)!

Sara at Jim Beam

After we bought some bourbon, we headed south again, this time with the directions from Maker's Mark to I-65 so we avoided scary roads that seemed to lead to nowhere! We arrived at Mammoth Caves and on our way there, Sara realized that the time zone shifted from EST to CST and we were two hours early! So, we took advantage of the break and sat under some shade and read for a little bit.

Then we got our two hour break from the 96-degree temperatures! We enjoyed the underground cave tour in 55-degree temperatures - I've never been so happy to feel cold! Unfortunately neither of our cameras could do the place justice, so there are just a couple of photos below.

The camera was picking up the dust - those circles are not ghosts!
Although, there are a couple of people buried in the cave!

That is just deep!!

This was a great area! You had to squeeze through very tiny spaces!

After the cave tour on Friday, we headed south (again!) and spent the night in Bowling Green, KY. We found a hotel with an outside pool so that we could read and relax a little bit - as well as give our fannies a break from driving! I'd also like to mention that Sara and I were both well into Fifty Shades of Grey so we had to have time to read.

Friday morning we hit the road (South!!) and crossed the Tennessee border about 10:15 a.m. We were excited to see a winery right off the highway - how convenient! Oh dear, what are two ladies supposed to do? TASTE WINE! And we enjoyed a little time behind the bar as well!

I believe this is one of the few photos of both of us!
After our wine tasting, we headed to Nashville. We stopped at the Opryland Hotel because I told Sara that she had to see the beautiful lobby area. Upon entering the parking lot and discovering it was $18 to park (but your first twenty minutes were free) I told Sara to get her running shoes ready! We made it out with a few minutes to spare!

I don't know why this photo is giving me an attitude, but it won't rotate normally like all the other photos.
So, here is a beautiful sculpture in the Opryland Hotel lobby.

Opryland Hotel

Opryland Hotel
After the hotel, we headed over to the Grand Old Opry just to check out their gift shop. Can we say expensive?? By this time we were starving and realized that we were next to an outlet mall. We ate lunch at the very tasty Claim Jumper restaurant and did a little shopping. We (once again) needed  a break from the 95+ degree temperatures.

After some shopping, we headed downtown to Broadway and 2nd Streets where all the honkey tonks exist. These are bars (mostly country bars) that have live music almost all day long. It was great to honkey tonk bar hop and check out the cheap, tacky gift shops too. I think we spent about four hours listening to music and it was great. We had a wonderful time!

Drink and ride around Nashville. Interesting!

A little Honkey Tonk country music!

My friend Jennifer from college was nice enough to invite us to stay with her in Nashville, but it was a very quick visit! We left Nashville about 8:00 a.m. on Sunday morning and had all intentions of stopping along the way to see stuff, but there really wasn't much to take in, so by the time we hit Chicago around 5:00 p.m., we decided to just head straight home. That was a long day in the car!! It was a great trip with a great friend...and we discovered that we travel well together, which is always a bonus.


  1. Love the pictures and the description of your trip! Looks like sooooo much fun! You'll have to check out my blog today...I posted the "best" picture yet...I cannot believe I ever looked like that! A hot mama to be sure!

  2. This looks fabulous, Linds!! I have been wanting to take John on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, looks awesome. Also, love that picture of the covered bridge especially.