Road trip to Tennessee, North Carolina, Kentucky and beyond!

Jennie at Nashville Pride Fest holding up an orange-yellow Pride Fest shirt in front of herself. The festival crowd meanders behind her.

Our first stop on the road trip was Nashville, where we went to the Pride Fest.

The weekend after finals, I was finally able to make it home and see my family. My dad and brother actually came back from their trip to Canada the same day I got back, so it was a nice reunion with the whole family.

The first thing I did was take my brother’s dog for a long walk in the country woods. It’s definitely one thing I miss the most about home. I decided to relax and help around the house with chores and outdoor cleaning for the week before my road trip. I knew I needed to stay busy because I like to have things planned or things to do every day. With my trip coming up, I had to make sure I had everything packed, all the AirBnBs scheduled and sites or events planned for each city we went to. This was my first road trip, so it was difficult deciding what to pack and remember everything I needed along the way. I knew with driving though, unlike flying, we would have a lot of space with whatever we wanted to bring along.

When Saturday finally came, my friend, Jamie, and I left early in the morning so we could arrive at our first destination—Nashville, Tennessee. Our friend who currently lives in Memphis drove down and stayed the night with us to explore the city. We found out our time in the city was the same weekend as the Nashville Pride celebration was so we decided to stop in and see the vendors, music, drinks and food. There was a men’s league rugby team there selling T-shirts, so I was able to talk with them for a little bit about the sport and where they travel to for their league.

a wooden table at the Nashville Brewery with a beer, snacks and "Clue" board game on it

At the Nashville Brewery, we enjoyed beer and board games.

It was a lot of fun exploring the event, but we decided to continue our fun in downtown Nashville for the night. We spent the night dancing and enjoying the music at various bars. I enjoyed the live music and the big dance floors, but my feet were very sore the next morning! Our friend had to travel back to Memphis the next day, so we decided to keep it more of a relaxed evening with some beers at the local breweries and, of course, delicious ribs and brisket. Our favorite stop was a brewery that had some vendors who sold jewelry, plants, clothing and other various items. In addition, they had tons of fun, old board games and popcorn, so we spent the rest of the night playing them.

Our next destination was to Chattanooga, Tennessee. Jamie’s family has a friend who is a resident down there, so we were able to stay at their house for the night. They live on Lookout Mountain, and the view was spectacular. The residents know a local restaurant owner so we decided to try it out for dinner–and we were not disappointed! They had delicious burgers, and I enjoyed the unique combos of toppings they had chosen. Our visit wasn’t too long here since the next day we traveled to Asheville, North Carolina.

A selfie Jennie in front of Biltmore Estates

This is from our visit to Biltmore Estates.

Our first stop was the Biltmore Estates, and we were surprised on how big it is! There were so many rooms including around 42 different guest rooms. The gardens were very pretty, and you could tell they still regularly maintain and clean the property. We also wanted to check out the restaurants and downtown area, since a lot of people recommended to us to stop here on the road trip.

Jennie and her friend Jamie smile at the camera on top of Mount Mitchel with a beautiful view of the area and blue sky with fluffy clouds

Jamie and I at the top of Mount Mitchell.

The next day we were able to travel all the way up to the top of the highest peak of the Appalachian Mountains, Mount Mitchell. The elevation is 6,684 feet above sea level and the scenery is absolutely breathtaking. We were able to see all the different mountains peaks on each side. It was hard to leave since it was so beautiful and the weather was perfect! Our next stop was to the Outer Banks area of North Carolina, which meant a long day of driving. It was a struggle getting down the mountain since our GPS took us on a one-car width gravel road for 11 miles. It definitely was scary, but with a few tight squeezes between cars, we made it to the bottom and got back on the interstate.

With the long day of traveling, we stopped to have dinner with Jamie’s relatives on the way! It was so kind of them to feed us, and we played with their dogs (I was definitely missing my pets at this point). We made it down the Outer Banks and arrived to our destination—Avon, North Carolina.

The next day we traveled to Okracoke Island which involved an hour-long ferry that had a breathtaking view the whole time. This was my favorite spot of our road trip. The Island was small and cute, but it had everything you needed. There were so many local shops with arts and crafts, gifts, food and more. It was hard to resist buying everything! I was able to get my family some souvenirs, fudge and taffy here.

Jennie standing at the top of Hatteras Lighthouse with the view of a green landscape and the ocean behind her

Me at the top of Hatteras Lighthouse. What a view!

Our whole trip we had the best weather we could have hoped for, so while on the island we were able to enjoy the afternoon on the beach. The next day we spent the morning visiting the Hatteras Lighthouse, which we were able to climb to the top of and see the amazing view of the coast. In addition, we learned about the history of the town and also the move of the lighthouse away from the coast due to the ocean moving upon it. We didn’t want to leave since we really enjoyed relaxing and getting some sun, but we knew we had to get on the road again.

The Louisville Skywalk over the river at sunset

The Louisville Skywalk at sunset.

Our second to last stop was to Louisville, Kentucky, and this was during the Fourth of July weekend. We decided when we arrived to go out for dinner, go downtown and celebrate the holiday. I was able to meet a local bartender in Louisville, and we had a great conversation about my attendance to Palmer and chiropractic in general. I found out she was in a horrible car accident a long time ago, but she went to her chiropractor afterwards on a regular basis and she said he helped her get back to her normal self again. For her accident, she felt her chiropractic treatment she received helped her more than the physical therapy she was receiving. I enjoyed learning about her story and her interest in chiropractic as it continues to push my love for the chiropractic field.

We enjoyed dancing the night away downtown, but we knew we had an early morning due to our planned events the next day. We went to the Slugger’s Museum and the Evan Williams Whiskey tour. We loved learning about the history of baseball and how baseball bats are made. We even got our own souvenir bat! It was also nice to learn about the process of making whiskey. I never knew the little details to it, and I realized how complex it really is. By the end of the night, our feet were tired from walking all around the city and throughout the city, so we decided to take a nice slow stroll over the walking bridge. It was absolutely beautiful as the sun was setting and the weather was perfect.

The next day we traveled to our last destination in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to visit our friends from undergrad who recently got married. We decided to do a peddle tavern since we all have been wanting to do one and haven’t gotten the chance to yet. It was fun to travel to all the different bars but it was more work than we thought! It made it worth it that’s for sure! We enjoyed the rest of the night with dinner and fireworks.

The next day we traveled back to good ol’ Cross Plains, where we were greeted by my family and pets. We had so much fun traveling to all the different destinations, but we were really exhausted once we finally got back!

The next day I went back to work, working at the front desk of my hometown salon. The rest of the break I picked up shifts at the salon and spent as much time with my family as I could. It was an enjoyable, long break – but I always want it to be a little bit longer. 🙂

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