We traveled from South Texas to Arkansas, where we stayed with my Grandma (Grams), and my Mom (Nana) for a month. During this time, I also took the time to drive to Missouri, and visit my other Grandma who lives on beautiful Table Rock Lake. When our month in Arkansas ended, we drove to my Dad & Stepmom's home, in Tennessee (near Chattanooga). I have to say, I was taken back, by the area's beauty. Not to mention, Chattanooga has a lot to offer vacationing families!
My Dad and Stepmom were very intent on keeping us entertained. While it wasn't expected, it was certainly appreciated. Two activities made a huge impression on my children. The Tennessee Aquarium and the Children's Creative Discovery Museum. Two gems, set in a gorgeous location. There are countless of other activities to do in and around Chattanooga (Raccoon Mountain Caves, Rock City, Ruby Falls and Lake Winnepesaukah Amusement Park, just to name a few). I highly recommend the trip, if you are looking for an affordable getaway for your family.
After leaving Tennessee, it was onto our new home in Virginia! The drive through the Smokey Mountains was breathtaking. I stopped in Ashville, NC, where the famous Biltmore is located. Though, I could not tour the grounds (remember, I was by myself with a three year old, seven year old and a dog), it was a nice stop, along our journey.
I have to say, last summer was for the books. I traveled countless miles solo. We entertained ourselves by playing silly road games (nice version of slug bug), watching movies on the iPad, listening to music and reminiscing about our favorite parts of our trip.
Military life isn't always easy, but it certainly has it perks. Most people could never find the time to spend an entire summer traveling across multiple states and spending quality time with family and friends. I know that I created a memorable experience for my children, and they will always have very fond memories of Summer 2010!
The Kids (and our Doodle) enjoying their last Whataburger (on the road), before driving out of Texas!
In Arkansas I was able to visit my Alma Mater, Arkansas State University, and Miss E befriended my old college roommate's daughter. In addition, I was able to take the kids to the County Fair that my Grandparents would take me to, when I was visiting Arkansas from California.
Here are a few snap shots of our visit to visit my Grandma's home on Table Rock Lake and Branson, where we took the kids to the Dixie Stampede
Then onto Tennessee! Here we visited my Father and Stepmom. These are photos documenting our visits to the Discovery Museum and Aquarium
Last year was such an amazing adventure, that I (and the kids) will treasure forever. I can't wait to see what Summer 2011 has in store for us!