I'm not going to lie. I had my doubts. I questioned my sanity. But for some reason I just had this idea for taking a family road trip that wouldn't leave my mind. So before I knew it we were planning our route, booking our overnight stays and packing up our car. All told we were to be gone for 8 days and 7 nights and spend about 32 hours in the car driving. With a 14 and 4 year old and both of us adults who had always proclaimed we would much rather fly than drive anywhere. But you know what? It was actually pretty great!
I mean, if this is your final destination, how can you possibly go wrong?
But first things first! We headed out early last Sunday morning and first stop was St. Louis for lunch at Schlafly Bottleworks. Because you know....food. And a good portion of our trip did happen to revolve around places we (ok fine, I) wanted to eat. A delicious lunch on the patio and we were once again on our way to our first official leg of the tour, Nashville!
There are so many things to do in Nashville and with really only one evening plus a day to experience them we tried to hit the big highlights. Country Music Hall of Fame, walking around on music row, and Lasagna Pizza at DeSano Pizza Bakery. And we even found an unexpected treasure when we were stuck inside after our tour of the Hall of Fame due to a massive downpour and found a place with some awesome tacos and nachos for lunch!
And of course, no trip to Nashville is complete without a visit to The Bluebird Cafe! Okay, fine, we just drove into the parking lot at 9am, snapped a quick photo, and headed out to Alabama. But we promised ourselves we would come back sometime (without the kids!) so that we could actually see a show.
Another 7 hours(ish) and we were finally crossing the bridge to our final destination....Dauphin Island, Alabama! And by bridge I mean an 3 mile long scary bridge over Mobile Bay that made me hold my breath for record time. Beautiful, but scary. I was too distracted to even get a pic.
But I did get this photo of our morning view. I think my favorite part of the whole trip just may have been sipping my morning coffee on the balcony listening to the waves crash and seeing this! If you happen to live by the water I hope you do that every morning! What an amazing way to start the day!
Can I just say how beautiful this island is? What a treasure!! And we were super lucky to find the most beautiful condo to rent for 4 nights that made it feel just like home! The owners were amazing and not only did they think of everything that should be included in the home they also called with recommendations of places to shop and things to do while on the island. This will be something we will do again, no doubt. What a great experience!
That being said, we ended up spending most of our time on the beach!! I mean, we spend so much of the year landlocked how could we resist?! Given more time (when we go back, fingers crossed!) we will check out the Estuarium and the bird sanctuary as well as all the great things to do in Mobile and Gulf Shores. I recommend at least a whole week!
A great little stop on the island for the world's best cinnamon rolls and some coffee at Lighthouse Bakery!
If you've made it this far into my barrage of photos and ramblings on...thanks so much for following along my families journey! It was a wonderful time and a great break from daily life. But it's also great to be home and I'm excited to get back to working on some new recipes that I hope to share with you all soon! Hooray for summer!