Saturday, December 29, 2012

Road Trip back to the Homeland

After driving for 7 days we finally reached Canada!

It was such an amazing trip, leaving Arizona we covered New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Virgina, West Virgina, popped into Maryland and then finally New York, where we crossed the border into Canada.

road stop

I feel so lucky to have experienced so many different aspects of America that I had not yet visited. My favorite state that we encountered was definitely Tennessee, where we spent Christmas in Nashville. 

the famous Beale St in Memphis
There was however one place I regret "visiting". At the end of a long day's drive, without much choice of where to stay for the night we stumbled upon a Days Inn, located in Bristol, Tennessee. We drove down a dirt road past the burnt out hotel sign to arrive at our accommodations. My first instinct was "run", however it wasn't up to me and we weren't left with much else choice of where to go. Our rooms looked like they hadn't been clean, nor updated since the 70s. I wasn't sure if we were going to survive the night, as the whole situation reminded me of a horror film. We did make it through the night though, despite the power going out at 6am and me calling for my father in fear!

Although, as mentioned, my favourite part of our road trip was our Christmas in Nashville. We arrived about 6pm and took a "wrong" turn off the highway but ended up just where we wanted to be, right beside the Grand Ole Opry, Nashville's famous country music venue. 

We decided to check out the venue and the adjoining hotel the Gaylord Opryland before checking into our hotel for our Christmas Eve slumber. Growing up on country music it was very exciting to finally see the Grand Ole Opry which I had often heard about. 

After seeing that we went next door to the Gaylord Opryland which was decorated unbelievably for Christmas. It was so beautiful! We really couldn't have asked for a better place to spend Christmas Eve on our drive. 

We ended our adventure around the Grand Ole Opry by having our Christmas Eve meal at the Jack Daniel's restaurant/bar. It was a big change from our usual Candlelight service at Church, but it was sure fun. Near the end of our meal we had a country music performance. Later on they were asking for requests, so of course, I shouted a few out, both of which they played. Much to my father's dismay we were then referred to as the "loudmouth" table. Of course I only took that with pride!
my parents Aunt and Uncle and I at dinner
Christmas morning turned out better than I thought it could. After eating the hotel's breakfast including pancakes, sausage, egg, cereal, yogurt, toast and grits (gag), we decided to commander the lobby's Christmas tree and put our presents and stockings underneath and took turn opening gifts as usual.

Hotel/Burbridge Christmas tree

My parents and I Christmas morning
Most of the drive home we had good weather, until our last day when upon leaving West Virginia and entering Maryland a massive piece of ice flew off a truck going the opposite direction on the highway and smashed into the front of our SUV totalling the left side. But hey, no one was hurt so we were lucky!

As much as I enjoyed traveling across America I'm glad to be home at my parent's in Brockville for a short bit before I head back to work.

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