Elias and Carrie's Excellent Driving Adventure - Day 1: Road Trip!!

"Yes, be quiet for a few minutes. I don't trust where Nigel* is sending us, it's dark and the music is just too loud."

*Nigel is the GPS.

But that was the end of the day. Let me rewind to the beginning...

Day 1 - Driving to Nashville

What I didn't account for was the exhaustion before the trip.

I might be able to blame the time change. This week has been really hard. Not due to work (lord no!! This has been one of the few weeks in the year where we've seen a lull). But physically and mentally. I've been consistently tired all week long. It tends to be 11p before I fall asleep. And when I have to be out of bed by 527a (a minute later and I'm racing hard in the morning), 11p is not great. So I start off the day a little "off." It's hard for me to get into the swing of the day when I'm already feeling "off." I've been like this all week. And this does not bode well for the trip. Or at least the drive. Then again, the first stop on any road trip is Starbucks. And Chai heals everything.

We started off early on Saturday. I think I was at the house around 530a. And we were definitely at Starbucks at 6a. Honestly, the drive itself...pretty uneventful. We drove and drove and drove. Nothing much to report.

Five hours in and our first stop on the road was in Louisville, KY. I'd wanted to try Lynn's Paradise Cafe since I saw it on Food Network. It seemed like a bright and cheerful place. What I didn't expect was that the restaurant looks like what I think the inside of my brain looks like. Bright colors, feathers, chandeliers, disco balls...to some people, it will drive crazy. To me...it's like a warm blanket. Love. And the food?? Really good. Elias ended up with the French Toast. I was going to do the Fried Green Tomato BLT, but the woman next to me raved about the Grilled Portobello Sandwich. Done. And GOOD!! The place was packed, but we sat outside amongst the fake, bright daisies. We couldn't have come to a better place.

Three more hours to go and we would be in Nashville. Luckily, the second portion of the trip was as uneventful as the first (aka - no speeding tickets). We checked into the hotel and unloaded the car (which btw, I thought there would be plenty of room in the car...what could a 14 year old possibly bring on the trip?? Good. Lord. I couldn't have been more wrong...a 14 year old can bring everything. And in a suitcase double the size of mine. Jeez...)

We didn't want to sit for long, since we were on vacation!! Our first stop was the Bicentennial Capital Mall State Park. We had a few false starts (parking and a potential farmer's market...if ONLY we'd been an hour earlier!! We could have spent actual time at the farmer's market!! Woe as me!!), but we finally figured everything out (thank you Smart Phones!!). How fantastic was the park?? It was a quiet place where we just walked and saw the sights.

During our walk, we were checking our phone because we thought it might be nice to go to "The Mall." Apparently, we were close to a really great mall. And when I read Elias one of the reviews of the mall, he focused with laser like clarity on two words: Cheesecake Factory. I knew that everything I said after would be a lost cause. Oh well, Cheesecake Factory, here we come!!

Unfortunately (and not surprisingly), everyone else in Nashville had also descended on the old CF. We did a little shopping (very high-end mall, so Elias was in heaven), but we waited for a seat at The Factory. Once we were called, I knew we were screwed because the hostess started walking towards the bar area...and right out the door to the patio. The problem...it was cold on the patio. And our food was slow to arrive. So we were cold and hungry. And we'd been waiting for a while. Awesome. Eventually we got our Mac and Cheese Balls (YUM!!), Four Cheese Pasta and tiny Margharita Pizza and Salad. But we were already falling apart.

By the time we got in the car, we were a mess. I wonder why?? We'd only been up since 4am and drove through four states. Yeah. It was time for bed. Elias kept trying to tell me a story about falling down (always a crowd pleaser), but I wasn't listening and responded with the "music is too loud" comment from the top of the page. So yeah, we're all winning right now.

We've already begun disagreeing on what to do tomorrow. We still haven't come up with a final answer. I might just force him do what I'd planned. I know he wants to go back to the mall to shop (we ran out of time), but we could do that at home. We're on vacation!!

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