We've actually been home since Friday, but with all the unpacking, catching up, yard work (some from hurricane Irene) and starting school, I've been a little swamped! I am glad to report that school started on time and we're off to a great start.
We headed south towards Utah and the first stop was Flaming Gorge. There was a storm in the distance that was moving towards us. The overcast really made the reds stand out...I can only imagine what it looked like a sunset.
We stayed stayed 2 nights in Colorado Springs. On our day to venture out, we visited the Garden of the Gods. How do I explain a cluster of red rock formations shooting up out of the ground? Again, it's one of those things you have to experience.
The rock formation to the left is called Steamboat rock and the formation to the right is called Balancing Rock. You are actually allowed to climb these rock formations. Not me! Avoiding a visit to the hospital was #1 on my list! Dan and the kids climbed up to the balancing rock so they could get a picture of them looking like they were holding it up. After we drove through the park, we went to the near by outlet malls to walk around and check out some bargains.
Passing through the pan handle of Texas and Oklahoma was the longest day of our drive home. Our stop for the night was in Arkansas. There were lots of cattle ranches and a lot of dried up crops. Both states were is desperate need of some rain.
The long day of driving was worth the stop in Memphis. Dan was on a mission to hit the Cozy Corner for lunch. Let me rewind a little, Danny was in school a few years ago and on his weekend off he and a couple of friends did the Memphis BBQ tour. All he could talk about was the ribs they ate at the Cozy Corner. He swears they are the best ribs he's ever tasted...EVER! He plotted our course home just so we would pass through Memphis for lunch to eat ribs with Mrs. Desiree. So I've think I've mentioned that the ribs and all the fixin's were out of this world, but I haven't mentioned that the company made the trip even more special. We got to eat lunch with Mrs. Desiree Robinson, her and her late husband started the Cozy Corner 25+ years ago! Mrs. Desiree has a deep love for family, friends, good food, and her faith in God. We sort of lost track of time, but our bellies were full and so were our hearts. I've never done a review before, but I give the Cozy Corner in Memphis, Tennessee a 10+!
While in Memphis, we visited the Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed. The motel has been turned into a museum, but the front of the building has been preserved just as it looked the day he was killed.
Then we drove past the SUN Studio. This is the studio where Johnny Cash recorded his first album.
It was time to get back on the road so we could make it to Nashville for the night. Before we checked in to our hotel, Danny took us to see a couple of sites. First we drove past the Ryman Auditorium also known as the Grand Ol' Opry. I wish we could have seen it during the day, because evenings in that part of town was party time. After we saw the Grand Ol' Opry, we had to go see the Opryland Hotel. We drove up and Dan kicked me out of the car...He said, "I'm not paying $20 an hour to park, but you're not going to miss what's inside!" Can I say...WOW! It reminded me of the hotel we stayed in, the Polynesian, for our honeymoon in Disney World. It was the perfect end to our trip, because 1. it flooded me with memories of our wedding day and honeymoon and 2. because this vacation was to celebrate our 10 year anniversary! Had the children not been with us, I think we would have treated ourselves to a night in celebration of our 10 wonderful years.
The next day, we got up early and headed home. I didn't think I would want our vacation to end, but I have to say, I'm sure glad to be home! We had a wonderful trip...the trip of a lifetime in my book. We put 7000 wonderful miles on our van, took a rock to the wind shield, and need new brakes from driving thru all those mountains, but I wouldn't trade the memories we made for a million bucks!