May 16-26: Season 3 of RV Life Begins

We are beginning our 6 month journey visiting as many national and state parks as we can! Our first couple of weeks is going to be mainly making our way west.

We said goodbye to Makenzie and Ella and started our new adventure on May 16. Mak and Gavin are headed to their new apartment on Daniel Island, SC. Ella, now a college grad with a free summer, has time to relax and finalize her plans. She has her eyes set on moving to Oregon at the end of July to work in the wine industry.

Our trip starts in a familiar place for a single night, Sevierville, TN. Within minutes of our site there was access to every kind of food, shopping and entertainment we could dream of, but all we wanted to do was chill, still exhausted from our time in NC.

Day 2 brought another 3 hour drive, but this time we landed somewhere new for Addie and Ashley, Nashville, TN. We set up camp at Seven Points State Park. Our entry was definitely tricky as we backed down a long and narrow strip to position ourselves as close to the lake as possible.

It was truly a stunning spot.

The next day we took time to explore Nashville. Our first stop, the Parthenon, was an amazing recreation of the original in Greece. It was originally built here in 1897 for the Tennessee Centennial Exposition.

Nashville has a neat pedestrian bridge with an amazing view of the city.

We ventured down Broadway Street, stopping to take in just a bit of the live music. We had no idea just how much there was. It was bar after bar packed with people and lots of country music!

Nashville is home of Goo Goo Chocolate, which meant we had to test our hand at making our own version. Ours included caramel, peanut butter, marshmallows, and peanuts all covered in dark chocolate. It was yummy!!

Dinner was none other than Nashville Hot Chicken and then it was off to hear a something different than country music at the Nashville Symphony. We enjoyed a lovely concert that included guest violinist, Bomsori Kim. It was a full, fun day of firsts!

It is May 19th (our 28 year anniversary), and we are back on the road for 3 more hours which landed us in Paducah, KY for a single night, where it rained about 5 inches. The next day, we are back on the road heading west and started to notice the landscape changing. The land turned flat and there were farms for as far as the eye could see as we crossed through Kentucky into Missouri.

The dogs and Addie take in the sights from the backseat. Some days Addie does not have much room, but she does not seem to mind.

We arrived in St. Louis and headed out for some food and drink at Schlafly, the first microbrewery in the area.

Our site in St. Louis was not huge, but it was close to town and located on a great greenway that we walked every morning.

We started our city tour near the Cardinal’s baseball stadium. As a child, Shannon visited his birth location many times to see his grandparents, aunt and uncle. It was really cool to be back especially because their was a home game.

As we walked a little more, we found the Gateway Arch, a national park.

After checking out the museum, we took the uniquely egg shaped elevator/tram car up the 630 feet to the top of the arch. Even though we had done it many years ago, it was really neat to do it again now that Addie was old enough to appreciate it. Shannon hates it at the top, but he did it for us!

From the top you lean over and gaze out small windows at the city below.

We had a great view of the stadium. They had just finished the game and set off fireworks.

It was a really neat experience being at the top, but it felt good to be back on the ground.

There were some foods we had to eat in St. Louis. The first being White Castle. Their little square burger on a steamed bun with onions, has its own unique taste. Addie ate them for the first time and enjoyed more than one.

Another local treat was Ted Drews frozen custard. They only have vanilla which is best when mixed with a topping of your choice like pumpkin pie or Oreos and blended into a concrete

A uniquely St. Louis, must have, IMO’s Pizza, is a thin crust pizza with provel cheese which is a white processed cheese, a combination of cheddar, Swiss and provolone.

Addie is always so good to visit breweries, today for her we visited a soda microbrewery. Fitz’s established in the early 90’s has 19 varieties to choose from. These were a few of our favorites.

The St. Louis Botanical Garden had an exhibit of Chihuly Glass in the Garden. We were fortunate enough to be there one of the nights they were lighting it up. The glass sculptures were truly amazing to see in the day and in the night.

Continuing on our journey, our next stop was Kansas City, MO. A quick overnight here gave us a chance to visit with Shannon’s aunt Marcy, uncle Bob and cousin, Toby Stites. It was so great to see them all and catch up.

We enjoyed some Kansas City BBQ. It did not disappoint.

A fantastic end to a wonderful day visiting with family.

From Kansas City we continued west to Colorado. Along the way we saw many more windmill fields in the flat plains.

In the middle of Kansas we stopped for the night at Lukas Park Sylvan Grove. It was a little off the interstate, but well worth it to be on the water with lots of quiet and privacy for the night.

We had an inspiring sunrise over the water, an encouraging way to begin our day.

This adventure keeps our eyes seeing new things! This method of pumping water into the fields for watering was unfamiliar to us.

We stopped for the night in Goodland, KS near the state boarder.

Even in this very small town we found something we had never seen before.

As we leave Kansas and drive through Colorado on our way to Denver, the Rockies are in our sights!

Since we left the NC mountains 10 days ago we have crossed more than half way across the United States. We are excited to see more National Parks, what the west has to offer, and continue to see new things on this adventure!

4 thoughts on “May 16-26: Season 3 of RV Life Begins”

  1. I loved seeing the pictures of you enjoying the variety of sites. Safe travels and enjoy each new day!

  2. Love, love, love the journey! I don’t know which I like more…the sights or the food! The west is waiting and so are we💕

  3. Love it! I’m so glad you got to see so many wonderful things in St. Louis and also have Imo’s pizza! We’re thrilled that we got to see you guys and look forward to hearing about the rest of your trip.

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