To beat the winter blues, we decided to head south for warmer more of the same weather. But although Tennessee was experiencing an unwelcome cold snap during our visit, we still managed to enjoy our big adventure.
Our first stop was at Ride Royal Blue ATV Resort, where we spent our nights eating homecooked meals and watching movies at our comfy cabin, while our days were maximized by exploring 130 miles of rugged, muddy, and sometimes-not-what-we-signed-up-for trails.
We have arrived!
I’m ready for an adventure!
Top of the world
Grandpa & Grandma
Catch us if you can!
What a view!
Our mean machines
Hangin’ with my dad
Where would you like me to take you, Grandma?
Our cabin for the week
I could get used to this.
Basketball at the cabin
The cabin’s driveway
Our view from the cabin
Ready to roll
A cold morning
Braving the cold
Stuck in the mud
We got a little muddy
Good job, Grandpa! Can I have a side of fries with that?
Nothing to see here, folks. This is just my grandma, looking for that contact she lost. (Right, Papa?!)
Throwing rocks into the waterfall
Waterfall snapshot – Take 1
Waterfall snapshot – Take 2
What a cute tree! Oh wait, that’s me who is cute!
I. LOVE. THROWING. ROCKS.
INTO. THE. WATER. ALL. DAY. LONG.
Hang on, Grandma!
The Elk viewing area.
This was the only elk we saw on the trails.
Pretending to be a Wisconsin Duck.
A mountain adventure
Me and the ladies
Next, we traveled to Nashville to take in the music scene. When we ate at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, not only did I run into one of my college-student-teachers from UW-La Crosse, but I also had the opportunity to debut my very own singing skills when I requested the musicians perform “Twinkle, Twinkle!” Unfortunately, stage fright got the best of me and now we’ll never know if I could have made it big.
Having dinner at Margaritaville
Live music on the stage where I almost made my debut
Looking over the Cumberland River, at the Nissan Stadium
Let’s do this!
Swimming lessons with Dad
Dinner at Puckett’s Restaurant & Grocery
My new boots! (Thanks, Grandma & Grandpa!)
The biggest boot
Listening to country classics at the Ryman
Outside of the Ryman
Walking the pedestrian bridge
Looking for mud puddles to splash in
Grandpa & Grandma posing in front of the city skyline
Taking a snoozer at the Hyatt
Checking my emails and drinking green beer
More nachos for Grandpa!
Cheers for St. Patrick’s Day!
Overall, it was a super-duper trip! I always love where our travels take us, but my favorite place to go is home.
In the driveway – Melrose, WI
Cleaning off all the mud
Helping to unload/unpack
Dad’s #1 Helper
At home, I relive the memories from the comfort of my
own parents’ bed. Some highlights I will always cherish are the “firsts” I added to my list of accomplishments: I pooped in the woods (twice!), peed in the river, and got my very own pair of cowboy boots! Other memorable moments include devouring Grandma’s chicken salad sandwiches, laughing at Grandpa’s snoring talents, practicing my 3-point plays with the cabin’s wastebasket, throwing rocks in the stream, meeting my new friend Quoia (The Hyatt’s best employee), getting free swim lessons from dad, and splashing in every mud puddle that Nashville had to offer.
Tennessee did not disappoint! In fact, I will likely return once I’m ready to share my Twinkle Little Star with the world. Get ready to be part of my fan club!!
The band was awesome!
Me and my sis, Jamie!
Me and “Aufrene”
Here’s my fan club!
“Big Sonia!” Love her!
Jamie let me take this balloon home!
Look at us matching!
If you’re ever looking for me on the weekends, you can probably find me on campus, hanging out with my college peeps! I especially like to attend the signature events hosted by the multicultural student organizations, where I can get my groove on and eat fancy-schmancy meals while never feeling more loved. Indeed, it requires little effort to win over hearts… chasing a balloon in a bow tie and suspenders is all it takes to build my fan club. And even though I couldn’t understand why “Aufrene” was talking to and dancing with another guy (her boyfriend), or why “Big Sonia” wasn’t eating at my table, or why Jamie sent me home with a balloon that popped, I still wouldn’t trade these moments for anything!