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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Bulls Gap or bust

After taking care of some last minute cleaning and other little things at the house, it was time for us to pack our bags, load up our respective vehicles (I was driving with Sammy in the car, while Captain Husband had Sandy in his truck--I think he got the short end of the stick in that deal to be honest), and hit the road.  It's a good thing my car has a trunk large enough for several dead bodies, because I wound up using just about every inch of available space back there:

You're looking at approximately five hundred pounds of clothing, bedding, diapers, toys, the kitchen sink, etc.  And if that's not enough stuff, check out the set-up I put together for Sammy in the back seat:

If you're ever attempting a long road trip with a toddler, I cannot recommend enough the importance of the bag of toys and snacks kept within arm's reach so that you may throw hand them lovingly to your screaming devil cherubic angel in the back seat at a moment's notice.  And while I've never been big on the whole portable DVD player deal, my mom offered to loan us hers and, boy, am I glad she did.  That thing did a wonderful job of keeping Sammy distracted (and happy) as we drove all over the place.

Okay, so on to day one: We set out from northern Virginia at about 10 am--our destination that day was Bulls Gap, Tennessee, about seven hours away just past the Virginia/Tennessee border.  If I'm going to be in the car for hours on end, I like to make random pit stops at places just to break the monotony of it all, whereas CH likes to drive straight on; if you're lucky, he may even stop once for a restroom break (I'm only partially joking).  This is why I'm convinced that having to drive our vehicles separately on this trip single-handedly saved our marriage, but I digress.  I had checked out a map the night before and decided that day one's pit stop would take place in Natural Bridge, Virginia, with a side stop at a funky little diner just for fun.

There was a huge King Kong sculpture in front of the diner just in case you didn't notice the big pink building as you drove by.

After a delicious lunch of roast beef and mashed potatoes, Sammy and I made our way to the actual Natural Bridge for which the town was named: this geological formation is an impressive 215 feet high, about 40 feet thick and spans 90 feet--it's so structurally sound that it actually serves as a bridge for Route 11, which is kind of crazy when you think about it.  There's a bit of a pricey entrance fee to go and see it, but at least Sammy was free of charge so I put him on my back and we made our way down to the site.  It really is quite monumental--my photos don't even begin to do it justice.

I let Sammy stretch his legs out a bit and then we were back in the car and off to Bulls Gap, Tennessee, where we met up with CH and Sandy and spent the night.  Next stop--Memphis!


Ashley Sisk said...

Good call to take separate cars - I'll make a note of that next time we have to do anything like that...which may be never.

Courtney K. said...

Yep. Your vehicle looks like ours when we made our cross country treck in January. That DVD player was a LIFESAVER!

Anonymous said...

Ha ha. So funny about the snacks. LOL! Great photos.

Kim said...

The car is hilarious. I know how you feel.
That Natural Bridge us just beautiful. I love the photos.

melifaif said...

You are sooooo my kind of traveler!!!! Your pictures are just amazing...and wow was our portable dvd player a saver for us from El Paso to Carrizozo, NM. I kissed it....shhh....don't tell. :-)

Tonya said...

It's amazing for me to remember that my family made the trip from Massachusetts to Denver in a van with NO electronics! Although we don't have a DVD player, I think we'd have to break down and get one for the boys - they would drive me bonkers on a drive like yours! Love Sammy's outfit!

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